Ravi is a college junior, focused on his role as a co-captain of the school soccer team and his business degree. The bane of his college experience is that all students are required to complete a course in fine arts, so Ravi takes on a drawing class, knowing he’ll never be good. He’s also a closeted gay man, and a virgin. He’s been hiding to avoid any confrontations with his teammates and his mom, with whom he has a bit of a shaky relationship. Ravi’s unsettled when he meets a stunning young man in the drawing class—Stephen, who’s an art major and unapologetically out and fabulous.
Stephen thinks Ravi is attractive, but that’s not why he offers to help him out in drawing. He senses that Ravi needs a friend—outside of his team. And, well, it can’t hurt to have a burly jock as a friend, can it? Not for Stephen, who is one of those “never met a stranger” type of people. Having a lot of experience in art—Stephen is sitting in on the class as an aide to the professor and to work on his senior portfolio exhibition—he takes Ravi under his wing, and he’s totally surprised when that begins to include personal questions about Stephen’s coming-out journey.
Ravi is scared to come out, but the more he hangs out with Stephen, the more he can’t contain his desires to live an authentic life, even if it means upsetting the people closest to him. And, well, he’s making some solid friendships with Stephen’s cadre of peeps. Their mutual attraction soon sparks a clandestine romance, but Stephen is wary. He had a troubling relationship with his ex, who was demeaning and manipulative. And, he’s afraid to fall for Ravi, only to be hurt if Ravi denies their relationship.
The Lines We Draw is a solid new adult, coming out, interracial romance between an artist and an athlete; that’s the series title and it delivers. Stephen and Ravi are both well described with good characterization. They each felt different, with a distinct viewpoint, which alternates between them.
The good news for Ravi is the more he explores his sexuality and his friendships, the more that he learns he’s got people in his corner. Stephen and his friends are rock solid—at least until Stephen thinks Ravi is pulling away and maybe looking for a woman to date. He’s always looking for the next catastrophe, that Stephen. But, Ravi really does figure out his life and his desires, and he makes Stephen’s wildest dreams come true at the most opportune time. This is college, so expect some back-biting, shenanigans, and silly drunken escapades. And, for Ravi to have lots of emotions about what he needs and who might support him. I kind of thought the coming out bit took a longer time than necessary, especially once some of Ravi’s teammates cotton on to his deceptions, but the main part of the story elapses over a semester, so it’s not a horribly long wait for Ravi and Stephen to find happiness with one another.
If you like new adult romance, especially with an athlete angle and a coming out storyline, this might be one you’d enjoy.