Author: Heidi Cullinan
Genre: Male/male romance
Format: Novel (373 pages)
Series: Love Lessons #1
Rating: (I loved it! )
Synopsis: Jaded Walter Lucas is forced to leave his off-campus apartment and room in a single room with freshmen Kelly Davidson. Kelly is a gay man right out of a Disney princess mold, with an extreme naïveté when it comes to relationships and love, and who has a deep, abiding belief in true romance. His older roommate is a bit of a player, and his example just might shake the innocent lad’s faith in love. Throw in campus politics, impactful family issues, and constant tension and Walter is in for a challenging year.
Review: Brilliant. Sappy and cute at its core with a decent amount of sharp edges around the story. O.k., clearly this is my kind of story: well-written; a familiar (to me) setting explored accurately and realistically; real world cynicism vs. romantic idealism; and two opposite characters I really like and relate to.
Heidi Cullinan was already one of my favorite authors for her Minnesota Christmas series, and this work shifts from small-town, northern Minnesota bear-like men to a college campus setting. As much as I loved the previous series, the antics of two college kids, a wealthy but alienated player and a small-town romantic, was a wonderful romp through college romance.
It’s hard for me to be objective, as the writer’s work on Minnesota small-towns and Midwestern college campuses rings extraordinarily true for me, as those locales are central to my own personal background. However, the sometimes awkward but often sweet chemistry between the protagonists is even more entertaining and captivating for me. So count me as a fan boy and you can take my review as one enamored with the author’s setting, characters, and writing, but it’s clearly one of my personal favorites.
Recommended for fans of: Disney (especially princess movies); naive gay boys saving themselves for Mr. Right; jaded men fighting through family, abuse and relationship issues that made them so cynical in the first place; extremely sweet if at times a bit difficult coming-of-age stories.
Originally read and rated in 2014. Re-read in 2016 as a new installment in the series has been released.