March 14, 2012

Review: Academic Pursuits by Lou Harper

Source: we received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

I became familiar with Lou Harper’s work after reading the Winter Warmers anthology. I loved her novella and I've been enjoying her stories ever since. Academic Pursuits is another charming and fun novella that made me smile when I read it.

Our main protagonist is Jamie Brennan. He is enjoying college life immensely and his main pastime is seducing straight boys, in fact, he is so good at it, that straight guys actually approach him to find out if they are going through an identity crisis, or just want to experiment and get it out of their systems.
Because everyone seem to like him, Jamie is surprised when ruggedly handsome and lumberjack impersonator, Roger Hunt, gives him the evil eye every time they cross paths. Jamie feels attracted to Roger, but he's also annoyed and angry at him, so he does his best to avoid him. But there’s more to Roger than meets the eye, thus the question is will they be able to see past their preconceived notions and prejudices and actually get to know who they really are? Will Jamie be able to settle down?

This was a light and fun novella and I was surprised by how much I liked it considering that the romance isn’t really its main focus. It’s the story of a young man enjoying life as a college student, misbehaving and trying to push some boundaries. He comes from a rich family and he’s trying to be a bit of a rebel. Most of the story is about his sexcapades and Roger is a romantic interest but not really a main character. Jamie has a blasé take on sex and when he says that he can separate sex from love, he actually means it and does it. This is not a tortured guy who uses sex as an escape from his troubled soul. He enjoys sex and doesn’t make excuses about it.

Another pleasant surprise was Jamie’s best friend, Jo. It’s unusual to find female characters with such prominent roles in m/m romance, and especially those portrayed under a positive light, so I was glad that she was one of the main characters. They have a tight relationship full of trust and banter and it was an accurate representation of friendship. She does end up falling under the sidekick label, she helps him find love and is a bit clumsy in the love department, but overall I liked her.

The romance was a bit lacking, but there are some romantic moments and a happy ending that’s more of a happy beginning than anything else. I admit that I don’t know if these characters will grow old together, but I’m sure that regardless of how long their relationship last, they will have fun and will be happy with each other.

If you read this book thinking that you will get the greatest romance story ever written, then you will be disappointed. If you read it thinking that you will spend a couple of fun and light moments in company of a very likeable character, then you will love it. 

Review by Brie
Grade: 4
Sensuality: McSteamy


Jamie Brennan is putting “cad” back into academia!  

The son of a well-to-do family and blessed with both dark good looks and buckets of confidence, Jamie lives for the chase. He has a well-deserved reputation around college as a seducer of straight frat boys. No man is off-limits to Jamie—he’s happy to help fellow gay students out of the closet, too. He even has lustful designs on his oblivious English professor, so it’s no surprise that his amorous pursuits often land him in sticky situations.  

There's just one flaw in Jamie's perfect world—Roger Hunt. The hunky grad student, who dresses more like a lumberjack than the talented artist he is, gives Jamie hostile looks every time their paths cross. Jamie tries to ignore Roger, but they can't seem to stop running into each other, and Jamie's beginning to wonder if it’s more than chance that continues to steer them down the same halls...

Amber Quill Press, LLC. January 29, 2012.


  1. Thanks for reviewing MM romances. It's nice that there are all sorts of options for romance readers :)

    1. I love m/m romances, in fact, I'm reviewing another one tomorrow, so stop by again if you want.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. Awww, a male/male romance! I've only been lucky enough to read one or two but the ones I have read have made me SO happy because of how well they were done. I may have to add this one to my TBR!

    I'm glad you found it enjoyable and fun. It sounds like a quick, good read that I'd enjoy. :)

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

    1. Which ones have you read!? Good to know you enjoy them now I have one more person to talk about them with ;-)

      This one is very quick, I read it in one sitting so if you don't have much time this one is a good choice.

  3. I still have yet to read a m/m romance. I'm hoping to give it a try but I'm not usually a fan of novellas.


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The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.