Eli is the son of a policeman and a forensic scientist. His parents clearly care for him, perhaps a little too much, but don't really understand what the young man is going through. They certainly don't understand Eli's choice in boyfriends. Rob is almost the exact opposite of Eli. Abused as a child, Rob is very much from the wrong side of the tracks. He has had several run-ins with the law, and even spent a few years in prison. But what Rob does to Eli, as well as what Eli does for Rob, are things almost nobody would understand.
“What It Looks Like” is a very interesting book, full of surprises, and that means it's going to be difficult to review without giving away a few clues. Consider yourself warned.
This is a very character driven story, and many of the surprises come from the characters themselves, rather than twists and turns in the plot, although there are a few of those. We only begin to learn just how difficult life has been for Eli about a third of the way through the book. His struggle to define himself colors much of the rest of the book and provides a lot of, although not all, the drama.
Rob's past holds fewer surprises, but he is no less complex a character. In essence, both men struggle against a world that makes too many assumptions based on outward appearances. Their relationship is not what it may seem, on many levels. One small unexpected aspect of their relationship is their taste for kink, although even in this their play doesn't conform to common portrayals and expectations.
“What It Looks Like” is a very different kind of romance; one that might make you think — about your own reactions to it, if nothing else. While it might follow a very common story arc, there are still a number of surprises along the way. The book is available from Amazon.