Out of My Mind (Browerton University Book 3)

Out of My Mind (Browerton University Book 3) - A.J. Truman Review originally posted at Sinfully.

Gah! This book! How do I review a book where for about the first 70% I actively disliked one of the main characters? Before you go any further, just know that Gideon was not my kind of guy. That’s a totally personal opinion. He may be your type of guy and I’m sure he will be very sympathetic to many readers. Yes, he comes through for Mac big time in the end – it’s a romance after all – but I pretty much growled at him through most of the book.

After that disclaimer, this may sound odd, but I enjoyed the book regardless of my distaste for Gideon.

Gideon and Mac meet at a party at the start of their freshman year. They chat, Mac is happy with his first ever attempt at flirting with a guy and he eventually asks Gideon back to his dorm room. Everything is going great until Mac kisses Gideon and Gideon has a straight guy gay panic freak out. Mac is hurt and embarrassed. Flash forward two years and Mac, having been dumped by his boyfriend of two years, is looking for a place to live and unwittingly shows up at Gideon’s awesome apartment. Gideon has been dumped by his girlfriend just as they were about to move in together. While he’s not happy about it, he agrees to let Mac have a trial roommate period to see if things will be as weird as he expects them to be. He fully expects to be rid of Mac no later than that.

Mac had a tough time as teen and left home to move in with his Aunt Rita, the only person he still considers family. His parents wrote him off and he has done his best to forget them. His best friend Delia has his back too (and is a wonderful secondary character), but he hasn’t even told her the full story of what happened. He is now happily out and living his life. Gideon’s rejection in their freshman year stung and that is in the back of his mind as Gideon’s mixed signals eventually result in their relationship morphing into a friends who experiment with sex deal. My heart was with Mac since the first page. He is funny, sweet and just wants to be happy and if that happiness comes with Gideon by his side it would be more than he could hope for.

Gideon’s mother is stereotypical Jewish mother. She is widowed and most of her life revolves around making sure her sons marry nice Jewish girls and give her grandchildren and something to brag about at temple. Her oldest son, Noah, has decided that his life is his own and he is living it on his terms. Gideon sees this as disrespect to their mother and family and has made it his mission to be the good, responsible son his mother wants. He represses his wants and does his best to conform, dating the girls she sets him up with and being a referee between his mother and brother. He is also a big fat liar. He spins little lies like a web, lying to his mother, his friends and himself. It’s almost pathological. The stress of it all really starts getting to him as things with Mac and their experimenting start to get intense.

It was hard for me to feel sympathy for Gideon or find anything redeeming in his attitude and his treatment of Mac. Frankly he came off as an asshole most of the time and his problems were all of his own making. But see, I did love Mac and kept reading for him and his situation and to see if A.J. Truman could get me to come around to Gideon (and just maybe I kept hoping that Mac would tell Gideon to get lost).

While the first part of the book was pretty light, the second part of the story ramps up the drama. Hot, hidden sex can only go so far before feelings start to get involved and someone eventually gets hurt. Gideon’s lies are piling up and Mac is getting too emotionally involved and it’s taking its toll. Things eventually implode and, for Mac especially, there is pain and heartache and a life-changing loss. There are also family issues that need to be worked out on both men’s parts. So did I come around to like Gideon? Like may be a strong word, but I was happy with the turn the relationship took towards the end of the story.

This is the first book I’ve read in the series (it easily works as a standalone) as well as the first book I’ve read by A.J. Truman. I had a few niggles with the editing, but for the most part I liked the pace of the book and the ups and downs of the story. It runs the gamut from humorous to sad, sexy to scary and almost everything in between. The family issues were dealt with well and, as it often is in reality, not everything was necessarily as cut and dried as Mac and Gideon each thought when everything came to light.

I would definitely pick up another story in the series when I’m again in the mood for some sexy college boy shenanigans.