Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Out of Bounds by A.R. Barley

Out of Bounds by A.R. Barley

Review by Lauren

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official SummaryBeaten and heartbroken, Jesse Cole is placed in a new dorm room after his last roommate attacked him. Just wanting to be left alone to heal in peace, he's shocked when tall, dark and dangerous-looking Nick Moretti walks in.

Nick doesn't have time to tiptoe around his new roommate—he's too busy working in order to pay for school. But something about Jesse brings out his protective instincts. As their cautious friendship grows and becomes loaded with sexual tension, he wants to make Jesse comfortable.

Enter the perfect plan: a line of tape down the center of the room. Boundaries established.

But as innocent movie nights become hours-long temptation marathons, and whispered chats from across the room delve into straight-up dirty territory, crossing the line has never been so satisfying.

Review: Jesse Cole and Nick Moretti are two very different young men. Jesse is found beaten outside his dorm room.  Kelly, who finds him, is a Resident Assistant (RA) for seniors, so he decides to move Jesse into one of the rooms with Nick, who happens to be missing a roommate. This is supposed to be a good thing, a way for Jesse to feel safe on campus, but he's not sure about Nick at first.

Nick isn't always the nicest guy, or he doesn't appear so at least. He works as a bouncer in a bar to earn money to go to school and he's determined to make a better life for himself. He's not thrilled about Jesse being placed in his room without anyone asking him first, but he soon realizes that Jesse has had something bad happen to him (Kelly never tells Nick, but Jesse eventually does) and he's determined to make Jesse feel safe. He places tape down the center of their room and if one of them crosses into the wrong side, they are "out of bounds." This is supposed to help Jesse feel like he owns his own space and that Nick won't hurt him. It works.

Nick and Jesse start out as friends, but it does eventually lead to more, especially when Jesse realizes that Nick is actually gay. Nick doesn't tell him because he's afraid it will worry Jesse more and he does want Jesse to feel safe. People think Nick is just a tough guy, but he does have a big heart underneath it all and he lavishes as much attention and support on Jesse as he can.

I really loved learning more about Jesse and Nick. They both have had tough things happen to them, but they also come from vastly different worlds. Nick is a sweet guy, but he also has anger that comes out when he wants to protect those he loves. Jesse doesn't like this and Nick isn't sure he can be the person that Jesse deserves. It's a tough decision they are in, but it's not overly angsty. It felt like a realistic relationship and I liked that they were in college. It's a nice setting for romance and all that goes along with it!

Out of Bounds is out today!


Karen Alderman said...

I'm starting this one today. Glad to hear that you liked it.

Karen @For What It's Worth

Kindlemom said...

Glad you liked this one and wonderful review for it!

Diva Booknerd said...

This sounds so wonderfully written Lauren. I love the support shown, especially seeing Nick is determined to create a safe space for him without knowing what's happened. Fabulous review hun and so glad you enjoyed it <3

Melliane said...

it's nice to have a romance like that, one that starts slowly

Tanya Atkinson said...

I really like the sound of this one. Jesse's situation hurts my heart and it sounds like Nick is a decent guy. I'm going to look into this one. Enjoyed your review, Lauren!

The Bibliophile Babe said...

I do love a friends to lovers romance!

Claudia Arroyo said...

I do enjoy reading books with complex characterization, so glad to hear you enjoyed this one, Lauren!

Joyous Reads said...

Love the sound of this! I just started a M/M romance today, but it's not going well for me. This book might just be what I needed.

Naomi Hop said...

This sounds like a great read... I love that Nick and Jesse start as friends and that it develops into more. Fab review!