22 February 2015

A New Man by P.D. Singer

Hey everyone,

I stumbled across A New Man by P.D. Singer by accident on Amazon and it looked too tempting to resist. The blurb completely intrigued me and I’ve spent most of Sunday reading it. So without further ado lets get on with the review!

The book:

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.

My thoughts:

To say A New Man packed an emotional punch would be an understatement. From the blurb I knew this book wouldn't be a chocolate box love story, partly due to Chad’s illness but also because of what Warren was willing to risk and lose. Yet I wasn’t prepared for the book to make me cry and think about some of the issues raised. P.D. Singer did a fantastic job of portraying topics such as illness, coming of age, alcoholism and infidelity without relaying on melodrama.

Did I say yes because I him enough to let him go if he needs to go? Or does that mean I don't love him enough to fight for him?

I loved the pace of this book, as readers we were allowed to get to know Warren and Chad as friends and lovers before introducing the main obstacles of the story. Also can I just say how refreshing it is too have a college/university based story that doesn’t revolve around football? Chad is part of the University Fencing team and although this isn’t a sport I know a lot I really enjoyed how P.D. Singer worked it into the story. It wasn’t just viewed as something Chad did in his spare time but instead made up part of his character and life.

'It's weird to think of myself as gay... I've been so used to being, well, nothing at all for so long that being something, anything, is different. Good'

For me Chad was definitely the more interesting character at the beginning of the novel due to his insecurities surrounding his sexuality. Insecurities that extend beyond his sexual orientation, in fact he adjusts to that revelation remarkably well. When these two transition from friends-to-lovers Warren is so sensitive, caring and kind to Chad. He accepts him as a person. He doesn’t judge or mock but instead surrounds Chad with acceptance and love.

You really will feel like a new man.
That was terrific, but would there be anything of the old one left?

This story follows a couple that is able to survive something that would have torn couples married for decades apart. Chad's personality pre-operation and post-operation is remarkably different. Although he’s now ‘cured’ I myself started to dislike the character I had grown to love in the first half of the book. Rather than being sweet, shy and understanding he became cocky, arrogant and sex-obsessed. Seriously at times I felt uncomfortable with his treatment towards Warren, it wasn’t abusive but it didn’t feel respectful.

Endless hours until Warren came back. Maybe warren had never really left. He was there when Chad woke in the morning.

It is to P.D. Singers credit as a writer that by the end of the book I was still rooting for these two to have a HEA. I wanted them to be together and be happy because of everything they had survived. Chad is able to realise his mistakes and Warren has enough self-worth to call him on it. To me this was a love story about trust, acceptance and support, without being all doom and gloom. I would highly recommend A New Man to any romance readers who enjoy college based M/M romances that tackles more complex issues.

My rating:
Happy reading and see you next time!