Tag Team Review: Brandon Mills versus The V-Card by Lisa Henry & J.A. Rock

Smart, shy Prescott sophomore Brandon Mills is working hard to overcome his troubled past and be normal. With the help of his friends Mark and Deacon, and his brothers at Phi Sigma Kappa, he’s slowly coming out of his shell. But when he accidentally drenches a freshman in orange soda, he faces something he’s not ready for: a boy crushing on him. 

Alex Kekoa pledges Phi Sig because it has everything he wants: a house full of nerds who won’t tease him for being smart, a dog, and Brandon Mills. Brandon is just the type of guy Alex needs to help fulfill his college ambition: losing his virginity. Except Alex doesn’t know that Brandon can’t stand to touch or be touched. 

When Alex and Brandon are drafted onto the Phi Sig Academic Challenge team, their mutual attraction grows. If there’s anyone who can help Brandon discover it feels good to touch and kiss, maybe it’s klutzy Alex with his cute glasses and his dinosaur obsession. But as the competition--and their relationship--heats up, Alex’s determination not to die a virgin clashes with Brandon’s vow of lifelong celibacy, forcing them to examine what’s truly important to each of them about love.

So Downton and I tag teamed this review. Lorix aka Downton gave it 5 Hearts and I gave it 4 hence the 4.5 you see above. Needless to say, we both enjoyed the BeCheezus out of it and are eager for more of this series. Myself I'm hoping for a novella that stuffed to the gills with kinky Mark and Deacon and truckload of MANTIES. 

Oh god I need the next book now. Please tell me there's a next book. Please. 
(Also, I know this book was about Brandon, but I still adore Mark & Deacon).

It feels like I've waited forever for this book. In fact, I'd forgotten how much I love Mark - it doesn't sound good does it, the book's about Brandon and I keep writing about Mark. Don't worry though, the whole thing is great, the Brandon storyline is almost a complete contrast to the Mark one from book 1, but it was no less brilliant.

Great characters are at the heart of this story, and it doesn't just stop with the MC's - Blake is one of the most wonderful secondary characters I've ever read. I'd take him home with me if I could. If we all had friends like him the world would be a happy place!

Brandon and Alex - GAH! A far cry from the in-your-face Mark we met in book one, both of these characters are still adorable. They're not sad saps, they can be quirky and they make for a brilliant story. I laughed out loud several times, especially at Alex. He is gorgeous.

Written well and with sensitivity, this book touches on some very horrible issues (ones that were mentioned in book 1). Without becoming melodramatic it explores the ways in which gestures, actions and reactions can differ from person to person and experience to experience. It's a really great story.

My only complaint is I've not had enough of any of these characters and I hope there are plans for more in this series. I may have to re-read Mark Cooper V... soon.

I've been thinking about this book ALOT! 

Back-n-forth like a creeper.
And I keep coming back to 3 main points.

First, I asked myself what I liked about it. Easy. Mark. And Blake. Hells Bells, my status updates alone will attest to that. Not a single one doesn't involve them. Not one! Then the thought creeps in… But, it's Brandon's book, isn't it? Me thinks Mark stole Brandon's thunder which, when you think about it, is reflective of their relationship. Which brings me to Brandon and Alex.

These authors did a phenomenal job with Brandon's characterization. Brandon has real world issues that don't get fixed overnight that are made worse by his eidetic memory. I saw segment on 60 Minutes recently about a boy who described the downside to having this sort of memory which was exactly Brandon's. He could remember every slight, every unkind word, every negative experience he'd ever had in vivid detail like it just happened and he had nothing as harrowing as what Brandon's been through. What I found most touching about the piece was towards the end they brought in several adults who also had this memory and one of the women told him to think of it as a superpower. It really kind of is and he visibly brightened once she put it that way. I think Brandon needed the slight alteration in his perspective that he got from all of the main players in his life to start his own healing process. However, what I found difficult to believe was him going from having a panic attack at the notion of being touched in any way to having sex in a matter of weeks. I think the book would've been better… Christ on a fucking bike! I can't even believe I'm about to say this… served if they had stuck to frottage and maybe a blow job. Shit. I feel like I just lost some street cred. 

The last thing I keep getting hung up on is the last couple of chapters. I can't decide if they felt rushed or tacked on, but something felt off. 

Nevertheless, I can't bring myself to rate this anything less than 4 stars because it entertained the bejesus out of me as well as gave me a butt load of new sayings.

P.S. Henry, Rock, I'm talking to you. Come closer, please. I'd like to present my case.

Exhibit A:
"Caught a glimpse of lace."


Exhibit B:
"Ooh. Should I bring the-" He leaned over to whisper something in Deacon's ear. Deacon's eyes widened. "Uh, yeah."

You're killin' me, smalls.

Exhibit C:
Be good, or I'll have to get out the-" He whispered something in Mark's ear. "-later." Marks eyebrows went up.

Now you're just being mean. Nobody likes a meanie.

Exhibit D:
Chelsea closed her eyes briefly. "Because I told him he should use the ladies' room whenever he had to go today. It's kind of a… thing we're exploring."

Oy fucking vey! 

The only fair restitution for the psychological damage you've inflicted the way I see it is at least 2 shorts explaining in detailwhat Marcon are up to that's wearing Mark out so AND Blake in some MANTIES. Well, I'd like copious MANTIES sightings in both shorts, but I hate to seem… pushy. That's so gauche.

Both reviews have previously been posted on Goodreads.

Find out more on Goodreads.

1 comment:

  1. I've looked at this book so many times, but bypass every time and buy something else, obviously need to reevaluate!