Book Reviews

Tonight and Every Night by Mere Rain at JMS Books

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Disability / Students/Teachers/Professors / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 22-November-2021

Book Blurb

A funny, sexy, opposites-attract romance between two college students -- one an anxious, autistic virgin who has never been away from home before, and the other an easy-going hockey player with some well-concealed self-doubts. As long as you don’t call it a relationship, you don’t have to talk about your feelings, right?

PJ is socially awkward to the degree that he never expects to have a relationship or “normal” life. Everything other than math makes him feel stupid, and trying to fit in with the party crowd only results in him getting embarrassingly drunk at Giant’s apartment. He doesn’t have the first idea how to ask someone out -- especially not someone popular and hot.

Giant is having lots of fun but doesn’t know what he’s doing with his life. A working-class kid with an unexpected athletic scholarship, he feels stupid and low-class compared to most of his classmates. He’s had plenty of one-night-stands but none of them ever seem to see him as boyfriend material. When the cute nerd who somehow ends up in his bed asks to see him again, he can’t think of any reason to say no.

As they spend more time together, not all of it in bed, both men start to fall in love, but neither wants to risk ending what they have by asking questions about their relationship. Then they go home for Thanksgiving and familial opposition forces them to put their feelings about each other, and themselves, into words, and make choices about their future together.

But do they want the same things?

 

Book Review

Okay, momentarily let’s pretend we are actually intellectual. (Perhaps try remembering yourself at that last business cocktail party, or even a class reunion!) So, now consider the definition of a novel: “A fictitious prose narrative of book length, typically representing character and action with some degree of realism.” (Oxford Dictionaries). Then also think of what it means for something to be fictitious: that is, “a work of fiction is created in the imagination of its author, who invents the story and makes up the characters, the plot or story line, the dialogue and sometimes even the setting.” (Study.com)

 

Should you still be awake, let us turn our expanded consideration to ‘Tonight and Every Night’. Mere Rain has presented us with a well-imagined story concentrated on two very different main characters. Rain has minimized the deep exploration of Giant, the more normal of the two. Yes, he is a college junior (so, not intrinsically stupid); he is a successful athlete (so, capable of concept and completion, and popular with all the college fans). As his background is presented mostly in highlights, Giant is given to us, much as a nice used car - in “as is” condition. PJ (or Pidge) is delivered with more noted preconditions, which the book’s blurb places somewhere on the autistic scale. Perhaps! [This review will avoid any pseudo-erudite discussion of autism or other well-discussed and now familiar intellectual conditions. But it is worth noting how different, and how much better, is the acceptance of such characters and conditions. To mark our literary growth, one need only remember Lennie, in Steinbeck’s ‘Of Mice and Men’.]

 

As we join him on his college adventure, his offered background is but sparsely outlined. Eventually, we get to meet his extended family, which is quite revelatory, and particularly revulsive. (When reading about Pidge’s return home for his standard Thanksgiving repast, try picturing his grandparents as the subjects in Grant Woods’ American Gothic. Warning: what an appetite suppressor!)

 

Reverting to those things which make a literary project into a novel, where does ‘Tonight and Every Night’ fit? Characters! Absolutely. Giant and Pidge are the focus, detailed, described and, probably, sufficiently rationalized. The thin background does make their character development in the novel’s timeframe a matter of some faith, but especially Pidge – somewhere-on-the-scale – represents hope for growth: personal, intellectual, sexual.

 

The author’s story line seems basic to presenting a narrow but important window in the life of the main characters. So, the events are ordinary, the college stetting is acceptably familiar, the dialog nicely expected, and the overall flow isn’t unreasonably disturbing. Does that result in a “fictive” success? The answer is YES.

 

The world of this novel is positive. The hopefulness is realized. The sex is frequent, if somewhat juvenile in its range – but the main characters are just starting out and have no fear of exploration (and they do evidence astute capacity to learn!). The side characters, including the main characters’ parents, are 21st century people, accustomed to our current environment. ‘Tonight and Every Night’ is a fine, fun read and is highly recommended.

 

 

 

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

 

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novel, 81420 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 17-September-2021
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link https://www.jms-books.com/mere-rain-c-224_522/tonight-and-every-night-p-3979.html