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Monday, October 6, 2014

REVIEW: "Fever Pitch" by Heidi Cullinan


Fever Pitch (Love Lessons, #2)

Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan
(Love Lessons #2)

Goodreads -- Amazon
Author Website

For Ages 18+ (Language, Sensuality)
Male/Male Contemporary

Samhain -- Published in September 2014
Ebook, 270 pages
Read in September 2014
Received from Netgalley

THEMES
Small Town Setting, Tortured Heroes

SUMMARY
Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end. 



FIRST LINE
"On his eighteenth birthday, Aaron Seavers navigated the sea of college brochures scattered across his comforter, searching for a future capable of pleasing his father without crushing his own soul."

MY THOUGHTS
One of my favorite books last year was Heidi Cullinan's college-set Love Lessons.  I fell in love with stoic Walter and dreamer Kelly as they maneuvered the complex world of new relationships and figuring out what you wanted out of life.  So, of course, I was excited to see she was continuing the series with Fever Pitch.  And it definitely lived up to my expectations!

Aaron and Giles meet in a fairly unorthodox manner...in a laundry room at a party.  Aaron is a recent town transplant who is being pressured to pick a college and a career path that his overbearing father would accept.  Giles is a townie who has been on the wrong end of many bullying incidents that have left him hospitalized due to the fact that he is out as gay.  He is counting the days that he can leave town for college and this party is just one way to spend the time.  These two guys connect and eventually have a powerful sexual experience that leaves Aaron running away.  But, he quickly gathers his wits and decides to enroll at the same college that Giles mentioned in an effort to reconnect with one person he has felt comfortable with in years.

What follows is a journey with these two wonderful characters as they deal with their freshman year and the drama that is associated with such a time.  Heidi Cullinan really knows how to bring the emotions out of her readers and she succeeds on so many levels with Fever Pitch.  I went through the gamut while reading this...I laughed, cried, and even stared at my e-reader in shock over some of the scenes.  I think what I loved best about Aaron and Giles's love story is the fact that both of them had to grow as people before they could become friends and eventually lovers.

Besides the main romance, there is a lot of other things going on in the plot of Fever Pitch such as roommate issues, discovery of new friendships, and even drama associated with the campus acapella groups.  There are a ton of characters as one would expect from a college setting and it was great to see that each person had a specific purpose in the plot.  Some of the ones that stood out the most to me were Aaron's uber-religious but mysterious roommate (Elijah), campus hot shot (Baz), Giles's super-supportive parents, even the professors.  And, of course, I have to mention the important role that Walter and Kelly from Love Lessons play in the growth of Aaron specifically.

Basically, Fever Pitch is an almost perfect male/male romance that grabs the reader and doesn't let go until the satisfying but exhausting conclusion.  Heidi Cullinan has been one of my favorite writers in this genre for awhile and I think this book (and this series) is really up there for me.  Her writing is impeccable and respectful as it showcases the ups and downs of these two young men.

I received a free copy of this book from Samhain Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


4.5 STARS


STEAM LEVEL
Flush -- Detailed descriptions of lovemaking though nothing overly graphic.

FAVORITE QUOTE
“Sometimes we need a place to be completely safe, somewhere boring that isn’t about sex or adventure or wild hairs. I am that place for you.  As long as you want it, for ten minutes or ten hours or ten thousand years: I am your safe place.  No matter what happens, no matter who leaves you or hurts you. I am your safe place."

BOOKS IN THE SERIES
1. Love Lessons
1.5. Frozen Heart
2. Fever Pitch

OTHER REVIEWS
Smexybooks (A+)
Penny Reads Romance (A-)
The Novel Approach (5 Stars)

SIMILAR BOOKS/SERIES
Men of Holsum College series by Daisy Harris
Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane
Talker by Amy Lane
Frat Boy and Toppy by Anne Tenino
Str8te Boys by Evangeline Anderson
The Understatement of the Year by Sarina Bowen

2 comments:

  1. Aww, that quote! That and your review makes me want to read this asap. I haven't read any M/M romance yet but this plus Sarina Bowen's The Understatement of the Year are going to creep up my TBR list :) Thanks for the review, Jennifer :)

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  2. I am glad that the sequel of this book managed to be as enjoyable as the first one was as well :) That is always a plus when I comes to a series! On top of that, the cover looks amazing!

    http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/10/dying-for-living-review-giveaway.html

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