Title: Bigger Love (Big Love #2)
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Young Adult Romance
Page Count: 225
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Truman Reid is Summitville High’s most out-and-proud senior. He can’t wait to take his fierce, uncompromising self away from his small Ohio River hometown, where he’s suffered more than his share of bullying. He’s looking forward to bright lights and a big city. Maybe he’ll be the first gender-fluid star to ever win an Academy Award. But all that changes on the first day of school when he locks eyes with the most gorgeous hunk he’s ever seen.
Mike Stewart, big, dark-haired, and with the most amazing blue eyes, is new to town. He’s quiet, manly, and has the sexy air of a lost soul. It’s almost love at first sight for Truman. He thinks that love could deepen when Mike becomes part of the stage crew for Harvey, the senior class play Truman’s directing. But is Mike even gay? And how will it work when Truman’s mother is falling for Mike’s dad? Plus Truman, never the norm, makes a daring and controversial choice for the production that has the whole town up in arms. See how it all plays out on a stage of love, laughter, tears, and sticking up for one’s essential self.
Just to recap — “Big Love” was one of my favorite books of 2016 with a 5+ rating and a Recommended Read. “Bigger Love” is its sequel and I would suggest you read “Big Love” first if you haven’t already to get the background on the characters and the flavor of the setting.
While I enjoyed “Bigger Love” it didn’t capture my heart like “Big Love,” probably because the first book dealt with such pivotal moments in all the characters’ lives – Truman embracing his sexuality in the face of bullying at school, Dane and Seth finding love after the death of Dane’s wife, Truman’s mother Patsy hoping to find her own love story, etc.
In “Bigger Love” Truman is entering his senior year and while he is disappointed he wasn’t cast in the school play “Harvey,” he is enjoying his role as student director, helping the actors get comfortable with their parts and making staging and set suggestions. Truman makes a new friend Stacy, who is cast as Myrtle Mae Simmons and he learns although she is one of the popular girls, her life isn’t a sugar-coated existence.
Patsy has a new love George and Truman falls in insta-love with George’s son Mike. Mike is tall and rugged looking, can pass as straight and is conflicted about coming out to his father and the town. I like the way Reed shows us all the preconceptions people have – Truman can’t play a female part in “Harvey,” Mike can’t be gay because he looks so masculine, Stacy has a perfect life because she’s popular, and the bigoted homophobe leading a protest is straight and narrow (hint, he’s a closet case).
“Bigger Love” is an entertaining read, but I never felt chemistry or pure emotion between Truman and Mike and while their HFN is sweet, it feels unfinished. I would welcome another sequel in the Big Love series to see how their relationship matures, want an update on Seth and Dane and Dane’s children, and hint, hint, hint would love for Truman’s mother Patsy to find the love she so richly deserves. 3.5 stars for “Bigger Love.”