The Men of Holsum College: Player and the Prude (book #4) by Daisy Harris

From the author: Holsum College is your average liberal arts school nestled in the scenic hills of Vermont. Well—except that it has more than it’s fair share of gay and gay-curious students. Handsome and horny, Holsum College boys get into all kinds of hijinks as they text, party, make out, pretend to study, and basically act like your average university students.If you remember the days when every conversation eventually turned to sex, the walls were thin enough to hear your neighbor breath, “massage” was code for “hook-up” and every Friday night meant a new party, then Holsum College is the series for you!

Check out the Book Trailer for the series!

  • College Boys (Book #1) – see links at bottom for this review
  • Diva and the Frat Boy (Book #2)  – see links at bottom for this review
  • Townie and the Twink (Book #3)  – see links at bottom for this review
  • Player and the Prude (Book #4) – in this review
  • Bossy and the Brat (Book #5)
  • Pride and Politics (Book #6)
  • Genius and the Jock (Book #7)
  • My Fair Dork (Book #8)

Player and the Prude (Men of Holsum College, #4)Player and the Prude by Daisy Harris

My rating: 3.5  of 5 stars

The blurb…

Brooks Price loves a challenge. So when a frenemy dares him to sleep with a dorky, over-tall film major, Brooks amps up his considerable charm.

Matt Porter can’t guess why Brooks is flirting with him. Raised religious, Matt doesn’t believe in sex before relationships. Unfortunately, Brooks is all about sex, and Matt doubts Brooks is interested in anything else.

Slowly, Brooks chips away at Matt’s armor—taking him on dates, asking for kisses, holding hands—baby steps, none of which Matt can resist or refuse. However, when Brooks pushes too far, Matt freaks out.

Despite his stoic exterior, Matt’s painfully conflicted over his sexuality—scared of his darker desires, worried about hurting Brooks. The pair explores boundaries, but when things turn rough and Matt unleashes his inner wants, he doesn’t know if he can overcome his shame about sex in order to be with the man he’s growing to love.

So what did I think?

This book was really unexpected with it’s darker side. This wasn’t focused on happy-go-lucky college students, it dealt with deeper issues.

As the title suggests, the main characters are opposites to each other in terms of their views towards sex and experiences.

Brooks is very much out for a good time. He has no qualms with the casual hook up. A bet results in him trying his charms on Matt.

Matt has had a religious upbringing and feels tremendous guilt over his sexuality, “He could hear his mother’s voice in his mind, telling him he was sick and perverted, his father’s voice telling him he was disgusting and going to hell.” and compounded by his darker desires “He heard their laughter and happy whispers through the door at night. He knew neither one of them ever harbored the type of dark thoughts he did. Or had been wracked by sick obsessions.” (when overhearing his roommates).

Brooks takes things really slow with Matt in his quest to get him into bed but in doing so, comes to know the man. It is wonderful to watch him change into a man who not only loves Matt, but stands up for him. Matt, with Brooks gentle touch and acceptance, does come out of his shell – it’s almost like they meet in the middle with Brooks curbing his casual hook up and committing to one man and Matt accepting that sex outside of marriage is okay.

However, and it’s a big ‘however’, I don’t think Matt’s sexual desires were fully resolved. Was the sexual aggression and violence as portrayed in the book, as far as Matt would go? Did he really know his own limits?

Of course the big, romantic, happy ending was perfect – I just parked my concerns about the rough play and assumed they would live happily ever after!

3.5 stars (rounded to 4 GR stars)

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Find out more about Daisy Harris and her books at her website.

Buy The Men of Holsum College series at Amazon


★★★★ Improves with Age by Lavinia Lewis ★★★★

This story with it’s characters in their late forties was wonderful. It was great to see more ‘mature’ characters finding love the second time around. 🙂

Improves with AgeImproves with Age by Lavinia Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Sometimes you can go home again. Reece Watkins left Montana after high school. A math major, he found a fulfilling career as an accountant in Washington with Mike, the love of his life. But then Mike dies of a heart attack, leaving Reece to reevaluate his own life and realize he’s on the same track. He decides to return to Montana and a slower pace.

Former football team captain Nick Kenison never left Montana. Instead, he married his high school sweetheart, had two kids, established a contracting business, and discovered he was gay. Now out and proud, Nick drives out to Reece’s to answer a call about roof repairs.

In high school, they were opposites, but now? The attraction between them is electric. Of course, it isn’t that easy—Reece is still dealing with body issues, self-esteem issues, and grief over Mike’s loss. Nick will have to teach him it’s never too late for love.

So what did I think?

I thought this story was wonderful. The only downfall was it was too short and I think these characters deserve a lot more time. I would definitely be interested in reading more about them.

They are ‘mature’ characters in their late 40’s (god I hate saying that as I am nearly there too and I don’t feel mature or old at all!) who have seen a lot in their lives.

Reece is alone after the death of his long time partner a couple of years before and Nick is out but was married with kids. Together they prove that second chances at happiness are possible.

A lot of ground was covered in this relatively short story. Although I would have liked to see some more depth to the story, it still felt fulfilling with enough emotional pull to do these men justice.

Relatively early in the book Nick and Reece launch into a super hot sex scene, straight into it deep and dirty. I liked that the men were passionate and sexy.

The emotional connection builds between the men as they spend weeks together while Nick is working on the roof of Reece’s house. It was lovely story of growing attraction and friendship and it was wonderful to see Reece’s growing confidence and acceptance that he could move on and be excited about the future.

I wasn’t too sure of the significance of the men knowing each other in high school and being opposites back then as there is not much of a back story provided. Perhaps it was just a way for them to feel comfortable with starting a relationship fairly quickly? The focus of the story is very much on the here and now, cramming in becoming friends, a bit of drama, falling in love, meeting the parents, meeting the kids. It’s an emotional story without too much action.

What made it special was the insight into Reece’s thoughts as he processes his feelings and of course, the happy ending!

4 Stars

To find out more about Lavinia Lewis and her books visit her website.

Buy Improves with Age from Amazon.

View all my reviews