Title: Ivory Towers, Book 1: Freshman: Uncut
Author: Daisy Harris
Publisher: Total-E Bound
Characters: Angel Cruz, Shane
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance, Series
Book One in the Ivory Towers series.
Sparks fly between jaded film TA, Shane, and tough-acting freshman, Angel. Shane gives Angel the sex he craves, but struggles to be the man he needs.
Shane’s too old for Angel. Even if Angel weren’t a freshman in Shane’s Intro to Film class, the kid would be too closeted, too confused, too darn changeable and needy. But when Shane sees the pain lurking behind Angel’s tough exterior, he can’t help but reach out to him and give in to the desire in those scared, brown eyes.
Pacific Rim University may as well be another planet from the Oakland neighbourhood where Angel grew up. Angel’s fought all his life to get respect, and to stay hard in the eyes of his friends back home. Always the weird kid, Angel was the guy who never hooked up with girls. Meeting his very sexy, very male Film TA, Angel starts to understand why. He refuses to admit he’s gay, but he lives for every one of Shane’s smiles.
When Shane takes Angel to task for his insolent attitude, Angel can’t resist pushing his TA further. He wants Shane to show him, force him, make him accept all the feelings battling around in his mind and his body. But Angel doesn’t just need sex. He needs a man who can help him navigate the new and very raw landscape of his feelings.
I’ve read several books by Daisy Harris and I’ve liked every one of them. Her series, Men of Holsum College, is one of my favorites. She has a knack of writing college students quite well and her heroes are always interesting, unique men.
After I read this book, I checked out her website and noticed that this will be a four book series. I’m glad because in this first installment, we are really just getting to know the main characters Angel and Shane. The book also ends with a HFN ending because their relationship IS so new and they have a lot of growing they need to do both as individuals, as well as together.
Both heroes are likeable, interesting men. Shane is a TA who immediately becomes captivated with Angel, a new freshman in class. Shane is a more lighthearted character, but he also has a very serious side to him. He’s conflicted because Angel is six years his junior and although Angel puts out the ‘tough guy’ vibe, Shane immediately sees through his façade and sees Angel for the innocent, vulnerable man he is inside.
Because Angel isn’t one to talk about his feelings or much less act on them, Shane makes mistakes when it comes to pursuing Angel. Angel can be gruff, moody and unpredictable, so he keeps Shane on his toes throughout the book. What I liked about this was how fascinated both Angel and Shane are of each other (despite themselves) and how both men are willing to look past the side they show others and see who they really are on the inside.
Although the story is told in 3rd person, Angel was still a mystery to me. He comes from a poor home and he’s obviously starved for love and attention. He’s had to put up this tough guy façade to keep others from bullying him and because of it, I think he’s conflicted about who he really is. I really liked him, but he’s a quiet one. He jumps to conclusions and it’s very apparent that he’s just 18 because he is a little immature at times. I’m anxious to see his character grow and flourish as the series progresses. I’m also anxious to see these two men really start to communicate with each other. It will be interesting to watch Shane and Angel’s relationship grow stronger and hopefully they’ll find a way to work through their issues to be together.
Fans of Ms. Harris will really enjoy this book as much as I did. I’m definitely looking forward to the next installment to the series.
Reviewed By: Gabbi