This story was too slow for me. I couldn’t finish it. I pushed to about halfway then gave up. My problem was with the whole slow burn and usual tropes. It started to lose me when Eric decided he needed a fake boyfriend to seem unavailable or not a loser to a straight guy. I dunno I guess I’m over the whole fake boyfriend/girlfriend thing when it’s used this way. It’s been done so many times before and this one was not only with an ex but an ex who was seeing someone if I recall. And he’s straight so why does he even care how he views him if there is zero chance of a relationship anyway. It all seemed a bit much.
Next it was the girlfriend back home plot line. The girl these ‘not so straight guys’ always have so the gay love interest can validate why they could never have him because you know, girlfriend back home. In this instance it seemed like Eric was the only one talking about said girlfriend and not Will. This made it even harder to get into this plotline. Will wasn’t the one dangling the girlfriend all the time as some sort of straight bait Eric, however, was way too invested in a girl Will didn’t ever seem eager to talk about.
It was too obvious that Will was bi-curious or even straight-up gay and as the pages went on it got frustrating instead of intriguing how long Eric would take to see this. I officially quit when his ex, the one he’s pretending to be boyfriends with, flat out told him drunk Will did nothing but talk about him and mentioned that the girlfriend did not exist and he still was like nah. Not only does he not like me, he’s totally straight. There’s only so much evidence combined with denial I can go along with and half a book was too much. And this couldn’t have been all obvious, like an ex with a boyfriend pretends to be your boyfriend because you still have a friendship, ends up taking your crush home and, amongst all the other clues previously ignored, you act like he’s lying to you, or something because Will is so straight?
I skimmed a few chapters to find, hoping I was wrong about how far in it would be, the first real instance of the Kinsey scale. It is in the title after all, it was pretty far in and was a brief thing about Will being a 3. I also skimmed to see how long it took before Eric came to his senses and even when that happened it ended with Will not wanting to talk about. So over half a book the burn is still going without a payoff.
This book is obviously a slow burn but the burn hinges on the main character ignoring signs the most unperceptive person can see or intentionally creating situations/conclusions out of thin air to go against said signs to drag along the burn and it was frustrating to read. How naive and stubborn can a person be?
If slow burns are your thing and you’re willing to buy into someone being as clueless as Eric for half a book even when his closest friend and ex flat out tells him he’s wrong then this book will work. It’s sweet, fun at some points. There may even be a few laughs. But it was way too slow for me. I’ve read enough books and seen enough movies that hinge on someone who isn’t written and described as too stupid to see the signs somehow missing or ignoring signs even when the other characters point out evidence, to suspend enough belief for it again in this story. And definitely enough of the fake partner plots and this story didn’t bring a new angle to the fake boyfriend/girlfriend trope. All in all, this was too slow and too familiar for me to get into it which is a shame cause roommates to lovers is always a fun ride when it works.