Learning With A Man

Learning With A Man - Albert Nothlit A Hearts On Fire Review

TWO HEARTS--The young and the bullied...find insta-love.

Albert Nothlit's "Learning with a Man" is a romance told in 1st POV from gay, bullied eighteen year old Jeff. Jeff has no friends. He's ostracized for being gay and tormented at his high school- the beginning of the book gives a hard slice of the crap Jeff deals with. Jeff thinks he has a friend in neighbor/ supposed best friend Ray. Ray is two years old, works at Jeff's high school as an assistant coach and still hangs out with the popular crowd at the local high school. (I found it odd that 1. a 20 year old can work as a H.S. asst. coach and 2. he's hanging around high schoolers)

Ray ignores Jeff and never steps in or stops any attacks made to Jeff because he does not want to be associated with the gay kid. And Jeff is depressed and depressing. I thought the story was going to take a turn for the worst with Jeff's angry message on Facebook. But it didn't. And I felt for the kid.

Then the story gets weird. Ray visits Jeff's house after not talking to Jeff for a year or so. Jeff is so pathetic that he licks up the crumbs of attention Ray paid him and invites his 'friend' to have a sleepover of sorts. There a porn jerk off happens. Jeff is in hog heaven thinking he has a friend and tries to hide his crush from Ray.

But Ray is a selfish jerk to the bone. A cycle starts of Ray secretly frolicking with the naive Jeff and then ignoring him in public when the popular crowd is out and about. And Jeff still takes what ever attention he can get. Ray is everything to him.

The story could have been cut in half. Too much filler like a dog chase and bite that led to nothing as did a fall off a cliff. Why add these things? Maybe to make a stale plot have something more interesting? Probably but the story was weakly delivered and made no sense. The dialogue was dry, sometime mundane actions were described at length for pages and then the PWP sex. Two virgins that can deep throat, rim and have anal like pros? Really?

It read like a jerk off fantasy that was stretched into a novel that should have just been kept at jerk off material length.

The plot is grey, the story is beige and I did not like any of the characters. Nothing about them are redeemable, in fact I stopped pitying Jeff and quit caring. He was fine with his ill treatment so why should I care? Ray is disgusting and selfish and will probably revert back to his old ways. The story ends with a HEA but I am not buying it.

Who would enjoy this? Fans of doormat heroes. I'm sadly not one of them.