#Review — By The Book by Maria Vickers ~ Available now on Kindle Unlimited!
Title: By The Book
Author: Maria Vickers
Publication Date: June 14, 2017
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction
Blurb: Joshua Dayton met the man of his dreams as a sophomore in high school—his mentor and biology teacher, Mr. Cayden. Fearing his love would be considered forbidden and rejected, he ran away to college, determined to move on and forget. Three years later, he is summoned home and comes face to face with the man he tried to leave in the past. The same man he never stopped loving.
Samuel Cayden was looking for a fresh start and an escape. What he was not expecting was to develop feelings for his student, Joshua. Yet when the boy returns home a man, Samuel can no longer pretend the pull between them doesn’t exist.
Will the student become the teacher, showing Samuel how to open his heart? Will Samuel be able to prove to Joshua that things are not always what they appear? Or will the spark fizzle before it has a chance to ignite?
It’s time they got a lesson in love and temptation.
Josh Dayton has been in love with Sam Cayden for a long time but when he realized he was falling for his 'then' biology teacher, he knew it wasn't the right time to say or act on his feelings. Considering there is a fourteen-year age difference between them Josh assumed his feelings would never be returned so he rushed off to college—in another state—planning to never look back.
During the set up of the story, we learn the struggles Josh has suffered losing his father—the most prominent parent in his household—the one whom Josh sought out advice, life lessons, discipline...and most of all love.
Losing his father, something I can relate too, took a HUGE piece out of Josh's soul. His mother, the main breadwinner was never there for Josh and over time they lost their connection. They love each other because they share the mother/son bond, but they've definitely lost each other along the years.
Alice, Josh's mother, has a major issue with her son being gay and what it means for HER. How will the church, community, peers, her co-workers, think of her? Throughout the course of the book, her distance and dislike of Sam and Josh's relationship stem from the perception of others.
It became repetitive after awhile and frustrating, but what I did love was Josh and his pride, not only for himself but for the man he loved, and his unwillingness to bend on the issue. You love me for me...or you won't see me again. I applaud him for his convictions and his truth.
And, this leads me to Josh knowing he loves Sam and has always known Sam was the only man for him. He never planned on seeing him again, however, his mother's illness brings him back home—front and center—to the man himself, and now that he knows there's a chance, he refuses to walk away from him again.
By the Book is a love story between two men, Sam, a respected teacher, and Josh, a college student getting ready to obtain his Master's degree. Once they get past their initial hang-ups and are both on the same page, the story flowed at a nice pace with lots of humor and lots of sexy times, both, in and out of the bedroom.
I love how the author highlighted parts showing mishaps do happen, such as soap in your mouth, lol. It not only made me laugh but made the story believable and fun.
By the Book is not all smooth sailing as there's quite a bit of family drama from both sides, but where Josh's mother was trying to come to terms with her son—make an effort to understand and support—Sam's brother and father pushing boundaries and playing tricks were a whole other mind game.
The brother's antics showing up unannounced and throwing his weight around seemed a little OTT for it to fizzle out at the end and unnecessary for the storyline, however, it didn't take away from my enjoyment of the story.
By the Book is my first reading by Maria Vickers and, aside from the issues I mentioned, the love between Sam and Josh was apparent, I could feel it between them, I could feel Josh's pain, both, over losing his father and the eye-opening declarations from his mother. My heart broke for him and later was thrilled for him. For me, that's what reading is about. To feel, and the author took me there.
Would I recommend this? Yes
* I was provided a copy in exchange for an honest review from Hot Tree Promotions *
meet the author
Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape.
Life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.
From the author:
I have always loved books. Not only creating the stories, but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take note, walking with books is not advised. LOL.
With my books, I just want to share my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal with my writing. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded.
Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though i cannot do much, I still have my mind and I can write.