Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fever Pitch by Heidi Cullinan

Title: Fever Pitch
Author: Heidi Cullinan
My Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Romance (m/m)
Series: Love Lessons #2
Main Characters: Giles and Aaron
Release Date: September 2014
Publisher: Samhain
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot

Story Overview:
Sometimes you have to play love by ear.

Aaron Seavers is a pathetic mess, and he knows it. He lives in terror of incurring his father’s wrath and disappointing his mother, and he can’t stop dithering about where to go to college—with fall term only weeks away. Ditched by a friend at a miserable summer farewell party, all he can do is get drunk in the laundry room and regret he was ever born. Until a geeky-cute classmate lifts his spirits, leaving him confident of two things: his sexual orientation, and where he’s headed to school.

Giles Mulder can’t wait to get the hell out of Oak Grove, Minnesota, and off to college, where he plans to play his violin and figure out what he wants to be when he grows up. But when Aaron appears on campus, memories of hometown hazing threaten what he’d hoped would be his haven. As the semester wears on, their attraction crescendos from double-cautious to a rich, swelling chord. But if more than one set of controlling parents have their way, the music of their love could come to a shattering end. 

Warning: Contains showmances, bad parenting, Walter Lucas, and a cappella.

My Review:
I had a chance to get this book from the publisher for review and passed up on it because I wasn't so sure about the whole music theme. Then all the reviews started coming in and I had to have it because everyone was raving about it. And to be honest, I loved the first book in the series so I don't know why I didn't jump on this one besides an overpacked review schedule. 

And just so you know up front...yes, the hype was right. This book is excellent!

The book starts with the end of high school with Giles and Aaron. Giles was the flaming gay kid that was bullied all through the point of repeat hospitalizations. So he is thrilled about going off to college where people are more open minded, but his best friend, Mina, talks him into going to one final party in their hometown. There he runs into Aaron. Aaron is a new kid, but he's managed a level of popularity just because he's good looking and doesn't make waves. He's also deeply closeted and unsure about every single thing in his life. His parents make the decisions for him with an iron fist and that's left him unable to stand up for what he wants. Right now his main concern is college and finding a plan that will satisfy his very demanding father. The two guys have a single night together and then things are misunderstood between them. But it does do two things...that night lets Aaron know that yes, he is most definitely gay; and he plans to go to the same college as Aaron. 

And that's when the real journey begins. And this book is a journey. It's about college and discovery and for these guys...learning to stand on their own and make their own connections and discoveries about themselves and others. Nothing is easy for anyone in this book. Giles has spent his life hiding in the shadows from the bullies. Aaron has spent his life living for his parents. And those are just the main two characters, but this book is rich with other characters, just as tormented and lost, making their own discoveries. It's an amazing book and as a mother of a college-age boy, I just wanted to round them all up and protect them from the realities of a harsh world. But that's kind of the point...they are learning how to stand up for themselves for the first time in their lives. 

There are so many layers to this book...the harsh realities of the GLBT life; making adult decisions; finding a support network; seeing when others need a lift up; standing up for what you believe in. But it's all set to a world filled with acapella music that I loved. If ever a book needed to come with a soundtrack, I wished this one did, but Heidi Cullinan did an amazing job describing the score and the sounds and the magic that Aaron could create with his music. The book swept me away and I immediately wanted to reread the entire book when I reached the last page. 

I hope that Samhain releases this one in print like they did the first book in the series. This is a series I want on my print keeper shelf. And there's another book coming. I'm crossing my fingers that it's about Baz and Elijah, although I'm not sure my heart can take the angst that will come with their story. Both these heart bleeds for them. Just like it did for all of them in this book. Heidi Cullinan stole my heart with these characters. Such an amazing book!

I highly, HIGHLY recommend it!! Oh, and read book #1 too...just because it's really good too. But they both work as stand-alones.

Edited to add...Heidi Cullinan just tweeted me to let me know there is a playlist...OMG, yay! You can find it here...

1 comment:

Crissy Morris said...

This is one of my all time favorite books ever. I fell in love all over Giles and Aaron. It was a slow build for me but once they hit, man did they hit...*sigh* I love them :)