Mark Cooper versus America

Mark Cooper versus America - Lisa Henry, J.A. Rock 4.5 stars

Bunnies and meerkats and bears, oh my!

Seriously, this book has all of that. I melted the first time Deacon thinks as Mark of an angry bunny. It's so accurate. Mark is still new to America, and he's just started college. Deacon is the far more mature, old, wiser...blah. He's still in college too, so the potential for growth with each of this characters is high. And Lisa Henry meets that bar. Each guy grows as a person and a partner, and they have the opportunity to explore their sexual desires in new ways. This isn't a story about ""finding your gay""; these guys are secure in their sexual identities. What they learn is individual kinks. And oh boy is that some hawtness. It feels spoilery to share, but suffice to say, these were a touch out of the norm and completely well-done. There was a believable level of desire mixed with uncertainty and exploration.

There are some outside factors pressing in on them individually and as a couple. While I wasn't much a fan of the Alpha Delts and Mark's pledge process, I was glad the other potential OTT elements were contained. When I realized the challenges Deacon faced with his family, I was certain there would be some wild ridiculous happenings with resentment, infidelity, and who knows what else. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the story stayed focused on the relationship between Deacon and Mark with the other parts working themselves out in natural and comfortable ways.

While their youth makes me feel this is a HFN rather than HEA, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Great characters and writing. I'd enjoy a sequel in this world or even with these two guys.