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.
Barley (Too Hot to Handle), who writes heterosexual romance as Aleah Barley, ventures into male-male romance with this sweet but uneven tale of two college roommates falling for each other. Jesse, a sophomore at Halston University, N.Y., was beaten up by his previous roommate for acting on his crush, and he arrives in his new room traumatized. He finds it hard to hide his instantaneous attraction to Nick, a muscular, sexy senior, but he fears "putting clumsy moves on another straight roommate." Nick recognizes Jesse's vulnerability and feels attracted to him, even though "Nick didn't do twinks." To allay Jesse's instinctive fears, Nick divides their room with a line of tape, promising, "I will never go out of bounds." After Jesse learns Nick is gay and his trust develops, the boundary allows for safe exploration of their growing attraction. The early violence is handled lightly, and Nick's insecurities are overdone, but sympathetic protagonists, entertaining supporting characters, and numerous playful sex scenes make this an entertaining read.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Out of Bounds
I’m reading this series out of order but it doesn’t seem to matter. I read Against the Rules 1st and have already punched the 3rd one. This author makes me want to know the whole story on her side characters. A really good read!
Sweet story. Loved it.
This is one hot, sexy book!
This is the first book I’ve read by A.R. Barley (including books also written as Aleah Barley).
Jesse was beaten when he mistakenly thought that his straight roommate wanted something more to their relationship; he was left broken and skittish and afraid someone else might hurt him. His new roommate, Nick, is intimidating due to his size; he dwarfs Jesse. Their first meeting is a bit less than pleasant; Nick is asleep and hasn’t been warned that he’s about to get a roommate.
Nick hates that Jesse practically cowers whenever they are in their dorm room together. He knows that Jesse has been hurt but he doesn’t know the details. Nick comes up with a plan to try and put Jesse at ease – draw a line down the middle of the room. Each of their sides is out of bounds for the other and a penalty must be paid if the boundary is crossed.
The plan works and Jesse gradually becomes more comfortable with Nick but he’s also afraid of the feelings he’s having for Nick, who he is certain is straight. Jesse is afraid that life will repeat what happened to him with his former roommate and he doesn’t know that Nick has been having fantasies about him for some time now and certainly isn’t straight.
A. R. Barley’s writing is descriptive and moving; I couldn’t help but feel the pain that Jesse feels and also feel for Nick about his childhood trauma. This book contains lots of strong language and the sexy scenes really sizzle but I like how Jesse and Nick didn’t feel insta love for each other and that their relationship was allowed to develop a bit before they finally did the deed.
This book is part of a series but is also a standalone. There is a rich cast of secondary characters and I look forward to reading their stories.
*****Reviewed for Xtreme-Delusions*****
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.