Completely out of his ever-loving mind to even consider rooming with Gideon. The same guy he kissed during his freshman year who said he was straight. He’s held Mac’s mind hostage for the last two years after running out that one special night. Mac was a fan of social experiments, and this one was going to be a doozy.
Gideon doesn’t sweat anything. He was always two lies ahead of everyone. A master at spinning rock solid alibis to protect the house of cards that was his life. To Browerton University, he’s the popular guy getting over a breakup. To his family…the dutiful and responsible son. But rooming with Mac was bringing up old memories and forming new ones. First, a friendship develops, and then a late night infused with alcohol pushes them into uncharted, benefits-laden waters.
As their sexual experimentation continues, and the lies add up, both of them fight to withstand the feelings growing between them, feelings that could ruin their friendship and topple Gideon’s house of cards for good.
Out of My Mind is the 3rd book in the Browerton University series, but can be read as a standalone. It contains humor, heart, and hot guys. This book is intended for readers 18+.
This book had many of my favorite tropes to read all wrapped up in one super sweet and sexy story.
When Mac and Gideon meet, they are both confused freshman out on their own at Browerton University ready to start a new life. They boys hit it off and when a chat turns into flirting, they take things to the next level. Only this next level took a wrong turn at Albuquerque when an innocent kiss isn’t returned because, well Gideon is straight. Not only is he straight, he’s kind of a dick and tells Mac he is Out of His Mind when he suggests a friendship after the failed attempt at making out.
See, I am a huge sucker for not only unrequited love, but second chances and boys in the closet who take a “sex only” approach to exploring their sexuality who end up falling for their new best friend and fuck buddy. Yup, this book has it all and it made for one hell of a happy ginger as I lapped up this story like a thirsty hiker on the PCT who forgot to fill up at the last aid station and finally finds water.
What? Never mind.
That tragic kiss happens, the boys go their separate ways until two years later when Gideon needs a roommate since he is suddenly single. When a friend of a friend suggests a friend needs a place, the boys meet once again and it’s a bit awkward, of course.
I love that we get dual POV’s in this story. For me, when you have the exploration of a character who thought they were straight or who has interest in both sexes but never went for the one the story involves, i.e. - the “straight boy” who know lusts after his male roommate, I need to know what’s going on in both brains and libidos. We know that Mac has never forgotten that kiss or the remark Gideon threw at him. We know that he is also, suddenly single and while he really doesn’t want to room with a dude who fucked with his emotions all too quickly, the place and price is too sweet to pass up so they boys decide on a trial run and go from there.
This wasn’t the first time he’d had thoughts like these over the years. But he never acted on them, and that’s what mattered. The good son would never do something so irresponsible.
Being the good son was exhausting.
I knew from the first glance Gideon has of a shirtless Mac he was going to be a joy to read. I said earlier, I have a soft spot for boys in the closet and Gideon was a classic case with an added bonus of familial guilt on his shoulders. He is the youngest of two brothers with a single Jewish mother who tells him over and over again how is the “good son” and after his father’s death, it’s truly want Gideon wants. But the fight over being “good” and the fight over being his true self begins early.
Like all embarrassing, soul-crushing moments, it loved popping back into his mind at the most random occasions, usually when Mac was already feeling down on himself. It was the cherry on top of a crappy mood.
And then there were those times when Mac thought about that night, but with an alternate version that didn’t have them stopping.
Mac, by dear Mac. You were a mess of a boy in so many ways but so strong once we learn your back story. To know why you left home, to go through your losses with you and to watch you find your strength as you learn to fight for yourself only to have to fight in a new way was nothing short of heartbreaking. To know that you had a thing for Gideon all this time and still tried to be friends with your “straight” roommate and then attempt to attend Geology class with him and have boundaries… sigh. Boy oh boy did I love each time I got into your head even though you gave me a bit of angst.
This was what he did. Lies on top of lies. Giving the people the stories they wanted.
The amount of lies Gideon tells to keep his secret, to keep himself safe became exhausting. Not in the way that you want him to tell the truth, which I totally did, but the mere fact that he had to come up with them, had to categorize and catalog them so they didn't fail or become tangled made me so tired. I just wanted to wrap him up, make him mac and cheese and tell him that it gets better. I cannot imagine living the way he did for so long and trying so hard to make sure no one knew. I love that his brother Noah was positive in his life and I am so grateful that this wonderful young man is who he is and made the right choices at the end.
This was fun and does has a few darker moments to deal with. Though they are present, they lend to the story to provide growth for the characters when needed. I will admit the last bit was a tad over the top and I wasn’t exactly keen on a few things because they didn’t add up, at the end. But I am happy with how it all turned out.
So, yeah. I really liked this. As I have only read book one in this series I can tell you this works fine as a standalone thought it was nice to see Ethan and Greg for a few seconds.I look forward to reading the other books in the series and to the new one coming out in 2017. Browerton University is proving to be a setting I truly appreciate.
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