Roman had a tough time in high school as he was bullied and never fit in. The only bright spot was his crush on Jaxton. His home life was just as tenuous and when his father became violent, he left. Now Roman returns six years later with his boyfriend Ben and fame as a cellist. Thinking he wants to try something new, Roman enrolls in college only to run into Jaxton on his first day. A sensual musical performance at a local club stirs up old feelings and longings. Roman loves Ben, but has never gotten over his feelings for Jaxton. But Jaxton is straight, right? Ben loves Roman so much that he is willingly to give him anything. Does that also include Jaxton?
There were a few good things as this book started out, but for the most part this story had so much potential that was just not realized. We start with Jaxton’s point of view as he is shocked to see Roman at his college campus. The story then quickly shifts to Roman and Ben’s points of view and we mostly get their story of how they met, how Ben helped Roman gain emancipation, and then how they fell in love. They are fairly co-dependent on each other, spend all of their time together, yet they are emotionally insecure in their relationship. Roman taking one glance at Jaxton has their entire relationship beginning to unravel at the edges. And that was where the story first lost me. We are told many times how Roman has always been in love with Jaxton. Yet, Jaxton, for the most part was not nice to Roman in school and there was no foundation shown for the intense feelings we are told they have for each other. When past events are discussed and we see some of Jaxton’s side, he explains past situations to Ben, never has a conversation with Roman, and there was a whole lot missing for me between Roman and Jaxton.
We get different point of views here and that is something I always am a fan of. Yet here, it was not always clear which character was speaking. And, when we are shown a flashback of Roman and Ben having a five way, it coulda, shoulda, been so hot. However, the event was based on friendship, not on intense desire, and there were so many pronoun versions of “he” and “his” used, that it was not always clear which character was being discussed, and the entire episode was too orchestrated and clinical.
Ben is so in love with Roman that he will do anything for him, including opening up their relationship to Jaxton. In one night, after repressing his sexuality for his entire life, Jaxton declares he is bisexual, frantically tells another friend he has been in love with him, only then to wind up proclaiming his love for Roman, joining Roman and Ben in their bed, moving in, and changing his entire life. The initial scene between the three men spent so much time with minutia details of their cleaning rituals prior to sex and then how they were going to make room for all of Jaxton’s belongings. And, when the three of them made their first appearance together, there were then pages of where they were all going to be seated at the table. The story by this point had completely lost steam for me as this true love connection between Roman and Jaxton was not shown. With Ben just arranging everything it was so unbelievably easy to be more unrealistic than I was looking for. The story did offer a fairly low angst evolution of an already established couple taking in a new a partner. However, although I did like all of the three main characters, there wasn’t enough emotion shown here for me to be on board with these guys building a real life together and there was a lot that was missing for me.