Title: Love Me Like a Rock
Author: Amy Jo Cousins
Release Date: March 22, 2016
Page Count: 154
Reviewed by: Vallie
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
In art and in love, it s the rough edges that make things interesting.
Having grown up with artistic implements always in hand, there’s almost nothing Austin can’t make real. Except for one thing—an official relationship with his best friend, rowing teammate and occasional hookup, Vinnie.
The combination of emotional and sexual frustration fuels a spark between Austin and the nude model in his drawing class. Austin isn’t used to having trouble focusing; models are merely challenging subjects to be rendered on paper. But the geology TA’s direct blue gaze is powerful enough to drag Austin’s focus away from his physique.
After a quick and very dirty post-class encounter, all the reasons that Austin has been waiting for his best friend go fuzzy in his mind. Sean is nothing like Vinnie. Sean is persistent, pays attention, and makes it clear he wants to be together.
But if Austin can’t get his head and his heart on the same page, he could lose his friend, or his lover. Or both.
Warning: Contains rock geeks, tent sex, a dictatorial cox whose idea of a good time is drawing naked dudes, plus one naked dude who wants to be more than a good time.
Hmm… Austin and Sean. Good combo, sweet chemistry, loads of dirty talk, and overall enjoyable couple to read about. The story didn’t make a huge impression, but it is a nice easy read well worth an afternoon.
Austin is hung up on his best friend Vinnie who he’s been sleeping with for years, only after Vinnie submits a paper and only after they’ve gotten drunk –Vinnie’s unspoken rules. Austin wants more and expects them to eventually make it official, but things aren’t looking up in that regard. During a drawing session with a nude model, Austin gets the hots for ginger muscle man, Sean. Sean is a graduate geology student who has been attracted to Austin for over a year and has been looking for an opportunity to meet him. Well, let’s just say a lot more than drawing happened during that session.
They started hooking up very frequently, seeing as they were both ridiculously hot for each other. Austin laid the rules from the get go –no strings, and cruised along just fine, all the while hoping Vinnie will notice and miss him. Fat chance of that happening. There was a hilarious and sexy camping trip, marathon sex sessions at Sean’s dorm room, and the feelz crept up for Austin without him realising. From constantly thinking about Vinnie while with Sean –even during sex scenes in the beginning, how annoying!– Austin started feeling more for Sean and realising that they were sort of boyfriends already. Austin always felt neglected by Vinnie and having Sean’s undivided, laser-focused attention was quite the thrill. But when Sean realised just how much thoughts of Vinnie were still affecting Austin, he delivered an ultimatum. Yes, silly misunderstanding, but they made up and all was well.
The book was pretty successful in bringing these characters to life, even if Sean was a little too perfect. I loved how self-confident he was and how patient with Austin. And Austin finally realised how much happier he was in an actual relationship and pursued it properly. The sex scenes were hot, the dirty-talk hit all the right buttons, and the cuddling scenes were super sweet.
Points taken for not enough dialogue –I was tired of being in Austin’s head for so long, especially when his running commentary interrupted the few pieces of dialogue we got. The plot was okay but the ending felt a bit anti-climactic –I just didn’t think the misunderstanding towards the end was enough to create some tension.
Overall a quick and enjoyable read. Recommend!