Friday, March 16, 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: OFF-CAMPUS SETUP by Maria Vickers

Off-Campus Setup
Author: Maria Vickers
Genre: M/M College Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2018

Levi Cox left it all behind to go to school in California, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he gets there. Between the university screwing up his living arrangements, the weird meddling old woman who runs the boarding house, and the fellow student who instantly catches his eye, life in Cali is more than he expected, and he isn’t sure he’s ready for any of it. College was supposed to be an adventure, but this might be more than Levi can handle. 

Nathan Orion wants to have fun. That’s what he lives for and it's exactly what his college years are supposed to be about. He’s happy with living the single life and being carefree…that is until the new student at his grandmother’s boarding house crashes into his life. Now he’s been recruited to show the new guy around, and if Nathan has his way, it won't be just on-campus.

Will there be more, or is this only an illusion? Two men thrown together, not expecting anything, but possibly finding so much more than an off-campus setup.

“This book was very enjoyable!” - Under Covers Book Blog

“Such a fantastic book!” - Goodreads Review

“If you love M/M stories, you will love this one.” - Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon 



I remembered everything very clearly. The first time we met, our first kiss, the first time we were discovered in the same bed by a nosey grandmother with bright yellow hair, and then the fallout when I realized everything was nothing more than a wishful fantasy that was never supposed to come true. 

And now I as scanned this room to make sure nothing got left behind, I realized how much I’d changed and how far I’d come. My imaginary world exploded, leaving me shell shocked and pissed off. 

This wasn’t the first time I’d fallen prey to feelings, wasn’t the first time I’d been hurt, but it would be the last. 

I took a step out of the room and closed the door behind me. This part of my life was now over, and a new one had just begun. 



Life as I knew it had disappeared. Poof. Gone without a trace. And any other of those sayings people tended to overuse. 

It was my own fault really. I should have expected it, should have seen it coming, but I hadn’t. And now everything had changed. Good or bad. I didn’t know yet. Should I be thanking her or blaming her? Both maybe? 

As I closed the door on the small space I’d called my bedroom for the past few years, I realized for the first time I didn’t know what I was going to do or what would happen tomorrow…and oddly enough, that thrilled me.

Off-Campus Setup had an interesting premise, one that you know right up front is going to cause major conflict at some point.  Nathan’s grandmother is a total instigator, sticking her nose into everything and manipulating the whole situation as she pleases.  Sometimes that’s fun, and others it was a little annoying.

I loved Levi’s character.  He’s sweet and definitely not your stereotypical clueless cowboy from some hick town.  Nathan at first comes across as kind of a jerk who’s only going along with his grandmother for selfish reasons—reasons that we aren’t privy to until almost the end of the book.  His attitude changes quickly once he starts to fall for Levi—which you expect—though when he tries to back off to keep things strictly “a job” it makes him run hot and cold which I wasn’t a fan of, mostly because it is glaringly obvious that when the two of them are together that they’re meant for each other.  Nathan is also more than what he seems—a smart guy who is protective and wants to give back to others.

Mavis, Nathan’s grandmother, is a bit over the top.  She has her own hidden reasons for why she does what she does in the story to maneuver Levi and Nathan how she wanted, but just like Nathan’s reasons for going along with her plan we have no idea of why until the very end.

When Levi and Nathan are together and Nathan isn’t running cold, those are the parts I really enjoyed about the story.  When he would get that “job” attitude, or when Mavis would be manipulating things…that’s when my annoyance would rise up.  Once Nathan’s reasons for going along with things comes out it felt like much ado about something that there shouldn’t have been so much secrecy about.  And as for what was driving Mavis, that kind of seemed a bit contrived and—in line with her character—an over the top way to go about things.

Overall, Off-Campus Setup was a good story, I just could have done without so many crazy manipulations behind everything (mostly from Mavis).  Levi and Nathan are good together without needing all that extra interference beyond the first nudge to get them together.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

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Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled in 2010, she decided to use writing as her escape. She believes that life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

From a young age, she has always loved books and even dreamed of being an author when she was younger. Growing up in the Navy, she used to weave tales for her siblings and her friends about anything and everything. And when she wasn't creating her own stories, she had a book in her hand. They transported her to another world. She hopes that with her books, her readers have the same experience and that they can relate to her characters. 

Getting sick changed her life forever, but it also opened doors for her that she thought would always be out of reach.


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