Andrew Tuttleman is a rent boy who uses sex as a means to pay for his college and for his mother’s medical bills, as she is typically too sick to care for herself and keep a roof over their heads. Home from college for the summer, Drew looks for his tricks closer to home.
Grant is in a loveless marriage. When he finds out his wife is cheating, he decides it is time to figure out whether he really is gay. When he meets Andrew for a hookup, he doesn’t seem to get the message that Andrew only does a one-time only. When Grant hunts down Andrew, he offers him a chance to walk away from his life as a rent boy.
Andrew isn’t sure whether he is willing to place that much trust into a single person for his livelihood, especially when Grant has three kids and a wife. Despite this, Andrew is ready to give Grant a chance. Is Andrew ready to deal with the Grant’s baggage in the form of an ex-wife, a father, and a daughter who is determined to kick him out the door? Can Grant convince Andrew to have faith in an impossible prayer?
This is the third in the College Rose Romance series by Ashavan Doyon and can be read as a standalone. In this series, the main characters of the books are college students at a college where there are few openly gay men on campus. Having not read the previous two books, I didn’t feel as if I had missed anything necessary to understand Andrew’s story.
I immediately fell in love with Andrew, despite the fact that he sells his body for money. We learn that Drew took up the profession early in his teenage years when his mom came down sick. Andrew’s belief in God walked out the door when it came time for him to do what he needed to do to earn money.
Grant is a married father of three who is living well off. When he finds his wife is cheating on him, he decides to figure out whether he’s been living in the closet. Hiring a prostitute seemed the easiest way to figure this out, except he wasn’t prepared for the instant attraction and connection he felt with Andrew. Determined to win Andrew over, he relentlessly pursues him until Andrew agrees to meet him again.
The chemistry between Grant and Andrew was palpable. Not typically a fan of instant-love, this story made me believe that there was something special between these two men. The sex scenes between these two surprisingly had a lot of emotions to go along with them, which I wasn’t expecting giving how initially we see Andrew’s interest in sex only appeared when cash was being transferred.
As the two navigate being together, we are introduced to Grant’s children, wife, and father, all of whom we realize we don’t like very much because each of them wants to take away what little joy Andrew has in his life. The raw emotion and angst just rips you apart for the first two-thirds of the book. Then the book does a 180 and Andrew returns to college. Away from Grant, Andrew confronts his past as he tries to navigate his senior year at the college where he had hooked-up on the sly with other gay men and where he had been outed the previous year. In the meantime, Grant has to confront his own past and the reasons why he had hidden his sexuality.
Readers should be warned that this story has significant religious undertones throughout the book. Andrew lost his faith a long time ago when he realized that no one was going to take care of him except for himself. Burdened with an ill mother, he works hard to pay for an education in the hopes of being able to walk away from selling tricks and to keep a roof over his mother’s head. Grant wants Drew to have faith in him, and offers to ease his financial burdens if he agrees to give them a chance. Throughout the book, there is a theme of how faith and prayer can give one hope.
What bothered me was that Grant was quite preachy and always encouraging Andrew to have faith. Yet, at the same time he broke his vows made in front of God – so there was a bit of a dichotomy going on there. Granted, having the evil wife eased the discomfort of reading a story where one of the characters is essentially cheating on his wife and showing no remorse because she cheated first. At times he came across a bit too preachy.
Overall, this is a great book if you are a fan of a lot of angst and raw emotions in your books. It tore at my heartstrings from the very first pages and kept me turning the pages as I prayed Andrew would find his happily ever after. Unfortunately, readers should be warned you will have to hold your faith a bit longer, as all we get is a happily for now ending.