Table of Contents

Book Cover
Trigger Warnings:
Bullying, Transphobia, Including a physical attack on one of the main characters.

Book Info


Roseden U by Shayne Prescott

Series Type:
Same story universe
Number In Series:
Cover Artist:
Spartakittah Press
1 February 2022
Book Type
Heat Level


Betrayed by the only family he’s ever known, Owen must decide: for love or team?

For Roseden University frosh Theo Carter, the journey to his true self has been long and publicized. It seems most everyone on campus saw the TV series in which he was transitioning, and some feel very strongly he doesn’t belong at the prestigious all-male school. Struggling with classes and bullying, junior Owen Lewis swoops in like his own personal savior. But as the heat rises between the two, so too does the torment from some of the school’s lacrosse team.

As a product of the foster care system, Owen knows all about not being wanted. That’s why his lacrosse teammates are so important to him — they’ve become the closest thing he’s found to a real family. Being bounced around constantly between different homes with just a plastic bag of his possessions taught Owen there was no such thing as love. But if that’s true, why does Theo feel like a home he’s never known? Owen is convinced that nothing will stop him from protecting Theo — but what if the choice is between his found family and his first love?

When all seems lost, both have choices to make. Will they choose each other?

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Reviewed By: Josh Dale


This story did not quite live up to its synopsis, or at least my expectations from the synopsis.

It has lots of interesting elements and tropes, that should have made the story a great read. But I found it lacking in some areas. Theo’s back story did not quite gel with me. I thought that although Theo being a transgender man was one of the key plot lines. We saw some abuse towards him, and the author did show some of the effects the transphobic abuse had on him. I felt we did not see the full extent of the effects it would have had on Theo.

I did like the way Owen and his friends rallied round to help Theo gain strength both physically and mentally to cope with the abuse. And Theo did grow and come of age in this story.

Owen had his own set of issues, being rejected by his family, he built a family out of his lacrosse teammates. But as one of them was the main abuser of Theo who was Owen’s boyfriend. He had to decide which was more important, and we saw the process of Owen working things out in his head with the help of Brent. Like Theo we saw Owen grow and come of age.

In my view Owen’s background and story were stronger and it is a shame that Owen’s side of the story did not come across quite as strong.

I would also have liked to see Owen and Theo do more things together, their time seemed to be spent either at collage or in Owen’s room cuddling up. It would have been good to see them sharing each other’s interest a little more.

I loved Owens’s mate Brent; he was just the kind of best friend everyone needs.

The scenes of abuse and the attack were realistic and well written, but we did not really find out what caused the attacker to be the way he was.

I loved Owens’s mate Brent; he was just the kind of best friend everyone needs.

So all in all, not a bad read, but with a little more love I feel that the book could have been a stronger and more rounded story, and that is why I give it a score of 3


“Hi! Do you need help finding your books?” My books, my brain, my capacity to speak…

“Y-yes.” My tongue tangled like when I was a kid, when I’d had a mouth full of Gobstoppers and couldn’t manage any words. I bet I looked really intelligent.

Owen grinned at me, either oblivious or nonplussed by my brainless moments. “Do you have your class schedule? I’ll need that to find your books.”

“Sure do,” I confirmed. I handed him my class list and he looked it over, nodding quietly to himself before suddenly grinning even wider at me.

“You’re in my Spanish class. But I don’t remember seeing you in the fall semester?”

“I took the fall semester online, back home in New Hampshire.” Before he could ask why — I could see the curiosity on his chiseled face — I explained. “I had surgery early in the year; it made more sense to be home, rather than recovering here.” Smooth, Theo, so smooth. Why don’t you tell him about the time you tripped and skinned both knees while you’re at it?

Owen nodded. “I totally get that. So since you’ve got Spanish covered, it’ll just be the other four classes?”

“Yeah. Take all my money,” I groused, and he laughed, which made my stomach do a little flip-flop. I fought the urge to groan. I needed to get over myself. I didn’t know this guy, and despite him looking damn good, I shouldn’t have been swooning.

Owen went off to search the stacks for the books, while I decided to pick up some more highlighters. I’d brought some from home, but given the current state of my Spanish book, it would take me no time at all before those were dried up and in need of replacements. Finding a five-pack of assorted colors, I made a happy little noise and snatched them up, coming back to the book section just as Owen approached with a thick stack of books.

“Oh God. How am I going to get all of those back to my dorm?” Yes, Theo, complain to the handsome man about your own ineptitude.

Owen peeked around the books to peer down at me. “You didn’t bring a backpack?” I shook my head morosely. “Two options. You can either buy a Roseden one, or if you’ve got one back in your room, I can set the books aside while you go grab it.”

“Can you really set them aside?” Owen nodded. “Okay, thanks! I’ll get back here as fast as I can.”

“Don’t rush,” Owen assured me with a dazzling smile. “It’s been slow. More professors are going for online textbooks instead of the physical ones.”

I hazarded a glance at my stack. “Not mine, it seems.” Owen winked at me and my stomach fluttered again. I started towards the door, then remembered the highlighters in my hand. Turning, I placed them beside my texts. “I’ll pay for those, too, when I come back.” Owen gave me a friendly wave, and then I was off, back to Tucker Hall.

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Shayne Prescott has been putting together books since his medium was scraps of paper and pencil nubs. A children’s book was considered for publication while in middle school, and his short stories were often a favorite of his beloved English teacher, Mrs. Mazzacarro. Still, he writes.

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