Content/Trigger Warnings: Cheating, homophobia, death of a parent (in the past), mentions of heart failure (in the past), alcoholism, stalking, sex
“I need to espresso love by whatever beans necessary.”
What can I say? I’m addicted to this series! However, I feel like I’ve been bouncing back and forth on my feelings about this book. Maybe I’m just being indecisive or perhaps I’m being a bit biased because I’m a Gemini as well. There was so much that I loved about this book and I love the trope we see happen in this book, but I hope I can convey my feelings for this book well and just know, I’m still going to continue this series.
We follow Wesley Hidaka, a Gemini, who’s currently a law student working through his last year in college, but also juggling multiple responsibilities like being a barista and flirting with his dorm’s RA, Lloyd. Lloyd Alexander Reynolds is a stern Capricorn and the dorm’s RA, who has no time for shenanigans and can’t keep another RA, Gavin, off his back about the this year’s big party. When one night Lloyd and Gavin are arguing, Weasley gets a concerning phone call that involves his younger brother skipping classes. Enlisting the help of Lloyd, Weasley sets out to figure what’s happening and soon this unlikely pair are all kinds of tangled up in each other’s lives.
“I want us to make rules together.” Lloyd pressed the softest kiss to his mouth. “I want us to break them together, too.”
I really liked Lloyd as our love interest. Lloyd is very sarcastic, logical, but also really caring about those around him. He reminds me a lot of my own spouse and there were a lot of moments where I was chuckling because of that. Weasley was a harder character for me to get into and that’s really saying something. I think I went into this book with the expectation that I would love Weasley’s character and click really well with the way his personality was written, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case. Even though Weasley is 21-years-old, he acts very immature and there’s certain situations I wish he had handled differently. However, when these two come together, surprisingly, they balance each other out so well. Lloyd really grounds Weasley and becomes a sort of anchor for him in this book. Whereas Weasley helps lift Lloyd up and encourages him to enjoy himself a little more. They have some really sweet moments that were so sweet and even though this is a slow burn romance, they work well together.
We also see Theo and Jamie make an appearance in this book, as well. If you haven’t read this series yet, Theo and Jamie are from the first book. Jamie is actually one the teachers working at the college Weasley and Lloyd attend. Lloyd is trying to get in the good graces of Jamie and is hoping to be picked to study under them. We get a few moments sprinkled throughout this book and there’s one moment in particular that made me so, so happy. It’s so nice to see them thriving in their relationship. Although I’m a little sad we didn’t get a cameo of Percy and Cam.
“Hundreds of fights are ahead of us, Weasley. I’ll still want you around at the end of them.”
There’s also a lot of themes of family throughout this book. I love that Lloyd comes from a single mother home. This was another reason I loved Lloyd and connected with his character so much. Lloyd’s mother is so sweet, so charming, she’s hilarious, and I just really adored her. She reminds me of my own mother and it just made me feel soft and sappy. On the other hand, Weasley comes from a family who still feels the absence of his father. There’s also found family themes, but it’s more subtle and it didn’t overshadow the main family themes.
While I appreciate the widower family element, Weasley’s mother was a huge issue for me and probably the biggest issue I had throughout this book. Weasley’s mother is very homophobic and her dialogue is probably why I feel so at odds with this book. Throughout this book, anytime we’re with Weasley’s mother in a scene, she constantly says “doing the gaying”. Never in all my years of life and encounters of homophobia have I ever heard someone say this. It was something that always caught me off guard throughout this book and it made me feel very weird about the homophobia representation. She comes off as a parent who infantilizes her children as though they’re not able to make their own choices and there’s multiple moments in this book where it’s implied. It just really rubbed me the wrong way.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book, but I think I expected a little bit more than what was given with this book. I wish the situation with the mother had been handled differently, as well. I think this was a cute read, I loved how Weasley looked out for his brother, and I adored the corny barista dad jokes made on each chapter. I think if you’re new to this series, you should definitely give it a chance.