Its been a while since I gave much thought to what it was like to be a young college student and all that entailed, but this story took me back to those days. Not that I was a kid struggling and experimenting with my sexual orientation like Owen nor was I like Harold who had a physical aspect to my person that left me feeling vulnerable. I was just an average joe, but I did have friends that could have been Harold or Owen and we did participate in some of the same activities.
This was my first book that I’ve read in the series although this is book eight. I had no trouble reading it out of order. I’m assuming the other couples I met in the story were the main characters in their own stories earlier in the series.
The story is amusing, cute, and a little sad all wrapped up in one. Poor Harold is a shy, bumbling, insecure guy not just because of his clumsy, tall skinny body and with a face that just healed from a bad case of acne, but because he is more than well endowed in the manhood department. His greatest hope is to slide through college without drawing undue attention to himself.
But that is just not to be because the guy he has a secret crush on has noticed him. Owen is the all-around great guy that everyone likes and who is good at anything he puts his hand to. He notices shy, awkward Harold and sympathizes with him because Owen’s older sister was the same way. He determines to take Harold under his wing and help him even while trying to suppress a stirring that he feels when he gets a good look at Harold’s impressive man bits and learns that Harold is gay. Owen has a secret penchant that he has hidden since Jr. High. He’s bi-sexual, but allows everyone to believe that he’s only into girls to keep up his image and popularity.
When Owen takes Harold under his wing, things begin to radically change for both of them. Both young men are put on the spot and must make decisions that will affect their happiness, but at the same time its quite obvious that they are both just fumbling in the dark and trying to find their way.
I confess that I was vastly amused at the idea that a story seemed- on the surface- to revolve around a guy’s extra-large penis. And on one level, I was chuckling even though I felt sorry for poor Harold.
But fortunately, the plot was much more than that. It included a maturing journey for both guys in this coming of age story that brought them from thinking only of themselves to the end when they were all about what was good for each other no longer needing society’s approval for what would make them happy. In between serious moments, there are a lot of college parties, embarrassing and awkward scenes, friend therapy and experiments in bed to keep it fun.
It took some talent on the author’s part, but the characters were written in such a way that they were likeable even when they were still working through their own flaws. I took awhile to warm up to Owen, but that was because I wasn’t sure if he was ever going to grow up. He did and owned up to his mistakes. Harold was needy, but he started to see his own self-worth after a time. But the character that took my fancy was Harold’s friend Seb. He was so cranky, but loyal and I just loved seeing what happened to him at that last party scene hinting that he might be getting his own turn for some fun. I was busting out laughing when Harold was ‘helping’ Seb get rid of his unibrow with a wax job (I winced for the poor guy).
It was fun finding a new author and series to enjoy. This would appeal to those who like fun stories with a little depth involving a couple of young guys still trying to figure things out.