I promised myself that this was going to be the year to finally buckle down. I’m a junior, and I’ve settled on a major. I’ve got focus and determination. The one thing I haven’t figured out yet? How to deal with the massive crush I’ve been harboring on the guy in study carrel six.
I don’t know his name and some of my friends think it’s time for me to move on, but he has this whole sexy, broody, dark eyes, and messy hair thing going for him. And yeah, he seems like he could be my polar opposite. The kind of unapproachable, serious type who doesn’t smile much, but I’d like to think he’s all rays of sunshine underneath his stormy expressions and disheveled demeanor. All that intense energy… I dig it.
I want to know him.
I’ll have to find the courage to actually introduce myself.
The college experience is supposed to be parties, drinking, and fun with a few classes mixed in. It sounds pretty amazing, right? For me, it turned out to be endless lectures, avalanches of homework, and copious amounts of caffeine. The study carrel might as well be my dorm room. And that guitar under my bed? It’s got two years of dust growing on it. But this is the life I have to lead if I’m ever going to help my dad.
Pre-med isn’t for the weak.
The problem? Loneliness holds me hostage.
If only I could find someone willing to break through my ever-present cloud bank, and remind me what it’s like to have fun again.
Title: The Glow Up
Authors: A.M. Johnson
Series: Franklin U Series, Book 5
Tropes: Grumpy/Sunshine, Hurt/Comfort, friends to lovers, Slow Burn.
Release Date: September 22nd
Thick smoke curled from the joint’s tip as I held it to my lips. The cloudless sky overhead bore down on my exposed shoulders, baking my skin in the California sun. I frowned and stared at the sidewalk for the hundredth time in the last ten minutes from my perch on the rooftop of the science building.
“Shit…” I wheezed and sputtered, choking and waving away the exhaled smoke.
“Such a novice. Are we feeling dramatic today?” Tommy asked, and I decided he wasn’t the most supportive friend I’d ever had.
Tommy was the Tommiest of all the Toms with his perfectly styled deep side part, polo t-shirts, and his love for being the life of the party.
“I don’t usually smoke this shit. You know that.”
He rolled his eyes and took a smooth drag like it wasn’t dragon fire. “Edibles are for the weak.”
“Edibles are for people who’d rather not pollute their lungs. But thank you for sharing,” I said without much conviction as my eyes snagged on a guy coming up the path.
I sighed. It wasn’t him.
“He isn’t coming.” My shoulders slumped as I leaned back onto my elbows. “My life is over.”
“Yup, definitely fucking dramatic.” He held his hand to my forehead, and I swatted it away. “Your obsession is starting to worry me, my friend.” Tommy licked his fingers and dashed out the joint. “This guy doesn’t even know you exist.”
He laughed, his bloodshot eyes squinting in the sunlight as he stared at me. “Your optimism will be your downfall.”
“Thanks.” I sat up and pulled my legs from over the roof’s ledge. Standing, I wiped my hands on my jeans. “I better get back to work.”
“Don’t get mad at me, dude. I’m only speaking the truth. You’ve been salivating over this guy since freshman year, and you don’t even know his name. That’s kind of… weird.”
“One… I’m not mad.” I held up my fingers. “Two… in my opinion, names are overrated. And three… fuck you, I am not weird.”
This week’s entry in the Franklin U world gives us Chris, the far too serious pre-med student and Aiden, business student who is also getting his massage therapy degree. Oh and he has been crushing on Chris from afar since freshman year.
Aiden also lives in Stoner, I mean Stormer House. First time we are getting a resident from the infamous house clouded in pot smoke. Chris lives in the dorms still as it is part of his scholarship, which he desperately needs.
A chance meeting and an embarrassing moment finally bring them together. Aiden was convinced that if he was meant to meet Chris, it would happen organically. And it seems like for the first time in three years, Chris finally lets go of the weight on his shoulders. Why he is in premed. What his plans are. Why he literally does nothing but study.
Aiden is determined to have him “glow up”. Start experiencing college life a little at a time. Letting go of some of the enormous pressure he put on himself. They quickly become fairly inseparable. Well, as inseparable as two guys in different majors can be.
Aiden and Chris are really awesome together. Aiden NEVER pushes Chris to do something out of his comfort zone. But he does support him and encourage him to live life a little.
It was great to read a story about a guy struggling but trying his hardest. I’ve never read a book where one of the main characters did nothing in college except go to classes and study for hours and hours on end. Aiden helps teach him balance. Aiden also helped Chris FAR more than Chris ever helped Aiden, but it didn’t seem one sided at all. Aiden was that guy who loved helping people.
I’m going to say this was the most serious of the books, but it wasn’t overly serious at all. And it had a great epilogue, always a plus with me.
4 pieces of eye candy
Amanda is an award-winning and best selling author of LGBTQIA and contemporary romance and fiction. She lives in Utah with her family where she moonlights as a nurse on the weekends and hikes in the mountains as much as possible.
If she’s not busy with her three munchkins, you’ll find her buried in a book or behind the keyboard where she explores the human experience through the written word, exploring all spectrums and genres.
She’s obsessed with all things Hockey, Austen, and Oreos, and loves to connect with readers!
Stay up to date by signing up for her newsletter here: http://bit.ly/NewsLetterAMJBooks
Connect with her Online