An Academic Dilemma by Alix Bekins

An Academic DilemmaAn Academic Dilemma by Alix Bekins

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Art history student Rodrigo is in the middle of a busy semester when he literally runs into a sexy librarian. He and Ian discover they have more in common than just instant attraction and friendship; there’s a kinky element to their affair they both enjoy. But Rodrigo is also drawn to Professor Daniel Sullivan, and he just can’t shake the desire he feels for the older man. The end of the term reveals a few surprising secrets about both objects of Rodrigo’s desires, and while he’s thrilled by the games of trust and passion with Ian, it’s fantasies of Daniel dominating him that are setting Rodrigo on fire. Reprint: This novella was originally published in the Dreamspinner Press anthology Size Matters.

So what did I think?

This was a relatively short story with some light dominance/submission and an eventual menage (m/m/m) scenario.

I actually enjoyed the character buildup, getting some insight into Rodrigo as we watched him develop a relationship with Ian, the librarian while lusting over Professor Sullivan, the man he is research assistant for.

The scenario was rather interesting as most of the book was taken up with Rodrigo’s encounters with Ian and it was only towards the very end that the third was introduced into the relationship. Of course, who this person is was totally obvious and predictable, but it was still nicely done.

I thought Rodrigo’s acceptance of Ian stepping out on his partner (no matter that the partner agreed), slightly strange, particularly as his relationship with Ian went beyond just the sex and included them spending lots of time together, very much like boyfriends. I would have expected an element of jealousy from Rodrigo as his heart become further involved.

The ending actually left me wanting a little more. It provides just a taste of the three men together and leaves so much more to be explored.

4 Stars

For more information on Alix Bekins and her books, visit her website.

Buy An Academic Dilemma from Amazon.

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Learning to Love: Josh & Chris by K.C. Wells

The Learning to Love series

  • Learning to Love: Michael & Sean (book #1)
  • Learning to Love: Evan & Daniel (book #2)
  • Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (book #3)

Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (Learning to Love, #3)Learning to Love: Josh & Chris by K.C. Wells

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When Chris Andrews gave evidence against the men who manipulated him into taking part in a homophobic assault, Josh Saunders was his rock, and his support gave Chris the courage to come out. Now that Chris finds himself sharing a house with Josh, he wonders where that strong, sexy guy has disappeared to. Chris wants him back—but he can’t wait forever.

Josh has been attracted to Chris from the get-go, and the more time they spend together, the stronger the pull grows. But he needs to make sure Chris feels the same attraction, and not just gratitude. Josh bides his time, waiting for the right moment… and misses his chance when Chris starts seeing someone else.

Somehow Josh has to convince Chris they are perfect together. But first, he needs to figure out who has been sending Chris malicious letters, threatening him over the phone, and writing hateful slogans across their front door—and persuade his own ex, who seems determined to win Josh back, to get lost. In fact, Josh’s life may depend on it.

So what did I think?

Josh & Chris’ story is the third in the Learning to Love series and is pretty much similar to the earlier books – lovely characters, sweet romance, lots of sex and some drama.

Sharing a house are the couple from the first two books – Michael & Sean and Evan & Daniel – plus Josh and Chris. They all make an appearance in this book as they gather to support Josh and Chris but also have their own story lines.

Chris is still doing community service for his part in an attack on Michael. But because of the forgiving nature of all these boys/men and because he testified against the others and outed himself at the trial, he has been welcomed into the home. He is still struggling with his sexuality as his parents have threatened to cut him off. He is still a virgin but has strong feelings for Josh. Believing these feelings could surely not be returned, he starts dating another man.

Josh has put his nursing career on hold to study medicine. He has strong feelings for Chris and has yearned for him for a long time. Everyone, including his father, are aware of it, expect Chris.

What I enjoy in this series is the open love and affection shown by these men. They are truly a family, offering love and support to each other. They are very physically demonstrative about their love and also quite vocal. They are not afraid to let each other know how much they care and share feelings (of course, accept for Josh and Chris with each other because that would be too easy!). I like the blend of friendship, romance, sex and drama.

The sex is interesting because in some ways it greatly contrasts with the characters of the men – just because the men are so sweet and lovely, it doesn’t always mean the sex is gentle and romantic. Daniel and Evan in the epilogue are a prime example. They also don’t seem to require much privacy and with their high sex drives, there always seems to be someone having sex while the others can hear.

What I don’t like so much is the total overuse of endearments – sweetie, honey, love (here is Australia “Love” is an endearment my grandmother would use, it isn’t romantic) and some of the dialogue has a slightly unnatural feel to it. I just can’t imagine men speaking to each other like that in real life. Here is where I suspend worrying about reality and just think what nice guys they are! I also think the marriage thing is a bit overdone with ALL these really young men making this commitment so early.

This book does contain some violent acts so we get a real contrast between the sweet loving and the violent abuse. It is handled well and it is good to see that the character undergo appropriate therapy and have support to recover.

The ending leaves a few things open so hopefully another book won’t be too far away. I would like to find out what is going on with Sean (I have my suspicions) and it would also be nice to see the character of James re-introduced. James is the guy who was dating Chris and seems so lovely. When Chris breaks up with him he is so nice about it and encourages Chris to talk to Josh. I would like him to have a happy ending too.

Overall I think I enjoyed this book slightly more than the others in the series, perhaps because I knew what to expect in terms of the writing style.

4 Stars

To find out more about K.C. Wells and her books visit her website.

My review of  Learning to Love: Michael & Sean can be found here.

My review of Learning to Love: Evan & Daniel can be found here.

Buy the Learning to Love series at Amazon.

View all my reviews