Rating: 3.5 stars
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Travis literally runs into Shane when he accidentally runs out in front of his motorcycle one day. Immediately, Shane is attracted to Travis, who is much different than his usual type. Travis is an adorable twink and graduate student, trying to make it through school on his own by working as a teacher assistant. Shane is intrigued by Travis and follows him to his class, even going so far as to audit the class that he doesn’t really need just so he can learn more about the boy.
Instead of keeping a professional distance from his student, which is Travis’ intent, he can’t say no to Shane’s advances. They begin a relationship that is explosive from the start. As Travis learns more about Shane and realizes that he is the product of very wealthy gay dads, he is intimidated by their differences in background. It’s not until he overhears a conversation Shane has with a classmate, however, that he questions everything their relationship is built upon.
There’s not a lot of plot going on in this short novel, but I did quite enjoy the first half of it. I adore a good twink character, and Travis was a perfect combination of cuteness, braininess, and sweetness. He captured my heart with his eagerness to make it on his own, which meant a great deal of hard work. When he met Shane, I was happy for him to have someone in his life to watch out for him and care for him. Their burgeoning relationship was fun to watch develop. They also had a physical attraction that would burn up the page.
The second half of this novel is where it loses steam. For one, there is the major episode of miscommunication that leads to the conflict in this story. I’ve said it before and will say it again: there’s nothing I hate more than a conflict built simply on an inability to communicate between characters, which could be remedied with a quick five minute conversation.
More than that, though, I really despised the way the characters, especially Shane, acted when their relationship was put to the test. Instead of the disappointment or sadness one would expect when there’s an argument, Shane turned to bitterness and anger, and it made me feel like he didn’t deserve Travis anymore, insomuch that I was no longer rooting for their reconciliation. Several times he refers to Travis as an “asshole” in an extremely malicious way. It didn’t seem like the language of someone who’s missing his lover.
West created some characters I really loved, and I think there’s potential here for her to create a story that they deserve. This felt a little too vindictive and less sweet than I like from my MCs in love, but I would give this author another chance, since her Travis really did capture my heart.