Mike is living in Austin and loving his life, mostly. His roommate just moved in with her fiancé, which removes Mike’s buffer from his family back in Kansas; they believe he’s straight and hoped he’d marry that gal. With an empty room, he puts out a request for a roommate and is reunited with Wes, a man he’d met in college. Wes was the president of the GSA at college and he’s been out since middle school. He remembers Mike from school and the reunion is interesting.
Both Mike and Wes are attracted to one another, but Mike is nervous that Wes won’t be interested in him if he isn’t out. But, Wes is cool with being patient. They hit it off when they hit the sheets and it’s getting intimate at an emotional level, too. It’s not like Mike’s family is near enough to notice he’s got a boyfriend…until his brother turns up unexpectedly and needs to camp out for a week to do job interviews. And that prompts the big confession. Mike is really scared to alienate his family, but his brother is so supportive. Wes is a rock, giving Mike support and love as they continue their relationship. Mike knows he needs to take the step to come out to his parents and give them the opportunity to know his whole self, especially now as he had a boyfriend he doesn’t wish to hide.
This is a sweet and tender love story that’s a bit new adult and a lot coming out. It had a good emotional punch, despite the stakes being seemingly low. I did respect Mike’s fears, though I had little qualms that his news to his parents would be less than well received. Mike’s fears that he might alienate his family on the basis of a short-term relationship felt more true in that context. The fear factor seemed low, but that was also awesome, in a more philosophical way.
The story has got a bit of sexytimes and those were yummy. I have an affinity for books with crushes finding love, so I enjoyed Mike and Wes reconnecting and building a relationship. That was sweet, especially as Mike stressed about how to reveal his interest without seeming like a “creeper landlord.” Wes and he have some fun back and forth while they get their bearings and stake their interest, but this doesn’t take very long at all. In all, this is an enjoyable read with solid characters and a story arc that had feel-good written all over it.