Book Review: Straight Boy Summer by Jace Hadley

Straight Boy Summer

Author: Jace Hadley
Series: Perfect Opposites, book 3
Publisher: Independent (December 7, 2022)
Kindle edition, 259 pages
Romance, Adult Contemporary M/M Romance
Goodreads

Summary

EDDIE
I’ve got three rules for hookups: no straight boys, no university students, and no relationships. My life is finally normal after breaking up with my asshole ex, and I don’t need that kind of drama. So when I meet Hatch, former athlete, current brainiac, and self-professed hetero looking to experiment, it should be an easy call. But it’s not.
One kiss can’t hurt—right?
Except Hatch shows up to my LGBTQ kids camp the next morning asking to volunteer. It’s like being stalked by an overgrown puppy.
Hatch wants me to show him the gay world. I can’t stop thinking about the way he tastes. And the more time we spend together, the more I realize the sweet, considerate, and submissive guy under the bluster is worth getting to know. But is he worth breaking all three of my rules for?

HATCH
I’m not gay, but I’ve always gotten in trouble for looking at pretty guys. Like Eddie, whose makeup and piercings give me a whole lot of fluttery feelings. Eddie doesn’t think much of me, but I can’t stop staring at him. And after a kiss that blows my mind I’m dying to see more of him. I want to figure out the vulnerable guy I caught a glimpse of under that snarky exterior.
I should be focused on my overdue thesis, because without a master’s degree in social work I won’t be able to get a job helping kids like my sister. But Eddie’s unapologetic confidence and take charge attitude are addictive to be around. He’s exactly what I need when I’m floundering through everything else in my life.
When we’re together he doesn’t just see a meathead out of his element in academia. He sees the real me.
But Eddie’s put up walls to protect himself from guys like me, and if I want him I’m gonna have to prove I’m all in.

Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

OH HATCH. I do love a book about a bad boy and a himbo, and Hatch is pretty much the ultimate himbo. Or as Eddie calls him, a puppy – like a big golden retriever, jumping up and trying to lick your face haha.

The dynamic between Hatch and Eddie is so electric – Eddie is definitely the sunshine in the grumpy/sunshine duo, and Eddie has been burned before and his built his walls high and thick to protect himself. Hatch’s relentless determination to form some sort of relationship with Eddie, even if it’s just friends, would wear down the most cynical of bad boys – so of course even Eddie doesn’t stand a chance! I also laughed out loud when Eddie tells Hatch that if he looks at boys and thinks they’re pretty, it pretty assuredly makes him not-straight.

This is a relatively low angst romance, despite some heavier issues they (mostly Eddie) are dealing with.

My only issue with this book is that it opens hinting heavily at a D/s dynamic and as if Hatch maybe has a humiliation and a praise kink, but then that’s not ever really fleshed out. I wish there’d been a bit more development there.

This is the third book in the Perfect Opposites series, and can be read as a standalone. The couples from the first two books make an appearance in this one as side characters – and I definitely want to go back and read their books now!

CW: Emotional and physical abuse (past), mild homophobia

I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are unbiased and my own.

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