Book Reviews

Figuring it Out by Shawn Lane at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 16-May-2023

Book Blurb

Gay, dramatic, and flamboyant, Avery Jennings first fell in love with Joe Gunderson back in their sophomore year of high school when Joe asked Avery to tutor him for an English Lit class. Avery didn’t think he stood a chance with straight Joe and therefore hid his attraction to the handsome football player. When the tutoring ended, so did Avery’s time with Joe.

Years passed and when it’s time for college, Avery takes a job at the diner of a family friend and he’s shocked when his boss hires a new server ... Joe. Joe’s out and proud now but comes with a boyfriend, once more crushing Avery’s dreams.

Sometimes life brings someone back to you for a reason. Can Avery figure out what’s between him and Joe before it’s too late?



First edition published at Evernight Publishing, March 2013.


Book Review

The two young men in this story are trying to find their place in the world; one of them is openly gay and the other is a jock. Both will definitely need some time to figure out what they mean to each other, if anything. While it was frustrating to see one misunderstanding after another happen as they grew up, went off to college then encountered each other again, it was also very realistic. Life is like that somehow, and while I could see very clearly what was going on, they were too close to the situation and had a bit of a problem seeing sense.

For Avery, understanding how he feels about his fellow student Joe is easy. He adores him, and even though Joe is a jock and Avery is certain that means he's straight, Avery still has a huge crush on him. But first he thinks the man is straight, then he believes he's on the rebound, then his dad dies and he loses track of Joe altogether. One thing is certain: by the time a few years have passed, he does know for certain that he loves and wants Joe more than ever.

Joe may know what he wants, but he isn't very good at letting Avery know. First because he isn’t out, then Avery has a boyfriend, then Joe gives up and has one as well. Problem is, he cannot find a way to be happy. Ultimately, he gives up and moves away, but even then he cannot seem to let the idea of Avery and him together go.

If you like stories where two men take their time to figure out what they want, and if you're looking for a light read with a bit of angst and a lot of passion, you will probably like this short story.




DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. The first edition of this book was provided by the publisher for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 8735 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 22-April-2023
Price $1.99 ebook
Buy Link