Rating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link: Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Devin is a college senior at Arizona State, and he’s finally trying to break the shackles that have kept him closeted after growing up Mormon. He’s afraid to lose his loving relationship with his mom, though he’s pretty sure his dad’s already a lost cause. Devin’s also experimenting with makeup and wearing traditionally feminine clothes, and he’s working at a bakery owned by a gay couple, who support his gender fluid explorations. He’s also recently connected with a local band in need of a singer; all the members are in the LGBT community, and they dig Devin’s voice and vibe.
Brandon also digs Devin’s vibe. He’s noticed Devin on campus and that recognition of attraction finally pushed Brandon to admit to himself and a close friend that he’s likely bisexual. Brandon had a long-term relationship with a woman, but he never quite felt at ease in himself. Devin’s sweet and sexy, and a lot inexperienced; these are all intriguing to Brandon, and help him get over his nerves about asking another man on a date.
On a Different Mission starts of Christie Gordon’s Rock U series. I’ll be honest, there is a LOT of angst in the story. Devin and Brandon agonize about…everything. They over-think their decisions, then re-think them. Then try to plan to maybe do something to connect, and then backtrack. I liked Devin and Brandon, but all this indecision slowed the pace of the plot. Devin and Brandon have different reasons for pausing their coming out; Devin’s sure he’ll lose his family connections, while Brandon’s just not sure he’ll want a male partner long term. Devin’s recurrent cluelessness regarding people hitting on him also got a little old.
The plot followed a pretty recognizable path for college, bisexual, coming-out stories. I did like the kink aspect that Brandon brought, which felt pretty authentic and gave a little oomph to what was otherwise a straightforward plot. The band stuff was nice, but too small a part of the story to support the set-up for this Rock U series. I wished we’d had more band engagement, like Devin really working on honing his voice, practicing, and performing, and less “does he like like me” moments. Beyond that, the family drama was handled in a nice and pleasantly surprising manner.
If you really enjoy college bisexual romances, this one is okay. Books to follow in the series will explore different members of the band. They’ve all been a part of it longer than Devin, so those books may have more of a focus on rock bands and how that plays a role in the developing romances. This one has a bit of those themes, but the focus was really on the coming out stories of the characters, and first-time experiences.