Review: Out in the Open by A.J. Truman

Libraries are meant for studying – not sex

College sophomore Ethan Follett never says what’s on his mind and never wants to rock the boat. After a high school social life spent anonymous and alone, things are finally falling into place for him. He’s found a group of friends just as studious as he, and is on track for a promising legal career. Out in the open, things couldn’t be better, but secretly Ethan yearns for some real excitement in his life.

He finds it in cocky fratboy Greg Sanderson, who challenges every rigid, preconceived notion Ethan lives by. Soon, their sparring relationship turns sexual, and these enemies-with-benefits get their freak on all over campus. Yet the more Ethan comes out of his shell, the more Greg retreats into his, working overtime to keep his ladies man public persona intact. As the sex gets hotter, and they get closer to getting caught, one part of their arrangement can’t stay hidden any longer: love.

OUT IN THE OPEN is a M/M new adult romance filled with humor, heart, and hot guys. The book is intended for audiences 18+ as it contains explicit sex and language.

When the request for this book came in I wanted so badly to jump on it. This book sounded really good based on the blurb. It also sounded like my type of romance. I held off though because I usually choke and develop writer's block when I have to write a review, even if it's for a book I love. But the day this went on sale I snatched it up. Boy, am I glad I did.

This is a play on the jock & geek trope. This new author, A.J. Truman, put a slightly different spin on it and I think he was very successful. We have Greg, the partying Frat boy and Ethan, his out of the closet, yet shy and studious classmate. They end up sharing the back row of a Constitutional Law class and the sparks fly. But NOT in a good way. They clash and the snarky banter begins.

The first few chapters were a tad slow for me. Not to the point of wanting to quit but I was worried that it wouldn't get better. As the next chapters unfolded it did get better. Much better. Then I realized that I needed those beginning chapters. They were the foundation to the relationship that I now had with Greg, Ethan and their friends. Without those first few chapters I'd be using this space to bitch about lack of character development and needing more background. The beginning is a tad sluggish but don't be fooled, the action picks up quickly.

Speaking of action, this book has some action in it. Good action. Really good action! In public places. Just out of sight. I don't want to go in detail but I will tell you the sexy times are in good supply and smoking hot!

The two MCs are easy to like, though at times I did get angry with Greg. He always managed to redeem himself quickly though and I never stopped rooting for him to do the right thing. The secondary characters are mostly unique and definitely added dimension to the story. Perhaps one or two were a bit clichéd and predictable in their actions, but only if I'm really trying to find fault.

There were a few niggles and such that I'll point out. There's an inconsistency or two with some of the descriptions. Nothing major but if I picked up on them you will too. There was perhaps one minor timeline issue that I picked up on, though it could have been my interpretation. I kept going and didn't let it pull me out of the story because it was insignificant and irrelevant. I also remember either a missing or extra word once or twice but again nothing major and nothing too distracting.

Overall, I really enjoyed this author's first book and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series. If a contemporary romance between a cocky frat boy and a shy law school student sounds intriguing, I highly recommend Out in the Open!

Find more info on Goodreads.

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