Elijah has never been very good at fitting in socially, but at least he had his best friend, Theo, by his side for years. Now, however, Elijah is starting a PhD program across the country in California. School is the easy part, but figuring out socializing and dating is much more daunting. When Theo’s older brother, Pax, reaches out to him, Elijah is both happy and nervous. He has had a crush on Pax forever, but he knows that the gorgeous Pax isn’t going to be interested in a geeky, awkward guy like him.
Pax works hard all week and has a different guy in his bed every weekend. He is not “boyfriend material” in his own eyes, and is more interested in one-time hookups. When Theo asks him to reach out to Elijah and help him get settled into life in California, Pax remembers Elijah fondly as the cute, gawky, little nerd. But seeing Elijah again, Pax realizes that he is all grown up and for the better. Yes, he is still a geeky science guy, but he is also gorgeous and sweet, and Pax finds him incredibly attractive. But he also knows Elijah is not for him; he is too nice a guy to be just a one-time hookup and Pax can’t offer him more.
The guys get together and hit it off. Both are attracted to each other, but more than that, they really get along well. Pax finds Elijah’s more nerdy side charming, and the two actually have a lot in common. A friendship begins to grow between them, and Pax even offers to help Elijah feel more confident in flirting and meeting other guys. But even thinking about Elijah with someone else is hard for Pax. When Elijah makes his interest in Pax clear, the guys finally indulge in the intense attraction between them. They even eventually agree to continue hooking up, but to keep things casual. Pax knows he is not cut out for more, and Elijah is willing to take what he can get from Pax. But the more time they spend together, the more clear it is that the men are meant for one another, and that feelings are getting involved. Now Pax and Elijah have to open up to each other about what they really want and take a chance on the love that is building between them.
Oh, this book called to me right from that gorgeous cover, straight through geeky hero, and on into best friend’s brother. Basically, total catnip. And I am thrilled to say I absolutely adored this story. It is sexy and romantic and a lot of fun.
One of the things I love about a geeky hero trope is that mix of intelligence and social naiveté and that is Elijah completely. He is incredibly smart and capable academically, but very uncertain when it comes to social interaction. He just doesn’t fully understand people, especially when what they mean and what they say aren’t the same. There is a bit of Pax taking Elijah under his wing here, helping him to meet people and learn to socialize. But what starts off as Pax taking care of Elijah quickly turns into a real connection between them. While Pax can sometimes play the role of vapid sex fiend with his friends, with Elijah he lets his inner geek come out. It is easy to see just how much these guys really enjoy being together. The story is told in dual POV and I particularly liked the interplay as they frequently text one another, and there is just a nice combination of sweetness and fun here to go with the sexiness.
And yes, this book is super sexy. Elijah may be totally new to all things sex, but he definitely wants to learn. There is great chemistry between these men and Elijah is kind of this super dirty/super innocent combination that is very endearing and totally drives Pax wild. There are some great scenes as Pax introduces Elijah to all the wonderful things they can enjoy together and these two are on fire for most of the book.
There are also some nice side characters here that serve the story well. We meet Pax’s friends, as well as see Elijah make a good friend at school. These relationships do a nice job showcasing both men, as well as providing a great “family” feel to the story. Theo also plays a role as he doesn’t realize that the guy Elijah is dating is his brother. He is super protective over Elijah and so there is some tension there as the men figure out how to deal with Theo knowing what is going on between them. Although this is billed as a standalone, it sounds like there are some more stories coming featuring these side characters, so I am really excited to see more for them.
Rocket Science is exactly the type of contemporary story I love. It’s sweet, sexy, romantic, and fun. I loved Pax and Elijah together and I found this one a real pleasure to read. I can highly recommend it.