Title: Out in the Open
Author: A.J. Truman
Publisher: A.J. Truman
Length: 208 pages
Rating: B List
Blurb: Libraries are meant for studying – not sex
College sophomore Ethan Follett never says what’s on his mind and never wants to rock the boat. After a high school social life spent anonymous and alone, things are finally falling into place for him. He’s found a group of friends just as studious as he, and is on track for a promising legal career. Out in the open, things couldn’t be better, but secretly Ethan yearns for some real excitement in his life.
He finds it in cocky fratboy Greg Sanderson, who challenges every rigid, preconceived notion Ethan lives by. Soon, their sparring relationship turns sexual, and these enemies-with-benefits get their freak on all over campus. Yet the more Ethan comes out of his shell, the more Greg retreats into his, working overtime to keep his ladies man public persona intact. As the sex gets hotter, and they get closer to getting caught, one part of their arrangement can’t stay hidden any longer: love.
OUT IN THE OPEN is a M/M new adult romance filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. The book is intended for audiences 18+ as it contains explicit sex and language.
Review: This is a great story. College life and coming out from two very different perspectives. Frat parties, intellectuals, lawyers in training, study groups and social pitfalls. Sexy, funny, snarky, sweet and fun, I was immersed in the lives of people who could have been any one of us, and probably were, and fell in love with these two young men.
Ethan is a good kid. He studies hard and has a small circle of friends. Socializing is not easy for Ethan, he is shy and all of the clever things he thinks can’t seem to make it outside of his head. He doesn’t hide his sexuality, he just has no clue how to get a boyfriend. When he ends up sitting next to Greg in his prized class, the one where he planned to make a good impression, he is frustrated by his constant failure to impress his professor, and infuriated by the stupid frat guy sitting next to him. Greg is gorgeous and he won’t shut up or show any respect for Ethan, the professor, or pretty much anything that Ethan values. Ethan hates Greg even as he is mesmerized by him.
Greg is so much more than he first appears. He hides so much behind his careless frat boy image. Intelligence, kindness, his homosexuality, and his growing affection for Ethan. The stressful combination of parental and social pressures he feels and his own fears of the consequences of coming out prevent him from being honest with anyone, including himself.
The sexual tension between Ethan and Greg intensifies with every naughty escapade, the emotional quotient ratchets up with every snarky exchange and passionate encounter. Greg’s fear and increasing stress level is felt as he becomes more open and attached when he is with Ethan.
They are good for each other, bringing out the best in one another. Greg brings Ethan out of his shell and builds up his confidence in himself. Ethan helps Greg to find the faith to trust that he can be honest with the people who truly care about him. The friendship and affection that develops between them is delightful. I enjoyed their interactions and the sex between them just got hotter. I really liked who they were together and for each other.
They are so young and inexperienced, reacting emotionally, jumping to conclusions, afraid of being honest and making themselves vulnerable. Watching them mature and take chances as they fall in love was a funny, sweet and fantastic journey.
A great read for those who like sexy college guys, enemies to friends-with-benefits to lovers, coming out stories, and sweet snark.
Reviewed by Nina