Title: There Has to Be a Reason
Author: Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Characters: Dave, Noel
Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance
Dave is enjoying his junior year at a big New England university, even if none of his relationships have been especially satisfying. He plans to hang around with his best friend Joe and focus on his studies until he graduates, and then he’ll figure out the rest.
Meeting Noel changes his plans.
Noel is strikingly beautiful and unlike anyone Dave knows. Something about Noel draws Dave to him—an attraction Dave doesn’t feel ready to label. And even if he was, why would Noel be interested in Dave? And what about Joe? He hates Noel and everything he represents, and he might hate Dave if he finds out about Dave’s secret desires. So Dave will have to keep those feelings hidden—along with his relationship with Noel.
But Noel has fought too hard for his identity to be Dave’s dirty secret. Will Dave tell the truth and risk the life he’s always known… or live a lie and risk losing the love of his life?
There Has to Be a Reason is story about a young man who is coming to terms with his sexuality. This coming of age story is told entirely through Dave’s eyes giving us the full perspective of how he feels and how much his character continues to evolve throughout the story.
Dave considers himself a jock. He is well-liked, has good friends and is in the middle of his junior year in college. When he meets a distressed Noel, Dave is immediately facsinated by him. Dave is taken by Noel’s beauty and obvious sensitive side and though they are strangers, Dave cannot get his mind off of him.
Even when Dave is with his girlfriend/non-girlfriend all Dave can do is think about Noel…especially when he and his wannabee girlfriend interact sexually. These sexual feelings are new to Dave and confuses him so much, Dave becomes determined to become friends with Noel to see if the attraction he feels for him is a true one. As the two men get to know one another, Dave is forced to confront his homosexual feelings and his fears of what will happen if and when he comes out of the closet.
I thought Dave was basically a good person. His fear of coming out of justifiable and I understood some of his hesitation of being honest both with himself and others about sexuality and his relationship with Noel. I thought Dave was a little dense at times. This frustrated me because time and time again his roommate and best friend constantly asks him if there was something going on between him and Noel. Instead of coming clean, Dave continues to deny, deny and deny his feelings and attraction towards Noel, causing Noel to feel like he is living a lie and hurting him. This drove me crazy and it’s because of this that I began to not care for Dave as much and hoped that Noel would leave him and find someone who was both proud to be with him and appreciated him. It’s because of Dave’s denial of both his sexuality and of Noel that I thought their romance became stilted and one-sided.
I know there will be many readers who will love Dave and this story. Ms. McMurray knows how to write a solid romance with interesting characters. If you like Coming of Age stories and enjoy this author’s other books then this is definitely a book you should check out!
Reviewed By: Gabbi
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