#Review — Coming In by Michelle Ogilvy — Available now from Nine Star Press
Title: Coming In
Author: Michelle Ogilvy
Publisher: Nine Star Press
Publication Date: May 15, 2017
Page Count: 70,100 Words
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Jay and Adam have been sharing a flat, and a bed, since they moved down to Adelaide after high school a couple of years ago. Neither man considers himself gay or mentions the sexual nature of their friendship to anyone else.
Their arrangement doesn’t stop Jay from casually dating random women he meets through work and both men seem happy with the way things are. That is, until Adam meets April, a damsel in distress that latches herself onto Adam in a way that he doesn’t mind at all. Jay sure does, though.
As Adam gets closer to April, the friendship between the two men starts to unravel and for the first time in years, Jay is facing a life without Adam. If he wants to save their friendship, he will have to offer Adam a lot more than a spot in his bed. There’s only one problem, Jay doesn’t believe in love.
Michelle Ogilvy © 2017
All Rights Reserved
Jay knew it was going to be a hard night. Adam had come by the store to pick up something for dinner, and he’d been mumbling to himself again. It was becoming a habit with him. Ever since Adam had started the new semester, he’d been complaining about this one subject. It didn’t seem to make any difference what Jay said or did. There was only one thing that could distract Adam. Not that Jay had a problem with providing that kind of distraction—it was the bitching and moaning that preceded it that had him dawdling to get home.
This would be the third year that he and Adam had been flatmates in Adelaide, and Jay could picture exactly what he would find when he walked through the door. He pasted on a smile and braced himself. Sure enough, Adam was sitting in the middle of a pile of textbooks and handwritten notebooks spread across most of the floor space with various highlighters and pens strewn throughout the mess.
The more stressed Adam got, the less likely Jay would be to see the floor, or the bench in the kitchen area, or pretty much anything in Adam’s room. Jay always drew the line at any of that shit ending up in his own room. His aim for the night was to get Adam in there where the other man couldn’t torture himself over whatever went wrong that day.
At least now Jay didn’t have to worry about Adam literally pulling his hair out from stress. Adam had starting cutting his hair short after he’d started at uni. The new hairstyle had broken the stress-pulling habit, so Adam had kept it. The muttering had gotten worse, though. Jay wasn’t even sure that Adam knew he was doing it half the time.
“So, what sludge have we got for dinner tonight?” Jay asked, making sure to keep his tone light. Adam didn’t look up. “It was your turn to cook, remember?”
“Oh, right. I forgot. I bought some stuff.” Adam gestured vaguely towards the kitchen area. Jay couldn’t bring himself to call an area bounded by benches rather than walls an actual kitchen, like it was a separate room.
“What are we in for? Pizza? Lasagne? Reheated puke?”
“It was rice.”
“In… I don’t know.” Adam finally pulled his head up from his books and looked at Jay. “It was weeks ago. When are you going to let that go?”
Jay shrugged. “When it stops being amusing.”
“I’m too tired to joke around, Jay.”
“Fridays.” Jay shook his head and sighed dramatically. “I’ll just go ahead and nuke us something then.”
“It’s my turn,” Adam said, not moving from his position on the floor.
“I’m not sure you’re trusted with the microwave, Adam. Do we really have to have the reheated puke joke twice in one night?”
“That wasn’t my fault, bakeboy.”
“Bakeboy? Maybe you should take a break from the study. I think it’s fried your brain. That’s the lamest insult I’ve ever heard. Come on, Obsesso, come get some grub.”
“Obsesso?” Adam was trying not to laugh. Jay could tell.
“I think that’s about at the same level as bakeboy. Figure I’ll keep all my best insults until you’re feeling more up to it.”
Adam huffed but got up off his butt and onto the stool at the kitchen bench. He watched as Jay put the dinners in the microwave.
“You shouldn’t stand in front of those, you know,” Adam said. “They’ll give you cancer.”
“The sad thing about that is that you wouldn’t cry at my funeral,” Jay replied.
“What do you mean?”
“The way you’re going, you’ll die from an ulcer long before I die of cancer.”
Jay moved away from the thing anyway. Their microwave was large, old, and temperamental. Or just plain mental, depending on how generous they were feeling towards it on the day. The clicking noise it was making was certainly a new development.
Adam heaved a large sigh, and Jay turned his attention back to his friend.
“Do I dare ask what the evil wench did today?” Jay asked.
“It’s just that she expects so much,” Adam replied.
“I hear ya.”
“Where did she get such high expectations anyway?”
“Germany.” Jay’s comment barely rated a glance.
“It’s not like we’re all overly efficient geniuses.”
“I’ve always been partial to lazy dimwits, myself.”
“It’s like that stupid subject is supposed to be the centre of our universe.”
“If we don’t spend at least three times as much effort as we do in other subjects, we barely pass.”
“That’s what I’ve heard.”
“I just don’t have that amount of time.”
“I never got a C in anything before I took her class.”
“Well, there was PE. You weren’t real good at PE.”
“I know it’s a big joke to you, Jay, but it’s my life.”
“I don’t think uni’s actually counted as life.” Jay was trying for a smile, but all he got was a glare. “Geez, if it bothers you that much, do something.”
about the author
Michelle Ogilvy was born and bred in Adelaide, Australia. In primary school, to alleviate the boredom of putting spelling list words in sentences to explain their meaning, she started weaving them all into stories. She hasn’t been able to shake this writing thing ever since.
Her day job involves working on health data collection tools, which resulted in her first publication, in a medical journal. For about a year, she worked as an editor for the department, but eventually she realised that her writing at home was enough time spent alone concentrating on words on a computer screen and she went back to her old job. It’s still a lot of time spent staring at a computer, but there’s at least more interaction with actual humans.
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OMG... this book was very frustrating, at times, and had me walking away more than once. I never felt Jay, nor Adam, ever really got the gist of their relationship and what mattered the most to them... .each other.
They've been best friends since elementary school, now in college living together as flatmates/roommates for the past 2 or 3 years and they have an on-and-off sexual relationship they keep private.
Both Adam and Jay, especially Jay, invite women back to their apartment for sex, but that's all it is. Jay doesn't believe in love, never having a stable home environment for any reference, so he's quite critical about relationships.
Adam jumps into bed with Jay as soon as the women walk out and they go on as if nothing happened just a few short minutes or hours earlier. The pink elephant in the room is never discussed—always overlooked or tripped over.
When Adam meets April, a young girl still in high school who seems distressed and distraught over her home life, he invites her to their apartment for a safe place to sleep for the night. A night turns into a week, a month, and soon Adam and April are in a pretty serious relationship and Jay is left out in the cold.
This also starts a downward spiral of Jay and Adam's friendship. April hates Jay, and vice-versa. I hated April, a lot. She was manipulating and conniving and had evil written all over her. Adam is completely oblivious to what's going on in front of him, or so selfish he doesn't care...maybe both. He just wants someone to call his own, so the tactics he uses to accomplish this were less than stellar.
However, Adam still wants his cake and eat it too. Even dating April, planning on moving in together, contemplating marriage, Adam couldn't see what he was doing to Jay, emotionally, but he still wanted to have sex with Jay when April wasn't around. And...Jay delivered.
Adam is adamant he is not gay, doesn't even consider he could be bisexual and it was exhausting to read through so many road blocks. He could not make any decisions, was so out of tune with what was going on around him, with Jay, with his parents, constantly believing April and her lies that I wanted to scream. Is he that naive or just starved for attention?
Faced with losing everything he loves—including Jay—Adam finally has to make some choices, but will he stick to the ones he made?
Jay is not perfect either. He made a lot of mistakes but he took ownership of his mistakes and tries to do better. He's hurt by Adam and he's realizing that love may be an emotion that he does have, at least for Adam.
Coming In, love the title btw, and its meaning, had some great humor thanks to Julie, Jay's sister, who was wise beyond her years. A lot more than I can say for her brother or Adam. She was super supportive of her brother and Adam and never backed away when either one needed a good kick in the pants.
I loved Bradley, the bartender, even though he was kind of a snake as well, and was almost "almost" rooting for Jay to leave Adam for him. He knew how to make Jay feel special and was never shy about his intentions. Through their interactions, Jay can finally acknowledge he wants to be faithful to one person, and that person is Adam.
I enjoyed the author's writing style, however, the push and pull, the indecisiveness, constant wavering back and forth—to the last chapter—was exhausting and had me struggling. I don't know how many times I yelled at my screen at these two frustrating young men to get their heads out of their asses and fix this mess.
Jay and Adam have a lot of problems that neither want to talk about which set off a chain of heartbreak and deception. If you can handle the angst and the cheating—although off-page—Michelle Ogilvy will take you to the edge of frustration before leaving you settled with warmth and content.
3.5 - 4.0 Stars
* Thank you to the promoter for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review *