Out of Bounds
This sexy m/m new adult romance is the story of Nick and Jesse. When Jesse ends up in a bad way on campus after a vicious attack, he’s put with a new roommate, Nick. Nick is a few years older and wiser, a part time student and a bouncer who works at a local gay nightclub a few nights a week. He’s got a temper on him, but his new roommate brings out a lot of tender and protective feelings. To make Jesse feel safe, they’ve put up some rules and made it clear what sorts of things are out of bounds. But Nick and Jesse feel a strong attraction to each other. Will crossing the lines end in disaster or be the start of something worth pursuing?
This is a well written new adult college romance and A.R Barley does a great job of getting into the heads of these two young men. Nick’s the brawnier of the pair, known for his quick fists and tough demeanor. Having been basically kicked out of his home at fifteen, he’s made his way on his own, doing what he needed to do to survive, and managing to get himself into college all on his own. But he’s got a tender and sweet side too, and this comes out when he realizes that Jesse needs at least one place to feel safe and at home, and that place is their dorm room. Jesse is a 19 year old, quiet and somewhat reserved gay male, whose crush on his last roommate ended in disaster. Although he is at first wary of Nick who is bigger and stronger than him, he soon comes to realize that Nick has a soft heart. It’s not long before he’s feeling comfortable enough with him to consider becoming more than just roommates when Nick makes it clear that he’s quite willing to see where things between them might lead. Nick is the more sexually experienced of the pair, and things start out slowly but quickly heat up, leading to some steamy scenes. And despite their physical sizes, they are equal players in the bedroom. I like that this is a low angst story despite the circumstances that bring the pair together and it moves at a smooth pace, with a believable happy ending for them both. It’s a fairly predictable but enjoyable read.