Book Reviews

Another Believer by Stephanie Vaughan at Torquere Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Romance
Reviewed by Alex on 05-April-2014

Book Blurb

Jonah Simpson might be an athlete, but he's nobody's fool. It just so happens he appreciates what's between a guy's ears almost as much as what he's packing elsewhere. So when he spots an open seat next to serious but sexy David, the usually boring train ride up the Pacific coast quickly becomes an exercise in speed-dating. He's only got a few hours to get the nerd with an attitude to take him seriously.

David Sato has spent a lifetime being ignored by the hot guys at school. It doesn't take a genius IQ to know that if a jock is being nice to him, there must be a test coming up. So when the hottest guy David's ever laid eyes on -- let alone sat next to on a train – starts flirting with him, what's a robot-loving, socially awkward science geek to do?

NOTE: Originally published in the Torquere’s Kegs and Dorms anthology


Book Review

I found this “two strangers meet on a train” short to be an engaging and enjoyable effort. Character driven, it features two college students, one a hot jock, the other a smart nerd, each of whom is more than what his appearance implies.

Waiting to board his train, which will return him to college, David, a self-titled nerd, spots a hot guy on the train platform. He cuts his fantasies about the guy short knowing tall, blond, and handsome will never go for a guy like him.  He’s familiar with the type, he’s seen them at his school. Prime, hot jocks that wouldn’t give him the time of day. Yeah, he may see them, but to them, he’s invisible. Letting go of the fantasy, he boards his train and readies for the long boring ride back to college. When said hot jock sits down in the seat next to him, things get more than interesting and David is forced to realize that the person who truly doesn’t see him—is himself.

Climbing aboard the train that will take him to his new college, Jonah lays eyes on the cute Japanese boy who seems like his ideal type. When he spies the pile of science magazines in the boy’s lap, he’s ecstatic: there’s a brain to go with that attractive body.  He quickly snags the empty seat next to the object of his affection and introduces himself.  A slow feeling out process reveals that his new neighbor is gay and Jonah proceeds to reveal his interest, hoping that David will reciprocate. After a while he can tell David might be into him, but for some reason David is resisting his attempts to bring them closer. Undaunted he spends the train ride trying to win the attention and affection of the brilliant, but stubborn man. Can he convince David that he’s different from other jocks he’s known?

I think what I liked best about this story is its timing and rhythm. I had the sense that the two men were truly on a train and their developing relationship played out very nicely for the allocated time. For me it read like a two-hour independent film. A very solid and entertaining film with engaging characters, a getting to know you plot, and some fairly realistic, emotion-wrought, steamy sex scenes.  Nice work.

Thank you, Stephanie Vaughn, for sharing this appealing “never judge a book by its cover” jock-nerd story.  “Sweet, Slow Burn”





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Torquere Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 81 pages/23500 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-March-2014
Buy Link