British software engineer James, clings to carefully made plans in his perfectly unadventurous life. He avoids people-ing at all costs and has no need of a boyfriend. Forced to spend the summer at the Oregon office, his ordered world is thrown upside down.
Awkward in his home-made jacket, and melting in the heat, isn’t how James expects to meet one man tour-guide & player Brad, who’s keen to show James the sites of Astoria. Including his bed.
James's old habits are discarded, his carefully guarded heart opens, as a casual one nighter develops into much more. But James isn’t prepared to find a man who’s as kind and caring outside the bedroom as he’s wanton and inventive inside. Or to start falling in something for Brad, because James must leave at the end of summer.
The Player and the Geek is a steamy, opposites attract, small town gay romance. This story was originally released in 2015 as a novella called Heatwave Astoria. It’s now revised and enhanced as a full-length novel, with 50% extra content. The plot, characters and setting remain the same.
What others said (Goodreads reviews)
What is nice here, and in all Livings' work, is a young male voice looking at modern gay romance from a slightly different perspective than we're used to. What we see are two very plausible lives as lived by two perfectly probable young gay men. That one is English and the other American is a plot device, not a crucial detail. The two characters could have been reversed without damaging the story; the nerdy American code-writer and the smooth English cad. What makes Livings’ story work is the authenticity of the young men, and his ability to coax character out of archetypes.
...both men break into new territory seeing something in the other man making them want to take a chance at love. There is a slow build of chemistry between Brad and James, but you can tell that things are going to start to sizzle. This is a laid back story where you get to enjoy the main characters as well at the town of Astoria and the people that live there. I am always happy when there is a Happy Ever After ending, and this story has a really good one.
Brad is just... well... a man-slut. Seriously though, he is! He has a map where he marks where he's been and who he's shagged! Puts notches on the bed post look like a religious retreat. James is like the polar opposite of Brad. He's content in his introverted ways. Not well versed in dating or hooking up. James is a romantic looking for forever and Brad is more of a vagabond. I found the entire concept very clever. I recommend this if you're looking for something different and fun.