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Without Sin: 05/25/09
Without Sin is a young adult gay romance by J. M. Snyder writing as J. Thomas. It's a short, fast paced novel that covers the tumultuous first semester at an all boys boarding school.
Jacob is a tough kid who's been through a number of schools for his fighting. The best way to describe him is a young, hot headed and naive "Squash" Bernstein. As Squash explains in Victor Victoria: "...if you didn't want the guys to call you queer, you became a rough tough sonofabitchin' football player." Avery, the boy of his dreams, is older, more discrete and more in control of his emotions. Somehow in the confines of the St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Boarding School for Boys, these two will become a couple.
The novel is written in the present tense, first from Jacob's point of view and later from Avery's. As this is a romance and one with teens, the focus is almost exclusively on lust, angst and foreplay. Eventually there is sex but it's presented responsibly with thoughts of consequences. What is missing as the review on Rainbow Reviews points out is character development. Jacob and Avery's relationship is really one of convenience and while both profess their deeper commitment to each other and to their parents, there's not enough substance to back them up.