Book Title: From the Universe to Me
Author: Scott E. Garrison
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Jaycee DeLorenzo
Release Date: April 11, 2023
Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance
Tropes: friends to lovers, coming of age
Themes: age gap, college, family drama, in the closet, mental illness, new adult, teaching
Length: 59 500 words/220 pages
It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.
Heat Rating: 3 flames
Learning to accept himself is not the only lesson the universe has planned for him.
Eighteen-year-old Tobias Gavin is struggling to come to terms with his sexuality. For many years, the what-ifs of coming out have swirled around his head, so he has chosen to live a lie to keep from disrupting the “normal” life he has created with his family and friends.
That is until he meets Gareth David the day he enrolls for his first semester as a college student. He feels an immediate connection with Gareth...a connection that pushes Tobias to question the way he has been living his life. When Gareth coincidentally becomes Tobias’s History professor, Tobias is forced to confront his feelings and confront the universe.
Tobias must come to terms with his depression, anxiety, heartbreak, and his sexuality before he can even begin to heal his wounds. He believes that everything happens for a reason, but he learns that some experiences are meant to teach even if they cause heartbreak. Once he comes to terms with himself, he might find his knight in shining armor.
Tobias must learn to trust himself and those around him if he wants to find happiness.
I’m startled out of my thoughts when I hear doors open, but to avoid any more agonizing contact with Anna, I don’t glance over until I hear the deep voice of a man talking to Anna.
I glimpse Anna out of the corner of my eye and notice her entire personality has changed. She appears more alive and filled with energy. She twirls her hair between her pointer and middle fingers, flirting with the man, which goes unnoticed by him. He is standing there exchanging pleasantries with her. When he turns to look in my direction, my heart literally skips a beat.
He is beautiful.
Wow. Drop-dead gorgeous isn’t even the best phrase to describe the man standing before me. The stylish brown hair rising in waves from the top of his head looks natural and void of any hair products, like he rolls out of bed looking like McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy on a daily basis. His light brown skin and dark brown eyes shimmer, reminding me of silky, smooth milk chocolate. Everything with me always goes back to chocolate, which is why I can’t stop looking at him as he stands next to the receptionist’s desk talking to Anna.
He isn’t ridiculously muscular, but his biceps look statuesque underneath his tight plaid button-down shirt. Dark Levi’s accentuate every muscle and curve his lower body has to offer. My mind immediately drifts to what his legs would look like if he set them free with short shorts or even his underwear. What is wrong with me?
Without even moving, he exudes confidence I only wish I could have. My mediocre body isn’t nearly as memorable as the physique standing before me. Anyone would want to talk to him, to be near his gorgeous face...touch his toned body. This man hit the gene-pool lottery when whatever higher being or the masters of the universe made him.
“Hello... Hey.... Is somebody in there?” he asks, waving his hand near my face.
My eyes adjust to his waving hand, and I realize I have been staring at him with an open mouth, looking like a brainless buffoon.
“Uuhhhh...what?!” I say like a blubbering fool.
“I asked if you are here to meet with me,” he responds with the sweetest expression, ignoring my inability to carry a conversation, which makes my cheeks burn red.
“Hahaha... I wish.” I freeze... What the fuck did I say? Oh my god, I could die. I should run out the door and lay down in the street, praying someone will take pity on me and end my suffering. I’m positive I have turned as red as the couches I’m sitting on.
He chuckles and gives me a bright and warm grin, revealing his perfectly whitened teeth. He towers over me, holding out his hand. “My name is Gareth David. I’m Dr. Richard’s teaching assistant. Who are you?”
Suddenly, an overwhelming urge to jump into his arms and put my hand through his radiantly manicured hair skips jauntily through my mind. That is perfectly acceptable for people to do, right?
I grab his hand, applying enough pressure to give an adequate handshake, so I look less like a dope.
When our hands meet, a rush of warmth spreads throughout my entire body. He glances at our hands and back into my eyes, giving me that perfect grin again. I can’t help but wonder if he observed the same jolt of energy when our hands met. The way he is looking at me makes me feel something I can’t put my finger on, but I don’t want the erotic energy to end.
After gaining my composure, I respond, “My name is Tobias Gavin. I’m here to meet with Dr. Richards about setting up my schedule for the fall semester.”
An Adonis-like smile spreads across his face, and I melt again. “Are you a freshman? I haven’t seen you around or in any of my classes.”
I look at him confused. “Didn’t you say you’re her assistant?”
He chuckles. “Teaching assistant. However, I teach my own classes and cover her classes when she is away. I know it seems weird, but Dr. Richards has taught me well. Besides, I’m almost finished with my graduate degree. I turned in my thesis a few weeks ago.”
His voice exhibits pure kindness that sends warmth through by body, helping me relax.
“May I have my hand back?” He laughs.
My body going tense again, I realize I’m still holding his hand. I hesitate for a millisecond—my body wanting our embrace to continue—before letting go of his hand.
“I’m so sorry. I was listening to you talk and forgot to let go.” Kill me. Someone, please hire a ninja assassin to come kill me now.
About the Author
Scott E. Garrison is a debut author, who wants to share new, queer stories with the world. He currently lives in the Oklahoma City, OK area.
Alongside writing, he has a Masters in Library and Information Studies and works as a Librarian for an Oklahoma-based library system. He spends his free time reading, baking, watching movies and TV shows with his husband, and cuddling with his dogs, Jarvis and F.R.I.D.A.Y.
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