For a Price by Hallie Burton

Title : For a Price                            Word Count : 51,367

Genre : Young Adult / Gay Romance

Blurb : At seventeen, Charles “Trey” Maddox Taft III has had better years. His father ran off with a younger woman, and with no alimony or child support, his family has to move from affluent Coconut Grove to a rough neighborhood near Miami’s Little Havana. It’s a completely different world, but Trey is determined to make the best of a bad situation, if only no one finds out he’s gay.

On Trey’s first day in his new territory, he’s saved from being run over by local bad boy Bobby Cruz. Bobby is an unabashedly gay, sexually active high school senior who’s tired of one-night stands. After meeting preppie Trey, Bobby decides to try something new. Things go well at first, but being in a relationship is tricky and might take more work than either wants to do.

My Review :  This really had a great story line.  It solidified in my mind why I like opposites attract tropes. Bobby is a tough guy from the Barrio and Trey was the nerdy former rich kid. They really complemented each other and it was fun to watch their young love blossom.  Trey realizes he is attracted to Bobby from the moment he laid eyes on him. Bobby teases Trey mercilessly about his preppy clothes. Throughout all of this a precious undeniable friendship is fostered between the two. After giving Trey a makeover,  Trey kisses Bobby and they start to explore their passions  for each other. Their explorations had the right amount of steamy for a coming of age story.

At the end of summer when Bobby’s friends come back from vacation,  Trey sees that he might have some competition for Bobby’s affection from Hazy , Bobby’s best friend. After some posturing and mistakes Hazy and Trey realize that they can be friends for Bobby’s sake and Bobby and Trey realize how special it is to have their kind of connection.    

Bobby and his friends become a part of Trey’s family. This shows that family is not only by blood and DNA. Family can be about the people who we open our hearts to and  who in turn open up and let us in their lives and take precious care to mold that love. I give this my ratings of 3 – it was ok, give it a try.

Dream Boy by Shawn Bailey

Title : Dream Boy                                         Word Count : 32,000

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb :Being gay and in love with the most sought-after college quarterback did nothing for Hiro Aoki’s heart except make it break every time he saw Christian Hill parading around town with pretty girls on his arm. Christian also dated debutants and got invited to the most popular parties, while Hiro and his friends stayed home on weekends studying and trying to improve their GPA. What good did it do Hiro to be smart when the love of his life didn’t return his feelings?

But to Hiro’s surprise, when he agrees to tutor Christian in math, he realizes the football star may be harboring a secret longing for him also. Can the two young men actually become lovers and keep their growing relationship a secret from their families, the rest of the students, and the bullies on the football team?

My Review : I am such a fan of Shawn Bailey.  His books are usually short but they are very sweet. This one was really great, not too much drama. I am such a fan of the nerd/ jock trope. I just can’t get enough of these opposites attract themes. I really loved Hiro, a cute little Japanese nerd who can be very bold when he wants to be. He has been in love with the quarterback Christian since they were kids,  however they don’t run in the same circles.

The first interaction where we are introduced to both Christian and Hiro,  Christian mows poor Hiro down trying to catch a football. Hiro is certainly in hog heaven. Within the same week Hiro gets knocked over again by Christian  and Christian starts believing in fate. Christian is a little bit surprised at how his body reacts to Hiro but he doesn’t fight it. By chance he ends up being tutored by Hiro in math. When they are enclosed in Hiro’s room , a little bit of flirting leads to them exploring the sexual attraction that they have both been feeling.

I really loved the sex between these two, it was dynamic and magical. It was obvious to see that they were both meant for each other. Hiro makes Christian want to be a better person and he strives harder towards a better educational future seeing as how Hiro is already a genius. They keep their relationship behind close doors more for Christian’ s sake, because he is hoping to play pro football but he really wants to get closer to Hiro and not lose him. Another closeted football player really has it out for Hiro but Hiro shows him that geek doesn’t always mean weak. Hiro and Christian gets their happily ever after and goes off to med school together where they will be living in their own apartment.  I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. It was such a sweet romance with lots of steamy scenes.