Saturday, March 4, 2017

There Has to Be a Reason by Kate McMurray

Dave is enjoying his junior year at a big New England university, even if none of his relationships have been especially satisfying. He plans to hang around with his best friend Joe and focus on his studies until he graduates, and then he’ll figure out the rest.

Meeting Noel changes his plans.

Noel is strikingly beautiful and unlike anyone Dave knows. Something about Noel draws Dave to him—an attraction Dave doesn’t feel ready to label. And even if he was, why would Noel be interested in Dave? And what about Joe? He hates Noel and everything he represents, and he might hate Dave if he finds out about Dave’s secret desires. So Dave will have to keep those feelings hidden—along with his relationship with Noel.

But Noel has fought too hard for his identity to be Dave’s dirty secret. Will Dave tell the truth and risk the life he’s always known… or live a lie and risk losing the love of his life?

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is the story of a college junior who finds himself questioning his sexuality. This is an angsty new adult college romance. Dave’s journey from a comfortable existence as a typical jock to a place where he is comfortable in his own skin is alternately frustrating and very moving.

Somehow, Dave makes it to twenty before he meets a man who makes him question his sexuality. He is both a student athlete and a straight A student who needs to keep up his GPA to keep his scholarships. His friends are the ubiquitous lads/fratboys familiar to every campus everywhere. They drink, they shag, and they make offensive homophobic comments.

Noah is Dave’s opposite. Kicked out of his family because of his sexuality, Noah is out, proud, and unwilling to be anyone’s dirty secret. Dave finds him beautiful, Noah fancies the unobtainable jock and the result is heartbreak for Noah as Dave tries to hide his sexuality and Noah from everyone else in his life. Attempting to keep his sexuality a secret, Dave ends up losing friendships and alienating his family.

This is an easy college romance full of familiar college characters and tropes. The characters are young and their problems are relatively simple. For me, neither Noah or Dave ever really became more than a type – Noah is a swishy twink who loves fashion and musical theatre. Dave is a jock who loves drunken parties. As the story progresses, Dave grows up and develops some emotional sensitivity, but I’m not sure he is ever fully developed into a character who feels entirely human and loveable.

Kate McMurray is an award-winning author of gay romance and an unabashed romance fan. When she’s not writing, she works as a nonfiction editor, dabbles in various crafts, and is maybe a tiny bit obsessed with baseball. She has served as President of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT romance chapter of Romance Writers of America. She lives in Brooklyn, NY.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of There Has to Be a Reason by Kate McMurray to read and review.

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