Paul Dunham is a professor at a conservative Christian college. He figures he’s about two years from tenure, so he keeps his head down, does what’s expected, and doesn’t cause any trouble. However, this forces him to stay so far in the closet, he may as well be in Narnia. If Paul were to come out, he’d lose the job he’s worked so hard for, and his family whom he loves. However, the boring, protected life he’s been leading is about to be turned upside down when he comes face to face with Brandon Mercer. Brandon was the first man Paul was with sexually back when they were in college. Brandon left after freshman year, and Paul hadn’t really thought much about him since. But now…
Brandon Mercer left St. Benedict’s college after freshman year. He just couldn’t stay in an atmosphere were he couldn’t be who he truly was…a gay man. He wanted to be open about his sexuality and date who he wanted without be persecuted. Now, he finds himself back at St. Benedict’s, contracted to work with their IT department on some security measures. He’s surprised and pleased to discover Paul is still there, and would like to get reacquainted. Brandon’s not looking for love. He’s looking for some company for the duration of his stay, and he offers Paul the opportunity to learn a thing or two about sex while keeping each other company.
When the security issue starts to get a little more complicated than Brandon thought, and someone begins to stalk/blackmail Paul, the men have to work together to figure out who the bad guy is. Also, they must face their growing feelings for each other, and Paul will have to deal with his family and employer when the fall out hits.
I liked this book. I wanted to love it, but it felt a bit off to me. Paul and Brandon were ok, but that’s as far as I’ll go. They were sweet and said/did all the right things, but I didn’t feel any real bond with them. Paul was standoffish. I suppose he probably had to be because he was hiding his true self. However, I found myself wanting to give him a slap on the face and yell, “Snap out of it!” It was as if he were a bit lazy. As a psychology professor, he could have looked for work at other universities while he was teaching at St. Benedict’s. Instead, he chose to just stay there, miserable, and resigned he’ll probably have to marry a woman and try to have a family.
On the other hand, there was Brandon. I liked him a little better than Paul, but I thought he seemed a bit pushy. He didn’t force Paul into anything, but his powers of persuasion were a teeny bit over the top. He also makes it clear he’s not looking for a boyfriend. He’s not the boyfriend type, but he wants to make his time at St. Benedict’s a little more fun by having a no strings attached relationship.
I have to admit I was surprised when Paul agreed to this. He was so uptight and didn’t want to cause any ripples, I didn’t think he seemed like the kind of guy who would put his career and family in danger just to have a few weeks’ worth of fun with an old “friend.” Now, this isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy their little trysts. They were hot, sexy, and a little on the sweet side. Brandon told Paul he’d be teaching him a thing or two, and boy is Brandon a good teacher. I also liked the fact that Brandon didn’t force anal sex on Paul when Paul told him he wasn’t sure he wanted to do it. He’d tried once with an old roommate, and it didn’t go well. When it finally did happen, it was actually lovely and romantic. It made the story a bit more believable as well.
There is a mystery involved with Worth Waiting For. Someone has broken into the servers at St. Benedict’s and they were able to gain access to student and faculty files. On top of that, someone’s blackmailing Paul. This person has photos of Paul and Brandon in a less than innocent situation. At first, it was just a threat, but eventually the problems escalate. I was pleased with this particular whodunit. I totally thought I knew who was behind this, and when I found out who it really was, I was…well not shocked, but impressed that I got fooled.
After the mystery was solved, things wrapped up rather quickly and predictably. I got the HEA I wanted, and Paul and Brandon got theirs as well. I recommend this one to fans of second chance love stories with a little bit of intrigue thrown in.
P.S. I don’t want to give a lot away here, but I do want to give honorable mention to a scene that really stood out for me. Paul had worried that being gay was a sin. One Sunday morning, Brandon takes him to a church where everyone is welcome, and it was beautiful to witness Paul’s epiphany. Look out for that one.