LOCKED IN THE CLOSET…
Not long ago, Truman Durant was outed to his parents, disowned, and forced to live in his battered pickup truck. Only knowing he was already accepted to the local university kept Truman from giving up completely. Now he fiercely guards his sexuality from everyone who knows him, wanting only to achieve financial stability through a degree and a job. He refuses to be homeless again, so not even his fraternity brothers know who he really is…or why he has a trunk full of lingerie and dresses. Truman won’t risk any kind of exposure, not even for love.
Stasi Manolis is only a few steps out of the closet himself, but it’s been a good so far. His large Greek family is trying, and he’s grateful for every effort they make to modernize their thinking. He’s out on campus and living in the gay fraternity, making friends and sharing benefits. The one guy who keeps catching Stas’s attention is a gorgeous long-haired blond who plays baseball, wears reading glasses, and seems very lonely. While his tactics aren’t the smoothest, Stasi doesn’t hold back when he’s after something he wants…and he wants Truman.
…SLOWLY COMING OUT
Neither guy is truly prepared to deal with the other, but with a little open-mindedness and patience, they’re going to try to make a secret relationship work. But secrets have a way of coming out and some people aren’t willing to tolerate let alone accept what they don’t understand. Will Truman lose everything for a second time, or will he have the strength to stand up for his rights now that Stasi’s by his side?
Not going to lie. When I saw the cover for this book go by in my Newsfeed I pretty much stopped, found the blurb and one clicked the heck out of it. This story wound up being far more than I anticipated when I bought it. I was excited to see it was a story with one of the characters wearing women’s clothing, especially lingerie. I adored how Stasi and Truman built their relationship throughout the book.
I loved Truman. He broke my heart with how he struggled to accept himself and believe he was worth of basic affection and a relationship built on mutual satisfaction and trust. Watching how he reacted to Stasi initially was poignant and showed how ingrained the hate and violence towards himself was. I was in awe of how he grew and blossomed in the story. When he let go and trusted Stasi to catch him it was absolutely beautiful. You could feel the world lift from his shoulders that there were people that would love and accept him and not try to bring him pain.
At first I was a little unsure of Stasi. He acted a bit like a stalker and I was concerned he wasn’t going to truly take a no for an answer. But he wound up being completely endearing and someone that I would love to meet in person. The way he wanted to protect and cherish Truman was so sweet. He wanted to help let Truman accept himself and express himself the way he wanted. That want and need came out clearly. I felt that overwhelming urge to protect the same as Stasi. He was real about his unknown response to Truman’s crossdressing. He didn’t try to sugar coat his response or tell Truman what he wanted to hear. He also very seriously did his research on the subject to see what would happen when he saw Truman all done up. His response though was completely hot. Then the scenes with Truman in his sexy clothes being true to himself? Oh man I had to fan myself so I didn’t burst into flames it was so damn sexy.
One thing that made me immensely happy and was amazingly well written was the cuddling scenes. The affection between Truman and Stasi was so sweet. Those emotions were so well written. I loved how they cared for each other and showed it in ways beyond sex. The cuddling was such a perfect addition to the story in my opinion.
My only issue with the story is one others will see as minor, and most wouldn’t notice. However it bumped me out of the story enough to disrupt my enjoyment. There were basic facts about Greek organizations that were missing or wrong in the story. Plus one of the fictional fraternities in the book is an actual fraternal organization. It’s not really a problem using a real organization but again, the facts of that organization are wrong.
I really enjoyed this story and hope there will be more. I would love to see more Truman and Stasi. I want to see them make it as adults. I want to see how they handle long term and how Truman handles being out and himself long term. I so want to see more of these two.
Missy Welsh stares into space a lot, has conversations with cats, takes notes while people-watching, records conversations (not the ones with cats), named her laptop Norbert and her phone Pushkin, has backups of her backups’ backups, faints at the sight of a misused semi-colon, and will often ask socially unacceptable questions of strangers.
Basically, she’s a writer.
For the entire month of June, all comments will be one entry into a paperback giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of both Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna and Forgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet. Contest is open to everyone, each comment is one entry, contest ends June 30 11:59PM. Winner must provide their mailing address within one week of contest close or a new winner will be selected.