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)
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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.
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.