Aug 28, 2014

ARC REVIEW: CAMPUS CRAVINGS by KyAnn Waters, Whitley Gray, Cassandra Carr, Mia Downing, Annabeth Albert, Dalton Diaz, Bianca Sommer, Sara York, L.A. Witt

Buy The Book:
MM Contemporary Romance

Summary on Goodreads:

Welcome to Cathia University, where school is in session! Nine of today's hottest gay romance authors have crafted brand-new interrelated novellas celebrating everything wonderful about college, with over 200,000 words featuring sophisticated professors, sexy teaching assistants, ambitious grad students, and spirited undergraduates, all looking for the same thing: an A+ in true love.

Annabeth Albert: Winning Bracket 
Cassandra Carr: The Eloquent Jock
Dalton Diaz: Lesson Learned
Mia Downing: Switching Leads
Whitley Gray: Artistic Endeavor
Bianca Sommerland: Solid Education
KyAnn Waters: Private Lessons
LA Witt: Did Somebody Order a Pizza?
Sara York: The Dust Of Everyday Life


Arc provided via Netgalley in exchange for honest review

First, let's just take a moment (or five) to properly stare at and appreciate the way too hot cover of this book, possibly without drooling all over the place...*_*...*_*...*_*....*Q*....Mission impossible, I know, but who can blame us, right? Damn, who can give me directions to this library, pretty please ;)?

What was I talking again?  Oh right *wipes drool and tries to control her dirty mind*, and now to the actual  review of this mm anthology consisting of 9 collage mm romance stories. To tell you the  truth, I'm not a big fan of short novellas. Most of the time I avoid them, because usually, if they are good, they always leave me wanting for more, as if I'm missing a lot of pages, and that is why I prefer full-length books, but the mm fangirl inside me just couldn't resist this sexy cover and the promising blurb. "She" was in need of her daily dose of mm love and an arc of 660 pages seemed as more than enough to satisfy her cravings  and in the end- it sure did.

The plot of every novella takes place or has some sort of connection with Cathia University featuring a lot of interesting characters from professors to students etc., some of which make appearance in other featured stories, but all of them can be read as standalones. Every story explores and celebrates mm love; all the good and bad stuff which follow it- coming of age, homosexuality, coming out of closet, collage, first kiss, first love, first breakup, sexuality, death etc. Even though the stories felt  from time to time as too good to be true and fairy-tale-alike,  I enjoyed, if not loved most of them, but there were also a few that didn't quite rock my world, so that's why I'm going to rate each of them as a standalone. Every story counts between 50-70 pages.

1st story: KyAnn Waters: Private Lessons 
Blurb: Ryan Kane could lose his scholarship and his position on the pitch. Jake Finely offers to help. Only Ryan and Jake discover their private lessons have more to do with sex ed than Business Ethics. When a tenured professor offers Ryan an indecent proposal to make the grade, will he choose soccer or Jake?

                                                                            My Rating: 3 stars

The 1st story features a popular, deeply in the closet football player Ryan & Jake, one of the assistants on Cathia University. Forbidden fruit tastes always the best, right? Well, not so much...The beginning felt shaky- the dialogues seemed too fictional and not natural enough. I thought that Jake is too passive in their relationship at first. It felt that he was more into it and has much more at stake than Ryan. I didn't feel that strong connection between them in the beginning, and that was the biggest problem for me, but the story did become better, later on.

                                                  2nd story: The Dust of Everyday Life by Sara York
Blurb: Cole only has the courage to lust after the swim team from afar. When Seever asks to share a table at the packed coffee house where Cole is studying, he’s sure it’s a joke. But after one touch and one scorching kiss, Cole thinks the chance meet could lead to something with substance.

 My rating: 2.5 stars

The 2nd story is focused on a hot musician & bend member Cole & his even hotter half, Seever, a swimmer. Hm, I think I liked this story the least. It was just too sweet and cheesy for my reading preferences.

3d story: The Eloquent Jock by Cassandra Carr
Blurb: Hockey jock and English Lit major Brendan knows he’s gay, but hasn’t come out to anyone, fearing a possible backlash. Then he’s tapped to be a TA for a hot professor and feels an immediate connection. Now he must decide how much he’s willing to risk to score the ultimate goal.
My rating: 4 stars

The 3d story is focused on a collage professor and a famous writer Scott & his new TA in creative writing class,  Brendon. Oh yes, this is how the forbidden fruit theme is written! The chemistry, the tension, the whole we-need-to-stay-away-from-each-other-but-I-want--you-so-bad-so-fuck-it drama. Deeply emotional & way too hot. Loved it! Definitely one of my favorites in this anthology.

4th story: Switching Leads by Mia Downing
Blurb: Coach John Graham needs a new assistant for Cathia U's equestrian team. The last person he expects to get the job walks into the barn and stops his heart. How is he supposed to focus on the team when his ex-lover—sexy horse trainer Finn Parker—wants back into his life…and into his bed?

My Rating: 4.5 stars

This story is focused on two ex Cathia's students and ex boyfriends who are now working there together- John, the coach of the riding team and Finn, his new assistant. Things between John and Finn ended pretty badly the last time they saw each other. They haven't spoken to each other in years, but destiny doesn't care. She is a vindictive bitch who puts them in the same room together after years of holding grudge. Vindictive bitch or a Cupid in disguise? It remains to be seen. The story was very emotional and touching. It was a love-hate-love type of relationship and don't we all have a weak spot for those?

5th story: Solid Education by Bianca Sommerland
Blurb: Gage Tackett comes off as a bad boy—detached and maybe a little dangerous. Definitely not Vet Sciences Professor Derek Paulson’s type. When Gage arrives at Derek’s veterinary clinic with a frostbitten stray dog, Derek realizes his most difficult student has a few things to teach him. Things he’s more than willing to learn.

My Rating: 5 I-want-you-too-be-a-full-length-novel stars

This is my ultimate favorite story of this anthology. It is focused on one of Cathia's porfessors and part time vets Derek & Gage, one of his students who is also an ex-military and then we have a big bonus- their third, but as equally as important and adorable member Matty, the super cute German shepherd. Derek and Gage are totally opposite from each other. You would never think that those type of people could ever like each other romantically. Derek seems as a intelligent, but closed-off and too serious for his age guy while Gage is cocky, funny and laid-back. Among everything, both of them also have big trust issues when it comes to relationships, but they do have one thing in common which could be stronger than everything else: their love for animals. Who could resist a cute puppy? Not me. Loved this story!

6th story: Did Somebody Order a Pizza? by L.A. Witt
Blurb: Paul Switzer has been miserable ever since his childhood love, Cory Bowman, chose a fraternity over him. When a pizza delivery to the frat house lands the exes face to face for the first time in eighteen months, the wound is reopened... and so are Paul's feelings for the only man he's ever loved.

My rating: 3 stars

This story is focused on two frat boys and ex boyfriends Paul & Cory. I kind of liked and kind of not liked this story. I didn't like it mostly, because I wasn't the biggest fan of Cory and that's why I wasn't happy how the things between them solved in the end. Yes, he did kind of redeem himself in the end, but it wasn't good enough for me. If I were Paul, I doubt, that I could have forgiven him so easily after everything that happened.

7th story: Winning Bracket by Annabeth Albert
Blurb: Metrics and tournament brackets—who knew they were sexy? When competing dorm advisors Edwin and Ollie bet on a basketball tournament, neither expects he’s risking his heart. As the challenge becomes a hot bedroom battle to avoid real feelings, the two “frenemies” must change their definitions of losing to win a shot at lasting love.

My rating: 5 stars

Ok, this is my 2nd ultimate favorite story of the anthology :)). It is focused on Ollie & Edwin, two RA's on the dorm of Cathia University. This was a friends to lovers type of mm romance which I devoured in a second. I usually prefer my mcs to be one of those tough bad-asses, but Ollie & Edwin, even though totally opposite from that, were so funny, sweet and adorable together. And yes- super hot!

8th story: Artistic Endeavor by Whitley Gray
Blurb: When friends ask one-night stand connoisseur Michael Esteban to introduce shy virgin Cobey Miller to the joys of sex, Michael balks—lust is his thing, not teaching. But Cobey’s problem meeting men fuels Michael’s decision to help Cobey become a gay-sex-loving guy. It’ll all be fun and games—unless someone falls in love.

My Rating: 4 stars

This story is about Michael, a painter who is also a have-them-and-leave-them type of a guy & Cobey, a shy, in the closet, university professor in need of popping his cherry. At the beginning of the story, when I got some idea what it's going to be about, I really thought that I wasn't going to like it. I mean: a blind date, a man-slut & virgin all in one? Sounded too cheesy for me to tell you the truth, but Michel & Cobey managed to win me over with their emotions, chemistry and slow building relationship.

9th story: Lesson Learned by Dalton Diaz
Blurb: Adam Warren is counting down the days until he can put “Professor” next to his name—and his disastrous past with Tyler Ford behind him. When a fluke puts Tyler in Adam’s class, the graduate assistant faces some hard choices while Tyler faces an uphill battle for a second chance at first love.

My Rating: 3.5 stars

This last story is focused on Adam, a fill--in professor on Cathia University & Tyler, one of his students and ex boyfriends. First true love is always the hardest to forget, isn't it? This is a story about that type of love followed by a big break-up, but when life gives you a  second chance, can you forgive and forget all the bad stuff and move on? The story was fast-paced, sweet and emotional. 

All in all, I really enjoyed this mm romance anthology. It took me three days to read 660 pages-that says it all. Recommended to every mm romance lover in need of shorter, fast-paced, funny, emotional, sexy & drama-free mm stories! 



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  2. See now. If our library rocked some of that when I was in college I might have been more inclined to spend some quality time there. Goodness. I have a few of those ladies on my tbr pile. Bianca is one I can't wait to read more from :)

    1. Ditto! :D This is the 1st time I read a novella by her, but it definitely won't be the last.
      I'm still eagerly waiting for you to dive in this genre Anna *eyebrow wiggle* ;).

      Thanks for stopping by!

    2. LOL it'll happen one day I'm sure. I have one on my review list so I'm working my way there :D


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