Rating: 4.5 stars
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Angel is new to Pacific Rim University, there on scholarship for his amazing self-made films. But he is a bit overwhelmed at school, coming from a poor, rough neighborhood and making all the adjustments to college life. Not to mention unexpected feelings of attraction for his TA, Shane.
Shane is immediately attracted to Angel, but knows getting involved with one of his students isn’t a good idea. It is clear Angel has a lot of confusion over his feelings for Shane and about his own sexuality. But it is also clear that Angel is totally hot for Shane, even if he has a hard time accepting it. He wants Shane to make all the moves and lead him along, but Shane has trouble figuring out exactly what Angel wants and Angel can’t quite bring himself to ask for it. But with Shane’s help, Angel finally learns to accept his feelings and the two take their first steps toward a relationship together.
This is a sweet story with lots of Harris’ trademark sexiness. I really liked Angel and found him a great character. He comes from a very rough neighborhood where looking strong and acting tough were key to survival. Though he has never really had interest in women, he has known better than to every really consider his interest in men. It is clear he has a massive crush on the gorgeous Shane, and knows he wants something from him, but has no idea how to articulate it. Angel can’t ask for what he wants, and sort of just hopes Shane will figure it out. But slowly he begins to accept his feelings and reach for what he wants with Shane.
We don’t get to know Shane quite as well beyond the fact that he is a good guy, hot for Angel, and trying really hard to give Angel what he needs. Harris does a really nice job with this dynamic, as we see them struggle to communicate and figure out how to connect with each other beyond the sex. Shane is willing to take the lead but he doesn’t want to push Angel into something he is not ready for, and Angel has trouble asking for what he wants or even really knowing what that is.
The guys eventually find their way along, although in this first book their relationship mostly focuses on sexual encounters. We don’t get much else in terms of relationship building, or even friendship building, as most of their interaction is sexual. I actually think that makes sense in this first book of the series, and it seems realistic that they would start out with hook ups given Angel’s uncertainty about the whole thing. As the series continues though I’d like to see more of a connection between them than just physical and understand Shane more beyond being the object of Angel’s huge crush.
But overall I really enjoyed this one. Harris knows how to write a hot sex scene and these guys are smoking together. Angel is a really interesting character and I really like the set up for this series. I can’t wait for more.