learning curve coverRating: 4.5 stars
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Length: Novel


Cobey Green is a sophomore star football player at Franklin University. He is beloved by pretty much everyone he knows for his kind, friendly personality; his good looks; and his skills on the football field. After his wild freshman year with more focus on partying and sports than on studying, Cobey’s parents are making him move into the dorms so he can focus on his grades. If Cobey can’t start passing more classes, he will be off the team. Not only is Cobey not thrilled to be leaving his friends at the party house, he is even less thrilled to have a roommate. But when Cobey meets the geeky and quiet Vincent Brandt, he can’t help but find him adorable.

Vincent can’t believe his new roommate is Cobey Green. Vincent doesn’t follow football (or sports of any kind) and even he knows who Cobey is. Vincent expects Cobey to be an arrogant party boy who wants nothing to do with him, but as it turns out, Cobey is as charming and kind as his reputation suggests. He actually seems to like Vincent, which surprises Vincent given he has few friends, rarely socializes, and knows he is considered a geek. Vincent finds himself really liking Cobey, despite his early assumptions, and confiding in him almost despite himself. As it turns out, Vincent is a tutor and agrees to help Cobey to keep up his grades. In return, Cobey offers to help Vincent get more comfortable socially, as he is intimidated even talking to people, let alone going to parties — and forget about acting on his secret attraction to men.

As Vincent and Cobey spend more time together, their friendship begins to grow and the attraction between them continues to simmer. Soon, Cobey’s lessons on socializing turn into lessons on sex. And the guys are spending almost all of their time together. But Vincent isn’t out, and Cobey is worried about accidentally outing him as social media at school starts to pick up on their friendship. Vincent still can’t quite believe a guy like Cobey is even interested in him, and has some insecurities when they are out in public, in particular. But the guys have fallen hard for one another, and despite some fears, they are finding they may just be a perfect fit.

Learning Curve by N.R. Walker is part of the multi-author Franklin U series. It is a set of new adult stories set at the same school, with some character crossover, but the books are meant to stand alone and I think this one does just fine. If you are a fan of new adult stories, this one has all the tropey goodness you could want — college guys, roommates, geek/jock pairing, a virgin getting sex lessons in exchange for academic tutoring, etc. I don’t think Walker writes much new adult (or at least not that I have read), but she does an amazing job with this story and I just adored it. It is sweet and sexy and fun, and I think what makes it really stand out in this genre are the two really charming and endearing main characters, combined with Walker’s great writing overall. Cobey is about as perfect as you can get. He’s gorgeous, sweet, friendly to everyone, and absolutely unconcerned with what people think of him. He knows he is lucky to be wealthy, talented, and attractive, and never takes it for granted. Vincent can’t help but love him, and I couldn’t either. For his part, Vincent is super shy and introverted. He has a rough past and grew up taking care of himself. Books and studying became a refuge for him and school is an area where he excels. But he isn’t out and he lacks the confidence to really meet people or try new social situations. Cobey’s unflinching support helps Vincent break out of his shell and start to open himself up. They are such a sweet pair, but also with some high heat as Cobey introduces Vincent to sex for the first time.

I just found this story so incredibly charming. I love the way that Vincent starts studying football so he can understand the game Cobey plays. I thought it was sweet how adorable Cobey finds it when Vincent wears his sweatshirt. I loved that Cobey is so encouraging to Vincent, but also so careful with him, always making sure they are going at Vincent’s pace. It is just a fun story and I completely enjoyed it. If you are a new adult fan, or a fan of Walker’s writing in general, I really think this one is going to be a hit.

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