Book Reviews

Organic Chemistry by Andrew Grey at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Students/Teachers/Professors / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 10-May-2013

Book Blurb

Brendon Marcus lives for his work. A boy genius who fast-tracked his way to college professor by his early twenties, he doesn’t know any other way to be. People confound him. So when Josh Horton, the assistant football coach, pursues him, Brendon isn’t sure what to make of him.

Josh has his own problems. His successful parents aren’t particularly happy with his career path, and some of the players don’t like having a gay assistant coach. He begins to have doubts, but Brendon makes the world look a little brighter.

But when Brendon’s department head starts to make trouble, Josh and Brendon discover that standing up for each other is the first step to standing up for themselves.


Book Review

On the surface, this may be a deceptively simple read, but what adds the depth is the characters and the way they interact. Brendon is, in many ways, the typical professor, and yet he is so much more than that. It is the same with Josh; if you look at him you see a jock who coaches college football, but when you start examining his actions and what he believes in, he is much more than the sum of his characteristics. And that is the true genius of this book. Just like "organic chemistry involves the scientific study of the structure, properties, and reactions of organic compounds and materials", this book, or rather its characters, are about attempting to understand each other and each other's reactions to all types of outside stimulus (life's events).

Brendon is a genius. With a doctorate completed at twenty-one, two years later he is an associate professor of chemistry at a local college. He understands his job, the formulas he works with, and the science behind them perfectly. The thing he has always had trouble with is people and interpersonal relationships. What this story is really about is his attempts to finally come to grips with them, and like many chemical reactions need a catalyst to make them work, something that kicks them into gear, so to speak, Brendon needs the same. He isn’t stupid, he just needs someone to point him into the right direction on his road to better understanding, and Josh turns out to be the perfect "catalyst" for this "experiment".

Josh, the college's football coach, has an undeniable interest in Brendon, and he is tremendously curious about what makes him tick. Just like when coaching he brings out the best in his players, he helps Brendon become more integrated into human society. Josh comes from a well-educated family, and many people, including his own father, underestimate him because he is "only" a coach. But it is what he loves, and what he is good at, and Brendon, as naïve as he is in many other respects, can see and accept that at face value.

These two men are so perfect for each other! I loved Brendon's bright-eyed curiosity about all the new things Josh teaches him from kissing to… more, just like he helps explain department politics and nastiness to Brendon. I adored Josh's loyalty and open-minded approach to Brendon, accepting him for who he is and managing to merge their lives all the same. If you like sweet romances, if you enjoy reading about two men who both excel in what they do but are somewhat quirky in their private lives, and if you're looking for a read that has a deeper meaning very cleverly woven in-between the lines, you will probably like this book as much as I did.




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

Additional Information

Format ebook and audio
Length Novella, 134 pages/33776 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 24-April-2013
Price $4.99 ebook, $14.95 audiobook
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