When Tom returns to Carlisle after a fifteen-month leave, then, he's only too happy to be placed in off-campus housing, far away from the curious and prying eyes of his fellow undergraduates. Having to drive a cab every weekend to meet his tuition payments, Tom has no time for sports, or for hanging out with the guys, even if any of his former buddies cared enough to invite him back. No, Tom's ready to crash and hide, keeping the lowest of low profiles, far from the eyes of the curious and prying.
Too bad his new room in Perkins House comes complete with a roommate, an openly gay roommate who is even more upset that his promised single has turned into a double than Tom is. Reese Anders, who "looked like some kind of skinny British rock star, tight black jeans strung low and held up with a studded metal belt," seems equal parts outraged and terrified by the sight of Tom crashing in the midst of his carefully decorated dorm room. Determined to regain his single by driving Tom out, Reese starts to bring home a different guy every night, making sure that Tom, sitting outside in the hallway, can hear every single dirty move he makes with his hookups.
But Reese's actions aren't only about Tom, Tom quickly realizes; his roommate's casual hookups are just as much about Reese's ability to control others' as they are about grossing out Tom. And besides, Tom's not exactly grossed out by the noises coming from inside his room: "if he were honest, it wasn't exactly the first time he'd had a dream about another guy. He'd known for a while now that his dick was an equal opportunity pervhouse, something years at prep school had made clear" (429). A New Adult novel with a bisexual protagonist is pretty uncommon, and very welcome, especially when portrayed with the depth and nuance Cousins brings to her story.
|Ex-Rutgers basketball coach Mike Rice, fired for abusive actions and|
language, including homophobic slurs
As Tom and Reese gradually begin to open up to one another, each begins to realize that he may have a friend with whom to hide from the rest of the world. And as friendship turns to sex, and perhaps even to love, hiding out in their own fortress of isolation becomes less and less appealing, especially for the naturally social Reese.
Rutgers coach homophobia: NY Daily News
Men holding hands: Jaefiction
Off Campus (Bend or Break #1)