Title: Accidental Love
Author: Shae Connor
Length: 19,000 words (65 pdf pages)
Publisher: Amber Allure
Genre: m/m contemporary
College roommates Greg and Keith are polar opposites when it comes to relationships. Greg equates sex with the alcohol and drugs he gave up, while Keith protects his heart by keeping sex strictly casual. At first, neither Greg nor Keith realizes the other is gay, but once they get to know each other better, they feel drawn together, and their developing attraction makes each of them reevaluate his stance on relationships. Keith starts out thinking he only wants a roommates-with-benefits arrangement, something more than his usual weekend flings but still casual, yet soon he begins to feel more for Greg. Greg’s afraid of what he’s feeling because he has trouble mentally separating sex from the other bad habits that had nearly ruined his life. Greg’s fears leave him spooked by an impromptu kiss following a game of one-on-one basketball, but that’s nothing compared with how he feels after a dinner date ends with the two men having sex. To help bring Greg back from the edge, Keith opens up his heart, but will it be enough to allow them to move forward together?
The blurb here pretty much gives you the set-up. Greg has transferred to Chicago to go to school because he was basically going down a very bad path, as he describes it, about two steps from re-hab, when some tough love on his mother’s part set him straight. He likes his roommate Keith well enough, not that he knows him really, but he knows Keith spends every weekend drinking and having sex, something Greg is determined to stay away from now he’s got his life sorted out.
When they finally reveal to each other they are gay, both go from just thinking “I have a good-looking roommate” to “I have a good-looking roommate I could have sex with”. Greg is determined to avoid this, even though now he’s really getting to know Keith he likes him, and Keith’s plan is simply to set up a nice friends with benefits situation. However as Keith gets to know Greg, he starts to realize it might not be that easy, either to get Greg to agree or to keep it as superficial as he’d like.
I liked this story quite a bit. Both guys are normal young men, who are or have experimented with the freedom that college offers. Both behave as they do for different reasons. While Greg’s family loves him, growing up in a small town where everyone is family and knows your business is a lot of pressure and Keith has a more of an out of sight out of mind relationship with his step-mom. They both have fairly valid reasons for their behaviours, even it means they are rather not on the same track when it comes to each other.
I liked that Greg didn’t just “get over” his issues and that he was afraid of going backward should he start down the road. Would sex lead to partying to drugs, to alcohol? While perhaps illogical, I always try to remember, these are 19-year-old kids. It was nice to see Keith change his perceptions as he got to know Greg too. He started with one idea and had to gradually change his plan of “attack” to fit the person he got to know.
It’s not overly angsty, nor is it overly plot driven. It’s two guys, who despite sharing a small dorm room, finally take the time to get to know who the other is, and over a couple of weeks have to decide if they want to make some changes in their lives. I like both young men and when you are in the mood for a nice contemporary read with an easy flowing writing style, I think it’s quite appealing.