Title: Out of Bounds (Boundaries #1)
Author: A.R. Barley
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: March 14th 2016
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 154 pages
Reviewed by: Lili
Heat Level: 3 out 5 flames
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
When the weather outside starts cooling down, inside the dorm things are heating up. Can these college roommates fall in love without going out of bounds?
Beaten and heartbroken, Jesse Cole is placed in a new dorm room after his last roommate attacked him. Just wanting to be left alone to heal in peace, he’s shocked when tall, dark and dangerous-looking Nick Moretti walks in.
Nick doesn’t have time to tiptoe around his new roommate—he’s too busy working in order to pay for school. But something about Jesse brings out his protective instincts. As their cautious friendship grows and becomes loaded with sexual tension, he wants to make Jesse comfortable.
Enter the perfect plan: a line of tape down the center of the room. Boundaries established.
But as innocent movie nights become hours-long temptation marathons, and whispered chats from across the room delve into straight-up dirty territory, crossing the line has never been so satisfying.
I’ll start off by saying that I love trying out established M/F author’s foray into M/M Romance. Is it always successful? No. Was this one? YES! Out of Bounds is a New Adult story of two college roommates who fall in love. Jesse was moved into Nick’s room after being assaulted by his hold bunkmate. Nick is none too happy about it first, but he was still there for Jesse from the get go.
*The main characters. I love the contrast between the two men, and how their roles play out in the end.
*Character development and growth.
*Love how their relationship evolved from roommates to friends to lovers. The progression felt natural.
*Their friends and family. They weren’t perfect, but their loyalty shone through.
*The pace was smooth and effortless.
*The intimacy between Jesse and Nick was equal parts tender and hot.
*The end was a strong HEA.
Why not 5 Stars? Well…
*Jesse’s actions after the assault didn’t always match the reactions following such a traumatic experience. I know everyone reacts differently, but I don’t think I’d be so quick to check out my new roommate after what had just occurred with the last one. Little things like that just niggled a bit.
*The biggest thing though is how there was NO disciplinary or criminal action taken against his roommate? I know that it was kind of explained, but it gnawed at me.
- And then the school placed them in the same next class the following semester. Extremely unlikely.
For those two reasons, I docked a half a star.
In the end, though the writing had me forgetting about those two points and I was hooked. If you love college romances, I highly recommend this one. It was a sweet, feel good story of two young men who help each other heal. Solid 4.5 Stars, and I can’t wait to read the following books in the series.