Book: Tackling the Subject
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication date: August 1, 2017
Length: 183 pages
Reviewed by Erin
Sam struggles with issues from high school, and his biology tutor triggers them all. Gordy isn't sure he wants to deal with the trouble Sam represents.
Sam Doherty, a twenty-two-year-old Computer Science major is struggling to pass the required classes in biology. While Sam is out and proud, he's secretly dealing with an assault he suffered in high school. Sam may be the president of the campus Gay-Straight Alliance, but he's struggling to find balance in his life. When he realizes he needs help with his class, he signs up for a biology tutor, but the guy who arrives for their meeting sets off all his triggers.
Gordy Hager is a biology whiz kid, the best tutor at the University Help Center—and the star tackle on the football team. Sam despises him at first sight. Gordy is the brainless caveman athlete that Sam still has nightmares about. Unable to control his reactions, he drives Gordy away and makes it plain he will never ask for his help. One week and a failed quiz later, Sam knows he has to swallow his pride and get help.
But while Gordy might be a nice guy, he isn't going to help someone as insulting as Sam. Sam's determination pays off, and he gets Gordy’s assistance, but his grades are only the first pothole their relationship hits. From their discovery that they both are gay to supporting each other against family, their connection has more than its share of issues. But when their worst fears come to fruition, they struggle with a way to save Gordy's college football career and face Sam's issues of intimacy.
I'm huge fan of both hurt/comfort and New Adult books so when I saw the blurb for Jon Keys' Tackling the Subject, I couldn't wait to dig in. A jock and a nerd, opposites attracting only added to my excitement. I loved the premise, but this one fell just a tad short for me. While I did mostly enjoy the book, there were a few things that detracted from my overall impression.
Sam Doherty is out and proud and needs a biology tutor in the worst way. He's a wiz with computers and coding, but genes and mitosis are out of his realm of understanding. So, like any struggling student, he goes to the Student Help Center to request a tutor. He does not expect super jock and star football player Gordy Hager to walk through the door. To say that these two get off on the wrong foot is more than a little understatement. Their first impressions of one another leave a lot to be desired and they part ways less than amicably. It's not until Sam is completely at the end of his rope that he tries to contact Gordy again and and again and again, with no luck. Finally he resorts to begging, and this finally makes Gordy give him another chance.
Once these two start becoming friends, I was all in. For a bit. Sam's over the top reactions to everything Gordy says and does got frustrating. For his part, Gordy was inordinately sweet and understanding, maybe too much at times, but once Sam's issues and his past come to light it helped me understand Sam better. It doesn't necessarily forgive some of the things he says and does, but it did explain. But really, once I got past all of that, I was really rooting for these guys to get their HEA. The romance was slow to build, but I liked that. It worked for these two that they became such good friends first before the romance and intimacy were added. This is a really quick read and for the most part kept me engaged. The writing was as bit choppy in places, the pace a little slow at times, but overall, a nice story of two guys who are really good for one another. Give this one a try, I think you'll like it.
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