Coop is a “G-rated gigolo.” For the night, you can hire him to be a date, be a wingman, or be the friend at the party that makes you look fun and popular. Coop is hoping for a career in rap music and is saving up the cash he brings in to go to an important conference in Copenhagen. But Coop’s father has lost his job and the family is struggling financially, and now most of that money is also going to try to help his parents out with expenses.
Matty is a robotics student and at the top of his class. He suffered through lots of bullying in high school, and even now in college he has few friends. He has learned to focus all his energy on being the best student he can possibly be. This is especially important now as the top student in his class will get a prestigious robotics internship. Matty is singularly focused on getting that position and is the star of his class. Unfortunately, that is angering some of the other students as Matty’s grades are making the curve obsolete and their grades are suffering.
One day Coop is approached by one of Matty’s classmates. Kelvin is wealthy and tired of his poor grades and he wants to hire Coop to distract Matty enough to get him to slack off a bit. Kelvin reassures Coop that Matty’s grades won’t actually really suffer; he will just be back in line with the rest of the class and still get an A through the curve. Coop isn’t so sure, as this isn’t his usual gig, but Kelvin is flashing a lot of money, enough to be a big help to Coop’s family.
When Coop first approaches Matty, he mostly makes a pest of himself, but he manages to get Matty to shake up his routine enough that it starts to affect his studying. As they spend more time together, Matty begins to break out of his shell and start interacting more socially. As they get to know one another, Coop realizes he really likes Matty. In fact, he is no longer interested in Kelvin’s deal, wanting instead to get to know Matty and pursue the feelings that are growing between them. But even without Coop intentionally distracting him, having a boyfriend for the first time is definitely affecting Matty’s grades. Not to mention if the truth ever comes out about how the guys met, the growing relationship the men are building will be destroyed.
Out for the Night is the fourth book in A.J. Truman’s Browerton University series. The stories all feature college guys finding love amidst the backdrop of the university. The books stand alone quite well, and while there are some cameos from past characters, there is nothing here you can’t jump into without having read the others.
Before I go too far, I will say that I think your feelings about this book are largely going to rest on how you feel about Coop. There is no denying that while he has very good reasons for taking the job and is trying to look out for his family, he still takes it on knowing that is going to screw with Matty. I don’t think Coop quite realizes at first the intensity with which Matty pursues his studies and how devastated he will be by anything that affects his grades. But regardless, Coop still takes the job with the express purpose of messing up this guy’s grades. Even as he gets to know Matty a bit more, he keeps things going when offered more money. So honestly, you need to be able to get past that and appreciate the story or else I don’t think this will all work for you.
I do think Truman sets things up here as well as one can in making Coop a really likable and sympathetic character. Although he originally starting his gigolo services to make some money for himself, lately it is all going to help his parents. Coop is kind and caring, and despite being popular and sexy, he is friendly and open with everyone. We also learn that despite being buff, gorgeous, and the life of the party, Coop has had a troubled past. He was scrawny and picked on in high school and he still bears the emotional scars. In fact, despite all appearances, Coop is just as inexperienced as Matty in terms of dating and sex.
Matty’s emotional scars are even deeper. He was bullied extensively in high school and his coping mechanism has been laser focus on school. Knowing he is the smartest guy in the room takes some of the sting out of the fact that everyone picks on him and he has no friends. It is really rewarding to see Matty come into his own over the course of the book. He begins to realize that there are people out there who like him and care about him and that he can have both school and friendships. I like that we see that these guys are much more alike than they would initially appear, and they are quite sweet together (as well as sexy as they both explore their first sexual experiences).
So I found this one to be fun and a nice addition to this series. I really liked both Coop and Matty and found I could overlook some of Coop’s more problematic behavior in favor of seeing him grow. If you like young love stories, geeky heroes, or first times, I can definitely recommend Out for the Night.