This book is part of the Riptide Rentboys 2012 Collection
Connor Morrison is a 3D optics pioneer, the star of the UC Berkeley physics department, and a socially-inept workaholic. And with his dear friend and business partner, Steve Campbell, handling their investors, he’s content to remain in the shadows. That is, until he meets the gorgeous and starry-eyed physics student Wes Martin.
Wes is brilliant but broke. Ever since his scholarship fell victim to the financial crisis, he's had no choice but to sell his body to stay in school. Already half in love with Connor, Wes initially resists Steve's offer to be Connor's thirty-fifth birthday present. But in the end, Wes is too broke—and too smitten—to say no.
Wes is a guy who just wants to get through school without having to head back to his home in Indiana and work at a minimum wage job. He’s brilliant and does well but when his scholarship ended he had to figure out how to make money to pay for tuition, rent and food. He becomes a rent boy and that’s how he meets Connor.
Connor has no idea that his friend and business partner paid for Wes as his birthday present. The night of the party things don’t really work out but at a conference things heat up and Wes and Connor find themselves in Connor’s hotel room letting the sparks fly.
Unfortunately Wes can’t let himself get attached to Connor. He’s had a crush on Connor for years but knows that if Connor found out about his “job” he’d never be able to look him in the eye. Connor was shocked that Wes ran out of the hotel room while he was sleeping as he truly felt a connection with Wes. When they run into each other because Wes has moved in to an apartment just three doors down from Connor it’s a bit awkward. Connor still has burgeoning feelings for Wes but feels rejected. Wes is ashamed but still has feelings for Connor though he knows he can’t act on them.
In the meantime Wes has gotten a regular john who likes to spank him. When the john gets violent with Wes Connor manages to step in and save the day – but where does that leave Connor and Wes now that Connor knows the truth?
*sigh* I just love rentboy stories. In this one it’s the connection of Connor and Wes even after the truth comes out about Wes. Connor could have so easily judged and kept on judging but he saw something in Wes that he couldn’t deny and decided to give him a chance. That’s just so appealing to me!
In this story I felt for Wes. He’d really not had an easy life but it was pretty good. Then his senior year comes along and bam – no full ride scholarship any longer and he’s stuck with all those bills that he never had to worry about before. I can’t imagine how horrible that must have been for him. He’d had a pretty good time of it once he started the rentboy gig but then along came “Tom”. Tom was a pig and liked to spank. That’s not too bad and frankly Wes made a bunch of money off of it – even though he hated it. Tom then resorted to blackmail and the real Tom showed up – physical abuse and getting off on someone else’s pain.
Wes was physically as well as emotionally hurt but Connor came through for him in many different ways. The caring and attention that Connor gave to Wes was just what he needed to make it through and I think it solidified the feelings swirling around both of the men.
This was a great book and one that I would definitely recommend.
Rating: 4 out of 5