Reviewed by JenDaisy Harris continues her Men of Holsum college series with what I think is the strongest installment to date.
The story follows the popular and carefree Brooks as he sets his sights on Matt, the tall, awkward roommate of an ex-hookup. The conquest actually starts as a dare, but Brooks is legitimately attracted to Matt, so it quickly becomes more than that.
Matt is struggling to accept his wants and desires. He was raised in a strict Christian home that was very sexually repressed. He has shed some of his hang-ups. He acknowledges that he is gay and wants to be with men. But he still believes that sex should be part of a real relationship and not some casual thing between strangers. Beyond that, his sexual fantasies are darker than he feels comfortable with. He wants to dominate Brooks and thinks himself perverted for it.
I loved that because of Matt's values, a real connection is given time to form between these two. Yes, it happens off page, but I am totally ok with that. The fact that they spent weeks kissing and hanging out made their trust level and emotional connection so much more believable. Matt has some serious self-loathing about his BDSM inclinations and Brooks really is understanding and supportive of his needs.
I'm generally not a BDSM fan, but I understood Matt's confusion and shame and it endeared him to me. There was one scene that made me a little uncomfortable when Matt mistakes Brooks for an intruder and is turned on by attacking him. But for the most part, I was down with the evolution of their relationship, both in and out of the bedroom. Both characters were well developed and each did a lot of growing over the course of the story... so by the time we reached the end, I believed in their HEA.
*ARC provided by author for review
Player and the Prudeby Daisy HarrisRelease Date: July 7, 2012Publisher: Siren