More Than Anything (More, #1)
Amber Allure, October 30, 2011
Links: Author’s website | Goodreads | Buy book here
College freshman, Shayne Ralston, never expected to meet the man of his dreams on his first day of school, but star quarterback, Desmond Stratton, is a force to be reckoned with. Soon he slips past Shayne’s reluctance and romances the shy history major.
Des has a decision to make about his future. His family has been pushing him toward a professional football career for years, but Des also has dreams of being a doctor. As his feelings for Shayne grow, Des's decision becomes more important than ever. Shayne is openly gay, and Des needs to remain in the closet if he wants a football career. Staying in the closet, however, could lose him the man with whom he's fallen in love...
Genre & Keywords:
M/M Romance, Contemporary, First love, College, Football, Jock vs twink, Coming Out
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Heat level: 1.5 out of 3
This was a cute college boy story with a coming out of the closet theme. Des is a football player, and looks like the typical straight jock while he's secretly gay. He and Shayne went to the same high school but hadn't much contact then. But we learn that Des had a secret crush on Shayne and now they meet again in college. Shayne is openly gay and afraid of being targeted by homophobic jocks, so when Des is nice to him he's suspicious. However Des is persistent and before he knows it they are kissing and having sex. The conflict in their relationship comes with Des' decision whether he comes out of the closet or not.
Although 'conflict' is perhaps a too big a word. There's not much room in this novella to explore the guys' feelings very thoroughly and to spin out their conflict much. Everything goes very quickly, from their first meeting, to their first date, to the first time sleeping together, to the 'misunderstanding', to the declarations of love and the happy ending. It all feels a bit rushed and forced.
Des and Shayne are likable enough characters but I didn't have the feeling I knew them very well. Their romance is a bit cliche too - hot jock falls for nerdish twink - without much that makes them stand out from other gay romance characters. It's a pity because this makes them rather forgettable, while I really enjoyed reading their story for the time being.
I always enjoy Ms. Lane's writing and narratives. In a vivid and clear style she tells the sweetest and hottest romance stories. However, her latest titles are more and more starting to feel like one and the same. This particular novella, unfortunately, is no exception.
Still, I keep seeking out Ms. Lane's books because her stories give me a peek into life as it could be and they have a feel-good vibe I like. Only, I'm hoping she'll write a long novel next, instead of these shorter novellas, so that we can enjoy her talent in a less rushed way, in a character driven epic with a healthy dose of angst or inner conflict. Ingredients that are already present in the novellas but in an underdeveloped manner.
Even if she sticks to the shorter stories though, I keep wanting to read them, since they're quite entertaining and a comforting way of spending a cold night cuddled up on the couch with.
So, the next book in this series, which is titled More Than Enough and is Shayne's best friend's story, is already on my e-shelf for another cold and quiet night that can use a little heartwarming sweetness.