Separate Schools #3: Open Minds

It’s Harrison and Taylor time again! This book took so long to write and I don’t know why. There’s intricacies for sure, hard anvil-beaten stuff you probably won’t notice, but trust me, I broke my brain on this one. One thing is true: I loved spending time in this world. hanging out with Kay and Harrison, even the mixed-up Taylor . . .  I came to realize Harrison sure is a good dude. Now if only Taylor can be reminded . . . 

So, let’s get into it! Time for another Separate Schools—I hope you love spending time with these guys as much as I did!

Harrison’s making the best of his time apart from his beloved Taylor. Sure, she’s seeing another guy, but that doesn’t mean their love is diminished, right? They’re separated by thousands of miles, but he doesn’t think of her any less—sometimes he misses her so bad it hurts. If only she’d call and let him know she feels the same . . .

Taylor’s found a new guy friend in Santa Cruz; Tripp’s decent, popular, rich, and a lot of fun. They’re just friends, and it’s just about living life to the fullest during her college experience. Sometimes she wonders if Tripp feels the same way . . . 

Kelsey Kay’s left in the middle, back in Michigan running defense for her best friend, Taylor, and making sure Taylor’s okay in California—at the same time she’s been tasked with making sure Taylor’s boyfriend, Harrison, is a good boy while she’s gone. Sometimes things are easier said than done.

When events come to a sharp and scary point between Harrison and Taylor, it’s Kay who’s working overtime to make sure everyone is happy and together . . . 

147 thoughts on “Separate Schools #3: Open Minds

  1. This just made my day, so glad this is ready to be read!

    And the drama in this story must be sky high to have it filling up the description! You know I love that!

    I love how ‘on the nose’ the titles of these tracks are, you can really tell KT has been stressing to get this out the door. Just kidding lol, can’t wait to read why all these are referenced!

  2. Got it… not sure we’ll be able to read it tonight, but we’ll try! Congratulations on the new release! Rock it out, KT!

  3. We haven’t read the book yet, but looking at the songs, and the hair color/persons in the GIF’s… I wonder if Tay Tay goes bimbo? THAT would be like a toadally cool trip, y’know? Gotta watch the videos, but dinner first… Hey… KT, you grabbed a song I was gonna grab soon… guess which one?

    1. One thing… Your Patreon… how come you didn’t mention it in the book? While we love that you probably feel it would be inappropriate, still and all, it’s there to help you, KT.

      We stayed up late and finished the book. Only you can do what you do. Only you, KT! More later.

  4. I wonder why this series hits me differently. I think it might be the heightened focus on the emotions and drama over the erotic side causing me to assess more deeply the ways these characters are selfishly hurting each other. It’s more about sadness than heat. It’s a different kind of story and that’s fine, but it prompts different kinds of thoughts.

    GIANT hypocrisy from Taylor’s reaction to the incident with Ashley, of course. Maybe I missed it but I don’t think it occurs to Taylor a single time that Harrison messing around with a girl one time is the consequence of the arrangement she said she wanted and essentially forced Harrison into. Taylor wants one-way monogamy, which is obviously a pretty jerk thing to want on her part, especially with the multiple instances of dishonesty and moving the goal-posts on her part. She openly acknowledges to herself that she’s being manipulative. And also to a lesser degree Kelsie Kay’s double standard in her treatment of Taylor v Harrison (It seems like she’s got a thing for Taylor that she’s struggling with). The way she pushes Harrison to accept everything Taylor does but also literally hits Harrison for playing around even a little bit outside the couple? Harrison needs to work and better himself but I guess Taylor is a perfect angel and you need to accept everything she does without complaint. Also kind of gaslighty to me when she shuts down his completely legitimate anger that she had been party to a secret plan for Taylor to cheat on Harrison and manipulate him into a break up as “to protect his feelings” and he outright accepts it. Kay seems a little toxic, a little enablerish to be honest.

    Once again, Taylor seems to – I don’t know – dissociate? During sex – thinking about herself as a vessel for the “male reproductive organ.” Zeroing in on the reproductive element. Later at the concert she talks about the condom as sad, her odd thoughts about the pill as “awful medical intervention.” It’s a little bit clinical, almost. I’m not exactly sure what this is getting at with Taylor’s psychology. Kay alludes to a “thing about pregnancy” that Taylor has (impregnation play fetish?). Possibly foreshadowing to Taylor getting pregnant by Tripp or someone other than Harrison.

    Tripp feels like a stage for Taylor, a progression. When they’re having sex Taylor cums from thinking about what they might do (the idea of Tripp coming in her from a reproductive standpoint), but later when Trip is resistant to where she wants to take sex (she wants him to refer to her with the belittling title ‘Michigan,’ wants him to choke her), she doesn’t cum. And of course the electricity she associates with fucking someone like Colt and the “badness” around the circumstances, and how much it perks her up to reconnect with him (even though she’s ALSO starting to have “real feelings” for Tripp. She wants a harem).

    Tripp is someone that Taylor could date, like Harrison, but she doesn’t just want what she has with Harrison but with someone else. She likes the reassurance from others that she’s attractive, the validation brought by sexual attention from people she thinks are hot and popular.

    So when Taylor is discussing in her head whether she does or does not deserve “everything,” what’s everything in this context? A harem of men that owe her complete sexual fidelity that she doesn’t have to reciprocate. And she thinks that (even maybe) anyone can deserve that?

    1. Yeah, you missed Taylor’s inner dialogue where even though she doesn’t like what Harrison did, she understands it and blames herself. The emotional reaction to Harrison getting a blowjob is hypocritical, but its something she only reacts with initially and then seems to quickly back off of and doesn’t hold against Harrison.

      I suppose, even still, I should have more disdain for Taylor’s actions, but I guess I’m already over it. It’s time for Harrison to either embrace all the scenarios that Kay points out, or, also as Kay points out, break it off. She thinks he is doing a really good job of being supportive of Taylor as she explores this new phase of life for herself, but it seems like Kay is banking on Taylor coming back around to go back with Harrison. I wonder if that feeling takes into account that Taylor will inevitably developing feelings towards other men while she’s gone. I imagine so.

      I personally don’t think Taylor is as openly selfish as you point out, but I also don’t have a lot of her actions to base that assessment. I don’t think she wants a harem, though, I think she is still trying to figure out what she wants. Right now, I think that means not losing her best friend Harrison, while she explores things with other men. I guess my thought is that that looks like a harem to the objective observer, but isn’t one in spirit … yeah … that’s it … lol

      1. If you’re talking about the end of chapter four for her inner dialogue blaming herself, I read that as more “magical thinking” – she imagines the universe punishing her for not wearing condoms like she promised. Like, oh “I went out drinking so the universe is punishing me by having my toilet overflow.” She’s ignoring that her actions DIRECTLY, not indirectly, led to this. Not that an open relationship is specifically the arrangement she wanted.

      2. That is the part of the story I was talking about. It’s hard for me to read the end of that part of the chapter, including the dialogue with Kelsey as anything other than blaming herself for what happened and feeling bad about how things have gone. Not enough to put a stop to it, of course in any substantive way of course, lol.

      3. Also, she doesn’t back off – she doesn’t mention the bj again because she’s hired Kay to keep Harrison celibate while she allows herself complete freedom.

        To be clear, I don’t think that she overtly has it in her head that she wants a harem. I think she just wants a bunch of men that only want her and don’t fuck anyone else. And she doesn’t analyze her wants enough to understand that’s basically a harem. But I’m not giving her a pass for her ignorance of her own wants.

      4. I know what she said, and I know why she didnt mention she knew about the blowjob, but the reason she didnt fly off the handle with him seems to me to be in part because she knows she doesnt have much grounds to stand on bring upset about it.

        I’m not saying she isnt being selfish …

      5. To be clear, she’s blaming herself in a vague “I’m the worst” way, but she’s not taking any responsibility for her own actions.

      6. So now I have KT piling on making sure that its known that Taylor isnt being mature, so I’m going to articulate my opinion on Taylor. It’s obvious to anyone with a brain that she isnt taking direct responsibility for her actions, or that she is going to stop, and that she doesn’t care enough that what she’s doing is imbalanced compared to what she is willing to allow Harrison to do.

        The only reason why I took issue to the statements originally was that it’s not fair to say that Taylor isn’t hurting because of her actions, too. There’s an important emotion there! We are talking about 19 year olds, right?

        It feels like to me she has this big idea for herself, that she was going to explore more than what she was accustomed to back at home. This is a huge idea that she doesnt quite understand what it is and why she’s doing it. The willingness for her to do this is in part based on her home life, but it’s a common thing anyways to want to do that. Of course, the smart thing to do when your leaving your friends behind to do this exploring is to let all your friends know, where she fucked up is she only told one, and not Harrison. She’s immature and afraid she’ll be without him if she does this, so she clings to him and the security he represents before any of her plans were known, to him or even herself!

        Kelsey is helpful as a character in my opinion in keeping all of our eyes on what the good of Taylor’s choices could amount to, ultimately. All the times when Harrison is like, “Why is any of this?” Kelsey explains it for him, and I think that means something to articulating what Taylor is doing. Taylor is hacking through a forest right now blazing her trail, but its bumpy as shit. She keeps stringing along Harrison even though she doesn’t know what she wants, she keeps lying, now she’s lying to Tripp, she is fucking up, and she knows it. She knows it, but also knows that the direction she is heading is ultimately for the better for her, to help her figure out what it is that she needs to figure out. Eventually she will hack her way through the path and get to that point that she understands everything and finally know why she has done what shes done.

        To me that’s why she keeps bringing up that shes a fuck up, that she wishes she was home at the same time she doesn’t want to be home, that she’s no good, etc. She is trying to progress in life and taking massive lumps in the process, but she isnt a monster or has mental problems. She’s a new adult learning how ride a bike without training wheels, while riding downhill.

    2. Agreed. This story definitely has a different feel than the other KT stories. To me it’s almost like a bizarro Maggie series. Where instead of Cole you have Kelsey and you add some long distance relationship angst to the soup… the problem I have is that it’s the heat of the Maggie story that made it enjoyable to read and this story is lacking in that department.

      What we are left with is a teenage/young adult drama revolving around the all to real high school relationship trying to survive college. Where no one wants to change but change is inevitable. The relationship between Taylor and Harrison is destined to fail so I’m not emotionally attached to it cause I’ve seen/lived through enough of these to know how they end up. While well written and, I’m sure, enjoyable to read for some, this one just isn’t my cup of tea.

      Taylor is selfish and hypocrical, Harrison is a whiny doormat of a man and Kelsey is the Jafar to Harrison’s Sultan. I rooting for Kelsey cause the chaos she brings, but at the same time she needs to focus on herself and find her a lady friend in college who will do more than just bite her thigh.

      I’ll keep reading the series to support KT and in hopes the heat gets ratcheted up in the next installment, but before we get it I hope we get at least one, but hopefully more, book in each of the scream queens, landlord, six weeks, and Keely series.

    3. Outstanding synopsis! Thank you for calling all these characters on what they say and do. Don’t get me wrong. I like the story, but I wouldn’t lose any sleep if Taylor and K lost Harrison. He deserves better.

    4. Thanks Glaucon!

      SS is definitely not a normal kind of series. It’s a coming of age story with a character who will in later life have a system of kinks that define his sexuality. This is how his sexual future is forged. You’ll see it’s not categorized as erotica, it’s a romance. That’s probably not accurate either, but I don’t know where else to put it. It’s (to me) a story about relationships and friendships and about moving on and holding tight. Sex is a big part, but it’s not entirely meant to titilate, it’s meant to provoke feelings.

  5. Great addition to the series. With this speed you will need ten books to round this up. 😉

    Kay and Taylor did play around a lot in the past. Tay doesn’t like to kiss nasty faces … from what could Kay know that … that was probably a one way play and Taylor didn’t reciprocate. She wants and takes it all. And Kay is almost as hopeless in love with Taylor as Harrisson is.

    But Harrisson … he got his strong minutes at the start. The good boy got a blow job. Had his hero moment. for the rest of the book pretty much everyone was hammering on him. Kay, Taylor and even his own Mom. Good for him to get out of that house, but with Kay … she will do with him what she has to do, to make Taylor happy. (Harrisson! Lock your door and sleep with open eyes! 😉 )

    1. I agree it seems like she’s in love with Taylor. I think Kay’s in a bind here that neither Taylor nor Harrison recognize – as much as Harrison feels like his bond with Taylor is tenuous and slipping, it’s still a stronger bond than Taylor seems to want to maintain with Kay. Being a part of this weird love tetrahedron is probably, in Kay’s mind, her best chance at staying in Taylor’s life.

  6. Wow… just wow. We have posted our review on Amazon. Five HUGE stars. Like Glaucon, we did not find this installment as erotic as others in this series. That’s not a criticism, though. We LOVED the way feelings were explored in depth. The way Kay distracts Harrison. The way she explains things to Harrison–especially polymorous feelings. But as mentioned, it does seem like Kay is just as in love with Taylor as is Harrison, but that does not deter either Kay or Harrison.

    Kay does make a rather expected admission late in this book that can change the complexion of this series.

    What is apparent throughout, is that Harrison is hurting badly, really badly. He is lonely, lost even. Kay does her best to explain things to Harrison and does a great job at the end. Taylor’s admission to Kay is likely to come into play–heavily–in later volumes. Prior to that admission, it became clear that Taylor was falling for Tripp in a big way. We expected Taylor to say she loved Tripp during that video. She did not, but we wonder what was whispered after the scene started.

    Again, this is a story of young love and separation. In some ways it reminds us of the Maggie series. But in critical ways it is way different. It’s amazing.

    We like Harrison and Kay, but find ourselves thinking Taylor, while spreading her wings, is taking Harrison and Kay for granted to a degree. We find that she is sometimes, not to subtly manipulating Harrison and Kay for her own gains.

    We also wonder if Taylor is going to return to Michigan for Thanksgiving? If she doesn’t return, it will be devastating for both Harrison and Kay. Will she take that step? Or will she return only to spend more time with someone else? The foreshadowing for both of those scenarios is there.

    Just a brilliant, brilliant, BRILLIANT work, KT. Encore!

    DnD

    1. I believe it was established that what was whispered after the scene started was Taylor asking Tripp to wear a condom – not wanting Harrison to know that she wasn’t sticking to their rules.

      Taylor is absolutely taking Kay and Harrison for granted to a huge degree.

      I take Kay’s talk to Harrison as not exactly “explaining” polyamorous feelings to Harrison, and I’m unsure how Kay does a “great” job. I think she’s enabling deeply unhealthy behaviour. In Kay’s rhetoric, there is absolutely an expectation that Harrison shouldn’t live by the same rules that Taylor gets to. Kay cheers on Taylor’s sexual exploration, while literally hitting Harrison for doing the same, mocking and deriding him. She talks to Harrison about becoming vaguely “better” while Taylor is perfect and can do pretty much whatever she wants (including ignoring both Harrison and Kay for long stretches of time when it suits her). Makayla’s perceptive, Taylor is not doing herself favours in likability. And when this is brought up to her, she just pouts.

      I think Taylor will come back to Michigan for Thanksgiving… but to one degree or another blow off Harrison for Colt.

      1. When I wrote after things started, I meant after the condom thing. Then there’s the “our video” thing..

        Do you think Taylor’s playing both ends against the middle? We kind of do. Taylor’s most genuine reaction throughout the book was when Kay told her about Harrison’s beejer. Didn’t stop her from her agenda, though.

        Kay does a great job despite her age. She’s got skin in the game, too.

        Taylor is much less likeable in this installment. I remember defending her by saying she’s been honest about her feelings, but right now, she’s not even honest to herself. She’s becoming quite selfish. Being selfish in this genre is not necessarily a bad thing, though. In the context of the story through, it’s kind of sad.

        You’re right about Kay being an enabler.

        “I’m not sure I like dudes that way, okay.” Not at all unexpected. She clearly can be swayed, though. Did anyone but us think Kay was one little motion away from breaking her promise to Taylor?

      2. I think Taylor doesn’t have any plan at all and is just a hedonist that wants to have her cake and eat it too, aka ignore the consequences of her actions. She’s manipulative (which she admits to herself) and a liar in smoothing over other people’s reactions to the things she’s done.

        Personally, I think she’s been this selfish since book 1, where she planned for weeks to trick her boyfriend into a fourway (which would somehow spare his feelings when she unceremoniously breaks up with him the next day? Or just hope that he breaks up with her out of embarrassment?) and then couldn’t even bring herself to wait an extra two hours, so she just cheated on him with two other guys.

      3. This.

        ha ha. At least in a nutshell. It was hard for Taylor, remember?—don’t you feel bad for her; she gave the reins of the foursome to Kay so it had nothing to do with her…Taylor is perfectly selfish.

      4. You know, when I defended Taylor earlier, I did so because she was young and learning who she is. More and more Tay Tay is becoming a real selfish child. I used to say she was more mature than Harrison, but she’s not. I don’t know about Taylor being a hedonist, but I do think she’s becoming incredibly selfish. Which as you pointed out started in book one when she went on the pill without telling Harrison. Back then it wasn’t so real to her, though. Now, she feels she has license.

        There’s even the possibility that Tripp is in on what Taylor is doing. Forget the whispers after the condom. Forget Taylor telling Tripp it was “their video”. She was texting both Harrison and Kay while in bed with Tripp. Oh, Heavens!

        She’s becoming a bitch. If Tripp isn’t in on what Tay Tay is doing, he’s a good guy. If he is in on it, he’s a mofo’er.

        Possible scenario for Thanksgiving. Taylor doesn’t come, saying Thanksgiving break isn’t long enough for her and Harrison/Kay to reconnect, she goes with Tripp, instead. When Taylor comes home for winter break, she manages to spend a lot of time with Colt and Kay being hurt, too, lashes out. Harrison is heart broken, but sticks by Taylor. Kay? Not so much. She breaks her promise to Taylor.

        It’s such fun being a college kid!

      5. Then there’s always the arugument that she’s giving the young, budding cuckold, what he needs…

        In the meantime…

    2. Thank you so much, guys, really…

      It’s a tough series to write and sometimes I love spending time with them and other times it’s depressing, ha ha…

  7. There’s a great show on HBO right now, Succession, and

    SPOILERS

    in one storyline a woman, on her wedding night and after carrying on an affair during her engagement, basically tells her new husband that she wants to have an open marriage. She presents it as a positive for both of them but he’s essentially ambushed with it and doesn’t have much of a say. It’s over the course of the next season that we see the real cracks of this start to show and his deep unhappiness with the situation which she up to this point has been wilfully blind to. Then this happens:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZeTuNODRNy0

    This book put me in mind of that storyline.

    1. We’re going to have to watch that show! Thanks for the clip! And really, all I did was copy then past the URL for the song.

      1. Just FYI it’s a relatively minor storyline in a show about intrigues within a family controlling a powerful media empire.

  8. KT, you’re a really good storyteller, you continue to prove that. I feel like I understand each of the characters a lot more after reading this, not that their actions are particularly principled, but just where their coming from. I feel like this story was mostly about Kelsey, like obviously Taylor and Harrison’s story advanced quite a bit, but we learn so much about Kelsey. I no longer feel like Harrison is the most cucked person in this story now, considering what we learn about Kelsey. Is it fair to say her heart is the most broken out of the two of her and Harrison? All those times Kelsey had to play the pretend boyfriend to a girl that she might have had a kind of crush on? It makes her steadfast defense of the honor of Taylor all the more understandable (and a little sad too), she really cares about Taylor, and doesn’t want someone she knows to fuck things up with her because she would never want that to happen to Taylor.

    I am choosing to convince myself Tripp is for real, but man is he hard to fathom. A rich kid driving a porsche but somehow still has parents who will have him live in the dorms? Maybe in California. Good looking but also nice, intelligent, smooth, and patient? It’s hard to deny this guy is the total package. If we’re meant to really think of Tripp being important to this story, it would really be nice to get to know him better, because he has been sort of ancillary to everything even though he gets talked about a lot and so much has happened with him involved.

    Kelsey and Harrison helping each other out thinking about Taylor was really interesting, it affected me in ways I didn’t really expect it to, so props for clever writing. I thought it was a truly helpful move by Harrison to make sure he was quick to pause the video at the moment that Kelsey needed to get over the edge, that’s the mark of true friendship. Their relationship is pleasant to read, it warms the heart. I feel like Kelsey has too much on her plate though, Harrison and Taylor better make sure they help her out considering how much shit she has to do to keep both of them in line.

    We learn that it was the divorce that pushed Taylor to go to California to school, and that she does seem to have insecurity issues after all, considering how often she refers to herself as useless. I thought originally that this was just reacting to specifically to what she did at the summer party and what lead up to it, but this seems to be an internalized view of herself, which is sad. Glad she has Kelsey to remind her of her value in some of the times she articulates those feelings. We learn Kelsey might like girls and one she particularly likes might be Taylor. Kelsey also comes clean on her complicity to Taylor’s plan to have sex with Brady.

    I love that Taylor has made a choice to record her lovemaking with Tripp even despite the fact that she knows she might be developing feelings for him, just so she can keep Harrison abreast of what she’s up to. That’s a good choice, Taylor, you’re doing the right thing, lol.

    A good read, KT.

    1. I think in our review we mentioned that we really didn’t know much about Tripp… maybe that’s by design? Maybe he’s disposable window dressing? Somehow, I don’t think so.

    2. A couple more thoughts, one is i wonder what made Taylor choose to leave the rest of her concert date with Tripp off the record if she wanted Harrison to be involved in everything. Also, why werent we invited to find out? I get Harrison, ok cool, but us too? lol

      I also wonder what will happen when Kelsey mentions what she was doing while Harrison is bringing himself off, what that might reveal to Taylor.

      1. Personally Taylor is a bitch! She claims to love Harrison but doesn’t really gives a rats ass. She planned to break up with him just because she wanted to screw around furthermore she goes on to fuck Colt within few hours after breaking up with Harrison which shows she doesn’t respect Harrison nor their relationship. She called Ashley a slut but would you look in the mirror first. Taylor is the very embodiment of the so called ‘sluts’ she claimed would get pregnant with 3 children and live off Harrison.

        Kay is clearly in love with Taylor, even she were to shoot up a school Kay would find a way to defend Taylor the hypocrisy is through the roof into space.

        Harrison needs to move the fuck on, he’s a good guy at least Max played a part in the Maggie series and he was to blame for losing Maggie. Harrison loves someone who doesn’t deserve it, he deserves better, run away man and never look back. If I was in Harrison’s shoes Taylor would never hear from me again.

        P.S Now that Taylor admits she has feelings for Tripp she should come clean with Harrison. Don’t string him along.

      2. What both my wife and I would like to do is peer into KT’s mind to figure out where Harrison and Taylor are in ten years.

        About six months ago we read a story, set in college, where a boyfriend encouraged his then girlfriend to pursue outside interests. She did, reluctantly at first. Flash forward, they broke up and lost contact with each other. Turns out she couldn’t be faithful to her husband, causing a divorce. A few more years down the road, the male and female leads run into each other.

        That’s kind of where this story could go. Both my wife and I love this story.

        Please don’t be upset about the harsh review –ours hasn’t been released–Just bask in whatever baskable thing you can find and run with it, KT!

        DnD

      3. Thanks, DnD (and the harsh review wasn’t that harsh, and it kind of illustrated what the content was but lamented that content—but some of my readers are looking for exactly that!)

        What was the story you read? (it sounds interesting)

      4. Harsh review that wasn’t? I’m lost. 🙂

        The book is “Sharing My Sweetheart” by Max Sebastian. Max is one of our favorite authors. The dude can flat out write!

      1. Sharing my sweetheart probably Max’s best since the Madeline series. Still his best work I think.

  9. Poor, dumb, Harrison.

    Trish understands her daughter very well She lays it all out for the boy – tank top, yoga pants, bacon (!). At her age she’s probably willing to trade off size for a shorter refractory period and higher volume. Invites the fool upstairs to look for “puzzles and other items to go up to the lake.” But, noooooo! Harrison can only think with his big head and misses another part of making himself into the man Taylor wants him to become.

    Obviously, the boy needs a bit of tougher love, possibly with Carol, to set him straight.

    1. I have to agree with Donkatsu here. That my real education into relationship came after the first love. I hate to think of what would of happened if we had stayed together! Big D that’s what, a couple of kids from a broken home etc. in general culturally we’re still work with a pre-birth control and modern medicine model.
      The best advise I’ve heard from one of my co-workers to a teen was don’t turn any of they down! Short, tall, thin, fat, big boobs, small boobs, colors or any combinations. You may find that the tall fat brown one makes you happiest!
      Harrison is too nice and needy for his own good. Trish would have been a good experience for him! By the time you successfully get a couple of kids to collage you are pretty well rounded and have a good perspective on what really maters in life. Sex just need to be put in perspective. Harrison’s view of Trish is as Taylor’s mom. Reality is that she is a vibrant experienced woman that would have showed him that sex is a fun part of life. Grow up boy!

      RCH

    2. Thanks, RCH,
      KT, a great extension of the story. You seem to be moving into territory with this one as with Chelsea where a lot of the characters are not especially likable people. And yet we are really interested in them and their exploits. Oh, and the sex is interesting (and different), too.

      Methinks Trish also understands the Kay dynamic at least a bit. I think Kay will be the source of much of the drama and deceit in this series.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JVPdb6Urhw

      Meanwhile, one of KT’s sub themes is sitting out there for Harrison (and John, and Tommie, and Geoff, inter alios) to grab on to at any time – a man may not be able to alter the size of his little head, but he can use his big head to make the rest of him successful, desirable and sexually attractive. A lot of it isn’t even very complicated – don’t be a jerk, take care of your body, show a little attention to your girl, PARTICIPATE in life. After all, KT shows repeatedly how this works for her gals – they go from sweats and baggy shirts watching Netflix to knockouts, even if, like Charlie and Libby, they retain their sensible shoes.

  10. Ode to good Amateur Porn

    This is tongue-in-cheek AF but I just want to say kudos to Tripp and Taylor for having good directorial instincts in their recording, as it seems that most amateur directors in the wife sharing game seem to think that all the action is in close up views of penetration.
    Fuck that! The best recordings show the action from the shoulders up, duh! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to stare at men’s taints as their hips drive into their beloveds… come on, is that really what’s get you off?

    There i said it, I know this is the subject of major debate, I finally get the chance to share this completely uncalled for/unsolicited and barely relevant opinion.

    1. Amen to that! It’s the whole act that makes it exciting! The body language and facial expressions offer sensual clues to what the person is truly experiencing. There is a certain portion that can have closeups but YES endless footage of taint is boring. What is exciting is her reaction to the initial penetration and the buildup to her orgasm etc. Hot kissing, arms, legs the suttle the interaction of the two people in the act. I’ve rewound porn just to catch a facial expression or a body twitch. That is what make good amateur porn so exciting. Pro stuff I’m not a big fan of, too polished, it’s acting.

      RCH

      1. Note above bad spelling “suttle” should be “subtle” I wish I had the excuse of being an “English as a second language” person but I just stink as a English writer!

  11. I lost sleep the evening this was released because I couldn’t stop reading. Bravo KT this was one of your more compelling works. Lots of stuff going on in this bi-coastal epic. I’m still suspicious of Kay’s long game.

    RCH

  12. I’m enjoying this series. KT I think you are doing a great job of capturing late teen struggles to come to awareness of who they are personally, socially, and, of course, sexually. There is angst and hurt and selfishness and love and friendship and loyalty and deceit and all sorts of other contradictory behaviors. In the mean time they are busy figuring out who they are.

    At one point, I was fearful you were going to take this story down.a similar road to the Maggie series with Kay taking the role of Cole with Harrison playing a Maggie. However, I’m thinking you are bringing them along different paths toward (perhaps) similar ends. Only your time will show us.

    Continue to love your work. Can’t wait to see where this and your other series will travel.

  13. Interesting additional bind Taylor puts herself in by recording Tripp and her lovemaking without telling Tripp what she’s doing. It’s an interesting move considering Tripp knows that Harrison knows she’s going to be open while she’s in California. Tripp was pretty cool with it too which makes is what makes it interesting, so i wonderi if Tripp keeps his open mind when it gets revealed that Taylor has been sending footage. Does he roll with it? I think he does, but I wonder if Tripp will be upset that he put together that effort on their date and Taylor’s mind was on Harrison, at least in part, to the point that she made Tripp inexplicably wear protection (just to eventually take it off because she can’t resist). I imagine she made it up to him (at least in her own mind) by turning the camera off for the rest of the night, but it has to hurt a little to get Taylor all worked up just to get her to eventually go, “I wonder if this angle is nice for Harrison?” She said she could see the joy in Tripp’s eyes that he was able to deliver such a positive feeling for Taylor, and rather than share that moment exclusively with Tripp, she decides to make a show for Harrison (and Kelsey, too).

    Thanksgiving will be interesting for the trio, does Colt go home too? Wouldn’t that just be delightful … lol.

  14. It’s an enjoyable read… I’m not quite done about 76 percent finished and am finding that I want more and suspect that this is going to be a somewhat long series. I kind of dislike Colt but I find that I dislike Tripp a little more because at least with Colt you know he’s an asshole. With Tripp he feels so fake with a plastic smile, etc. Maybe I just want things badly to work for Harrison who is messed up.

    I think Kelsey K is more in love with Harrison than she admits.

  15. KT,
    I think the separate school books are some of the best I’ve read, in any genre, for a very long time. The emotions that you bring to life in “Open Minds” are so real to me. The emotion I get most from all three of these characters is loneliness. I feel the hug given to Harrison by Kay was as much for her benefit has for his, it brought tears to my eyes. Taylor of course is developing feelings for Tripp, after she ghosts almost all of her friends and all of her family, he seems to be the only person that even likes her on the West Coast.
    KT I have to be honest, with over 800 pages and 200,000 words, more than fourteen months its very
    disappointing to realize how much longer it will be to the end of the series .
    May God( or whomever ) grant you focus of mind, Clarity of thought and the speed of lightning your fingers.

    1. We’re not disappointed at all. For us, the longer, more detailed this story is, the better. This isn’t the kind of story–at least how it appears to us–that can be simply “wrapped up”. There’s potential destruction and reconstruction all over the map in this series.

      In little more than a month, Taylor’s got a boyfriend. Kay’s all but come out to Harrison. Harrison has gotten a beejer from a townie at home. Taylor may or may not come home for Thanksgiving. What’s she gonna find when she gets there? What’s going to happen over Christmas? Will this story even last until Spring Break? What happens when Tay Tay doesn’t go with either Harrison or Tripp, but goes with her roomie or some other new friend?

      There’s just so much going on. It’s daunting, but we’re we’re confident that KT has a plan for this series. It’s got potential, seriously!

      1. And then there’s that hug between KK and Harrison after watching the video… that means something. Real feelings, eh? Is she consoling Harrison before the storm?

    2. Somehow I doubt Taylor will ever spend a minute outside of their room with her roomie. Makayla is a mega bitch for no reason, it’s a small subplot in this story but it makes me wonder if shes going to play a part in undermining a secret from Taylor in a future study, either exposing some truth to Tripp or to Harrison, possibly Kelsey even.

      Great questions, David.

      1. I agree that I don’t see Taylor spending time with Makayla, but I think it’s pretty unfair to call Makayla a “mega bitch for no reason” – Taylor seems to have gradually earned the animosity shown between the two women, and make no mistake Taylor has no love for Makayla either. Makayla tells Taylor that people don’t like her much here, but Taylor’s own thoughts corroborate this. Also spitting out generally “I fucking hate this place” with just her and Makayla in the room is pretty passive aggressive. Taylor is annoyed by Makayla leaving the room without saying anything to Taylor but, ummm, Taylor, you didn’t say anything to Makayla either.

        It’s pretty telling that Taylor thinks everyone at Santa Cruz other than Tripp has “some problem” with her, and offhandedly blames this on Makayla for some reason. There’s that saying that if you feel like everyone you meet is an asshole there’s really just one common denominator…

      2. You’re probably right that shes somehow picked up on Taylor’s shady behavior, but it is has to be some kind of sixth sense because it’s not as if she ever did anything but try to be friendly with her roommate. So either Makayla is an expert reader of Taylor’s mind and has a negative opinion about what she learned, or shes a megabitch. Since I feel like she has had no reason to act like she has to her, I lean towards the latter.

      3. We get a single third party opinion on Makayla – Tripp calls her a sweetheart, surprised at Taylor’s characterization, in the same conversation he mentions Taylor doesn’t really leave her room or make an effort to make friends. Taylor also on multiple occasions calls Makayla a bitch and says she hates her to anyone that will listen. I think our perspective on Makayla is intentionally skewed by the narrative because we only see her from Taylor’s eyes.

        Going back to their first interaction it’s easy to see why Makayla might get the impression that Taylor is self-centred, when she launches into a mini-monologue about her complicated situation with Harrison with little prompting.

      4. Wait we all missed it. Taylor is slipping into paranoid schizophrenia! Maybe Makayla doesn’t exists! She is a character that Taylor’s mind has made up to justify her feelings of persecution and isolation? This could all be brought on by the stress of being separated from friends and family!
        Is it April yet?
        Makayla does seem to have it in for Taylor and I just don’t see a reason for her being so nasty. I think she was too hasty to put Taylor in a category before she gets to know her? Is it possible that these two may make amends at a later time when there is a crisis in one of there lives? We’ll have to see where KT takes this is it just a plot tool to have Taylor feel more isolated in California, increasing her dependency on Tripp? Is she there for a reason?

      5. You joke, (and I don’t mean to be glib about these things or an armchair psychologist), but go take an online test for borderline personality disorder from Taylor’s perspective as we know it and see what you get…

      6. I was just try to make a parallel to the movie “A Beautiful Mind” The non existent room mate the spies, paranoia stuff that went on in his fantasy world of paranoid schizophrenia. If you haven’t seen it I would recommend it. It is a cleaned up version of a real persons life going through paranoid schizophrenia. He learns to control it. It’s funny I work in the TV/Film industry and happen to be involved in the final QC work on this film. I knew nothing about the plot so I was partway through the film before I caught on that he was imagining it all. Oops spoiled it!

      7. I understand what you were getting at, I was just making a side comment that Taylor actually has a lot of markers of Borderline Personality Disorder.

    3. Thank you so much, Ryan, what a great compliment. That hug scene was powerful to me too, I don’t know if it comes across for everyone so I’m really glad to hear it resonated. And thank you for the blessing, ha ha!

  16. Halfway through a second pass of “Open Minds” using text to speech. Taylor comes off as very immature and selfish! Makayla isn’t a mega bitch she has figured out the kind of person Taylor is. Harrison needs to feel more confident and weigh lifting is one step. Experiences with others will also help him develop his self image. Kelsey is also important in his development too. As long as Harrison sticks to his core values he’ll develop into a confident young man. Kelsey will stick by him as long as he remains Harrison she may lose him to another but she protect him from the skanks. Taylor doesn’t deserve Harrison or Tripp in a serious relationship.

      1. Not much chance of that. Unless due to freak weather they get snowed in together in Santa Cruz. They have a come to Jesus moment and…

  17. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, everywhere! Where you live doesn’t matter. Everyone has something to be thankful for. You don’t need a day off to be thankful!

    Y’all rock it out!

    Daria and David

      1. Thanks, folks. We had friends over. The wives went nuts over Daria’s new hair style–she calls it an extreme angled long bob (it’s way long in the front)–and the color… Black with a purple stripe on the bangs, and a purple band from eye level to below her ears. She wanted edgy… she’s got it. But man it is HOT.

        Didn’t bargain for that, but I had to tell someone other than the two people I write to on OHW.

        Going to Jamaica for a week starting Sunday… that should be…uh, interesting, to say the least!

  18. Hey KT – hope you’re doing okay.

    Haven’t seen many comments from you lately – maybe you just don’t want to wade in on discussion about an in-progress series since you know so much more than we do.

    I’m curious – what’s been your take on the reactions to your stories this year? Anything that surprised you?

    1. I’m good—but books like Separate Schools do require a mental health break. I’m still working, but I tend to stay off line. The first Separate Schools book did me in, for real, I don’t know what’s even making me want to write this thing, lol! And partly yes, I have to pull back in discussion because I want to engage sometimes as a fan of these characters, like maybe defend them or something or point something out and I totally forget I CAN’T do that, ha ha.

      As for 2019 book reflection:
      I don’t know. It’s been a weird year for me, bookly speaking. I was ready to throw in the towel at the end of 2018. The books are hard to write sometimes, and Amazon can seem like an enemy every once in a while. The book writing business has taken a downturn. Despite my huge catalog of pretty decent books, it’s getting even harder to have visibility on Amazon. I’m complicit, I know. Maybe if I didn’t write weird off-model shit I’d be happier. I got a pep talk from another hw writer which got my train on the tracks in January and I went whole-hog again and was super-happy about it. Spring was awesome KT wise. But every time you stop to take a breath, you just get freight-trained around here (AMZ that is).

      Six Weeks: Awesome, totally awesome. I love these books. But again, welcome to the darkness, KT. Want to write this book, be prepared to go dark and hurting. In winter. When there’s no light. And you’re already depressed. It’s some of my best writing but it takes a toll, and in the end, does anyone really appreciate it or are they just looking for erotic books? Why do I try so hard? (This conjecture does not take into account the best amongst you who I absolutely know appreciate the shit out of it and I love you for letting me know, and I don’t mean to diminish your respect for the books in anyway—it’s more of the same, well, shit, if Amazon says this is erotica, then I can’t advertise it, and that means it’s impossible for discovery. I can write amazing books but Amazon buries you, hides you so no one can find you. Six Weeks is kinky yeah, but it has merits, I hope, and I think there are readers out there who would love the book but AM says nope, stay in the shadows, you dirty beast).

      One Night Only: mmm, porny. Pretty well received for a new writer.

      Keely: Abounding love. The best. Makes me happy. Not everybody’s fave, so it’s relegated to being written whenever I get a chance. 2 more books to go.

      Scream Queens: a fucking party. A blast to write, all fun, no personal anguish, just straight up good times. And people enjoyed it!

      Rachel’s Truth: Another blast to write. Had great fun. Also very well-received!

      Mary’s Pledge: Boy, that was weird. The fifties, huh? Okay. Fun to write, not that well-received purchase wise, but definitely got good reviews.

      Big Snake: Weird. Fun. But like wearing someone else’s clothes and trying to act like them. The game in the cook tent was maybe the funnest thing I wrote this year, ha ha. Being a new writer, the book didn’t really take off.

      If anyone’s reading this, what’s your favorite scene this year from one of my books?

      1. Best Scene this Year:

        Chelsea and Ben listening to the audio of Libby and Finn, Chelsea acting as a personification of Ben’s worst fears about what’s happening on the other end, twisting the dagger about Finn’s size.

        Honourable mention:

        Rachel visiting the glory hole, inner turmoil the whole way, shock and obsession and fear.

        PS why did Big Snake feel like someone’s else’s clothes to you?

      2. I deeply appreciate the books that you write for their erotic nature (I know you recognize us on the blog here but I still want to say it). It’s saddening to me that circumstances appear to create pressure dismissing the more erotic stories as lesser and I hope it doesn’t affect how you view your own stories too much. As far as I’m concerned you’re doing something that no one else is. I hope you find the patreon encouraging.

      3. I’ve had many moments in all the 2019 books KT but ‘best scenes’…I guess two were really great…Keely snowballing Max had me really grinning and (sentimental as I am) the elevator opening and the emotionally drained Will meeting his unfaithful yet devastated Heather. It was so real I felt I was there. It must be tough to write such good literature and not be able to distribute it efficiently. I imagine it was the same many moons ago when I was young for writers of things like “Lady Chatterley’s Lover”. Still happens…Salmon Rushdie got slapped with a fatwa for his book about 30 years ago. But I hope you keep at it for your fans who will certainly go nuts if you don’t resolve some of the cliff hangers.

      4. Ha ha, yeah, I would be breaking so many obscenity laws even fifty years ago, so I shouldn’t complain. Didn’t James Joyce get into serious obscenity trouble (not comparing myself to James Joyce, I just mean things used to be a lot worse!). And I’m about to read The Story of O which made mega-bucks back in its heyday but ran afoul of so many laws. Like, come on, guys, shouldn’t the market dictate?

      5. KT, you know we support you. If decided to throw in the towel tomorrow, we’d support it. Listen, if this ever becomes a job or not fun for you, it’s time to take a break and I mean a real break. Reassess everything. Prioritize. But always remember this and it’s not just about your writing: The world is a better place with a happy KT in it.

        DnD

      6. I love all these. Amazon’s short comings come with the big business angle where they don’t care about anything besides achieving success and damn the little guys. Keep writing, even though I’m dismayed at what’s occurring in Separate Schools I still find myself unable to stop reading it.

      7. KT – That really bums me out that you thought you weren’t going to keep going in 2019, why didn’t you let any of your fans know about that? I’m just glad you stuck it out and found a new and interesting way to keep your interest piqued with Patreon.

        I’m not going to lie, I didn’t like this year as much as last year now that I’m looking back on it, KT. The emotions were strong but there hasn’t been any climax to many stories, not as many big bangs, so the emotions and passion could have been bigger. I hope we can finally see the end of some of your series in 2020, we can see some resolution and some really emotionally charged endings.

        Or not, do whatever you want and I meant that, I’ll be here more or less. If you want to completely change what you want to do in 2020, whatever keeps you writing, you have an unbelievable gift, and others will follow you in whatever you have next.

        My top 10 favorite Erotic moments in 2019-

        10. Tripp and Taylor’s first time – Open Hearts – fun moment where Taylor says lets keep going despite the fact there is no protection in sight for Tripp.
        9. Kelsey and Harrison watch a movie together – Open Minds. This was surprisingly hot for me, a girl with complex interests in Harrison and Harrison confused as hell about Kelsey. The contents of the video were pretty good too…
        8. Truth and Rachel go for a bike ride – Rachel’s Truth – I’m a simple man with simple needs, and Rachel getting off on the bike seat with a handful of Truth was a good time.
        7. Libby finally gets Finn bare – Impure Thoughts – we get most of the action from Ben’s perspective which is KT’s prerogative, but it was an intense moment, nonetheless.
        6. Heather gets counseled by Kyle – Weekend on the Big Snake – Kyle wants to be able to show Heather what it’s like since she’s so curious.
        5. Janie wakes Maceo up – Snowburst – this was another fun moment, I never heard an erotica writer have the female character watch an erection form, that was different!
        4. Sarah gets clingy – One Night Only – the sex was pretty hot, fine, as good as it’s going to get when we know nothing about these two people, but what was really fun for me was how Sarah acted afterwards, not getting all the answers she wanted from DeMarcus, that was nice.
        3. Libby and Finn’s first time together – Broken Dreams – really explosive scenes that were pretty hot.
        2. Janie gives Maceo inspiration – Snowscape – This was a tense moment in a great series that I hope is among those in the queue to get finished in 2020, glad it’s being talked about again.
        1. Guess – a – Dick – Weekend on the Big Snake – I’ve talked about it a lot, this was a lot of fun in the dirtiest and funniest, yet plausible ways!

        (I must be thirsty for something hot again from KT)

      8. KT, as someone who is admittedly looking for erotica, your quality of writing and care for the story is apparent and very much appreciated, even if I/we don’t let you know enough. I’ve read many books in the genre and after discovering your work in late 2017, you have made it hard for me to enjoy other writers’ works as most of them don’t compare to your storytelling quality.

        Even this story, which as you say isn’t meant to titilate, was still enjoyable to read for someone who is predominantly looking for titilation. That is a rare quality to have.

        Undoubtedly dealing with Amazon in this has to be frustrating for an erotica writer, and you throwing in the towel would be justified. If that were to be the case I’d hope you’d continue to write, even as just a hobby through your Patreon as your voice would be sorely missed in this space.

        My favorite scenes this year was Ben and Chelsea listening on the phone as Finn and Libby got to know each other a little better.

        Second favorite was basically All of Chelsea Hates Libby 3 once Ben arrives home, and third would be Libby taking Fin bare in Scream Queens 1…

        Not that the Chelsea hates Libby/scream queens series is my favorite or anything! I can’t wait for what Fin to continue to bring Libby out of her shell.. Now for if only Chelsea has to go away for s shoot for a while, and their house needs is deemed inhabitable so Fin would need to move in with Ben and Libby until Chelsea gets back :).

      9. Best scene
        For me anything in the Keely series. Saved the Maggie series for me. I was like David. Found the last book really difficult and I was so mad at Maggie and Cole. Keely series showed me breaking up with Maggie was the best thing To happen. Don’t even joke about not writing. It gives me palpations

      10. I should clarify that Throw in the towel statement: I didn’t mean quit altogether.

        I was lamenting to a writer-friend the futility of writing this stuff on Amazon because it gets hidden. By throwing in the towel I meant giving up on trying to force feed my books into Amazon. It’s not going to work, Amazon will not let these books be successful.

        I would have continued writing anyway, but I wouldn’t have been banking on these books as my sole endeavor. The KT books are written from the heart (most of them) which means they have meaning to me, I’m not abandoning them at all, nor do I ever have plans for that. To me these books are a real writer’s career. I’m grateful for their success, believe me. You know how many people want to be writers? You know how many people try to find success? Tons. You know how many make it? Like 4%. I’ve found a crazy sliver of success here—I can write books I care about, am passionate about, and people will read them?! Holy fuck, that is insane. And for that I am truly grateful.

        It was moot anyway because that message exchange with a friend came with a pep talk and I renewed my vigor in January. I’ve had a great year that I’m proud of. The throw in the towel thing was meant as me having to admit that the KT books will never have the success I want them to have. But I’m ecstatic for the success I do have. Sometimes I talk flippantly and I forget people don’t always know what the fuck I’m really saying, ha ha. Trust me: I’ve said it a million times here how much I love writing these books and there’s no way I’m stopping altogether.

        The Patreon is something that could work. And I think trying to expand my reach off of Amazon will be a helpful thing too. I’m trying to find a way through this, not looking to stop or for a way out. These books mean a lot to me. When shit gets hard it’s great to escape with my very-real-to-me friends. I’m writing the next Keely book occasionally and I can’t tell you how good it feels to slide into a weekend getaway with Keely and Maggie as they go do fun stuff together, drink, talk about boys, party, and whatever. Even writing that last sentence warmed the cockles of my heart. Not kidding. Smiling right now.

        TLDR: Throw in the towel=giving up on AMZ’s support

      11. It is really kind of disappointing that your stories can’t take off like other, I guess, more overtly Romantic novels, because when you take away some of the (to be fair) really dirty elements of your stories, they have all the makings of a well written Romance novel, but because people like to put it in their butt sometimes you have to suffer from Amazon’s wrath, lol. Heaven forbid people write about where ejaculate sometimes ends up in the act of lovemaking, double lol.

      12. If we’re opening it up from “best scene” to a long list of “best scenes” I’m nominating every individual Devil in the Waters chapter as my 3rd-8th places 😛

  19. RUN! Turkey RUN!

    Happy Thanksgiving to everyone including our friendly neighbors to the north! Taking a pause, just got the turkey in the BBQ but it’s under a tent this year due to rain in not so sunny SoCal. The suffering we Californians must endure sometimes! 🙂
    Glaucon I think KT is splitting her time between this blog and the Patron blog. She comments there almost daily.

    1. I don’t know about almost daily, KT’s last comment on the Patreon was three days ago, and it was just three comments about typos. Before that KT’s last comment (not chapter post) was almost two weeks ago.

      I certainly don’t begrudge KT as much rest as possible, and KT certainly doesn’t “owe” us any commenting – but it does feel like they’re commenting less.

  20. I want to talk about a counter narrative to what I think about this story that is a little darker though, I’m moving it down here since replying to where it is makes it harder to read. It kind of mirrors what Glaucon talked about about Kelsey being an enabler. I agree with him that sometimes her defenses of Taylor read as someone who thinks her friend can do no wrong, and since it becomes hinted that Kelsey might have a deep crush on Taylor, I don’t know, I got a “The Roommate” vibe (not that I watched all of that). There are probably better examples of what I’m getting at because you can’t take that comparison literally, lol. This is an alternate reality where Kelsey is a spin doctor, who takes all of Taylor’s desires and whims and can work out a justification for their behavior because she has sublimated her desire to be with Taylor and morphed it into doing whatever Taylor wants, knowing she won’t love her like she loves her. If it were like The Roommate, I imagine it would just take one moment where Taylor cries to Kelsey on the phone about Tripp for Kelsey to travel to California and chop off his dick. “I did it for you, Taylor,” *deranged smile attempting to show a love of Taylor as a friend but also showing she is madly in love with her and also that she’s clinically insane* lol.

    Of course, this isn’t remotely true, because just as Kelsey lets Harrison know of the merits of Taylor’s decisions, she also occasionally calls out Taylor for what she is doing wrong. She’s on Taylor’s side which makes it seem like she thinks Taylor is walking on water, but I think it’s because she has the presence of mind to know that Taylor is on that path towards understanding what she wants in life and she probably can rationalize why Taylor is doing the fucked up things she is doing as she continues on.

    Where I think there’s a middle ground between the insane theory of an obsessed friend and “Kelsey is a perfectly logical superhuman” is that I think Kelsey might not be infallible in her logic, particularly when you take into account that she has a small crush on Taylor, and a vested interest in Taylor coming back to her. For that reason, it could be that Kelsey has some wishful thinking sprinkled into her conversations with Taylor and Harrison that assumes Harrison has a chance to reel Taylor back at the end of her time in California simply because she just wants it to be true that Taylor will come back home. At the same time, though, again, it seems like Kelsey is prepared for the possibility that Taylor will never come back to them, so that’s why I end up sticking to my main theory of Kelsey being a helpful character in understanding the underlying benefit of Taylor’s path.

    1. The most curious thing to me about Kay in this book is how this young woman, described as attractive and very confident, is apparently making zero new friends and spending all of her time with Harrison. A fixation/lovesickness centred on Taylor might explain this but it’s still noteworthy to me.

  21. I’m going to suggest another counter-narrative here. Now, I absolutely don’t want to diminish the real world issues associated with this but it’s a big part of my job and I can’t help notice that there are a lot of red flags of an abusive relationship present (especially if you include Kay as an agent of Taylor).
    • Lack of compromise (Taylor wants to do X, the only way we can continue the relationship is if you allow me to do nothing less than full X (not to mention she ends up exceeding those boundaries anyway))
    • Coercive behaviour
    • Unreasonable statements about how much Taylor deserves, or what she deserves
    • Feeling as though the whole world is against her, all the time
    • Denying her behaviour
    • Lack of trust
    • Lack of respect for feelings
    • Extreme jealousy
    • Silent treatment
    • Lying
    • Using ‘love’ as leverage
    • Gaslighting
    • Isolation (this one is through Kay, and although there are completely legitimate arguments about why she wants to limit Harrison’s relationships with family and new friends, it’s interesting to me that this classic red flag is still present for multiple relationships)
    • Breaking boundaries
    • Not taking responsibility for her actions
    • Taylor subtly controlling Harrison’s behaviour through Kay
    • Guilt tripping Harrison for the blow job (through Kay)
    • Actual physical abuse (this one is Kay again – but Harrison’s acceptance of this fits the pattern)

    To be absolutely clear, presence of red flags does not mean a relationship is abusive, but I think I think the sheer number of red flags present here is noteworthy.

    1. Oh Wow! That is a very a interesting analysis. Your insight into the relationship has me thinking on some of my early relationships. Harrison is vulnerable to abuse because of his lack of self confidence. As his self confidence builds so will his independence from Taylor. Kay I’m not so sure she’s Taylor’s surrogate/enforcer. Kay may have a different agenda from Taylor. Kay is more of a drill instructor trying to mold Harrison in to the man he has the potential to be. This may involve some tough love to keep him out of trouble with the local skanks. Kay’s physical abuse (hitting Harrison in the arm) maybe to get him to standup for himself! Unless there is some hidden molestation thing with her father, Kay seems to have a health relationship with her dad. They both loss a loved one and supported each other. KT wrote in Open Hearts(SS#2) “Big Jim Miller gave his daughter whatever she wanted, but she rarely asked for a thing.” Some of you may have a different take on this. I see Kay as someone who could be spoiled and self centered. But instead I see her as strong and independent young woman. Having that supportive father allows her to venture out and become independent. Kay has made an effort to be her own person from what we know. Her dad is there but she is not going to call on his help unless it is an emergency. I find the relationship between Kay and Taylor interesting. At some point I can see Kay turning her back on Taylor. Kay and Harrison may just out grown her. What will Taylor do when she is no longer the center of attention?

      Harrison’s family experienced something similar losing his sister. Harrison’s mom is a piece of work she seems to be too domineering and a bit physiologically abusive to Harrison. Just like a girl’s relationship with her dad effects her future relationships with men. Harrison has kowtowed to his mother then he has fallen into the same pattern with Taylor. Harrison has everything to gain by getting out on his own. Taylor isn’t good for his growth into an adult. We’ll see haw this plays out…

    2. I really agree with you here. A lot of things about Taylor rub me as the manipulative type who uses people. I stated earlier how I’m not sure I like where things are heading. It would be nice to see this concludes in a positive light some where along the line with Taylor kind of waking up and changing for the better. Harrison needs to get out and not be tied up by Kelsey who is not interested in him because she is most likely a lesbian who is also being used by Taylor.

    3. I don’t know if I’m meant to feel as strongly about everyone in this series’ behavior as is being talked about in the comments, I just feel like everyone is overreacting. I said I wasn’t going to react to it because who cares and to give credit where it’s due, there are ways of interpreting everything that Glaucon said in the light he is portraying, and he even states that the ‘redflags’ he points out aren’t necessarily indicative of abuse, but I just take issue with it being applied here. I don’t know if it’s because I’m ‘triggered’ as is overly used in our culture, I just think it’s way too extreme to interpret Taylor’s behavior in such monstrous terms. Is the contention that she is doing most or all of this unintentionally? I could get behind that, to be clear, but it seems like the reaction to her behavior in this story is to think she’s being purposefully manipulative and controlling, and that’s just not being totally fair. That assumes she knows how she is acting is unfair and has the ability to suppress her reaction to what’s happening and how she’s feeling, and she’s too immature to see that stuff. The key is can you see some goodness in her that would make you think she could overcome the shitiness, and the answer to that is yes to me, so that makes me think she’ll get over some of the rough spots in her choices.

      That’s my opinion on it though, and it seems like I’m apparently in the minority and even KT might be hinting that I am being too kind to Taylor? She has probably said nothing of the sort and she stays away from debate, but she appears to really appreciate Glauc’s detailed perspective. I’m just not sold on Taylor being this fucked up person, just a person doing fucked up things because she’s a stupid 19-year old.

      1. I didn’t intend to speak on this further; I don’t object to a reader taking the position of sympathy for Taylor, even if I personally don’t have much, but since you’re taking issue with my position I’ll elaborate on my above points. And also because I genuinely enjoy these discussions 😊.

        I’m going to preface this by saying you are, of course, allowed to like any character you want to! I often enjoy villainous characters. I do think you might feel strongly about these characters if anything we say here is capable of “triggering” you with respect to analyzing their character.

        For the purposes of this discussion I’m going to limit the characterization of “abusive” to what we would consider psychological, or emotional abuse. I’ll put aside for the moment that Kay literally hit Harrison, which, while not something Taylor specifically asked Kay to do, is relevant to Harrison’s subjective experience of his interpersonal relationship with Taylor and Kay, who to a degree is a surrogate for Taylor that Taylor asks to watch and control Harrison.

        Abuse is charged language, and I don’t use it lightly. It’s also a difficult area to nail down. As I noted above, the presence of red flags doesn’t automatically make a relationship abusive, but everything I listed above are exactly the kinds of red flags a clinician would have in mind when speaking with someone about their relationship. If I was talking to Harrison in my professional capacity and these things came up, I’d have some literature for him to look over. It’s interesting and noteworthy how many red flags are there, that’s basically my entire point and that’s it!

        If I’m reading you correctly (and I apologize if I am not), your objection to the above is that
        1. The pain Taylor is causing Harrison is not intentional.
        2. Taylor doesn’t realize she’s being unfair.
        3. Taylor is unable to control her own actions.
        4. Taylor is too young/immature to be accountable for her actions.
        5. Taylor has some goodness in her.
        And that these points would preclude someone from enacting emotional/psychological abuse, or that even if they are they should be forgiven for it.

        1. People (generally speaking) don’t sit down and “intentionally” decide to start enacting abusive behaviour – they do each action in the moment because it makes sense to them/is what they want to do in the moment. And sometimes those actions taken in aggregate amount to an abusive dynamic. I feel like it’s a bizarre line of logic to say shitty behaviour is fine if you don’t realize how awful it is or think about the ways it hurts the people you claim to love. This is 100% the psychology of abusers and sociopaths – outside of extreme cases, people aren’t doing it specifically and solely for the purpose of causing anguish in their loved ones, it’s about doing what they want to do in the moment, and the anguish of their loved ones is an ignored consequence. It’s literally the definition of selfishness to care about how something benefits you to the exclusion of considering how it might impact others.

        2. Taylor has little excuse regarding claimed ignorance – she knows it hurts Harrison! She’s just decided she wants it more than she cares about whether Harrison is hurt by it. Someone not considering whether their actions are unfair would tend to indicate they’re only thinking about how their actions affect themselves.

        3. Likewise, Taylor’s poor impulse control is not much of an excuse. Again, yeah, this is common in abusive relationships. Frankly it’s another red flag.

        4. I’m not sure how to address the defense that she’s “just 19.” I’m certainly not suggesting she should be jailed. I don’t think it’s radically controversial to say that 19-year-olds should generally think about the consequences of their actions and be held responsible for what they do. Hell, I think 16-year-olds should think about the consequences of their actions and realize that it’s pretty shitty to treat people this way.

        5. I do think our culture has a tendency to reduce things to simple “good” or “evil” which is often not very helpful in understanding how people act and why they act. No one really thinks of themselves as evil, or as an abuser. They will think “I’m not a bad person, I’m a good person that maybe sometimes does bad things.” Few people are cartoon monsters, and even the worst of us can have feelings of warmth or positive qualities. The fact that a person can remain sympathetic while doing bad things in a story is proof that this is good writing because that’s exactly how those same people remain sympathetic to themselves in real life.

        It feels like your objections are that Taylor has reasons for why she’s acting the way she is, to which I would say yeah, of course, everyone does. That doesn’t preclude those actions from being pretty shitty to those she claims she loves. It wouldn’t preclude those actions from even bordering on emotional abuse! I’m not saying that this relationship is abusive, I’m just saying damn that’s almost three quarters of the domesticshelters.org checklist for relationship red flags.

      2. She might be able to, but before that she’d have to WANT to change and learn and from her actions, and I see no indication of that yet. Like I noted before, she’s not even taking responsibility for her decisions in her own mind.

      3. Ok, as long as you can see the perspective that Taylor is capable of change just forget about your interpretation of my response to your initial post, you’re half way towards the opinion I was trying express.

      4. Does the possibility that a person might become better later (without any real present indication that they intend to do so) prevent them from being manipulative and selfish now? Or mean we should go easier on them because maybe one day they might possibly change?

      5. Certainly not the first one, and I disagree with your premise that Taylor hasn’t demonstrated she can be a good person. To your second point, I take issue with how people are attaching labels so easily, so yes, I think people should ease off of her.

      6. If you’re protesting attaching the label “abusive” I’d point out no one in this thread has explicitly called Taylor abusive. She has done a lot of things that abusers do in relationships. That’s really the extent of what’s been said about that.

        She’s also been described as manipulative (which she admits to herself she is) and selfish. I feel like those are pretty fair descriptors for her actions.

        I don’t think it’s unfair to analyze characters as they are, rather than based on some hypothetical actions they may or may not take in the future. Actions Taylor may take months or years from now do not change the actions she’s taken so far.

      7. Glaucon – I am going to blow by your characterization of my initial reply because I feel like it is just being contrarian and not attempting to see the merits of my viewpoint, which makes sense when you took it and invented strawman arguments all over it that are easily shut down, as you’ve done, although I disagree with some of your takes in response. And It’s not entirely your fault because I haven’t written that much on this blog (but have elsewhere about Taylor, not that you need to be an expert on it), but here you’ve taken simple sentences and extrapolated their contents into a perfectly generalizable opinion on a character who is complex. I’m only replying now because my opinion was misrepresented.

        Are you willing to contend that Taylor has been abusive to Harrison throughout their five year relationship? If so, why would Taylor’s behavior shock Harrison so much throughout this story which has only covered 6 months of their life (3 in any detail), has he just been ignorant to what Taylor’s been doing and now he’s seeing the truth? To me, it’s because they were perfectly fine as a couple before, or at least healthy enough to have all three (Harrison, Taylor, and Kelsey) trust in what was happening in the relationship. If that’s the case then most of your bulletpoints of “abuse” are not necessarily indicative of a problem, and could just be fucking up a unique situation. You seem to agree with that, but since all you’ve done here is bring up cherrypicked behaviors and say they are indicative of a pattern while never producing any evidence that would demonstrate the possibility of non-abusive behavior, you’re being disingenuous when you say, “No one is saying she’s necessarily being abusive.” You have an opinion that Taylor is being abusive, just say that.

        So here’s the rub, I take issue with you bringing up the things that have happened in this story and even think about abuse. I guess it’s fun to talk in extremes, but it’s really overstating what is happening. I feel like your disdain for Taylor’s behavior has you denying that any moments where Taylor, Kelsey, or Harrison are getting along in healthy ways are of any value to the story. That those positive moments in this story could at all be indicative of the good things (read: non-abusive) Taylor has in her personality, and the way things were before Taylor decided on this huge change in her life that she totally fucked up the transition towards.

        And let’s be clear, it isn’t just the ‘abuse’ term I take issue to on this blog, that’s another strawman, I’ve seen multiple personality disorders brought up and it always bugs me when we’re talking about characters that KT is trying to be serious about. It takes away from the discussion. We know KT won’t go there, and we have Taylor’s dialogue and people’s opinions about her over a lifetime of behavior to show that it’s careless to make those claims, I can’t frankly understand why people are assigning permanent debilitating traits to Taylor while ignoring counter evidence.

        And just because it seems like you blow past my points of agreement with you, I agree that Taylor’s behavior is on the whole, bad, in this story. I can see the good, but yeah, no one can deny she has been bad in this part of her life. My defense of her is not purely hypothetical, nor is it defending her actions, nor is it saying she lacks impulse control, nor she doesn’t understand what she’s doing, but she IS immature.

  22. Happy Thanksgiving to KT and the Sunshine Band!

    Do not despair, KT, for Jess Mapplethorpe is here! https://nypost.com/2019/11/28/teacher-of-the-year-randi-chaverria-allegedly-gave-student-oral-sex-in-classroom/

    Only KT and her adepts know the real story of how she celebrated her award.

    Back on topic – does anyone think Taylor is just a little too clever for her own good? Who is going to take her in hand to straighten her out (or to straighten out in her, or something).

    1. I’m left hoping that someone will save Harrison. It just feels like he’s about get his heart ripped out soon. Wondering if the next book will have them reunite with Taylor breaking up with Harrison.

  23. Best of KT (Non-Erotic edition) 2019

    For me, this year will be most remembered for KT’s creativity and expansion of her scope and willingness to tackle different approaches to this genre. To be fair, I’ve only really chosen to acknowledge mostly the non-erotic (or what I’ve tried to explain as pseudo-erotic) things that she’s written this year, but I think she’s done a lot of non-conventional things in the genre that are classified as erotic. Ben and Tyler’s measurement contest and Kelsey and Harrison’s unconventional friendship come immediately to mind in that regard.

    For this list I’ve come up with the things that come to mind that were really creative and entertaining things that KT wrote that might not necessarily have been meant to turn us on. This is my non-erotica reading hat that I (sometimes begrudgingly) put on when reading KT, that I just have to tip my cap.

    12. Maceo’s welcome party – Snowscape – I really enjoy KT’s ability to set a stage and when they pick Maceo up at the airport and have family over to meet Maceo, you immediately get thrown into a setting and get a fully colored view of the people that will be involved in this story.
    11. Ben and Heather’s argument in the tent – Weekend on the Big Snake – KT is just a mastermind at being able to articulate the different opinions two people in a relationship can form about the events that take place in her stories, particularly as it relates to the concepts she will frequently bring up. The argument in the tent was a really nice breakdown of public humiliation about a SO’s penis size as it compares to someone else, and if it really matters.
    10. Keely goes home – Finding Keely – I like the ability of KT to put us in a unique setting and make us really feel like we were there. I could picture cobble stone roads and an old wooden pub, which is probably too period specific, stereotypical and I’m not even sure if it is appropriate given what KT actually wrote, thinking back lol, but it was fun nonetheless. The dialogue and experience was uniquely Irish, that much can be clear.
    9. Finn and Libby hit it off – Scream Queen – I love moments where relationships between the bull and FC can grow to proportions that the MC might not be able to handle, and Finn’s command of a dance floor, grill, and motorcycle can worm their way into a FC’s heart and that shit is always welcome in my book even if it ultimately doesn’t go where I (mostly) always want it to go. Emotional chaos if people need reminders of what I like, lol, probably not.
    8. Finn and Libby go to a concert – Backstage Pass – As i said I love moments like this where a relationship can be built and possibly be overwhelmingly positive, I wish we could have seen her perspective on what was happening to her in the moment, but I guess not. Nonetheless we got excellent glimpses, that face time moment was excellent at conveying what I wanted to know, and cute how Taylor didn’t know how to work the phone. I have to imagine it was similar to my number 5 on this list, and I wonder if what happened with Tripp and Taylor was a nod to this moment we didn’t get access to. I’m choosing to believe its because she felt bad for those of us that wanted to know about this, lol.
    7. Maceo paints Janie (the one she can show her husband lol) – Snowscape – starting with the night prior where Janie gets a sneak peek of her new biggest fan (penises can be fans of women for the purposes of this post), then their cute conversation when Janie wakes Maceo up (the normal way, haha), Janie poses for her new stud this day and god damn does that shit get the heart racing knowing what she is starting to feel.
    6. Tripp and Taylor go to a concert (lol) – Open Minds – I really love knowing the emotional highs and lows (I got flashbacks to the movie ‘Shallow’ when Tripp was like, “you’re going on stage” and I immediately got anxiety lol) that Taylor experienced. This was really nice. If I have one gripe, it was too short, but that’s a preference.
    5. Maggie and Keely join Max to visit his family – Learning Keely – the events surrounding this challenging moment for Keely was really well done, you felt for her knowing what she was going through and trying to thread the needle between being herself and not offending people she’ never met.
    4. Maggie lets her ego go in order to help Keely and Max connect – Finding Keely – I just remember really loving the warmth that I felt reading this, it helped me in particular feel a level of joy because I had built in my head (sometimes despite little evidence) that Maggie was a good person at heart that actually cares about people. People are still able to weave her actions here as a negative, but I saw it as a data point for Maggie is not altogether evil.
    3. Worlds collide, Cole, Maggie, Keely, and Max meet up at the bar – Learning Keely – there’s a lot of fanfare in this event considering what all has transpired up to this point in the story, and that was necessary in order to for their to be an impact in this, but I found myself hanging on every word spoken, thought had, and action taken because it had so much weight behind it. everything was under a microscope in this story.
    2. Keely and Max hit it off – Finding Keely – It’s just good writing about two souls trying to see if they fit together, and even though I don’t want to read it, KT makes me because she wrote a thing and when am I ever going to not read a KT thing(?!?!) and I end up appreciating it in the end. She tells us in advance that this is different, and it was, and it shows her range as a writer is greater than the box she’s supposed to be in. She really pushes boundaries building Keely and Max’s relationship, in my opinion.
    1. Kelsey – Open Minds – I don’t know if I’ve ever read a character like her in the genre that KT is pigeonholed into, she is really, really interesting and must be a lot of fun to write about. She has somehow sandwiched herself in the sex life of Taylor and Harrison while being involved in unorthodox ways, lol. She’s definitely weird, and I like it, lol. I should say, I don’t want to like Kelsey, not that she’s a bad person (in my opinion because that’s apparently controversial to say she is not a good person), but just the concept of her character. I found myself having to power through the early stages of an interaction that involves Kelsey because, well, I want action that involves Taylor and I know I’m going to have to wait if there’s a scene with Kelsey and Harrison, etc.. That said, I end up enjoying the experience, especially when I take a step back and think about the story in its entirety I come away impressed about who she is and what she is to the Separate Schools story.

    I felt gross with yesterday’s list, so I put on my almost-passes-for-an-adult pants to talk about KT’s books because she really is a talent like I’ve never read before.

  24. So it’s finally starting to click, which probably makes sense because I’m a cis male, but maybe the issue Kelsey has making new friends (besides being an immense smart ass which probably turns most people off), is she is experiencing a identity crisis and probably is working through insecurities during her struggle. It seems like she’s only dated men in her life, yet she now seems to have a clear understanding that she isn’t straight. That inability to feel comfortable in her own skin might make things difficult for her to trust anyone else.

    She comes off as really sure of herself, and she knows other people’s stories inside and out because she’s really smart and knows things, but some of it might just be for show.

    Like I said, I didn’t want to like Kelsey, but KT made me.

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