Book Reviews

Dreams and Expectations (Before... and After 4) by Susan Laine at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 06-December-2017

Book Blurb

At what point are differences irreparable?


Tom McAllister and Nick Corwin have always had a comfortable friendship, even though Nick is a Native American webcomic artist and Tom’s father is a rigid Christian. But they’re about to discover growing up means more challenges than choosing a college major. It might mean making decisions that change pivotal relationships—or sever them.


When a bully confronts Tom and Nick and a dark, unsettling aspect of Tom emerges, Nick is shaken enough to end their friendship. As both young men struggle to balance their own dreams with the expectations of their families—both in terms of career and faith—they recognize the emptiness that parting ways has left in their lives. But when reconciliation leads to confessions that might mean something more than friendship between them, will it make their path easier to navigate or more difficult?


Book Review

“Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.” ~  Mahatma Gandhi

Tom and Nick, of Dreams and Expectations by Susan Laine, are working their way through their philosophies of life, taking what their parents have instilled in them and deciding what to accept or reject, so as to come up with their own conclusions. They are planning on attending college together, but Nick has already been accepted to Harvard and Nick's parents are expecting him to go there. They think they have his future all planned out for him and that Nick is on board with their decisions. Nick doesn't want to upset his parents, but he has different ideas of what will make him happy and successful.

Tom and Nick love each other and think they know everything about their friend, but when Tom acts completely out of character and physically attacks a bully, Nick is appalled by his behavior; he begins to question whether he knows his friend at all, or if he even wants to know him any longer. Nick is heartbroken, his faith in their relationship is shattered, but it's not that easy to walk away from someone you love. When Tom has some time to think, he realizes that he's in love with Nick and is going to do everything he can to apologize for his behavior and win back his love. Previously, Nick told Tom that he's gay. When Tom declares his love for him and his desire to take their relationship to a new level, Nick is very wary of following through.

This story has a lot of information about important topics that Tom and Nate face in their journey toward maturity and independence. It shows how they deal with each issue and how they work toward a compromise. It is not an easy task, particularly since their problems involve religious intolerance, bullying, opposing expectations, etc., but they manage, making life better for everyone. Thanks, Susan, for the reminder that everything can be worked out through good communication and education.





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
Length Novella, 86 pages/26873 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 06-December-2017
Price $3.99 ebook
Buy Link