Release Day Review: THE GEEK AND HIS ARTIST by Hope Ryan

Can Simon let go of his fear and have love, family, and a normal life with Jimmy?

Title: The Geek and His Artist 
Author: Hope Ryan
Genre: M/M Contemporary Young Adult Romance
Publisher: Harmony Ink Press 
Release Date: June 4, 2015
Length: 320 pgs 
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Book Links: Harmony Ink | Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe

Simon Williams spends his lunch periods drawing his geek and trying not to think about the terrors waiting for him at home. He needs to get away from his abusive father before he suffers the same grisly fate as his mother. Because he’s learned the hard way running away doesn’t work, he’s counting the days until his eighteenth birthday.

Jimmy Bennet should be spending his lunch studying so his senior GPA is good enough to get him into college, but he can’t seem to focus thanks to his distracting artist. When he’s given the opportunity to tutor Simon in Trig and discovers Simon’s home-life nightmare, he wants nothing more than to get Simon out of danger. This need becomes more urgent when Simon comes to school the Monday after their first date with bruises, but it takes a broken leg before Jimmy can convince his boyfriend the Bennets really want him.

But the danger Simon thought was past shows up at the most unexpected time, and he must stand up to the fears he’s held so long to protect not only himself, but the man he wants to spend his life with.

I love young adult stories, but I don’t get to read many that are m/m romances, sadly. If Hope Ryan’s “The Geek and His Artist” is the quality and depth that Harmony Ink is putting, I may have found a new favourite publisher. We start with watching the two young men pine for the other during lunch, their only shared ‘class time’. Now, I know how it went when I was in high school and yes, lunch was both social and a perfect time to watch someone that you were too afraid to approach (yes, I did this during many a lunch, lol). The realism was spot on and incredibly well done.

Then we get into the meat of the story, the fear, pain, abuse, and hope that runs through out this story—holding you hostage until the very last page. Witnessing Jimmy fight for Simon, Simon fighting his past, and Jimmy’s family meddling was so powerful. As someone whose family took in a bff in high school to get her out of a bad home situation, this smacked of what life could have been like in my family except my family are all prudes, lol.

There is a depth of character and situation I don’t often see in YA romances, but Hope pulls it off well and leaves me wanting more of Jimmy and Simon’s friends *hint Ms Ryan…. we need a sequel! If you love reading fun yet deep romances that leaving you needing a cold drink (or shower) while still being totally YA friendly, then this is a must read!

    

“DUDE, COME on! I know you don’t have to do your homework yet. You’ve got two fucking weeks!” Ronnie, his best friend, whined from the other end of the phone line. “It’s The Hobbit for Christ’s sake. I know you’ve only seen it once.”

Jimmy sighed. “Fine, fine, I’ll go. But I can’t drive. Mom’s working tonight.”

“No, that’s cool. Sean’s driving. We’ll be there in twenty!” And before Jimmy could say another word, the line went dead.

Jimmy groaned and rolled to a sitting pos
ition on his bed, sending a slightly mournful look at the bottle of lotion on his bedside table. But even he realized how pathetic it was to spend the night in his room beating off instead of hanging out with his friends. He could always fantasize about his artist later. He snatched up his keys, wallet, and “got precious?” hoodie and headed downstairs.

Sean and Ronnie showed up ten minutes later, not twenty, but Jimmy had expected it. He’d already guessed they were on their way when Ronnie called, knowing he’d go. Jimmy called to his dad that he was going out and when he expected to be back, and when his dad’s reply sounded vaguely affirmative, he headed out to the car.

“See? Isn’t this better than beating off to some hot guy’s picture?” Ronnie teased.

Jimmy just flipped them off as he climbed into Sean’s ancient Volkswagen Rabbit behind Ronnie. “Fuck you, man. Just fuck you.”

“Nope. I don’t play for that team. Sean, on the other hand….” Ronnie paused to wait for Sean to punch him. Right on cue, without even looking, Sean’s right hand left the gearshift long enough to form a fist and connect with Ronnie’s left arm. “Right, forgot, he doesn’t either. Guess you’re out of luck.”

Jimmy had long since gotten used to Ronnie’s teasing. “Beating off to pictures of hot guys is better than your bullshit, any day.”

Ronnie snorted. “And yet you’re here.”

“Yeah, I don’t have any new pictures or vids tonight. Only picture in my room is the one of you, which just makes my dick shrivel.”

Sean laughed, earning himself a punch from Ronnie this time. “Fuck you, man.”

“I thought you didn’t play for my team?”

Ronnie gave up and flipped on the stereo. He hit a few buttons and My Chemical Romance drowned out Jimmy’s laughter.

Hope Ryan is an out and proud bisexual, wife of a loving guy and mother to three, including an amazingly brave gender fluid son. She loves to write about the tough stuff, but also wants to see her characters happy in the end. She feels strongly about showing there is hope for everyone, no matter where you come from, how you identify your gender or who you love.

Hope likes to play board and card games and can often be found playing God with her Sims or running around, fighting monsters in a virtual version of Middle Earth. Her TV and movie preferences lean towards anime, sci fi and fantasy, though she’ll never turn down a good happily ever after love story, either. As long as there are explosions or action, she’s happy. She loves to read books of all kinds, though prefers stories about love in it’s many forms.

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