Falling in love isn’t where the story ends. You may have met the man of your dreams, but reality doesn’t consist of hearts and flowers. There are still mistakes to be made, problems to negotiate, especially when you’re young. In fact, as Mark Miller and Bill Cromwell discover in the second installment of Robbie Michaels’ Most Popular Guy in the School Trilogy, getting together is only the start of what life has in store for them. .

How a nerd like him landed one of the most popular guys in the school for his boyfriend remains a mystery to Mark. Yet, he and Bill are as crazy about each other as ever, eager to set out for college in California and begin their journey as a couple. In a frenzy of expectation and hopes for their joint future, the two young men settle into an apartment, find jobs, and attend classes. Much to the excitement of their friends and family back home, they even become friendly with the Hollywood heartthrob, Derrick St. James, and discover the truth about his sexuality that has been so assiduously hidden from the media.

But life in sunny LA doesn’t turn out to be quite so much fun as they anticipated. Between keeping up with college assignments and working to stay afloat financially, Mark and Bill barely get a chance to talk anymore, let alone have sex. Already strained, their relationship suffers a further blow when Bill accepts a small part in Derrick’s latest film that takes him to Australia over the Christmas break. Left alone, Mark tries to be pleased for Bill, and to ignore the fact that he has heard nothing from his boyfriend since he boarded the plane. Then the news reaches him. Bill, the love of his life, has committed the ultimate betrayal and put everything he and Mark share at risk.

This is a heart-warming story about a young couple struggling to hold on to their relationship while circumstance does its best to drive a wedge between them. Through it all, Mark’s voice brings the narrative to life, infecting every syllable with his zeal and refreshing sarcasm. I already had a soft spot for Mark, having read the prequel, and I came to admire him even more as this novel progressed. He goes through a lot during the course of this book, but he handles it all with a wisdom and maturity that outweighs his eighteen years.

You don’t have to be familiar with the series to enjoy this novel. It will appeal to anyone interested in reading about the ups and downs of relationships, written in a style that is both compassionate and laced with humor.

Written for Rainbow Book Reviews

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