Want Me (Book 1)
Going into this book, I knew that it was initially published as a series of novellas for the author’s newsletter. With that premise, I expected a fairly light, if incredibly sexy, read about two characters who hook up until they end up in a real relationship. Taken as a whole, it is definitely about two characters who hook up until they end up in a real relationship. It is also incredibly sexy. However, there is nothing light about it. Wilder treats the premise as an actual romantic arc, with each novella infused with plenty of genuine emotion and the perfect amount of angst.
Nate doesn’t quite know what he wants, except eventually he figures out that he definitely wants Eric. While college is known as the time to “find yourself,” that’s not always an easy process. Here, Wilder walks a fine line between Nate being more unsure about his sexuality or more uncertain about the fact that he is hooking up with his roommate. Both secrets would probably be easier to keep if Nate and Eric stopped having sex in semi-public venues, but I suppose that’s half the fun. I was incredibly proud of how Nate ended up handling both issues, even if I expected nothing about how he went about it.
Though this book is entirely from Nate’s point of view, Eric’s dedication to him and burgeoning love were also apparent (even when Nate wasn’t so sure). These guys might have a simultaneously typical and atypical college romance, but everything about it screams that they’re together for the long haul, toward a true happily ever after. I’m almost disappointed that the next book isn’t also about them, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from looking forward to reading it.
Try Me (Book 2)
Since I’m *cough* years beyond college-age, I’m generally not interested in reading about dumb college boys. But Wilder is an author I’m rather fond of, and I’ve become strangely invested in the shenanigans of these particular college boys. This book overlaps with the ending of the previous one, when Mark and Chet trade blows at a party, and picks up immediately after. It becomes pretty clear that these guys have a pre-existing relationship that involves a little something more (or less?) than hate.
Thus begins this excellent friends-to-enemies-to-lovers story, featuring Wilder’s usual three-dimensional characters that I can’t help falling a little in love with. Chet is just enough of a bad boy and Mark is not quite enough of a frat boy for me to become thoroughly invested in them as characters, especially as they are repeatedly forced together through external circumstances.
Proximity breeds intimacy (yes, that intimacy) until these guys realize just how much they still mean to each other after all these years. The enemies bit was forced on them by their fathers, and unfortunately, Mark’s father is still pretty set on that remaining the status quo. The resulting angst is quite real as my heart broke for these guys. Luckily, the story doesn’t stop there, and we come out the other side to the requisite happy ending.
I’ll happily read about any college guys Wilder throws at me, which is good because I know another installment to this series is in the works.
Show Me (Book 3)
I don’t think I’ve laughed out loud so much in a long time while reading a book. I’ve known this pairing was coming for quite a while, thanks to reading previous books in this series and following the author on social media. Wilder has made me appreciate so many tropes that I didn’t enjoy before, such as “queer for you” and exhibitionism. However, it is definitely due to her writing alone since I don’t feel the urge to search those out in other novels. This series, however, elevates the concepts to a new level.
Jesse knows better than to pine for a straight guy, no matter how much he knows about Sam’s…assets. When he discovers a secret Sam has been keeping, the result is Jesse being pulled down the rabbit hole (and he’s not mad about it). Jesse experiences a certain amount of angst about the situation (the scene in which he discusses his plight with Eric is possibly one of my favorites in the book). Sam is too overall chill to carry that much tension about the whole thing; he’s more inclined to go for what various body parts (including his heart) are urging him toward.
The result is a fun, sexy, and overall hilarious friends/roommates to lovers story that I had a blast reading. Wilder has definitely made my list of authors for whom I drop everything and read.