I am up to read more books from Zoe Rider. I really liked this one, it was light, a bit fluffy, more like a slice of life... a coming of age. There isn't any misunderstandings, any miscommunications, any love triangle, any angst.. it was refreshing.
Starts a bit gloomy. Shane has to move out from his dorm because his roommate committed suicide. His new roommate is Derek. They become friends rather fast. In fact, Shane likes to hang out more with Derek than with his two former friends. Later on, Shane hears from his friend that Derek sells leather stuff online: wallets, belts... and also cuffs and harnesses. When Shane needs some cash to buy a guitar, he offers to model these leather things to improve the image online. Once he wears these cuffs, he realizes he is into this kind of thing (like, really really into) so he makes the first move.
It took longer for me to warm towards Derek. Shane was a likable character, very boyish but with a easy going personality and also very honest. He was a bit weak when it was related to his parents, but since he just finished school, it was understandable (also, being only son and having such parents). His mother was so suffocating. This book is like, 80% dialogue, and the rest is narration. Well, his mother talks and talks and talks. And she is constantly there. As in, Shane is in college and living in dorms, but his mother insists to be part of his life, thru many visits and phone calls. A few times, when Shane was with Derek inside the room, I was afraid his mother would burst in and catch them on action (it doesn't happen, thank heavens).
Like I pointed out, I did not like Derek so much until after the first half of the book. Or maybe towards the end. He is nice, he is cool, he cares for Shane and you can tell. When Shane makes the first move, I wasn't convinced of why Derek would let it happen. Why Derek was so willing to continue. Since the book is told from Shane's POV, and Derek was a bit aloof, I wasn't so convinced of his attraction to Shane. And besides, Derek loves to smoke. Honestly, he was like a chimney. Shane loved it, loved to smell the tobacco in him, but I hated it. I much rather have him with that annoying toothpick than a cigarette.
On Derek's side, it is a g4u thing. On Shane's side, I am not sure. He says that he never felt this horny/happy/excited with a girl before, so he may just be a "late" out-of-the-closet guy. There weren't any inner struggles, any anxiety to realize he liked a guy, and instead of bothering me that (cuz I love to read them in my g4u books) I liked it and consider it to be part of Shane's personality. Derek doesn't have any issues about liking a guy for the first time, but that was also part of his aloof personality.
In fact, I did not mind the lack of drama in their coming out (to family and friends). It was all easy and quick (although in Shane's case, his mother was more difficult to handle), but I was OK with all of that. It just felt like a rom-com or something.
Despite Shane and Derek living together, and testing the bondage kinks Derek made, this wasn't a PWP at all. Most of all, they liked to snog (I am not British but I like this expression ;) ). They snog and talk, or talk and have phone sex, and talk and hang out, or talk with lots of touching involve. They make the reader sure they are friends, buddies, that they trust each other and like each others company. That is one of the highlights of the book: that it is more talk than action. The BDSM is super light, more like, nada. Shane likes to be cuffed, and is absolutely thrilled when he uses the harness, and he also uses the cuffs once on Derek, but that's it.
The conclusion to Shane's dilemma was rushed, and I would have preferred to have AT LEAST, 10 pages more. I could not believe it when I was on 97% on my Kindle and there wasn't a solution to his problem yet. So yeah, it ended pretty quickly. I wish there was a novella or something :(.. that is my only concern.