Peter Mandel is an 18-year-old private school senior who’s passionate about photography and bent on keeping his attractions secret. Enter Adam Algedi, a charming, worldly guy who doesn’t do labels, but does want to do Peter.
Swept away on a journey of first love and intimate discovery, Peter hopes for a future where he won’t have to hide his truth. But as the web of lies he and Adam are weaving grows relentlessly tangled, can Peter find the confidence to do the right thing? Or will his crush on Daniel, a college acquaintance, put him on a different path?
Join Peter in the first book of this critically acclaimed trilogy as he struggles to love and be loved and to grow into a man worthy of his own respect.
Leta Blake’s ’90s Coming of Age series is a must-read for fans of New Adult Romance and coming-of-age fiction.
This series by Leta Blake is an M/M New Adult Coming-of-Age Romance set in the early 1990s.
This is a rerelease and I had never read it before so I honestly don’t know if it was edited to add or remove anything. Just a head’s up if it sounds familiar to some of you.
Cue feeling super old. I’ve heard this series called historical. Historical. Sigh. The characters graduated high school two years after me. So yes, the story starts in 1990. And I loved that. So many things- movies, shows, etc, that are set in the 80’s or 90’s are SO over the top stereotypical. It was refreshing to read something that really represented that time.
On to the story. It’s a rollercoaster ride. 18 year old kids still in the closet because it was 1990. Unless you lived it, you don’t know. Looking back at my own high school life, there wasn’t a single out student. Now I need at least both hands to count who came out as gay just from my graduating class.
Sorry, focusing now. We have nerdy Peter starting a new private school for his senior year because of bullying at his previous school. He quickly meets the 2 other new seniors- Adam and Sarah. Diplomat brats who finally get to finish their high school career in one school. Adam is gorgeous and charming and nice and befriends Peter immediately. Even though Peter can’t understand why. Sarah is a sullen teen who is just cranky.
They start hanging out, Peter just waiting for Adam to realize he isn’t cool. But Adam isn’t like that. He isn’t the typical American teen who tries to be cool and popular and hang out with the cool and popular. They quickly become “best friends” and then more. Adam, the more experienced, is really patient with Peter. Even holding off on doing some things that Peter wanted. Obviously Sarah figures it out and tries to stop them constantly. Because she has seen what their father will do if he thinks his son is gay.
Once school starts, the more intricate the lies become. Even though they all hang as a group, Peter is often whispered about as gay. Enter Leslie, Adam’s now girlfriend. But he still wants to be with Peter. In secret. And Peter puts up with it. Now, at 50+ I would yell at my kindle that he deserves better. But to him, an 18 year old, not out but definitely gay nerdy kid who takes pictures….he wasn’t giving Adam up.
This story was really emotional. The hiding, the sneaking around, lying to friends and family, meeting and befriending a drag queen and her husband, it was a page turner. My heart broke for Peter every time Adam was with Leslie. And Peter just watched,
And Leslie really liked Peter as a friend. Which made the secret so much worse. Because she was a genuinely nice person. I think she guessed early on that Peter was gay, but never said anything. She had no idea about Adam though.
This book ends with them graduating high school, Adam and Sarah going to Italy to spend the summer with their parents and the rest of the friend group kind of splintering.
I don’t know that I’ve read a romance that was between 18 year olds that was just so well told.
I can’t wait to read more.
(Book 1 of 3 of a continuing story)
4.5 pieces of eye candy