Title: Out of Bounds
Author: A. R. Barley
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: March 14, 2016
Genres: New Adult, LGBTQIA: Gay, Romance, Contemporary
Source: eARC from NetGalley
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.
What I liked:
- Nick’s multi-layered character- The author could have easily written Nick as a stereotypical macho asshole, he was surprisingly sweet and vulnerable. He was very respectful and understanding of Jesse’s boundaries.
- Interesting dynamic between Jesse and Nick- Jesse stayed away from Nick in the beginning because he thought Nick was straight (and was afraid he could be homophobic like his last roommate), and Nick stayed away from Jesse because he was very conscious of Jesse’s boundaries after his assault. This made for an interesting development of their relationship from opposite sides of a literal line on the floor.
- I kept waiting the entire book for Nick and Jesse’s attacker to face off, and I was really surprised but happy with how it was handled.
What I didn’t like: (mild spoilers ahead)
- I found it EXTREMELY unrealistic that Jesse’s ex-roommate/attacker was not only allowed to stay in school, but he never faced any consequences whatsoever. Most schools have a zero tolerance policy for violence, and besides that, Jesse’s father was a lawyer so I couldn’t believe that no charges were ever pressed against the attacker.
- Rushed romance- It’s to be expected in a book that’s barely 150 pages, but I felt like there wasn’t enough build up and that they jumped into a relationship way to quickly for the circumstances.
- Towards the end I started to cringe at how cheesy and “happily ever after” the romance felt
- Not enough supporting characters- There was really only one, Jesse and Nick’s RA (who is also Nick’s ex), two if you squint and count Nick’s boss who only appeared a couple times.
My Rating: 3.5/5
A.R. Barley is a writer of humorous (she hopes) contemporary romance for everyone. She writes M/M romance under the name A.R. Barley and M/F romance under the name Aleah Barley. After living all over the United States, she recently moved to Motor City with a fluffy Maine Coon Cat who is constantly trying to appropriate her computer. She also lives with a rambunctious Labrador and a sexy engineer who can wiggle his ears. She is preparing for the zombie apocalypse while she works on her next book.
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.