Language Lessons (gay romance)

Rated 4.14/5 based on 7 reviews
Love doesn’t come easy. For Joey, he doesn’t care if it ever comes at all. He's much too busy adding notches to his bedpost and preparing for life as an adult. But when a causal fling waxes nostalgic about the one that got away, Joey starts to wonder if he isn’t missing something after all, if there really is something to be learned from the language of love. More
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About Jay Bell

Jay Bell led a quiet life in Kansas until the day he met a handsome foreign exchange student named Andreas who swept him off his feet and carried him all the way to Germany. Much to their delight, marriage awaited them when they got there. While living so distant from friends and family, Jay began writing in an effort to reconcile the mixture of devotion and alienation he felt. This resulted in a Lambda Literary Award and a film option for his best-selling novel Something Like Summer. Jay and Andreas have since relocated to Chicago where their adventures continue, as do those of the characters in their emotionally driven Something Like… series. Jay pens the stories and Andreas provides the cover art, making them books about love, forged by love.

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Review by: Jonovan O on June 13, 2012 :
I like free stuff. So, I did tell myself to be kind with this review. I have read Jay Bell's Summer book and I was one of those few who did not award it 5 stars. Before reading this, I had hoped that I would change my mind about his writing style.

Unfortunately, no. I felt the flow of the story and conversation were not smooth. Sometimes, they seemed to change or end abruptly. The conversation felt fake. Something like weak dialogues for a B-Grade gay themed films. They need to be polished.

Bradley and Scott were as fake as can be. I don't even understand why they were included in the story. Not even convincing when they were approached by Joey for advice. I was surprised when Scott never punched Joey for his bad choice of words, when he directed a question to Brad. Oh yeah, the restaurant scene where Bradley and Scott met each other again... Fake. Sigh. But to be frank, I was more interested in Bradley and Scott than Joey and Phillip. Or Bradley and Scott, with a spying Joey.
(review of free book)

Review by: Secret Narrative on April 04, 2012 :
I simply adored this book and wish it was possible to award five stars plus! Jay’s lyrical language is a joy to read - his characters are so realistic I felt as if I were in the same room. One of my favourite ‘quotes’ from the book...’and history felt like a conjuring trick. All of this had been in plain view the entire time, but only now did the magician allow Joey to see it all’. What a lovely light touch! Note to self: Download every damn thing that Jay Bell writes and devour instantly. Top dollar!
(review of free book)

Review by: Glen Monaghan on March 18, 2012 : (no rating)
This is a great story!!!
(review of free book)

Review by: Lena Grey on March 11, 2012 : (no rating)
'Language Lessons' by Jay Bell takes a look at Joey, a 17 year old young man, who hasn't experienced and doesn't understand the necessity of being in love. He flits around, somewhat irresponsibility, dwelling on the superficial things in life, not caring about the consequences. Joey thinks he has it all, but having everything on a temporary basis, eventually catches up with you.

At first, I didn't like Joey at all. I thought he was a conceited, shallow, little ass! He certainly was a master of manipulation. He did, however, redeem himself by reuniting two guys who had deep feelings for each other. This made him take pause and think about his own life. I actually began to feel sorry for him as it began to dawn on him that having someone special in your life might not be such a bad thing.

Phillip was absolutely adorable! I loved his mixture of honesty and innocence and the way he had Joey doubting his 'methods'. I didn't feel too sorry for Joey as he whined:"I don't know what to do!" I really liked Joey's mom. She was very insightful. I was both amazed and amused when he asked her for advice about how it felt to be in love. It was very touching. His friend, Maggie was great at giving him advice too, although I imagined that she was probably busting at the seams trying not to laugh at his predicament which he would have so richly deserved. And, of course, I liked 'the first time' between Joey and Phillip, especially since Joey, for the first time, was more interested in Phillip's needs than his own. Sweet Phillip was so adorably naive about carnal matters and Joey was so infinitely patient with him. When Phillip asked: "Uh, how do we decide which one of us is the girl?” I had to giggle, but was proud of Joey for the way he handled the whole scene.

'Language Lessons' is a brief, but meaningful, story which looks into the trials and tribulations of teenage boys discovering what it means to be in a relationship. It was funny, serious, endearing, frustrating and, best of all, it had a happy ending. For a quick, but entertaining and purposeful read, this story will be just the thing.
(review of free book)

Review by: Scot Walker on Sep. 05, 2011 :
What an absolutely wonderful coming of age gay romance! Kudos to Jay Bell. I want to read everything you've ever written.
(review of free book)

Review by: David Sheard on Aug. 18, 2011 :
I love the writing of Jay Bell and loved this book, definitely the best short story I have ever read, I particularly liked the characterization.
(review of free book)

Review by: Alex Whitehall on June 01, 2011 :
3.5/5 stars

A funny and touching story in which a young playboy learns about love outside the bedroom. The story is light and humorous, never delving too deep but it is definitely romantic. It could be described as schmaltzy, but I think it's meant to be diabetes-inducing. At least, it worked for me.

The main character is a mix of knowledgeable/jaded and innocent; he knows everything about sex and nothing about love, except maternal and friendship. He's an interesting narrator, although he rubbed me the wrong way the beginning, partially because he came across as a little flat. However, once he started playing match-maker, I was more amused than annoyed and everything worked out.

This is worth the small price tag. Check it out!
(review of free book)

Review by: Alexander Schneider on May 18, 2011 :
Jay Bell being currently one of the writers to watch closely - there is a reason I have read all he has written so far, I was eager to read this next little sexy short story of his.

To my surprise, maybe due to different expectations, I felt more or less disturbed about the beginning of this story. Somehow it did not feel plausible, realistic - mostly due to a faulty characterization of the lead character. Only throughout the short story the magic of Jay's writing gets out - as if he also would only then find a way how to deal with Joey and provides him with a realistic narration. By that moment however you will be hooked! The story develops, the main character gets more an more interesting and you will be eager to read till the end if they really lived happily ever after... and though the story does not depict such a time frame and leaves the future unanswered Jay Bell stays true to his pink-colored world with little stress involved.

Do not understand me wrong - I loooove his style and we all need some romance from time to time but I would also wish for more elaborate and ambivalent storytelling. A piece where he dares to go beyond the obvious and happy.

Oh well, do not listen to my rumbling... buy the short story! :) It is worth it and a great little read for a lonely night...
(reviewed the day of purchase)

Review by: Stephen Christopher on April 24, 2011 :
Language Lessons is a great read with a lot of heart and leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy by the end. The character of Joey whilst at first is not very likeable, by the end of the story will endear himself to even the most cold-hearted reader. Yet again another great gay novel by Jay Bell. It's an easy read and very satisfying. My only complaint is that I wish it was longer and we learned more about the characters.
(review of free book)

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