The Other Five Percent
Logan Vanderveer has a joke he’s been telling since college: he’s ninety-five percent straight. He did some experimenting in school, but none of the men he fooled around with inspired him to abandon “the plan”: meet a nice girl, get married, and settle down, just like his parents always said.
None of them except Ellis Floyd, who aroused desires and feelings that scared Logan. So much so that he abandoned their burgeoning relationship just as it might have become something. But four years later, Ellis is back, and Logan finds himself questioning his sexuality in a big way.
Ellis doesn’t fit into Logan’s plan. He’s happy being a starving artist, whereas Logan has sold his soul to corporate America. Ellis is ripped jeans, and Logan is tailored suits. And, most notably, Ellis is out. But seeing him again is dredging up memories—like how it feels to kiss Ellis, and that time they almost went all the way. With chemistry like theirs, Logan isn’t sure he can—or should—keep ignoring the other five percent.
Anderson (Action) explores important social issues at the expense of a compelling romance in this lackluster contemporary. Recent Rutgers graduate Logan Vanderveer proclaims himself to be "95% straight" and wears suits to his advertising job on Brigantine Island, N.J., in an effort to feel grown-up. An unexpected encounter with forgotten college flame Ellis Floyd triggers intense emotions that Logan pushes away, revealing his immaturity and internalized biphobia. Ellis is shocked by Logan's denial of their past relationship, and fears additional hurt if he tries to resurrect their romance. Unfortunately, Logan's lengthy processing around his orientation overwhelms the plot; both characterization and romance suffer. Logan and Ellis's contrasting personalities don't generate romantic intensity or transcend the feel of an after-school special, and their emotional and sexual payoffs fall flat. Bisexual invisibility should be addressed more often in fiction, but this example fails to entertain as it instructs.
Logan has a running joke he tells everyone. He is mostly straight. Really. He experimented in college. Not long after, he lost his best friend. When he runs into him again to say he is shocked is putting it mildly. What he finds out about how the past rolled out shocks him even more.
Ellis is excited and scared to see Logan again. He left him a broken man the last time he saw him. Can he take a chance and trust what he tells him about his feelings? He still seems so unsure. Ellis is scared the past will repeat itself.
This simple and sweet story has some real truths inside. While the characters clearly belong together, there is a lot of avoidance and a lot of scared. I would have hoped to have more to the story, since it felt like a lot of trust issues were just getting going at the end, I was pleased to at least get my HEA.
***This ARC copy was given in exchange for my honest review by Netgalley and its publishers.