LOVE LESSONS by Heidi Cullinan

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Source: Publisher
This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
LOVE LESSONS by Heidi CullinanLove Lessons by Heidi Cullinan
Published by Samhain Publishing on 2013-10-01
Genres: Contemporary, Gay
Pages: 379
Reviewed by Cassie

Love doesn’t come with a syllabus. Love Lessons, Book 1Kelly Davidson has waited what seems like forever to graduate high school and get out of his small-minded, small town. But when he arrives at Hope University, he quickly realizes finding his Prince Charming isn’t so easy. Everyone here is already out. In fact, Kelly could be the only virgin on campus. Worst of all, he’s landed the charming, handsome, gay campus Casanova as a roommate, whose bed might as well be equipped with a revolving door. Walter Lucas doesn’t believe in storybook love. Everyone is better off having as much fun as possible with as many people as possible...except his shy, sad little sack of a roommate is seriously screwing up his world view. As Walter sets out to lure Kelly out of his shell, staying just friends is harder than he anticipated. He discovers love is a crash course in determination. To make the grade, he’ll have to finally show up for class...and overcome his own private fear that love was never meant to last. Warning: This story contains lingering glances, milder than usual sexual content for this author, and a steamy dance-floor kiss. Story has no dairy or egg content, but may contain almonds.

Kelly Davidson can’t wait to get to Hope University. He’ll be away from his small-town high school and ready to find Mr. Right. Unfortunately, college doesn’t seem to be working out like he planned. Coming out is harder than he thought it would be. None of the guys he meets seem to want anything more than sex from him, and he’s determined to save his virginity for someone he cares about. Worst of all, he ends up stuck with the biggest player on campus for a roommate.

Walter Lucas’s screwed-up family has taught him that love doesn’t exist. He’d rather have as much fun as possible than get hurt, so he jumps from guy to guy. When his plan to live off-campus by himself gets squashed by the university honchos, he ends up stuck with a geeky, allergy-ridden freshman for a roomie. He thinks it might be fun to help poor, sheltered Kelly come out of his shell. Walter doesn’t plan on developing feelings for Kelly. Can Walter move past his own fears to seize the happiness that’s right under his nose?

Love Lessons is an absolutely adorable tale of opposites attracting. Kelly is too cute. He’s sweet, a true romantic, a little nerdy, and stricken with severe food allergies. He loves Disney movies to the point of obsession. His plan is to go to college, come out, meet Mr. Right, and fall in love. Of course things don’t work out the way he plans. Hope University isn’t the shining beacon of diversity the brochures made it out to be. He gets placed in the jock dorm, where everyone seems to be homophobic and obnoxious. His roommate is the campus slut.  Still, Walter is very likeable, and they become friends. Kelly begins to make other friends as well. It’s the Mr. Right aspect of his plan that doesn’t seem to be falling into place, in part because he can’t seem to get over his silly crush on his roommate.

Walter is the kind of character it would be easy to hate, yet I didn’t hate him. He may be an unapologetic man-whore, but he’s up front about it. Nobody gets hurt, least of all Walter. That’s important to him, because he’s spent years dealing with the fallout from his parents’ relationship. He figures helping Kelly make friends and learn to have fun will be entertaining. Kelly soon becomes a real friend to him. Unfortunately for his heart, his feelings don’t stop there. What begins as friendly, roommate-ly protectiveness becomes more.

What ensues is a slow-paced romance in which both young men are hesitant to move forward, Kelly out of fear of Walter’s experience and Walter due to his own fears. Family crises spring up, giving both Kelly and Walter opportunities to be there for each other. Soon enough, the last thing Walter wanted becomes the thing he can’t live without.

I really enjoyed Love Lessons. Both main characters were wonderful. Romantic Kelly and cynical Walter each had their own vulnerabilities, and I wanted to hug both of them. I liked the slow pace of their romance. They were friends first, then lovers, and then even more. The secondary characters are great, the conflict believable, and the ending exactly the awww moment I wanted.

Read Love Lessons. You’ll be happy you did.   

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