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Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?
Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.
A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…
…but Warren fell in love with the old one.
I am on a good streak with new to me authors this year. Once again, I am in love with a new author’s work and the way they tell a story. A New Man, caught my eye with the blurb and the mention of marriage as a means to an end. It made me curious enough and curiosity didn’t kill this redhead.
I am more than happy we get both POV’s in this story. It was needed and honestly, it’s something I like in my stories most of the time. With this, you really need to know both Warren and Chad; where they are coming from and where they want to go. We meet Warren first grading blue notebooks on a Friday night waiting for his roommate to get home from his date. We know straight away that Warren is gay, Chad is not and that Warren has a crush on Chad. If only Chad was gay, things would be great because the boys aren’t just roommate’s they are friends and get along rather well. It’s a good thing that after Chad gets home and laments his latest failure at dating the opposite sex that Warren tosses out a hypothesis at Chad who decides he wants to do some scientific data collection for confirmation.
I adore Chad. I have this thing for guys who talk to their dicks in books. Not in an arrogant way, but in a way that makes you laugh and actually “aww” a bit over it because it’s freaking adorable. Chad does it and it cracked me up and I knew I would love being in his head. But his head, while it explains a lot about where he has been and why he never quite had a connection to the girls he dated, Chads head is painful. Painful because they boy is constantly in pain with headaches, sinus pressure and just ugh. The boy hurts and it hurt me that he did.
Warren was my rock through this story as well as Chad’s. He was amazing and steadfast with his feelings and he doesn’t give up. He has integrity in his work, his friendships and his marriage. Ugh. The marriage. Sure, the blurb tells you that these two get married for medical reasons but I was not expecting what I got, at all. It was much more heartbreaking and sweet and just so… Warren and Chad, the whole deal , just so them and they gave me all the right feelings at all the right times. The author knows how to deliver the feels whether it’s the first kiss, data collection, legal documents and weddings and hospitals and just everything. All of it, all the emotions that I needed were present and made me so invested in the boys and their story.
The story has a lot of details from Chad’s fencing, to Warren’s lab research along with medical terms and procedures thrown in, and I am a reader who is thankful for that. Sure, I had to look up some of the fencing names or moves to get a good grasp on what was happening but just google men’s fencing and you’ll know that was not a hardship. Nope. But anyway, the details are there and thought at the forefront they may seem cumbersome, it’s needed when the diagnosis comes. It’s needed.
Warren and Chad are adorable. They are strong, smart, and sexy young men who have found someone they want to spend time with and end up married quickly. The way the boys handle everything, from the suggestion of marriage to the ceremony made me sigh and swoon. It was perfect and though things get rough when the new Chad starts to appear, it was worth all the angst presented.
Speaking of the angst, this story has it at times and what the angst brings is reality, as the story echoes marriage. Sure, Warren and Chad get married for medical reasons but the quick change in Chad IS marriage, just usually after a few or even ten plus years. It’s true what Chad’s mother said about everyone changing, you do change when you get married, it’s just heartbreaking to watch Chad change so drastically and hurt Warren the way he does. But the faith they have in one another, the promise that they made is what drives this story and what drives them.
A New Man is a charming romance with a unique twist. I enjoyed Warren and Chad getting married, though not the emergent reason, and the obstacles they have to overcome. The authors style is one that was easy to read and get lost in and I look forward reading more of her work.