Title: Moment of Impact
Author: Karen Stivali
Series: Moments in Time #1
Release Date: January 7th 2015
Age Group: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary romance, Gay romance, M/M
Outside Collin Fitzpatrick’s dorm room is a dangerous place. Beyond his door the students of his small, conservative college think he’s straight, as does his Catholic family who’d disown him if they learned the truth. Inside, he’s safe with his incredibly sexy roommate Tanner D’Amico. Their room makes a perfect place to hide away and fall in love. The moment they cross the line from roommates to lovers, Collin becomes caught between their heavenly passionate encounters and the hellish reality that someone might find out and destroy everything. Tanner’s not used to being so confined, and wants to show the world how much he loves Collin. But Collin’s not sure he’s ready for the impact stepping outside will make.
Karen Stivali’s novella, Moment of Impact, is proof that good things do come in small packages! The author does not waste her precious word count delving into the back-stories of her main characters and instead in the first few pages we witness masturbation, ejaculation and adoration!
Following the initial sexual encounter between Tanner and Collin they learn to balance college, work and cocooning themselves in their room, exploring each other, It is during these times and the pillow talk exchanged between them that we learn more about who Tanner and Collin are. Tanner has grown up in a flamboyant household and is comfortable with his sexuality, whereas Collin has a strict Catholic family and has never publicly admitted he is gay. This makes their developing relationship problematic, especially when Tanner wants to touch and kiss Collin in front of their friends. I like the fact that it is the depth of Collin’s feelings for his roommate which allow him to awaken, sexually and emotionally and when their ‘moment of impact’ arrives we are faced with a dramatic, but positive ending.
On finishing this coming of age novella I wish the next installment had been ready for me to read. After looking at both blurbs for the following stories, I am already hooked on the angst, passion and power of Karen Stivali’s writing.
I was still fiddling with the power button when I saw Tanner. Well, I saw his shoes. Before I rounded the corner, I spotted them through the empty row on the bottom bookcase. Navy blue Chucks, no laces, crossed over each other. My heart beat double time as he came into full view. He was half leaning, half sitting on the edge of my table, arms behind him in a way that made every vein and muscle in his forearms stand out. I could barely swallow my mouthful of Sprite.
“Hey,” I whispered, even though there was no one at any of the nearby tables.
He shrugged, shoulders bunching up to his ears, hair falling over one eye. “Had to return a book. Figured you’d be up here.”
“Yeah. I’ve got—” What? What have I got? No reason whatsoever to have spent half the night in the library other than the fact that I was avoiding going home. “—stuff due soon.”
I tried to keep my voice casual. “I thought you and Wendy might have wanted some time alone too.”
One dark brow popped high on his forehead. “Why’d you think that?”
My cheeks heated—I’d blushed more in the past day than in the past six months. “She didn’t come over last night. You know… every Monday… I figured since you skipped a night you might want to, I don’t know, make up for it.”
Tanner raked a hand through his hair, then braced his arm behind himself again. “She left a few minutes after you did.”
“Yep. The only reason she came over was to help me get the room clean for your mom.”
My jaw dropped. “What do you mean?”
“She stopped by the book store and said she’d run into you on the bus and that you looked frazzled. Her word.”
“Wait, you worked today?”
“Yeah, we all switched our shifts around because of midterms last week.”
“Oh.” So he hadn’t left our room to avoid me. I felt like an ass.
“Anyway, she said you’d locked your keys in the room, and I remembered you said your mom was coming. Then I got home, and the place was still trashed, so I called for backup. I threw all the laundry in the wash, and she helped me straighten up.”
“You did my laundry?”
“Just the bed stuff.”
“Wow.” I can’t believe he did all that.
“After the stuff you told me last night, I figured it was probably kind of important to you.”
“It was. It is. Thank you.”
“I owe you at least a load of laundry for all the food you bring me.”
A smile tugged at my lips, but something still nagged at me. “What about Wendy?”
“She said it was worth it for those cookies.”
“No, I mean did she, like, ask anything? Like why….” I was too scared to complete the question.
“Don’t freak out, okay?” Tanner’s eyes scanned mine.
Of course I started freaking out. My heart drummed in my ears again. “What?”
“Wendy kind of knows what happened. With us.”
Every bit of oxygen left my body. If there hadn’t been a bookcase for me to lean on, I probably would’ve fallen over. “Knows….”
Tanner looked at the floor for what felt like a decade, then looked up at me through his dark hair. “She didn’t come over last night because I’d told her I was into someone else.”
He might as well have punched me in the gut. Someone else? So it’s not Wendy I have to worry about, it’s someone else? “You are?”
His eyes met mine, and I forced myself not to look away. “You. I told her I was into you.”
About the Author
Karen Stivali is a prolific writer, compulsive baker and chocoholic with a penchant for books, movies, and fictional British men. She’s also the multiple award-winning author of contemporary and erotic romances. Her lifelong fascination with people has led her to careers ranging from hand-drawn animator, to party planner, to marriage and family counselor, but writing has always been her passion. Karen enjoys nothing more than following her characters on their journey toward love. Whether the couples are m/f or m/m, it’s guaranteed that Karen’s novels are filled with food, friendship, love, and smoking hot sex—all the best things in life.
When Karen isn’t writing (and often when she is), she can be found on Twitter attempting witty banter and detailing the antics of her fruit-loving cat, BadKitteh. She loves to hear from readers (and other writers), so don’t hesitate to contact/follow/like her.