Calling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington



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


Book Synopsis:

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.

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The floor of the club was vibrating.

Patrick felt off balance, which made no sense at all since he’d only had one shot of Alexis’s devil tequila. Not that he was an expert on what tequila did to a person, or in particular to him—he was really more of a stay-home-on-the-weekends-and-build-models-or-read-comics guy, and Oh God, what the hell was he doing here.

“Hello, Gorgeous,” Alexis said, suddenly very close and speaking into his ear, her fingers grasping at his arm. “You really are gorgeous, Gorgeous.”

“You’re drunk,” Patrick said, “and I’m gay, or did you miss that part of the earlier conversation?”

“I miss nothing, Fresno,” Alexis said. “But seriously, those blue eyes and those cheekbones! Unfair.”

Patrick wished she would stop calling him Fresno. It was a reminder of all the reasons he didn’t belong here in this nightclub of shiny people glittering in their tight dresses and tighter pants and heels and boots, hair perfectly ruffled or slicked back, laughing into their martini glasses and leaving lipstick prints around the rim, on cocktail napkins, or at the corner of someone else’s mouth.

“Don’t think so much,” Alexis said, and dug her fingernails into his upper arm.

He breathed in through his nose and watched Josh talk to a girl by the bar, already looking sloppy loose from the shots they’d done back at the apartment. His hair was a curly mess and his smile was white bright, a beacon in this dark, fluttering room of strangers.

Patrick had no idea why he thought Josh was anything but a stranger. Josh definitely didn’t know Patrick.

But God, Patrick wanted to know him.

“Shot?” Alexis asked, holding out a tiny glass filled with sharp-smelling liquid.

Maybe this was what Alexis meant by not thinking so much. He took the shot and swallowed it all at once, feeling it burn its acidic trail down his throat.

Three shots later and Patrick was pretty sure he should have said no.

It wasn’t that the world was spinning, which it was. It was that everything felt blurry and out of control and scary-beautiful, and Patrick couldn’t help thinking: I am in San Francisco now, I’m here, I can do—be—have whoever I want.

Right now, he definitely wanted to be the boy or the girl dancing with Josh. He had one of each draped over him, and yeah, Mike wasn’t kidding about Josh being a player. Josh was all opportunity right now, all openness and soft shoulders and free movement. He wasn’t a good dancer, exactly, but he was still gorgeous, and God, Patrick was so screwed. He was going to live with Josh now. How could he—what was he supposed to do? Stare and pray? What should he pray for? That Josh didn’t notice or that he did?



Calling Calling Calling MeCalling Calling Calling Me by Natasha Washington
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was everything I wanted it would be. Whenever I pick up a new author, I never really know what to expect and admit that I can go into the story pretty critical. However, within just the first couple of pages of Calling, Calling, Calling Me, I was completely hooked.

What captured my attention and held it all the way until the end is Washington’s writing style. The voice with which she writes is so lovely and smooth, poetic but subtle. Her prose completely leapt off the page and I caught myself re-reading passages over and over not because I didn’t understand them (as usual when I read slowly) but because the way she put words together was so beautiful I wanted to experience them over and over.

This book is a character-driven coming-of-age new adult story. New adult can go multiple ways. It can be steamy. It can be angsty. It can be immature. But CCCM is none of those. Patrick and Josh are two incredibly crafted characters who, while being 18 and 21 and relatively immature life-experience-wise, they’re also often mature for their ages. Everything is balanced so well.

I think my absolute favorite passage in the book happens early on when Patrick’s parents move him into his new apartment in San Fransisco. Patrick is embarrassed by his clingy mom and ready to start his new life already, but he’s also struck with longing and gratitude for his parents that he doesn’t know how to verbalize. It took me right back to the day my mom and stepdad moved me into my dorm freshman year. That passage was written so beautifully, evoking all of these real emotions that immediately had me connecting with Patrick. That’s how you write an amazing character, folks.

It’s new adult, so there’s some angst. But I wouldn’t call this an angsty book at all. It was almost relaxing to read; I basically fell into the pages and didn’t surface again until the end. It’s romantic from the very first page, has bits of humor and drama, some heat when necessary (it is Patrick coming of age, after all). But nothing is unnecessary and nothing is excessive. Everything that happens has a purpose in driving these characters forward both individually and as a couple.

I loved this book so much. It’s definitely one I’ll reread (and one I’d love to hear in audio format – hint, hint) and I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys new adult/coming-of-age – and even those who just really love well developed characters. Definitely pick this one up.

An advanced copy of this book was received for review on OMGReads.

View all my reviews


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.

Connect with Natasha: Website | Twitter | Instagram



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