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

Book Info

Author:
Series:
Roseden U by Shayne Prescott
Series Type:
Same story universe
Number In Series:
1
Cover Artist:
Publisher:
Spartakittah Press
Published:
1 February 2022
Book Type
Words:
65,000
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

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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Excerpt

“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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