College Memory – Bad Romance Edition
by A.J. Truman
Thank you so much for having me on your site! Flat out, I love writing gay new adult. I really wanted to capture all of the emotions that make the college experience so unique. College is such a fun, exciting, scary, turbulent time, especially for gay men, many of whom are coming out or coming out of their shell.
I definitely drew on my college memories to create OUT IN THE OPEN. I was shy and awkward and better at pining after guys like Preston rather than actually talking to them. However, I did not have sex in public places with a megahot closeted fratboy, like the main character Ethan does in the book. (Which you should read!) (It’s really good!) (Okay, enough promo)
My routine at parties was to grab something alcoholic to drink immediately and then scout the location for other gay guys to flirt with. As you can imagine, 99% of the time, this backfired on me. But one time, I almost succeeded. I saw this cute guy by the fireplace – a little bit taller than me, short brown hair, nice smile. I went up to him and started chatting. Luckily, this was before the age of smartphones, so I wasn’t able to stare at my phone during social gatherings. I had to be social.
He was a sweet guy, a music major, and to my surprise, he wanted to keep talking to me. What? Seriously? I never got this far! I was so nervous – okay, what do I now? what do I say? – so nervous that I kept taking sips of my jungle juice. A lot of sips.
I mean, a lot of sips.
By the end of night, any semblance of witty repartee I had dissolved into drunken rambling. I spewed out a mini-rant about how hard it is to meet decent guys at this school while meeting an actual decent guy. I had to lie down on a couch because I couldn’t stand up. Someone brought me water to sober me up. I remember thinking that I was still flirting with him, that I still had a chance.
He walked me back to my dorm. This is going well, I thought. A lovely, moonlit stroll through campus. Well, he was strolling. I was stumbling around. I may have fallen into a bush. When he dropped me off, he extended his arm for a handshake. I thought I still had a chance. This is something we’d laugh about, right?
Naturally, I never heard from him again. A few weeks later, I saw him around campus. He was with some of his friends. I wasn’t sure if I should wave or say hi, or just take the hint. Maybe he was waiting for me to call him. As soon as we made eye contact, he twisted right back around to his friends. He was like a figure skater doing one of those fancy triple axel spins. I thought I felt a breeze that’s how fast he moved to avoid me.
Okay then. I felt down for the rest of the day – until I found out about another party that night. I would get over this guy one sip of jungle juice (well, many sips) at a time.
About Out in the Open
Libraries are meant for studying – not sex
College sophomore Ethan Follett never says what’s on his mind and never wants to rock the boat. After a high school social life spent anonymous and alone, things are finally falling into place for him. He’s found a group of friends just as studious as he, and is on track for a promising legal career. Out in the open, things couldn’t be better, but secretly Ethan yearns for some real excitement in his life.
He finds it in cocky fratboy Greg Sanderson, who challenges every rigid, preconceived notion Ethan lives by. Soon, their sparring relationship turns sexual, and these enemies-with-benefits get their freak on all over campus. Yet the more Ethan comes out of his shell, the more Greg retreats into his, working overtime to keep his ladies man public persona intact. As the sex gets hotter, and they get closer to getting caught, one part of their arrangement can’t stay hidden any longer: love.
An Excerpt from Out in the Open
“I was not expecting that back in class, Ethan.” Greg took a step closer. Even in this unforgiving fluorescent light, his skin still glowed with the last gasp of a summer tan. “I didn’t think you would actually do that.”
Ethan noticed the slightest hint of a smile crack his face. “You kept egging me on, but I’m sorry. It was wrong.”
“Yes. It was very wrong. You are a sex fiend.”
“No, I’m not,” Ethan said. “If you didn’t like it, you should’ve stopped me.”
“Who said I didn’t like it?”
Ethan froze. He remained nervous, but now for a completely different reason. “You liked it?”
“It was actually…” Greg itched the back of his head, and his shirt hiked up, revealing an inch of tight flesh. “It was kinda hot.”
“You didn’t think so? I saw you getting into it.”
“That’s only because…” Ethan didn’t know how to finish that sentence. “I was in shock, and I only did it to shut you up.”
“Oh, you shut me up alright,” Greg said, flushing with color.
“It won’t happen again. Especially not in the middle of class.”
“That was the hottest part, though.”
“No, it wasn’t. We could’ve been caught any moment!” Ethan realized his whisper was well above acceptable library levels.
“I know.” Greg raised his eyebrows. “I was so hard. I haven’t been that turned on in a long time.”
Ethan peered down at Greg’s crotch, and he still seemed turn on. Ethan didn’t understand it. He and Greg seemed to be on different wavelengths about this. Maybe it was because, if they had gotten caught, Ethan would’ve been the one to receive all the scolding. Greg could’ve claimed innocent victim.
“You enjoyed it? Doing that in public?” Ethan asked. “Isn’t that illegal?”
“Probably. You’re the wannabe lawyer.” Greg took another step toward Ethan, and this time, he caught Ethan taking another glimpse of his downstairs area. “Looks like you enjoyed it, too.”
Greg nodded at Ethan’s crotch, and he tried to conceal the bulge in his pants. His teeth wouldn’t stop chattering, and now goose bumps crawled across his arms. The way Greg looked at him, with no fear, no reservations, made Ethan’s bottom half stand more at attention.
“Maybe we should do it again,” Greg said.
About A.J. Truman
A.J. Truman remembers his college days like it was yesterday, even though it was definitely not yesterday. He writes books with humor, heart, and hot guys. What else does a story need? His debut novel OUT IN THE OPEN was released in September. He loves spending time with his pets and his partner and writing on his sun porch.
A.J. has graciously offered up an eBook copy of Out in the Open to one lucky winner!! The giveaway starts now and ends October 26, 2014 at 11:59 p.m. To enter, just click the link below!
Please be aware that the only way to enter the giveaway is to click the Rafflecopter link above. Any comments on this post will not count towards entering the giveaway, except to verify your Rafflecopter entry.
Don’t forget to check out Heather C’s review of Out in the Open to see what she thought of it!