Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Kurt Maxwell has finally gotten a scholarship to Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. Kurt is not big or tall, but he is smart and doesn’t take guff from anyone. He came out when he was in high school and was lucky enough to have parents who accepted him, no matter what his sexual preference.
Now on his way to the science building, he finds himself being knocked to the ground by a boy he instantly refers to as Ape-Boy and of course Ape-Boy refers to him as Short Stuff. What neither boy realizes is that this unexpected meeting would change their lives. Freddie Samuelson aka Ape-Boy is the big man on campus. He is the quarterback of the football team. In addition, his parents are one of the biggest contributors to the college. In fact, Kurt is living in Samuelson Hall.
When Kurt and Freddie are put together as lab partners, it doesn’t take long before Kurt realizes he would have to do all the work required. Freddie has always managed to get someone to do his work so that he can continue to play football. He is convinced football is the only thing he is good at until Kurt begins to help him. Kurt is no push over and refuses to just give Freddie the answers; instead he gets him to start to use his brain. Kurt also begins to realize what Freddie’s real problem is and it is not that he is dumb, but it is something that no one ever took the time to find out.
Before long the tall, hunky quarterback and the small, skinny academic begin to feel something more than just friendship. For years, Freddie has known he was gay, but it is something he was never free to act on. He is a football star; his father is a man not willing to accept his son being gay. He refers to gays as “people like that,” which doesn’t give Freddie the courage he needs to face his father with the truth. Once again, we see a young man who believes that his sexual preference would destroy everything in his life. A confused boy who is not happy and isn’t strong enough to say, “The hell with what other people think, I have to be true to myself.”
Will Freddie finally come out? Will he finally accept who he is and be proud of it? Will Kurt and Freddie have a chance at a relationship? Kurt is a strong young man. In spite of the times he faced ridicule and punishment for who he is, he did not let it bring him down. Can he help Freddie find courage?
Once again we have a wonderful book by a wonderful author who knows just how to write stories about gay men, stories that makes you think and feel.