Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fessenden's Delightful Screwups

Nothing is screwed up about Jamie Fessenden's new novel Screwups, not the characters, the plot, or his excellent writing.

In 1996 at the University of New Hampshire, business junior Jake Stewart takes a bold step, moving into Eaton House, the creative arts dorm. Jake's homophobic father has denied his youngest son's love of art, saying art is for sissies. But Jake rebels because he realizes that if he doesn't give reign to his artistic side now, he'll never be able to do so when he goes to work for his dad's company.

Eaton is a revelation to the closeted Jake, whose out-and-proud roommate Danny Sullivan is a key player in an ongoing Dungeons & Dragons role playing game. Not only that but music major Danny is Jake's dream man. But since Danny, like everyone else, thinks Jake is straight, this is a bit of a problem. Is Jake ready to come out to his new friends in Eaton House and more importantly to Danny?

As are most guys around the age of eighteen, neither Jake nor Danny is completely self-confident. Jake's so far in the closet, with good reason given his father's and brothers' homophobia, that he's miserable as he looks around at the free-wheeling hookups going on around him. He wants to belong to the GLBT club, but can't quite out himself, even to those like Danny who would support him.

Danny, too, is miserable, but his misery is somewhat self-imposed. Danny did something stupid in high school and has been taunted for it ever since. He wants to move on and leave the past in the past, but unfortunately, one of the Eaton residents also attended Danny's high school and isn't above persecuting Danny for his past mistake.

Read the rest of my review at The Romance Reviews.

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