Narrator: Jason Frazier
Length: 2 hours, 38 minutes
The last person Mick expects to see at his door inquiring about the room for rent is Mrs. Fielding, a woman on a mission to find her brilliant son Monroe a quiet place to live and study. Tired of the partying and constant distractions by his football teammates, friends, and women, Mick took over a small house but desperately needs a someone or two to share the financial burden.
In comes Fielding, a brilliant young man studying particle physics. Fielding has missed out on much, having been sheltered by his parents, and Fielding intends to learn as much about life as he possibly can now that he is on his own.
Fielding and Mick quickly become close friends and Fielding looks to Mick for advice on life and social interaction, something Fielding has been missing all his life. Rumors about Mick’s kissing ability spell the start of the tension between the two men as Fielding wants Mick to teach him how to kiss. Learn from the best, he always says, but Mick refuses, confused about his feelings for Fielding and more importantly, his lack of emotion for the women perusing him. He’s been straight all of his life, right?
In the end, and with the not-so-subtle encouragement of his good friend Sam, Mick finally agrees and the awkwardness and tension are out of this world. Mick wants the whole thing to go away, for their friendship to go back the way it was, but when Fielding disappears, Mick fears all is lost.
Easton took the jock/geek trope and put a good spin on it here. Both Fielding and Mick were believable characters with solid backgrounds and their interactions were wonderfully written and realistic to me. Fielding, although brilliant, was portrayed as a giddy, almost childlike young man and considering his sheltered, focused upbringing, his glee at now being four hours from his mother is understandable. Mick, the campus “man-whore” has had enough of life in the dorms, of the constant unwanted attention from women, and uses his double major as his excuse for the move and his new anonymous residence. Mick’s character is an example of how someone can be interested in both men and women.
The kiss, the infamous kiss, what to say about that? There was never a doubt in my mind Fielding’s motivation was pure, even if the request was, for lack of a better word, unorthodox. This was where Mick’s ennui with the ladies and his internal struggles eventually lead to the tipping point and Fielding’s disappearance. It was unfair of Fielding to guilt Mick into action and sadly, the consequences were significant.
Here is the fun part, the audio commentary. Holy hot voice, Mick. Sultry and smooth, Frazier told us so much about Mick with his pitch, tone, and sexiness. Perhaps that is why he was so popular. Fielding’s voice was almost childlike, with energy and exuberance that reflected his personality to a T. I will admit though that the first time I heard Fielding, I was a bit taken aback but that lasted for one whole line before the dialogue justified the tone. I give Frazier a lot of credit for consistency as well. Most of the characters were unique and remained in character. The only time I felt that characterizations fell a little flat were when he was voicing the female characters from the university. Other than that, in a word: Awesome.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that the pace of the story was perfect and the editing was top-notch. I did not notice any gaps and never once got pulled out of the story.
I will not hide the fact that Eli Easton is a big-time fave author of mine, and add to that a novella length story, and an awesome performance by Jason Frazier, and you have, in my opinion, a real winner.