Review: A Fine Bromance by Christopher Hawthorne Moss

When Robby starts his senior year in high school, he meets the new boy, Andy. Although Robby has never been physically attracted to anyone, he instinctively feels comfortable around Andy. As they get to know each other better, Robby realizes Andy is an outsider just like him, and harassment at the hands of the school’s bad boys makes it clear that Andy is a transboy.

When Robby’s eccentric Aunt Ivy finds some of her sentimental treasures missing, the boys put on their sleuthing hats to solve the mystery.

Robby cannot figure out what is wrong with him. He thought by his senior year he would know if he was gay, bi, or straight, but nothing. His body just doesn’t seem to want to wake up. Nothing he tries seems to work and he is feeling like an outcast. When he meets Andy on Andy’s first day of school, he finds the boy really interesting, and invites him into his life, enjoying his company, and standing in the way of Andy and the school bullies. This distracts him from the question of his sexuality for a little while, and he is content to get to know his new friend. It isn’t until a few weeks later that the bullying taunts start indicating that Andy is trans, and Robby realises that Andy has been hiding a secret. Undeterred by this fact, their friendship strengthens, and they start spending a lot of time together, at Robbie’s Aunt’s house.

I gotta say, I liked both Robby and Andy. Their characters were easy going, and they seemed to fit together really well. They were both able to open up to each other in an easy way, especially once Andy realises Robby is not going to judge him, and their friendship strengthening over time.

In this friendship story, attraction was touched on, but not really explored in depth. There was something missing from how this relationship would play out. It felt incomplete, and the story seemed to centre around the “mystery” of Aunt Ivy’s things going missing. I wanted their relationship to be pushed just that little more into the depth of emotion required for things to feel solid with them. There was a whisper of it, and I think the author tried to convey it, but it just missed it for me.

Let’s talk about the Mystery. It made the story drag. I actually didn’t like it’s placement as a sub plot. I thought that it could have been scrapped altogether in place of something else. Someone younger, or less into crime fiction may possibly enjoy it better than me. I do know I used to love this sort of thing when I was a kid, so it may appeal more to a younger audience, except for the fact that there is adult language. For me, I was more interested in how Robby and Andy would navigate their desire for a relationship.

The epilogue was a bit of fun, and the explanation at the end about the epilogue was also nice. Aunt Ivy’s treasures would have been something I was obsessed with when I was younger. My favourite childhood memories with my Grandmother was going to antique shops with her and finding all manner of ancient furniture and knick-knacks. I can relate to why Robby loved being among all those old things.

This is recommended for those who enjoy romance at a much slower pace, and as a sub-plot to friendship.

An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest opinion

Find on Harmony Ink Press or Goodreads!

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