Senior year of college is for studying, partying, and having fun before getting serious about life. Instead, Chad’s days are filled with headaches and exhaustion, and his fencing skills are getting worse with practice, not better. Then there’s his nonexistent love life, full of girls he’s shunted to the friend zone. Is he asexual? Gay?
Grad student Warren Douglas could be out clubbing, but his roommate is better company, even without kisses. He’s torn up watching Chad suffer, gobbling ibuprofen and coming home early on Friday nights. If Chad weren’t straight, Warren would keep him up past midnight. They’re great as friends. Benefits might answer Chad’s questions.
A brief encounter with lab rats reveals Chad’s illness—he needs surgery, STAT, and can’t rely on his dysfunctional parents for medical decisions. Warren’s both trustworthy and likely to get overruled—unless they’re married. “You can throw me back later,” Warren says, and he may throw himself back after his husband turns out moody and hard to get along with, no matter how much fun his new sex drive is. Surgery turns Chad into a new man, all right…
…but Warren fell in love with the old one.
A New Man is a very interesting, well-written read. It’s obvious that the author put a lot of thought and research into crafting this story – there is nothing ‘typical’ about this plot. And I must warn you – Thar be angst ahead – so strap yourselves in for the ride!
When we first meet Warren and Chad, they’re good friends and college roommates. Chad is a sweet, erection challenged guy with weight problems and even more problems with the fencing he so loves to indulge in. He doesn’t get into romantic entanglements with women because, well, he doesn’t want the humiliation of being found out. Chad also suffers from blindingly painful migraines.
Warren is a medical student who not only cares about Chad as a friend, but wishes for so much more. As the story progresses and they discuss Chad’s problems, Warren suggests that Chad might be gay and that’s why he can’t get it up. From there you can guess what happens – sure enough, Chad and Warren begin a sexually satisfying relationship
and Chad assumes he must be gay after all.
When the reasons behind Chad’s migraines finally gets diagnosed (won’t spoiler this – but it’s a rare condition) Warren and Chad get married so that Chad can have someone be able to make medical decisions in case Chad become befuddled due to the surgery he needs. Chad doesn’t trust his parents, but he trusts his best friend and new lover. The story really takes off at this point because just when you think everything’s going to play out that they decide married life is perfect and dance off into the sunset together – Chad’s surgery drastically changes his personality.
Some readers may find Chad’s abrupt Jekyll/Hyde transformation too much to swallow (sorry – wasn’t trying for a pun there!), but who knows? This isn’t exactly a well-known condition that this guy has and maybe he’s been repressing his feelings for a long time and the side effects of the surgery released them tenfold. I struggled with it somewhat, but overall, I went with it. Warren did too, and showed an amazing amount of care and consideration toward Chad’s transformation from sweet to super sour.
I need happy endings for my books, and I’m relieved that the angst portion of this romance didn’t devolve into something painful and broken. The realization of what and how much they mean to each other was written to perfection. Overall, I really enjoyed this author’s writing, the unique storyline and Warren and Chad’s HEA. I give A New Man 4 Stars.