Eighteen-year-old Nephi Rafe Norton goes to Falcon Pointe University to find himself. Away from his conservative family, he hopes to discover if his attraction to men is the real deal. Encouraged to be someone a little different, he starts using his middle name. “Rafe” quickly makes friends, some of whom practice loving physical discipline, and lives it up—until midterms hit and he realizes he’s flunking statistics class.
When Scotland native Éigneachán Jackson Levlin offers to help, Rafe is eager to accept—not only because Levlin is a psychologist, but also because he’s out and proud and hot as hell.
As their relationship heats up, Rafe decides to spend one last Christmas with his family before he tells them. When his little sister outs him to his siblings, they turn out to be fully supportive, and he takes heart—until he introduces Levlin to his father, who brutally dismisses both of them. Now Rafe must come to peace with his father’s rejection or risk losing Levlin—and all that he has become at Falcon Pointe—forever.
I’ve not made a secret about the fact that I enjoy Durston’s writing immensely. I find her writing style to be smooth and engaging, her characters feel like real people, and their journey to happiness to be unique to the couple and well worth fighting for. Within the Men of Falcon Pointe series, even though each of the young male leads has dealt with coming to terms with his homosexuality, how his Mormon upbringing affects him, and how his family reacts to the revelation of his sexuality, each couples’ journey has been different. For me, I find that the series just keeps getting better with each book.
Much like his cousin Sebastien, Rafe chose Falcon Pointe University because of Bas and Trent’s experiences. He is hoping that by going to school away from his family, he will be able to discover if being gay is worth turning his back on his Mormon upbringing and losing his family, both of which are extremely important to him – the latter more than the former. Having a great roommate, becoming closer to Bas, forging friendships with the men of 959 Brenton Street, and reinventing himself means life in Falcon Pointe is good in the beginning. But when Rafe’s porn addiction and failure to grasp the material means that he may flunk statistics, he finds support and a firm, yet guiding hand in Éigneachán, a friend of Cory’s, who just so happens to have a lovely Scottish brogue and a sexy kilt – why don’t romance novels come with pictures?!?!? Is it any wonder that Rafe fell for Éigneachán?
I really enjoyed how Rafe and Éigneachán’s relationship built slowly, and that while there was no rush to bed, they practiced Domestic Discipline well before the men were physically intimate, as it not only gave Rafe the balance he needed, but also brought them closer. Further, I found that Éigneachán’s willingness to follow Rafe’s lead on how fast to proceed, was perfect. I also liked that Rafe’s religious issue were addressed differently. Despite being Mormon, Rafe did not deal with the constant nagging from his mother about getting involved with the local church like Trent and Bastian did. I found this break from focusing on the church to be a refreshing change of pace. In fact, his parents’ reaction to Rafe’s coming out was only partially religion-driven as opposed to what Trent faced in book one. As for Rafe and Éigneachán’s twist in the series, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed how Durston included the psychological aspects that Rafe experienced when his parents addressed his homosexuality – and that Éigneachán was able to help him through it. Like the previous installments in the series, I freaking loved Becoming Rafe. I am so looking forward to the next book in the series.