Morgan’s life isn’t that bad. Sure, he’s bullied, but what gay guy isn’t. He doesn’t have many friends, but it’s high school, a notoriously shitty period in the life of every teenager. He’s eighteen, and in just two months, he’ll leave for college, where he’ll major in Modern Literature and Poetry, and he’ll be far, far away from Mission High School.
Until a bullying episode drives him running straight into a speeding car. Morgan’s life is suddenly hovering by a thread. But Morgan isn’t dead — he’s just out of his body. No one can hear or see him but Derek, his red-haired, unapologetic intern who sticks by him and helps him overcome his fears and find his path in life.
Derek’s a keeper, and Morgan’s sure he’s in love. But will those feelings last once he’s back in his body?
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
The second book in the City by the Bay series reads like a sequel to Sadie’s Kiss, focusing on Evan and Casey more than a romance about new characters Morgan and Derek. In some ways, this is a much better offering than the previous book and explores Evan and Casey’s relationship in ways that were seriously lacking prior. Unfortunately it also short changes Morgan and Derek’s connection and I wish the story had focused on one or the other. Either be a sequel about Evan and Casey or be a new romance about Morgan and Derek.
The beginning shows high school outcast Morgan involved in a hit and run. Casey happens to see a vision of the accident and sends Leo and Sandra from the LGBT center out to help. This leaves Casey and Evan alone for some hot sex, a theme of the story, as everyone soon discovers Morgan has slipped into a coma. Intern Derek is taking care of Morgan when he realizes that Morgan is having an out of body experience and helps the teenager come to terms with his life so he can return to his body.
The plot is decent but fractured. There really is no reason to connect Morgan and Derek with Casey and Evan except clearly the story wants to return to the later two and further their relationship. Almost all the graphic sex scenes (at least 4 in an 80 pg novella) are between Evan and Casey with the final gratituous scene at the end between Morgan and Derek after their happy ending. Evan and Casey deal with an emotional insecurity between them and end up stronger for it while Morgan and Casey romp around the city off page.
Morgan is supposedly his spirit just out of his body yet this is easy to forget since Morgan eats, sleeps, flirts, and acts like a normal person. The spiritual aspect of being invisible is easy to ignore since the story ignores it as well. Not to mention Derek is supposed to be an intern, treating patients, yet wanders off for a two week jaunt around the city with no consequences. So clearly the story is not really worried about details and more interested in the romance. If you’re the kind of reader that can ignore these details then go for it.
Morgan and Derek are sweet and romantic but pretty empty. Due to the heavy focus on Casey and Evan, they never really materialize beyond their flat outlines. This is unfortunate since the story is easy to read and very quick with a lot of hot sex but feels empty whenever not about Casey and Evan. For easy, beachy reading…this one fits decently.
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