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Even hot messes need a happily ever after.
Love Lessons, Book 3
With the quiet help of his wealthy family, Sebastian “Baz” Acker has successfully kept his painful past at bay. But as the end of college draws near, his friends—his buffer zone—are preparing to move on, while his own life is at a crippling standstill.
With loneliness bearing down on him, Baz hooks up—then opens up—with Elijah Prince, the guy Baz took a bullet for last year. The aftershocks of their one-night stand leave giant cracks in Baz’s carefully constructed armor. For the first time, the prospect isn’t terrifying.
Accustomed to escaping his demons by withdrawing into his imagination, Elijah isn’t used to having a happy herd of friends. He’s even less comfortable as the object of a notorious playboy’s affections. Yet all signs seem to indicate this time happiness might be within his grasp.
When Baz’s mother runs for a highly sought-after public office, the media hounds drag Baz’s and Elijah’s pasts into the light. In the blinding glare, Baz and Elijah face the ultimate test: discovering if they’re stronger together…or apart.
Warning: Contains sex in a Tesla, sex in a cupboard, sex under a piano, kinky role play, and a cappella RuPaul songs. Just a couple of boys groping, battling, then finally loving their way to becoming men.
I want a bumper sticker that says Baz & Elijah 4Ever… and I don’t even own a car. But let me rewind.
If you, like me, have read the first two books in the Love Lessons series, you’ve met some really cool characters. Some of these characters are so cool, they’re just amazing. Those amazing characters stick to you like glue. So when I figured out that the third book would be about Baz, yeah. I’m all over that like guacamole on chips. But Baz and Elijah? That, at first, I was not so sure about. When I met Elijah before, I did not really like him so much. Well, until like the last bit of book 2. But even then, I felt like I was not so sure about him. I guess I just didn’t know him well enough. And really, learning about him is what I figured I was supposed to be doing with book 3. So, as the weeks/months have gone by, I’ve really warmed up to the idea of Elijah. The idea of Elijah and Baz. Silly me for not getting completely on board this couple combo right from the start.
I loved Baz and Elijah in this book. Each of them have a lot of history of pain and sorrow, and they need to work through it. Baz, with his political family, requests and demands on him, the need to figure out what to do with his life, when to graduate. Elijah, with the knowledge that his father is on trial, his mother in an institution, trying to find his way and deal with the stress that his parents are, well, nut jobs, and have totally and completely let him down. Both Baz and Elijah are lonely and find that working through their combined issues together is the best way for them to go. But this also takes some work on both of their parts. A lot of work. A lot of trust.
One thing that stuck me while reading this book is how much time it takes for them to fall. There is total and instant attraction, sure. But this story takes a slow pace as their relationship builds. That slower pace, the angst (not too heavy), and the progression of so many other things going on in their lives made the relationship feel so real to me.
I would be remiss if I did not mention that this book is also about the people who live in White House… The kids who live there, each one of them are kind, caring, compassionate, understanding, and totally dedicated to helping their friends in a time of need. Even new friends who just need a little hope, a little help in their lives. It’s a beautiful thing to see. A beautiful thing to read. It’s hopeful.
Admittedly, I had a hard time getting started. I’m not sure if it was distractions, or just some lingering uncertainty, but in the beginning, the subplots of the story took, for me, a little long to get geared up. At times it felt just a tiny bit too long, and maybe that’s just because I was so anxious to see just how things were going to end. I’m an impatient reader, particularly when I’m reading a book that I’m loving with all my heart. I want to get to that end. I want to know that everything will be okay. I want to be sure that there’s an opening for that new character we met to get their own book, because… OMG, I want that book.
I had all the feels with Lonely Hearts. It’s a story of two young men who are finding themselves, all while finding each other. A story of a house of friends who come together making the beautiful music of life. A story of learning, hope, and love. It’s a story I got to live in, and I really want to go back.