Book Review: Off Campus by Amy Jo Cousins

Off Campus by Amy Jo CousinsTitle: Off Campus
Series: Bend or Break, Book 1
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Genre: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, M/M Romance
Sensuality Rating: Erotic
Source: review copy provided via NetGalley
Published: December 30,2014 by Samhain Publishing

Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

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Reviewed by: Crissy

Why I Read This Book: There are not many tropes I like more than a good ol’ GFY and this one has all the markings of just that, so of course I had to give it a go. Add in two bitterly broken heroes and I was in reader heaven.

In A Nutshell: This book is not for the angsty faint of heart. It is chock full of heartbreak, frustration, emotion, and tears, but it’s also sweet and funny and a heartwarming tale of two guys who find healing in the one place they never expected—one another.

What I Liked: To say this book is character driven would be an understatement, and to start my likes with anything other than the characters would be a disservice because these characters were so well written and so well developed that I found myself fully engaged in their stories, invested in what was happening in their lives. Broken is almost too mild a word for the torture that these guys have been through and that they put themselves through.

One of the things I like most about what the author did with these characters was the conflict of Reese’s past with his present conflict with Tom. The way it forces Reese to work through his problems whether he wants to or not—I like it. And eventually we realize Reese is not the jerk he seems to be. It’s more projection than anything. With Tom, his issues are more present—in his face, and it doesn’t help that Reese doesn’t understand and doesn’t seem to care. I love their journey of growth together and how they find both an independence and each other.

What I Also Liked: This story was quite fun and it’s made that way with great effort by Steph and Cash the BFFs of the MCs and can I just say, Cash is so damn perfect. Not exactly comic relief—these two are more relief than anything. I enjoyed every single scene they were in—especially Cash, if you didn’t catch that before.

What I Didn’t Like: While I adored Tom and Reese’s story, there were times I thought it may have been too long—where the story dragged, especially in the middle. It’s a great story, but there are some parts I feel could have been left out or thinned and the story could have maintained great quality.

In My Opinion: I loved this story. It was perfect in the tears and heartbreak and sweetness and laughter. I’d definitely recommend it.

Crissy’s Rating:
4 Frogs

About Brianna: Supermom by day, naughty reader by night. Addicted to chocolate, Twitter, her iPad, her Kindle, and 99¢ Kindle deals. You can follow Brianna on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and Instagram.


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