Book Reviews

Teaching Ben (Dreamspun Desires) by Shae Connor at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Military/Former Military / Students/Teachers/Professors / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 21-February-2018

Book Blurb

Learning to love means a study in patience.


Fresh out of the military, Ben Cooper is ready for a new start. He’s away from his domineering father, making his own choices… and out of the closet. On his first day of college, he meets David Powell, who’s just the kind of gorgeous man Ben’s dreamed of. Too bad he’s the teaching assistant—which makes him off-limits in Ben’s eyes.


David is Ben’s age, but his life has taken a different path. He’s close with his family, who helped him deal with personal struggles after he came out. And while he’s staying away from any hint of scandal, Ben’s a kind of temptation he hasn’t faced in years. If only they’d met on more equal footing.


As the semester progresses and their lives become more entwined, keeping their relationship platonic becomes more difficult. They just have to hold out until the end of the semester….


Book Review

“A study in patience” is the perfect way to describe this slow-burn romance between two men in their midtwenties. Caught in a situation where they want to avoid even the appearance of being more than friends, even though there are no “rules” that tell them to do so, Ben and David have to figure out how to deal with their feelings. An attack from another student, David’s turbulent past, and Ben’s inexperience with having any sort of relationship, never mind an open one, are all obstacles they face as the semester progresses and their friendship deepens. Just over three months to wait may not sound like a long time, but when you’re falling for someone and have to wait – it can feel like an eternity! The author did an excellent job describing the feelings, angst, and increasing attraction both Ben and David have to deal with. There may not have been nonstop action in this novel, but I was enthralled all the same.

Ben has finally managed to get away from his controlling father, which caused him to have to sign up in the Air Force for six years to get the man off his back. Ben is ready for making his own choices, but he has never had the luxury of doing that, so it takes some getting used to. Ben had no idea how tough it would be to hold back from falling for a man he considers off-limits: gorgeous teaching assistant David. Becoming friends is a good first step for Ben, but he wants so much more.

David is the impulsive type – and since it has gotten him into trouble before, he has decided to conquer that side of him and learn self-control. What he had not counted on was the difficulty of going through with his plans in the face of meeting the most attractive and intriguing man he has ever crossed paths with. Then there are a few secrets David is keeping – things from his past that he is afraid to reveal for fear of rejection. It takes courage for him to open up, but he knows he has no choice.

If you like slow-burn romances, if you want to watch two young men struggle with their feelings while figuring out how to relate to each other, and if you’re looking for a sweet read full of angst, a few obstacles, revelations, and a wonderful ending, then you will probably like this novel. I adored it!





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook, print and audio
Length Novel, 209 pages/55308 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-February-2018
Price $4.99 ebook, $9.99 paperback, $9.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
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