Rating: 4 stars
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Logan Vanderveer is an uptight, twenty-three-year old, “95% straight” man who can’t see his own truth. He “messed around” with several men in college, including Ellis Flynn, the one he almost went all the way with—but that was just experimentation, right? He’s clearly not gay because he likes women. Though, he hasn’t dated any recently.
One morning, while getting his extreme caffeine fix, Logan runs into Ellis at the coffee shop. Ellis engages him, and Logan bolts, but Ellis won’t be denied this reunion and the closure he’s long desired. Ellis ensures that Logan gets his number and is strangely—to Logan’s mind—surprised that Logan actually bothers to contact him again. As Logan parses through the passive-aggressive experiences, he learns that Ellis is still bitter about the non-end of their relationship back in college.
It seems that Logan is unwilling to accept that he might be “100% bisexual” instead of being “95% straight.” I applauded Ellis for standing up for himself and confronting Logan’s internalized homophobia. This was interesting, because Logan’s family is all about acceptance, it seems, and he has no negative stereotypes or pressure to model in this regard. He’s just a fastidious planner, and those lessons about building a life with a wife and kids don’t include an artistic and passionate husband.
The story, excepting the epilogue, takes place all within about a week. And, it’s a tumultuous one for Logan. His memories of Ellis from college are all buried under a mountain of denial, and the excavating is a bit traumatizing. Plus, Ellis is freaked out about falling for Logan again, and then having him walk out of his life, again. So, Ellis doesn’t make it easy on Logan to reconnect. To my mind, Logan could have used a bit more introspection, because his embrace of his true feelings for Ellis is almost too casual. This is a guy who can’t handle disorder, and yet he’s gone over Ellis, a quirky artist with no fixed schedule, within days? I know reminiscence played a role here, but Ellis is a different, warier, man than Logan fell for those four years prior. That point wasn’t really well developed, for me.
There’s an HEA epilogue that wrapped the whole thing with a shiny bow, but the hard work of building the relationship, not just reconnecting, seemed to be the bigger, and unfortunately omitted, story. I wished we’d had a peek behind that curtain, but alas, not meant to be. Unlike Ellis and Logan.