Review: Rough and Tumble by Shae Connor

My name’s Grant Clark, and I have managed to screw up my entire life. In triplicate.

Rough and Tumble: A University of Atlanta Novel

Synopsis:

Number one: I fell in love with my best friend.

Number two: I thought he was straight.

Number three: Because of number two, I didn’t make a move on number one. Until it was too late.

Or is it?

When I accidentally interrupt him with another guy—and he turns out to be the worst—well, I think it’s time I finally make a move.

Don’t you?

Warning: This book contains two men who don’t mind a little humor and heartache as they struggle to find their happily ever after in the aftermath of a toxic relationship.13

Holy sugar Rough and Tumble is intense. Shae Connor takes us on two separate journeys. Two young men whose friendship path takes a hard left when Grant walks in on his friend and roommate Darryn being intimate with a guy. The shocks keep coming for Grant as Darryn shares more with him. This is where the hard left comes in.

Connor then takes us into possible trigger territory for some readers as they deal head on with abusive relationships. The choices people can make when they think their love is unrequited and how we all want love and what it is supposed to look like. The road can be dangerous instead of filled with rose petals.

Grant’s road is just as treacherous as he has to face his own truths about himself, his relationship with Darryn, and with being a homosexual. What is being a friend? How can you be a friend through the bad times and the good? When, when, when…all of those “whens” that have to be answered while still trying to figure out who you are.

Connor adds in competitive gymnastics and the pressure mounts. 

The “warning” at the end of the synopsis makes it sound as if the book focuses on the aftermath of the toxicity and this is not true. Rough and Tumble is about all of Darryn’s relationships even though the voice is Grant’s. Connor makes this story more about friendship and family than about romance. There is romance and a happily-ever-after…don’t worry. I just want to emphasize that Connor focuses on the coming of age aspect versus the dating and romance part. 

I hope Shae Connor sticks with the “University of Atlanta” awhile longer as I would love to read Annie and Pace’s story. Annie is similar to Grant yet so different and of course bisexual. Pace, on the other hand, is not like any of the other characters and I do not know what his orientation is, but…I got vibes that he might be part of the rainbow family. 

Rough and Tumble’s characters draw you in and don’t let go. I want to see where they end up and you will too.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 “As a Bookshop and Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.” at no additional cost to you.

Books in the “University of Atlanta” series.

Further Details:
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, 9781649370631, 9 November 2020
Editor: Amy Acosta
Series: University of Atlanta #1; Settings: Atlanta, GA, U.S.
Pages: 150;

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