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Serpentine Walls

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Reeling from the news that his parents are divorcing, Pete Morgan starts his junior year at college cynical about love and commitment. Although his new openness to one-night stands does wonders for his sex life, fighting his romantic nature proves harder than he’d anticipated. He soon finds himself pining for a glamorous senior, Aidan, who doesn’t mind taking Pete to bed b Reeling from the news that his parents are divorcing, Pete Morgan starts his junior year at college cynical about love and commitment. Although his new openness to one-night stands does wonders for his sex life, fighting his romantic nature proves harder than he’d anticipated. He soon finds himself pining for a glamorous senior, Aidan, who doesn’t mind taking Pete to bed but shows no interest in commitment—at least not with Pete. And Pete’s attempt at a “friends-with-benefits” relationship with sophomore Jed leaves Pete feeling empty. One bright spot in Pete’s year is Matthew, an easygoing graduate student who assists Pete in making his first film. Matthew has some baggage too, and has sworn off relationships and sex altogether, so Pete feels safe to enjoy their friendship. But he falls for Matthew anyway, not able to fight his growing conviction that Matthew is the perfect guy for him. Even if Pete can accept that he made a mistake when he turned his back on relationships, that doesn't mean Matthew will feel the same. With a few life lessons under his belt, Pete’s ready to take a chance on love. As he finds the courage to bare his heart to Matthew, he can only hope that Matthew will take a chance with him.

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Reeling from the news that his parents are divorcing, Pete Morgan starts his junior year at college cynical about love and commitment. Although his new openness to one-night stands does wonders for his sex life, fighting his romantic nature proves harder than he’d anticipated. He soon finds himself pining for a glamorous senior, Aidan, who doesn’t mind taking Pete to bed b Reeling from the news that his parents are divorcing, Pete Morgan starts his junior year at college cynical about love and commitment. Although his new openness to one-night stands does wonders for his sex life, fighting his romantic nature proves harder than he’d anticipated. He soon finds himself pining for a glamorous senior, Aidan, who doesn’t mind taking Pete to bed but shows no interest in commitment—at least not with Pete. And Pete’s attempt at a “friends-with-benefits” relationship with sophomore Jed leaves Pete feeling empty. One bright spot in Pete’s year is Matthew, an easygoing graduate student who assists Pete in making his first film. Matthew has some baggage too, and has sworn off relationships and sex altogether, so Pete feels safe to enjoy their friendship. But he falls for Matthew anyway, not able to fight his growing conviction that Matthew is the perfect guy for him. Even if Pete can accept that he made a mistake when he turned his back on relationships, that doesn't mean Matthew will feel the same. With a few life lessons under his belt, Pete’s ready to take a chance on love. As he finds the courage to bare his heart to Matthew, he can only hope that Matthew will take a chance with him.

30 review for Serpentine Walls

  1. 5 out of 5

    Kaje Harper

    The word that came to mind most, as I read this story of a guy finding himself at college, was "realistic." Pete is a believable young guy, who is dealing with finding out his parents' relationship has irretrievably fallen apart. He has an optimistic heart, but also moments of darkness. He likes sex, and when it's on offer, he takes it even if there's no relationship potential. He crushes on the unattainable guy, acts like a jerk sometimes, misinterprets his own motives, and hurts people he care The word that came to mind most, as I read this story of a guy finding himself at college, was "realistic." Pete is a believable young guy, who is dealing with finding out his parents' relationship has irretrievably fallen apart. He has an optimistic heart, but also moments of darkness. He likes sex, and when it's on offer, he takes it even if there's no relationship potential. He crushes on the unattainable guy, acts like a jerk sometimes, misinterprets his own motives, and hurts people he cares about. He's also sweet at times, and kind, and tries to be a good friend. But when he realizes he's screwed up, he's human enough not to rush to undo the damage, or to apologize with polished words, when avoidance might do the trick for him. In other words, a realistic young college guy. He has talents for singing and screen writing, and finds a community among the artistic crowd at college, but he still hangs out with his highschool friends. He's out to all his friends and to his obnoxious but protective cousin, and homophobia isn't a big player in this book. This is more about growing up, about understanding relationships and figuring out what makes people act like jerks. It's about the difference between how things look and what they are at heart. And about Pete, figuring out which of the people vying for his body, and attention, are also worth offering his time, and maybe his heart. The author managed to make me wonder who that was finally going to be, for quite a while. I think Pete chose wisely, in the end, which was warm and sweet. This story abounds with interesting secondary characters, and it's a tribute to the author that I didn't get confused. A couple of them are in some ways even more interesting than Pete, and I look forward to reading their stories. Although not deeply emotional, the book's crowd of young guys dealing with life still held my attention well and made me go buy the next in the series as soon as I was done.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bev

    Trawling through the DsP website one day to check on upcoming books, my eyes were immediately drawn to the cover of this one. The blurb sounded interesting....I'm so glad I took a chance on it!! 4.5 stars from me and Pete Morgan is on his way from home to the University of Virginia to resume his studies after his mum has told him that she and his dad are getting divorced. Neither he nor his other siblings (3 brothers and a sister) are happy at the news as you'd expect, and of course, his mum is Trawling through the DsP website one day to check on upcoming books, my eyes were immediately drawn to the cover of this one. The blurb sounded interesting....I'm so glad I took a chance on it!! 4.5 stars from me and Pete Morgan is on his way from home to the University of Virginia to resume his studies after his mum has told him that she and his dad are getting divorced. Neither he nor his other siblings (3 brothers and a sister) are happy at the news as you'd expect, and of course, his mum is shell-shocked , she wasn't aware that her husband was carrying on behind her back with the book-keeper!! Pete and his travelling companions Angie, John and Bud (his cousin) have all been together since high school, and are really good/best friends, but this year John is moving in with his girlfriend Cleo and Angie and Pete have got a house together instead of rooming at the University, and Angie has declared that this year is the one that she and Pete will find their 'soul-mates'. There is so much going on in this book, the pace doesn't slacken for one minute. The author's writing is crisp, the story doesn't lag in the middle and the characters are 'fleshed out' really well...even the ones that you don't particularly like. Hopefully, we find out that Angie was right, for both herself and Pete. Anyhoo, I'll leave this review here, this was a nice old-fashioned romantic story and a real treat. Do I get my HEA...well, I had a big grin on my face at the end so that will obviously tell you something.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brandilyn

    Full review can be found here: http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2013... So I don’t know that I would have picked up this book had I not been approached to read it. Nothing against the author or the brilliant cover, it just wasn’t on my radar. However, I would have been missing out. Serpentine Walls is a sweet New Adult tale of one man trying to find love while trying not to get attached. It centers around Pete, a Junior at University of Virginia who is just trying to get through the year after his Full review can be found here: http://www.prismbookalliance.com/2013... So I don’t know that I would have picked up this book had I not been approached to read it. Nothing against the author or the brilliant cover, it just wasn’t on my radar. However, I would have been missing out. Serpentine Walls is a sweet New Adult tale of one man trying to find love while trying not to get attached. It centers around Pete, a Junior at University of Virginia who is just trying to get through the year after his family breaks up. His friend and roommate, Angie, announces that this is the year that they both will find The One. Pete is skeptical and determined to stay only casual with any encounter. I loved this book because it did not follow any formula that I have seen. As a matter of fact, you spend much of the book wondering just who The One will be (because of course he has to find him, Angie said so Smilie: ;) ). It is not a huge angst-fest, just a subtle romance that smacks the heroes in the face at differing times. This book kept me coming back for more. I stayed up late 2 nights in a row reading it, because I just didn’t want to leave Pete’s world. I would love, also, to see a book for Aidan so I can get some more insight into his motivations (as long as we get to revisit our friends from Serpentine Walls). Is this book perfect? No, but few are. There is a sweetness, without the saccharine. There is a subtle humor. There are believable characters who do what College students do. I can see myself re-reading this when I need a comfort read in the future.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Chutchy

    This book showed the complications of attraction and love. Many a book would have us believe that one cannot love one person without feeling attractions for another. Love just isn't that simple!! I was pleased to see that displayed in Pete's life. Oh yeah, and the creepy teacher? They're everywhere!! I would have loved to see more development in the romance between Matthew and Pete, just to have a few more 'near misses'. Love isn't a bed of roses. People get hurt, either by accident or by sheer This book showed the complications of attraction and love. Many a book would have us believe that one cannot love one person without feeling attractions for another. Love just isn't that simple!! I was pleased to see that displayed in Pete's life. Oh yeah, and the creepy teacher? They're everywhere!! I would have loved to see more development in the romance between Matthew and Pete, just to have a few more 'near misses'. Love isn't a bed of roses. People get hurt, either by accident or by sheer callousness on the part if another. It was all in this book. Any plans for a story with Aiden? I so hate to have seen him left in that situation!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Marion

    4.25 Stars!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Amy Dufera

    Serpentine Walls is an interesting coming of age story by CJane Elliott. As this is my first time reading a CJ Elliott book, I am happy to have discovered this series. I love college romances, and Serpentine Walls does a great job of portraying these tough years. Pete's struggling with all the men who are interested in him. He's hooking up with one guy regularly, lusting after another, and becoming good friends with yet another whom he thinks is straight. Oh, and did I mention his professor has be Serpentine Walls is an interesting coming of age story by CJane Elliott. As this is my first time reading a CJ Elliott book, I am happy to have discovered this series. I love college romances, and Serpentine Walls does a great job of portraying these tough years. Pete's struggling with all the men who are interested in him. He's hooking up with one guy regularly, lusting after another, and becoming good friends with yet another whom he thinks is straight. Oh, and did I mention his professor has been hitting on him? Combine this with the emotional issues Pete's experiencing due to his parent's divorce and he is having a tough year. This story does a great job of dealing with several common issues that people experience during these years. For one, college kids are often self-absorbed, so I appreciated this side of Pete, as well as appreciating a friend calling him out on it. At it's core, this story revolves around perception vs. reality, as well as pausing to assess what you really want in life. The sexual desires versus emotional desires of wanting to be in a relationship is also wonderfully written. Most kids this age don't think beyond the moment, which is the way Pete and Aidan are definitely behaving. Spending time with Matthew really helps open up Pete's eyes to what he actually wants. All in all this is an extremely realistic view into the mind and actions of a college guy. Accepting any offers he gets for sex. Lusting after someone who he can never actually have for more than a few hookups. And liking someone who, unfortunately, isn't open to having sex right now. I completely appreciate the writing style, as it's not only realistic, but also kind of jumps around, fast forwarding, pretty much the way life is at this age. If you haven't read Serpentine Walls and you enjoy a good college story, be sure to check out this one by CJ Elliott. I, for one, will need to find some time to read the others in this series.

  7. 5 out of 5

    GlamLawyer

    3.5 stars rounded up This isn't the usual romance book. It's more about growing up and friendships. Pete is a great MC and very well written. His character is realistic and still very likeable. He struggles with attraction towards different people and fails to make all the right decisions. He hurts people without meaning it but he learns and he tries to do better. He's making mistakes and he's learning. I enjoyed the friendship to love relationship with Matthew. Heartwarming and beautifully writ 3.5 stars rounded up This isn't the usual romance book. It's more about growing up and friendships. Pete is a great MC and very well written. His character is realistic and still very likeable. He struggles with attraction towards different people and fails to make all the right decisions. He hurts people without meaning it but he learns and he tries to do better. He's making mistakes and he's learning. I enjoyed the friendship to love relationship with Matthew. Heartwarming and beautifully written. I enjoyed it.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ashley E

    I don't remember ever being this young... but despite my annoyances with Pete's antics at times, this was still a very heartfelt book, with lots of genuine emotions. Matthew, despite his seriousness at times, was also a bit of a dork and just what Pete needed. Cute, with a helping of college angst.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jamie Deacon

    I love stories set against the backdrop of college life. Perhaps this is because they bring back happy memories, although sadly my own student days weren't nearly as sizzling with sexual adventure as those of the hero in 'Serpentine Walls'. Owing in part, I'm sure, to the fact that she once attended the University of Virginia where the novel takes place, the author does a wonderful job of portraying the atmosphere, and the way the modern rubs shoulders with the historical. As they prepare to begi I love stories set against the backdrop of college life. Perhaps this is because they bring back happy memories, although sadly my own student days weren't nearly as sizzling with sexual adventure as those of the hero in 'Serpentine Walls'. Owing in part, I'm sure, to the fact that she once attended the University of Virginia where the novel takes place, the author does a wonderful job of portraying the atmosphere, and the way the modern rubs shoulders with the historical. As they prepare to begin their junior year at U.VA., Pete's roommate Angie predicts that this will be their lucky year, the year they each find Mr. Right. However, still reeling from the shock of his parents' recent split, Pete has no desire to become seriously involved with anyone. Not that he intends to live like a monk either. Somehow though, both his steamy hook-ups with the gorgeous Aidan, and a friends-with-benefits arrangement with laidback Jed, leave him feeling unfulfilled. The one truly positive thing in Pete's life is his growing friendship with graduate student Matthew. As Matthew helps him put together his first film, Pete discovers him to be funny, generous, and great company, and before he can catch himself, he is falling hard. The trouble is, Matthew is scarred from a bad break-up and in no hurry to risk his heart again. This confronts Pete with a dilemma—accept that their relationship can only ever be platonic, or convince Matthew to take a chance on love. What really made this novel stand out for me were the characters. From the man-eating Aidan, to Cleo with her boldly colored hair and no-nonsense attitude, I came to care for each and every one of them. Pete is a believable hero, flawed yet immensely sympathetic, and I fell for Matthew's big heart and humor the moment he was introduced into the story. CJane Elliott has spun a tale that is as unexpectedly deep as it is entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Written for Rainbow Book Reviews and Boys on the Brink

  10. 4 out of 5

    GayListBookReviews

    This book is not your typical college boy book. It has more depth and character than most horny young boy meets another horny young boy and they live happy ever after. In fact through most of the book there is a somber mood and quite a lot of dysfunction. Pete’s life is feeling more chaotic than he would like. His family is in disarray, his schooling is involved and difficult and the last thing he wants is to fall in love. At least that is what he thinks. Pete is perfectly able to separate love an This book is not your typical college boy book. It has more depth and character than most horny young boy meets another horny young boy and they live happy ever after. In fact through most of the book there is a somber mood and quite a lot of dysfunction. Pete’s life is feeling more chaotic than he would like. His family is in disarray, his schooling is involved and difficult and the last thing he wants is to fall in love. At least that is what he thinks. Pete is perfectly able to separate love and sex though..maybe. And he pursues the sex to ward off any feelings that get to be too much. Matthew is perfect. A bit too perfect for me to fall for the mess that is Pete, but someone gets the perfect guy I guess. Matthew is the life of this theater crowd. He is the life of the party, the glue that holds all the friends together, is kind, gentle and overall a wonderful person. He has put distance though between himself and everyone else to heal and the unfortunate consequence is no one invests in him or spends any time getting to know this incredible person. Their school friends love each other and hold each other up. I like most of the secondary characters and feel they give this story the depth it achieves. This story does a great job of showing how both old and new friends can add to your lives. From the family conflict and old playground friends speaking truth into Pete’s life, to the new people he allows to have influence on his decision making, was wonderfully done. It is not a fast read, and it does have some frustrating sections. I didn’t like the abuse from one of the professors and the lack of action from those he abused. If you are looking for something more intelligent than your average college trope this is the book for you. Reviewed By Beans To see more of this review and others like it please visit us at Gay List Book Reviews at www.gaylistbookreviews.wordpress.com

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mia Kerick

    The first thing I liked about CJane Elliott’s Serpentine Walls was the title. I fell prey to the urge to search Serpentine Walls on Google and I’m glad I did; the University of Virginia, where the story takes place, has beautiful Jeffersonian serpentine walls that wind through the campus, adding to the classic college feeling of the story. The students in CJane’s novel also very effectively caught the essence of the college scene. Her main character Pete Morgan realistically deals with many of th The first thing I liked about CJane Elliott’s Serpentine Walls was the title. I fell prey to the urge to search Serpentine Walls on Google and I’m glad I did; the University of Virginia, where the story takes place, has beautiful Jeffersonian serpentine walls that wind through the campus, adding to the classic college feeling of the story. The students in CJane’s novel also very effectively caught the essence of the college scene. Her main character Pete Morgan realistically deals with many of the challenges that college life brings—intense friendships, sexual exploration, the potential for creativity and excellence offered by solid academics, the confusion over finding out who one is and how one fits into the social order. It brought me back to my own college days at Boston College. Pete has additional challenges added to his plate, though, as his parents have separated just prior to his leaving for school. This adds additional strife to his already lacking ability to trust in people and relationships. CJane weaves together the two struggles of Peter Morgan successfully, so that his need to accept and be accepted in a relationship mirrors his need to come to terms with his family life. Elliott’s novel also deals with other themes that people starting out on their lives as adults face: making sense of whether or not people are truly what they seem, the indulgence of alcohol in twentysomethings’ lives, living with the consequences of your actions, and doing unto others as you would have others do unto you. But the most substantial issue that Serpentine Walls examines is the concept of taking a risk. It takes until the final chapter, until which time you are perched on the edge of your chair wondering how circumstances for Pete will fall into place, for Elliott to completely express the story’s main theme: if you take a risk, you may lose your heart, but if you do not take a risk, you may never find “the one”. Serpentine Walls is a realistic and engaging story of a young man finding himself during a volatile year in college. Recommended.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tammy

    4.5 Stars I really enjoyed Serpentine Walls. The main focus of the story was on MC Pete and his attempts to navigate issues in his personal life - romantic and family. The main relationship between Pete and Matthew was very slow to build. While Pete went from several hook-ups with his major crush and a friends with benefits relationship with another student he was spending platonic time with Matthew. Although Pete and Matthew were attracted to each other they fought getting involved partly due to 4.5 Stars I really enjoyed Serpentine Walls. The main focus of the story was on MC Pete and his attempts to navigate issues in his personal life - romantic and family. The main relationship between Pete and Matthew was very slow to build. While Pete went from several hook-ups with his major crush and a friends with benefits relationship with another student he was spending platonic time with Matthew. Although Pete and Matthew were attracted to each other they fought getting involved partly due to Pete's focus on his crush and partly due to Matthew's issues with relationships. To make matters worse for Pete, he is also dealing with the break up of his parents. Although the book centered on Pete's struggles, the supporting characters played a big role. I enjoyed reading about the group of friends who obviously cared deeply for each other. This is my first CJane Elliot book but I look forward to reading more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Ahh, after reading Heidi Cullinan's Fever Pitch, I said that I wanted to read more books in a college setting without the frat boy angle. And without even really realising it, I'd already picked another such book for the current round of the scavenger hunt. I really enjoyed this. The writing was good, the characters fresh and interesting and just enough angst to keep things moving nicely. Pete was a good central character, and his various love-interests in the book were entertaining also. The bo Ahh, after reading Heidi Cullinan's Fever Pitch, I said that I wanted to read more books in a college setting without the frat boy angle. And without even really realising it, I'd already picked another such book for the current round of the scavenger hunt. I really enjoyed this. The writing was good, the characters fresh and interesting and just enough angst to keep things moving nicely. Pete was a good central character, and his various love-interests in the book were entertaining also. The book also kept you guessing about who he would end up with. It seems like it's pretty clear, but the further you get into the book without any romantic interaction between the two, the more you wonder if he is going to end up with the one-night-stands after all. I'll be looking for more from this author.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Crissy Morris

    This review was originally written for Joyfully Jay Reviews. 4.5 stars Serpentine Walls is one of those novels that is a journey. If you’re looking for instant gratification — an easy romance — this is the wrong book for you. This is also why I liked it so much. It kept me reading because I didn’t really know where it was going. There was a large cast of characters and the path to true love was a bumpy one. It didn’t always go in the direction that I would’ve liked, but it got where I wanted event This review was originally written for Joyfully Jay Reviews. 4.5 stars Serpentine Walls is one of those novels that is a journey. If you’re looking for instant gratification — an easy romance — this is the wrong book for you. This is also why I liked it so much. It kept me reading because I didn’t really know where it was going. There was a large cast of characters and the path to true love was a bumpy one. It didn’t always go in the direction that I would’ve liked, but it got where I wanted eventually, and I thought it was a rather interesting trip to get to that point. Read Amy's review in its entirety here.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa The Novel Approach

    The idea of a bird’s-eye view into the lives of a handful of college students had a definite appeal and author CJaine Elliott carefully wove interesting subplots into what would have otherwise been a simple story line. The idea of a college professor stepping over the bounds of propriety and dating his students, manipulating them in a macabre sort of puppet master way was one such plot point that kept this story moving along. See the entire review at The Novel Approach: http://thenovelapproachrev The idea of a bird’s-eye view into the lives of a handful of college students had a definite appeal and author CJaine Elliott carefully wove interesting subplots into what would have otherwise been a simple story line. The idea of a college professor stepping over the bounds of propriety and dating his students, manipulating them in a macabre sort of puppet master way was one such plot point that kept this story moving along. See the entire review at The Novel Approach: http://thenovelapproachreviews.com/20...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Meggie

    I have to admit disliking Pete as a character. He was juggling three different guys through the story and his HEA with Matthew simply didn't fit for me. To be truthful I disliked the main storyline, too.

  17. 5 out of 5

    W.S. Long

    3.75 stars This love story moves quickly. The characters are likeable. You want them to have a happily ever after. If you're looking for a sweet couple, this is your book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    I gave this about 20% and it just didn't grab me.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kristy Maitz

    That was perfect, marvelous, 5 stars reading material. I really loved how Matthew and Pete get together with slow and careful steps. Just great work.

  20. 5 out of 5

    A

    4.5 Stars. Review to Come.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Tracy

    i am in love with this whole series. Aidan's story and journey affected me the most. we have a lot of things in common and it was healing to read his story.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Zane Kage

    3.5 stars

  23. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

  24. 4 out of 5

    CarolynAnne

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ampr

  26. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  27. 5 out of 5

    Youblowgoo

  28. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

  29. 5 out of 5

    Taganis

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jo

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