To Be Honest by : S. M. James :: Review

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Book Info

Title: To Be Honest

Series: love him book 3

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Published: 15 November 2018

Cover Design: Story Styling Cover Designs

Length: 81,000 words/380 pages

Keywords : Young Adult, Romance

Add To:  Goodreads

Purchase Links

(Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Paperback US  | Paperback UK | Paperback AU 

BLURB

2400 miles. Four friends. One big secret.

Angus Reid is pretty sure he’s being catfished. 

After spending the last half of junior year talking online to the guy of his dreams, Angus wants to meet. In person. So when Scotty brushes it off with excuses of not being ready, red flags go up.

Determined to either catch Scotty out, or take a shot at real love, Angus embarks on a summer road trip with his adorkable roommate, Tyler. But as summer stretches on, and mixed messages fly between them, Angus finds his heart torn.

His potential catfisher?

Or his straight best friend?

And while their road trip takes them across the country, Angus is headed for one destination.

Either a happily ever after … or a broken heart.

All books in the #lovehim series are stand alones. The series number is recommended reading order.

TO BE HONEST TAGLINE

Review

This book was a joy to read.  You are sucked into the lives of Agnus and Tyler right from the very start.   The Author has done a fantastic job of creating unique characters that stay true to who they are and break stereo types.  How young adult books have you read where the Jock is openly gay?   Yes, very few if any.

Agnus is a Gay Jock that is yearning to fall in love and not only falls for his straight roommate Tyler who openly accepts Agnus being openly gay.  The problem is that Tyler not only accepts Agnus’s sexuality, but sometimes he seems a little too comfortable which gives Agnus mixed signals.

Then Agnus at Tyler’s suggestion has found himself a potential boyfriend on a website and agnus is desperate to meet Scotty, but Scotty keeps brushing him off, leaving Agnus questioning Scotty’s motives.

The story is told whilst Agnus and Tyler along with Agnus’s best friend and her boyfriend tag along, much to Tyler’s annoyance, as he wanted the trip to be a twosome.

The characters must tackle the struggles of young adulthood and work out what they want from their friendships.  There are lots of tender sweet moments, a few dark moments with arguments. 

The theme of the story is about trust and honesty, about being strong and finding the strength to take chances.  The story flows nicely and is gripping from the start. One of the noticeable things in the story is that the issues and problems are not presented and immediately solved.  Even at the end there is no rush or immediate resolution to a major issue that happens.

The Author teases us about who Agnus will end up having a real relationship with, or even if he will find the love he desperately yearns for.

Both lead characters are sweet and adorable but without being sickening or over the top.

My favorite character is Tyler, he is so sweet and caring and is more like a brother than a friend/roommate to Agnus. But Tyler has his own issues to work out too, making him a well-rounded character.

There is so much more I could say about the story, but I do not want to spoil it for you

Excerpt

I pull out of the parking lot and Tyler directs me to the campsite. The ground is rough as anything, and it’s lucky it’s summer, because I can just imagine that in winter we would be driving on ice.

“Just here,” Tyler points to a space ahead, confirming it on the map the campsite admin handed us.

It’s reasonably busy and we’ve had to drive a bit further down. There’s forest pushing in all around us and I can only spot two other tents. Not that those monstrous things could be called tents.

“Just do you know,” I say as I put the car in park and follow Tyler out. “If I get killed, I’ll hold you personally responsible.”

“If you get killed, I promise I’ll make it up to you.”

“I’ve got to tell you though, I’m not planning on dying a virgin.”

He throws a smirk at me over the roof. “Don’t worry, neither am I.”

I open the trunk and start shifting some of our stuff into the front while Tyler lays down the back seats. When I climb in, a thrum of electricity passes over my skin and I have to remind myself to cool it. We’re just friends. Tyler slides in after me.

“Here.” He hands me some blankets and we set to work making it comfortable before lying back, heads rested at the opening.

It’s so peaceful. The night is still and quiet, holding the warmth of the day, and the stars stretch out above us endlessly, smudges of silver blurring them together. I fold my hands behind my head as Tyler takes off his glasses and tosses them in the front.

“And that right there,” Tyler says in a nasally voice, pointing through the back windshield of the open trunk. “Is the ubullamajorious.”

I give him the side eye, not sure if he’s joking or not. “Oh yeah, and what’s that?” I point to another cluster.

“The fibrosiousenema.

“And that?”

Ursulla’s Uranus.

I snort, rolling onto my side to look at him. “You are so full of shit.”

“I swear.” He lays a hand over his heart. “See? There’s Angusius’s Titianus.”

He finally gets a laugh out of me and I shove his shoulder a little. “I think your brain’s broken.”

“Nope. It remembers everything, remember, Angus?”

“I do remember. Which is why I wouldn’t be surprised if you knew all the actual names of the constellations and were just goofing around.”

He tries to hold back a guilty smile.

We lapse into a comfortable silence, him staring up at the stars, and me staring at everything but him.

I hesitate. “Thanks for not bailing on me.”

“Are you kidding? It was a choice between this and going home. Trust me, it was a no brainer.”

“I’m honored.” I roll my eyes.

He chuckles softly and pokes me in the bicep. Two fingers. Just like the first day we met. “You should be. You’re always my first choice.”

My cheeks heat and my stomach twists painfully. I’m well aware of his teasing tone but somehow my body completely misses it. “I mean, I wouldn’t say you’re my first choice. At least second or third, though.”

“Ho-oh!” He hangs his head back, showing off his long neck. “You’ve wounded me.”

“Need mouth to mouth?”

He cracks up. “I’d probably enjoy it too much.”

He’s teasing. Teasing. But damn it, if I don’t get this flirting under control it’s only a matter of when not if our friendship implodes.

I’m dying to trace my lips over that long, smooth stretch of skin just below his ear.

He rests his head to the side, looking at me, and a chunk of hair flops down in his eyes. “Have you heard from Scotty yet?”

The lust dries up as worry kicks in. “No, actually. I’m trying not to think about it.”

“I’m sure he’s fine.”

“If he’s done something—”

“No. He wouldn’t have. From what you’ve told me it was his choice, you can’t think like that.”

I scrub a hand over my face. “I basically forced it on him though.”

“Hey.” Tyler’s fingers circle my wrist and he tugs my hand away. “Nope. We’re not doing this. You don’t control other people’s choices. Not today, not tomorrow, just don’t.”

“If only it was that simple.” I sigh.

“It is.” He’s so certain I almost believe him. Instead I reach out and pull the back door closed.

“I’m tired,” I say, tucking up my legs. And if my legs are too long for the space, Tyler’s definitely will be.

With the door closed the outside world is cut off. Tyler turns back to the window, looking up at the sky, and for the thousandth time this year, I wish I had someone to share my feelings with. It sounds lame as hell but I could really use a hug. I just want somebody to be my somebody.

And with Scotty gone, I’m further from that than ever.

Author’s Bio

M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

​While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

 

Author’s Web Links

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