The Player’s Protege

A Campus Connections Story

by CJane Elliott

Player's Protege - CJane Elliott - Campus Connections
Part of the Campus Connections series:
Pages: 93

When his college friends bet cynical Jerry that he can’t turn innocent Arlo into a player, Jerry steps up to the challenge. But what happens when Arlo decides all he wants is the unattainable Jerry and Jerry starts to want Arlo in return?

Jerry survived a gay childhood in Texas by being fierce and fabulous. At college he’s known as a player and keeps his heart so guarded he’s forgotten he has one. He’s confident he can prove his friends wrong and teach Arlo to be a stud like him. But despite his armor, Jerry finds humble Arlo so sweet and enticing he soon runs the risk of losing the bet—and his heart.

Arlo kicks butt as a Tae Kwon Do black belt, but he’s been dumped by his only boyfriend and needs help getting himself out there. Enter Jerry, player extraordinaire and happy to provide him with some hands-on coaching. Jerry encourages him to ask for what he wants in life, something Arlo struggles with. The struggle deepens when Arlo discovers that what he truly desires is Jerry.

Jerry can teach Arlo to play the field, but can Arlo teach Jerry to play for keeps?

Second Edition, expanded and revised.

This book is on:
  • 5 To Be Read lists
Publisher: Independently Published
Cover Artists:
Pairings: M-M
Heat Level: 3
Romantic Content: 5
Ending: Click here to reveal
Character Identities: Gay
Protagonist 1 Age: 18-25
Protagonist 2 Age: 18-25
Tropes: Alpha Character, The Bet, Friends to Lovers, Healing Power of Sex, Hurt / Comfort, Love Can Heal / Redemption, Most Mindblowing Sex Ever, Opposites Attract, Student-Teacher, Wide-Eyed Innocence
Word Count: 26400
Setting: Northern Virginia
Languages Available: English
Series Type: Same Universe / Various Characters

As he bit into a date, Jerry had a thought—a sudden, delicious, and sinful thought. No. He chewed the date and savored its sticky sweetness. Why not? Who better than you to give the boy some practical sexual instruction? It doesn’t have to mean anything, and when you’re done with him, he’ll be an awesome top. Jerry squirmed as he tried to beat back his desire with a shred of common sense.

“Umm, Jerry? Are you okay?”

“Yes.” He was about to say that the guys on Grindr would happily accommodate a cute but inexperienced top and that he could give some… verbal pointers, but his evil side took the floor. “Here’s the thing, Arlo. I can tell you about being a top. I can describe it and give you some good info. But it’s like they say about riding a bicycle.” He stopped, a part of himself unable to believe what he was actually going to propose.

“Uh… so, what do they say?”


“That until you hop on and ride, all the descriptions in the world are just that—descriptions.” He stopped once more and struggled as his higher or saner self told him not to go there. Fuck off, Mr. Horny retorted. “So, I’m going to propose that I show you how to top through having you top me.”

Arlo flushed the brightest red Jerry had seen so far. “You’d do that?” His voice sounded strangled.

“Oh yes.” Jerry’s cheeks warmed, and his own voice was unacceptably husky. “That is,” he continued more nonchalantly, “it seems the most practical and fastest way to get you over your hump, as it were. Once you see that you can top just fine, then we’ll unleash you on Grindr and all those grateful bottoms.”

Reviews:Truus on Diverse Reader wrote:

Such a lovely new adult story.

Sitting in a bar with some drinks, Jerry is challenged by his friends to take the shy Arlo under his wing and turn him into a player.

Arlo is a farm boy and he looks a bit too casual for Jerry’s eyes, he is nothing Jerry desires. It should be a piece of cake to turn him into a player, Jerry knows everything about that. Arlo is kind, inexperienced, and sort of a sweet caring guy and desperate in need for some help after his breakup with his boyfriend.

Arlo has all the qualities Jerry doesn’t want or love in a guy. Jerry tells himself over and over again. Jerry has a plan for the big change. The more time they spend together the more he is smitten by him. Nope, Arlo is still nothing Jerry desires.

When Jerry feels Arlo is getting too close, he turns him down. This boy is too sweet for a guy like him.

A short read with ALL the feelings, I loved this one. It proves that with just some pages a whole story can be told. We get enough to know about the guys, the awesome circle of friends, the family, the farm business, and the guys totally different studies. There is a lovely story to tell, it had varied scenery and some sweet sexiness. The way of the writing was captivating and engaging, in no time I felt connected with the guys and their story, it was more than enough development in just 93 pages.

Melanie on Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words wrote:

The Player’s Protégé by CJane Elliott is the second story in the author’s Campus Connections series and another winner in my estimation. I forget how much great characterizations and story plot this author can cram into a novettle but here again in 93 pages Elliot manages it again.

We have several familiar tropes here, a bet, an almost Pygmalion theme of a makeover with Jerry the jaded, rich player (and the one with the bet) tasked with the makeover of the almost innocent, sweet farmboy Arlo (who is unaware of the bet) into a player like himself. Almost every reader who has reads romances knows that it”s almost written in stone that the jaded teacher will fall for the pupil. The fun is seeing how they fall, how the pupil reacts during the teaching sessions and, well, how does the relationship develop and the story end?

The Player’s Protégé works so well because the characters have so many unsuspecting aspects to their personalities. Jerry isn’t just a jaded rich playboy, no, he’s a set and costume designer for a children’s theatre, loves his older sister, and deep parental issues and has the high emotional walls because if it. And Arlo? Another heartwarming surprise with a couple of kinks thrown in. He is such a lovely surprise that I won’t go into him here, just let the reader discover him as Jerry does.

Second edition with additional scene.

About the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, award-winning author CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane writes sexy, passionate LGBTQ romances that explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is bisexual and an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards. Her contemporary novel All the Way to Shore was Runner Up for Best Bisexual Book in the 2017 Rainbow Awards.

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