Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington
Publisher: Natasha Washington
Release Date: September 4, 2018
Subgenre: Contemporary Queer Romance/New Adult
Tropes/Themes: college romance, first time, fish out of water
Direct Link: https://www.natashawashington.com/books/
Patrick Mahoney has one goal in mind: get out of his native Fresno and find freedom in the rainbow and glitter-painted streets of San Francisco. As a college freshman, he’s sure he’ll finally have the chance to be himself, away from the judgmental eyes of his conservative hometown.
Josh Dirda’s never wanted to be tied down before, preferring the emotional ease of the one night stand. But when Patrick moves into the apartment that Josh shares with three friends, Josh is caught up in Patrick’s sly wit and quietly creative spirit. As Patrick’s self-appointed tour guide, Josh can be Patrick’s introduction to the city he loves. But after a drunken Halloween hook-up crosses lines, Patrick and Josh must reckon with their true feelings—and decide whether they can let go of the ghosts that haunt them.
The day Patrick drove up to move in, Kai opened the door for him with a finger pressed to his lips.
“I—” Patrick started to say, but stopped when he saw Kai’s face.
Kai stepped silently to the side, so Patrick had a clear view into the hallway. Josh had his back turned to them both, and he was writhing around in a way that Patrick imagined was supposed to be dancing. He had huge headphones over his ears, and when he turned slightly, Patrick could see he was mouthing the words only he could hear.
Laughter bubbled up in his throat. He felt like a reporter on Animal Planet. A wild Josh has been sighted—
Josh swung around in a particularly enthusiastic approximation of a jazz square, saw them both and nearly fell over. His eyes widened, his lips parted, and he pushed his earphones back onto his shoulders.
“Duuuuude,” Kai stated. “Epic.”
“What’s up, Patrick?” Josh said, his voice sounding a bit high and breathless. “You here with your moving truck?”
“Oh God, right,” Kai said, slapping his forehead with his hand. “I totally forgot you were moving in today.”
“Did you think he drove five hours up from Fresno to visit?” Josh asked.
“Shut up,” Kai said. “We’re really awesome. Of course he’d drive five hours just to see us. You got much stuff? Let’s do this.”
“I’m going to wake up Mike,” Josh said.
It was nearly one p.m. on a Saturday, and yet somehow Patrick was not surprised that Mike was still asleep.
“You want to jump on his bed,” Kai said.
“Dude, obviously,” Josh said, and disappeared down the hallway.
Kai rolled his eyes, then followed Patrick out to where he parked the truck. “Is your mom here?”
As if on cue, his mom hopped out of the passenger seat, waving enthusiastically. Patrick was pretty sure his mom would have wanted to marry Kai, if she were single and he wasn’t nearly twenty years younger than her. Actually, he wasn’t so sure she cared about that last part.
“Kai, so good to see you,” she said, squeezing his arm, and oh God, she was blushing.
Patrick’s dad appeared then, still disgruntled from the traffic coming up, muttering something about this snotty city with no parking. When he saw Kai, he schooled his features into a polite expression and held out his hand.
“You must be Mr. Maloney,” Kai said, smiling. “So good to meet you, sir.”
His dad looked pleased at the greeting, and they chatted a bit about the weather here and how different it was from the blinding desert haze of Fresno.
“It’s those ocean breezes, sir, keeps the heat off our backs,” Kai said, while Patrick rolled up the back door of the U-Haul and tried to will all its contents inside the apartment with the power of his mind.
Mike and Josh tumbled out a minute later, Mike half-asleep and looking like a hot mess in a wrinkled T-shirt and a pair of sweatpants. Josh had enough energy for all of them combined, though, as he orchestrated the moving of furniture and boxes like someone who was either extraordinarily good at strategic planning or had done this a lot.
About Natasha Washington:
Natasha Washington lives in Philadelphia, where she writes queer love stories in both YA (as Sonia Belasco) and romance. She has spent much of her professional life working with young people as a mentor, tutor, or therapist. When not writing, she is likely cooking, taking long, meandering walks, or listening to dance music or 90s hip-hop.