Saturday, November 10, 2018

The Kinsey Scale by CJane Elliott

Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.

Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.

Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.

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Book 1
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Dreamspinner Press

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

In an unusual for me move, I re-read the blurb prior to writing this review. The reason I don’t normally do this is because I don’t want to taint my review with wording from the blurb. However, in the case of The Kinsey Scale, I wanted to find out how much of the plot the blurb gives away because I wasn’t really sure how to write my review. You see, this is a really cute and sweet romance between an out and proud theater major and his not-as-straight-as-he-appears roommate; so not exactly a new story idea, but one that CJane Elliott makes endearing and believable through the characters she creates in Eric and Will.

As far as the blurb goes, Eric’s part is pretty spot on. With that said, I’m not quite so sure that Will’s is as accurate mainly because the story is told from Eric’s point of view and by the time the reader is fully clued in on Will’s feelings, I’m not convinced he was really hiding anything from himself. Then again, hindsight’s 20/20 and it’s easy for me, as the reader, to pick up on the clues Elliott leaves throughout the story regarding Will. Personally, I think it was more of a case of Will lying to himself to protect his heart and sanity rather than denying who he was to himself. That’s not to say that Will isn’t hiding some big things from those around him, because he most certainly is, and it made for a delicious, grin-inducing scene when the notorious Kinsey Scale is discussed. I must admit that I took perverse delight in watching Eric squirm when it’s Will’s turn to declare his number on the scale. In fact, I’m chuckling about it now as I write this up, it was just that amusing to me, especially considering the lengths Eric went to in order to safeguard his heart as the two men became closer and closer as colleagues and friends.

But don’t let me mislead you with my use of the words cute, sweet, and endearing, and the laugh out loud moments when describing The Kinsey Scale because by no means am I suggesting it’s a completely fluffy read. This is a new adult romance after all and Elliott certainly delivers just the right amount of angst to remind readers that we’re dealing with college students. When you add the new adult angst with a drama-prone theater major, you get one heck of a “coming out” scene when Eric discovers that Will isn’t what Eric assumed him to be and it’s so true to Eric’s character that I was surprised it took Will two hours to track Eric down. Despite my all-over-the-place review, it must be said that Elliott delivers on the angst, the fluff, the unrequited crush, the sexual tension, the BIG reveal, and the bedroom gymnastics in just the right doses to make The Kinsey Scale an entertaining friends-to-lovers romance that was even better than I’d hoped for when I began reading it. I’m delighted this is the first book in the Campus Connections series because it means there’s more angsty deliciousness to come and I cannot wait.

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJANE ELLIOTT finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Kinsey Scale (Campus Connections #1) by CJane Elliott to read and review.

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