Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Links: Amazon | All Romance
In the first Learning to Love book, Michael and Sean explore their sexuality and each other with help from their roommate and best friend, Evan. Now Evan is getting his own story, one which follows his new relationship with Daniel, who moved into the house at the end of the last book. They are attracted to each other and are headed toward a committed relationship, but the physical aspect of being together sends Daniel into a panic, and Evan needs to remain patient and figure out what is causing such a reaction in his lover.
In the meantime, newlyweds Michael and Sean are happy and horny. Pretty much all the time. Since Evan had a little bit of a fling with the duo before he realized that, unless he wanted to have his heart broken, he needed to stick to friendship only, they all have a history together that plays a big part in this story. All of the housemates are a very friendly, affectionate bunch and support each other completely. Michael is in the middle of a hate crime trial following his beating the previous year. Daniel is struggling with some issues none of the rest of them can begin to understand. But through it all, their friendship and love for one another is what keeps each of them grounded.
If you’ve read the first Learning to Love book, you know pretty much how this book is going to go as well. Wells sticks to a formulaic pattern. The only thing that has really changed here is the names. We have two young boys (both only 19 years old), who are loving and outwardly affectionate and use a constant stream of endearments, including sweetheart, honey, and love, with each other and their friends. They are completely committed to each other from the beginning, though there is a major obstacle standing in their way. They work through the issue with the help of their friends and, at the ripe old age of barely 20, decide they have found what they want for the rest of their lives.
I’m not denying that it’s sweet to see these lovable boys find each other. Perhaps the reason these four (and a couple of strays they pick up along the way, as a setup for Book 3) migrate toward one another is because they share such abundantly loving sensibilities. The problem I have here is that they are all the same. They come from the same precious cookie-cutter mold, so that it actually becomes difficult to tell them apart.
My favorite parts of the book are when someone has the gall to do something a little different from the others. In one case, Daniel shows his dominating side and commands the three boys through a steamy sexual encounter. In fact, and I know I’ll have some dissenters here, I really enjoyed the sexual interaction between the four boys. Maybe it’s too taboo for some, but for me, it was something different, that cut through the monotony of one sex scene after another.
Be warned that this book has a lot of sex. Those of you who are looking for a lot of sex will be sure to come away satisfied. But it was too much for me. The major problem with this book, and most others that are well over 300 pages, is that it needs to much, much shorter. Cut down to 200 pages, I think this would’ve been a much tighter, much more interesting story. With the addition of another 130 pages, it inevitably becomes monotonous, especially when we are dealing with a group of such similar characters.
This book is highly romantic. It deals with some truly sad, horrific situations, but it’s the power of love that gets them through it all. I like this group of boys and want to believe that such a sensitive caring bunch exists in real life. I just want them to break out of their molds and do something bold and unexpected. I want them to become individuals, instead of replications of each other. I’m hoping in the next book, Wells throws the formula out the window and gives us something new and exciting. The framework is there. Let’s hope the next couple — Josh and Chris — are the ones to do it.