Title: Unwrapping Hank
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Eli Easton
Length: 138 pages
Blurb: Sloane loves a good mystery. He grew up as the son of two psychiatrists, so he finds most people tediously easy to figure out. He finds his way to Pennsylvania State University, longing for a rural experience, and ends up being lured into joining a frat by Micah Springfield, the hippest guy on campus.
Nothing in Sloane’s classes is as intriguing as Hank Springfield, Micah’s brother and fellow frat house member. Hank looks like a tough guy—big muscles, tatts, and a beard—but his eyes are soft and sweet. He acts dumb, but he’s a philosophy major. He’s presumably straight, but then why does Sloane feel such crazy chemistry whenever Hank is around? And why does Hank hate Sloane so much?
When Sloane ends up stuck on campus over Christmas, Micah invites him to spend the holidays at their family farm in Amish country. It’s a chance to experience a true Americana Christmas–and further investigate the mystery that is Hank Springfield. Can Sloane unlock the secrets of this family and unwrap the heart hidden inside the beefcake?
Cover by Reese Dante
Review: This is a fantastic story. While it is an excellent Holiday story with the guys going home to Micah and Hank’s for Christmas break from college. It is so much more. A wonderful coming out story full of love, family, hot college guys, frat life, brotherhood, humor, friendship and first love that should be enjoyed anytime of the year.
A fun look at college life and the growing up and change that occurs there as new experiences and meeting new people forces people to let go of old prejudices and adjust their beliefs. They forge relationships that will last their whole lives and choose their career paths. It was interesting to see the way that their rebelling against their parents took different and sometimes surprising turns. They explore their sexuality and question their identity as they figure out who they want to be when they grow up.
Sloane is a really good guy. Smart, funny, sarcastic, caring, sweet, with a huge heart. He’s very genuine and down to earth despite his exotic and transitory upbringing. He craved familiar places and traditions. Sloan desperately wanted to have his own roots and family that he could count on to always be there. He loved everything about the Christmas he spent with the Springfield family, especially the Springfields.
Hank is a mass of contradictions and questions. He is built big and his love of working out has only added to his general mass. He hides how very smart and sensitive he is behind the bulging muscles covered in ink and a tough guy attitude.
These guys are so much fun together. They argue and snark and enjoy the hell out of each other. They quickly develop a friendship that both would deny exists and pretend that they don’t like each other. Their banter was a funny and delicious foreplay that made their eventual coming together even more rewarding and hot. I love loved their eventual dynamic so much.
“Sex had never felt quite like this, like I craved someone so much I just wanted to absorb them into my skin, like I wanted it to last forever because any moment not touching them was a waste of time. It was a little overwhelming. I wasn’t sure I was ready for anything as heavy as love, and if this wasn’t that yet, it had the potential to be.”
Micah was the dark horse. Awesome big brother, hip and cool and sweet. I was unsure of his role and motives at times right along with Sloane and Hank. He added a depth to the relationships and story that made it feel real and kept things interesting. I loved the easy bond between the brothers, the affection, the understanding and knowing of each other that only siblings can share. There was so much awareness of every gesture and glance and habit, the meaning of each tic and facial expression, yet they were still able to surprise and confuse each other. I think mostly because they were surprising themselves.
I loved the way that the more information we learned about these young men, as the story progressed and the relationships developed, it felt like we were peeling back layers and looking deeper into their minds, lives and histories. The experiences that had created the men we first meet, that have brought them here, the questions that are slowly answered as they are forced into close proximity and then even closer quarters when they spend Christmas together.
This is a short story, but I feel like I know them. I want more of their story, of what happens next for this sweet new couple, I want to know what happens to Micah and what choices he will make.
Eli Easton has confirmed once again her place as an auto-buy author. I loved every moment of this sweet and snarky love story. It’s on my read again and again list. I highly recommend it.
Reviewed by Nina
Posted on November 21, 2014, in Nina and tagged Acceptance, Amish, B List, Best Friends, Brothers, Changes, Choices, Christmas, Closeted, College, College Guys, College Life, Coming Out, coming-of-age, Contemporary, Crazy Family, Enemies-To-Lovers, Family, Finding Yourself, First Love, Frat, Frat Brothers, Frat Party, Fratboy, Frats, Friends to Lovers, Friendship, Fun, Funny, Healing, Heartwarming, Hippies, Holiday, Homophobia, Hook Ups, Hope, Jealousy, Love, Making Your Own Family, Nina, Novella, Pennsylvania, Pie, PSU, romance, Second Chances, Secret Desires, Secrets, Self Published, Sexy, Shy, Snark, Sweet, Winter Break. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.