Saturday, 15 June 2013

Learning to Love: Chris & Josh (Learning to Love #3), K.C. Wells

- Review by Cindi

***  This review contains spoilers. ***

Learning to Love: Josh & Chris (Learning to Love, #3)

3.5 out of 5 stars

Josh has had a crush on one of his housemates, Chris, for months.  Chris had unwillingly taken part in a violent gay bashing against one of their roommates (Michael) several months earlier. Chris testified against the others involved in the attack and while on the stand outed himself.  His involvement was coerced and forced so he was given very little as far as punishment while the others went to jail.  Once Michael recovered he immediately forgave Chris and even asked him to move into the home he shares with his (now) husband Sean, Evan, Daniel and Josh (who happens to be the son of the detective who handled Michael's case and the nurse on duty when Michael was brought in the night of the attack).  

Josh moved out of his father's home in order to be closer to the college campus where he has given up nursing and is now pursuing a degree in pediatric medicine.  The connection between Josh and Chris during a meeting long before was instant. However, Josh was close friends with Michael and Sean and would never make any type of move on someone who had (willingly or not) been involved in the brutal attack against Michael.  Michael's forgiveness of Chris and inviting him to share the home with the other housemates (also college students) pushed Josh and Chris into close proximity.  Unfortunately, Chris and Josh are just good friends.  Chris has never been with a man and Josh is convinced that he wants nothing more than friendship from him.  Josh has been with a lot of men and Chris is convinced that he is somewhat beneath him because of all the male attention that Josh gets everywhere he goes.

They are both wrong.

Josh has been secretly falling in love with Chris since the moment he met him.  Chris has secretly harbored the same feelings toward Josh but has been too shy to voice them.  Giving up and knowing he has no chance with Josh, Chris begins dating James.  James is a nice guy but it's obvious to both he and Chris that there is no real spark between them, at least from Chris.  Chris keeps dating him in hopes that he will learn to care for James and stop his feelings toward Josh.

The going back and forth between Chris and Josh was nice at first but it did tend to drag on a bit too long for my taste.  When it did happen it was almost a nonevent.  All the "does he or doesn't he?" with both and then when they finally do get together it takes place over a conversation that occurs off-page.  This conversation is somewhat discussed later but not really in detail.

This book, like the two before it, is detail heavy.  I'm not necessarily saying that is a bad thing but I did find myself skimming over the mundane details of the daily routines of all six of the housemates.

All six of the men who live together are unique.  Unique in the sense that they are all (I'm guessing) nineteen or twenty but yet they all speak as if they are much, much older.  They are also the happiest and sweetest bunch I have ever read about.  There is a lot of touching and hugging and kissing and not necessarily with the couples who are involved.  When one is down and depressed he is invited into the bed of one of the couples (Sean and Michael or Evan and Daniel) just to snuggle or cuddle.  Like with the other two books, I found that to be a bit much.  I understand wanting to console a friend but to place him... naked... between you and your man (also naked) and hold him all night long?  

I admit to frustration in all three books in regards to the constant (I mean CONSTANT) use of endearments between all the men.  Josh uses the word "honey" a lot but I found that one to be okay.  The others? Not so much.

Chris is receiving threatening hate mail in regards to his sexuality.  This causes a stir with all in the house especially when there is zero evidence in regards to who is leaving the letters.  Also, Josh has an ex, Eric, who is psychotic and (later) violent.  I give the author credit for the Eric situation. It was written extremely well and the violence was not glossed over.  He is determined to get Josh back and does some things to ensure that will happen.  I found myself flinching a bit during that part but it wasn't so detailed where it was disturbing.

There is an overuse of exclamation points in this book. I covered this in my reviews of the previous books in the series as well.  An occasional exclamation point I could live with.  Almost every paragraph is distracting. 

Josh and Chris are very sweet together.  I absolutely fell head over heels in love with Josh long before I started reading his story.  He's a good guy and does everything in his power to show Chris that what he feels for him is the forever kind of love.  I like Chris as well but it took a little while to get there.  I felt that he was forgiven too easily for his part in Michael's attack.  

There is a LOT of sex in this book but not necessarily between the two main characters. Someone is either grunting and moaning from their bedroom where the entire house can hear it or they are jacking each other off or masturbating in front of the others.  Sexy early on but a bit much later.

The Epilogue.  I am totally and completely lost there. Not because of what happens with the three couples but because of the date listed.  Information is given quickly for each couple.  This information coincides with events that occurred recently in the book.  The Epilogue, however, pushes this same information pretty far ahead.  Unless the book actually took place during this specific year and I missed it, I am completely confused on why the same information (basically) is there so far in advance.

Overall, I did enjoy the book.  I still adore Evan and Daniel and I like Michael and Sean.  I've given my love for Josh and I enjoyed watching Chris come into his own especially considering that I was not much of a fan of his in the first two books.  The two of them together are very sweet. If you are looking for something even remotely realistic, this series is not for you.  If you are willing to step outside of reality for awhile and you don't mind sappy sweet love stories with a little bit drama, then I highly recommend it.

This book was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.


  1. 'Someone is either grunting and moaning from their bedroom where the entire house can hear it or they are jacking each other off or masturbating in front of the others.' - One happy, horny household - :P

    1. Your comment made me snort out loud. Why yes, it is a very happy, horny household.