Jerry Helstrom is a fabulous, out, art major who’s always looking for Mr. Right Now. With months left in his college career, Jerry’s down for fun and flair. When his pal asks him to help sweet, naïve Arlo get his sexytimes game up and rolling, Jerry is more irked than intrigued. It’s a shame, sure, that Arlo’s one and only boyfriend was a lying cheat, but Jerry can see that Arlo, a fit Tae Kwon Do master and fellow student, is totally edible. He doesn’t need a “game” tutor to snap some selfies and upload them to Grindr, for goodness sake!
The thing is, Arlo is exactly the kind of guy Jerry would fall for…for a night. And, well, he takes Arlo on as a protégé, reluctantly, after being goaded by his dearest friends. Instead of shooting those body shots, Jerry decides Arlo needs a make-over first. Some new clothes, a hair cut, and some serious talk only attract Jerry to the one guy he should be running from. Arlo doesn’t seem keen on Grindr, or anonymous sex; he’s a settling down kind of guy who really wants more adventurous sex with a dedicated partner. Still not what Jerry wants to acknowledge, but he’s willing to be a temporary sex partner until Arlo gets confidence in his sexual skills.
And that’s how Arlo blows Jerry’s mind, more than once. Jerry’s still confused about his desire for anything committed though. This insecurity stems from the negative relationship he experiences with his wealthy, emotionally-stunted, philandering father, though he has great connections to his loving mother and sister. Is Jerry just a manipulative jerk like his dad? Or, is he more selfless than he believes himself to be?
The Player’s Protege is the second book in the Campus Connections series, but easily enjoyable on its own.
It’s clear, early on, that Arlo is into Jerry and finds him more than worthy in terms of boyfriend material. Once Jerry is able to see the depth of Arlo’s attraction, and examine his own hang-ups about relationships, he can tack charge of his destiny, rather than watching from the sidelines. It’s a really cute, light New Adult romance with a taste of sexytimes. I liked Arlo bunches, and appreciated that he was just a genuinely good guy—with a loving accepting family. Jerry is able to help Arlo grow emotionally, as well as sexually, and they make a complementary match, with Jerry fierce and loyal and Arlo comforting and compassionate. Jerry’s a like bit pompous, at first, but he gets over himself pretty quick. In all, it’s a quick, enjoyable read. It looks like we might see another couple books set in this locale and with secondary characters finding their true loves. I’d read on.
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.