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Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock #1)

3.71  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,154 Ratings  ·  127 Reviews
This edition is no longer available.

When Jeff Irwin is asked to tutor the town's high school football hero, they find that their relationship proves more challenging than any tutoring session.
Paperback, 198 pages
Published February 21st 2009 by Xlibris (first published February 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 2,186)
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Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*1.5 stars*

Yes, I rounded down. I really hated this book.

It's been awhile since I've stumbled across a book that gave me as strong of a gut reaction as this story. Every fiber of my being just said NO while I was listening to this one (more on the audio aspect of the book later). However, looking at my friends' reviews, I seem to be in the vast minority. What am I missing here, folks???

What is odd is that on the surface, this book has many of the things that I like in my books. I'm into age ga
Jeff Irwin is delicately built, sensitive, and doesn’t care at all for sports. Brett Willson is popular, good-looking, a star football player, and a candidate for Homecoming King. Unfortunately, he failed English twice and if he fails a third time, he will be removed from sports altogether. Brett’s coach coerces Jeff into tutoring Brett so he can pass and in return promises Jeff an “A” in gym. The two young men eventually become close friends and lovers, not so easy while living in a small town ...more
Jun 02, 2013 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

If I ever decide to write a book, I know it will be YA. The recipe is already there, you just have to put it all in, mix it around, give it your own flavor, and voila!

So, it’s no shock that “Dumb Jock” is about Jeff, a small, shy, smart, bullied kid who’s forced into tutoring Brett, the big, perfect, star quarterback jock…who’s also deep in the closet. And as most YA books go, there are your stereotypical, over-the-top side characters that include religious zealots, a tough-guy coach who spews h

Dumb Jock is a coming of age story set in the 80’s and that is like Jurassic years to the gay movement. I cannot fathom how hard it must have been to be a homosexual person, when you are surrounded by bigoted minds, and hateful words. This story made me cry, and not the silent tears streaming down my face, but the headache induced tears that made my heart break. It was just a beautiful story of a young boy finding his place in the world through love, heartache an inte
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. It had several elements that I really enjoy in gay fiction - coming out, coming of age, the 80’s, first love. I was in high school at the same time these characters were.

Let me begin by saying that I enjoyed the book over all...even though my review here will give the impression that I didn’t.

The story centers around Jeff. Jeff is a 14-year-old boy who has fallen for Brett, the most popular boy in school. Brett is a dumb jock about to fail Engl
Madison Parker
I love reading good coming of age stories, and these characters felt very real to me. My heart goes out to Jeff, the main character, who is a very sensitive and emotional guy trying to navigate very difficult life circumstances at a young age. I too consider myself overly sensitive and had a lot of empathy for Jeff. Did he shed a lot of tears? Yes, but I felt each and every one was warranted, especially considering his young age and lack of life experience.

It took a while for Brett to grow on me
Kaje Harper
Apr 01, 2012 Kaje Harper rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, ya
So I just finished this book and I'm going to go find the next one Another Dumb Jock .

Dumb Jock is the story of a young boy (14 at the beginning of the book) discovering his orientation, his needs and desires, and moving toward his adult self in his first year in high-school. The narrator of this book, Jeff, is a very introspective guy and he is writing from the perspective of an adult looking back (talking about a record player as being like a modern CD changer, for example.) Sometimes this mak
I finally finished this! God, this was difficult.

The Good:
- A gay story.
- Elaine, which reminds me of Adele.

The Bad:
- CLICHED like Hell. Too many cliches. The plot is cliche.
- "Pup" is disturbing.
- I don't like Jeff's character. He's too needy I wanted to barf sometimes.
- More telling, less showing.
- Ineffective and inefficient use of supporting characters.

It was a bit entertaining in the end, but terribly written. I actually postponed reading this for a while. But I didn't want to quit. So ther
Jan 30, 2014 Lori rated it it was amazing
The perfect antidote to my earlier angst fest. And yay for the HEA. :) Forget literary, I'm a romantic at heart . After all love makes the world go round. Amiright?
3.5 stars I had originally read book 3 in this series, Dumb Jock: The Musical, which takes place in present day and loosely references Bret and Jeff. I loved it and was on the fence about whether or not I wanted to backtrack. But enough time had gone by that I didn't feel I would be comparing the two side by side, so I decided to give this a chance.

It was really good, although it felt like it ended rather abruptly so that left me with a less than stellar last impression. Especially given the emp
Macky ~ Sinfully Gay Romance Book Reviews
Having just read a laterJeff Erno story that I gave 5 stars to I just want to say that this probably would have been a 5 star rating too but for the fact that I never really settled fully into the writing style that Jeff institutes in this story. I believe its the very first book he wrote and as a story it's ultra enjoyable but the problem in my eyes was the lack of contractions. There are hardly any at all, giving it a very strange over formal feel that at times interfered with the teen emotion ...more
John Inman
May 23, 2014 John Inman rated it it was amazing
With a title like DUMB JOCK, I expected a light, silly, high school tale of love and coming out. What I expected and what I got were two different things.
I haven't read many YA novels. This is maybe my second or third one. I also have not read (in our genre) that many books that touched me as deeply as this one did, YA or not.
A little background. My partner and I just went through the journey of helping his mother reach the end of her life with as much love and dignity as we could give her. A
Major English (Laura)
I'm not going to lie... The dominance/submissive relationship between Brett and Jeff came off as creepy to me. Also, the fact that Jeff is a sexually experienced 17 year old and Jeff is just 14 also somewhat bothered me, as I feel like Jeff was taken advantage of in a sense by Brett. This made it hard for me to buy into their love story because as it is even described in the book, the relationship is unequal, with Jeff loving Brett both physically and emotionally and Brett not necessarily recipr ...more
Dec 27, 2015 Irina rated it really liked it

Very good writing, some insightful thoughts about discovering one's self, bullying, coming out, coping with tragic changes in life etc.

What I loved here, was the author's voice. It drew me in despite my scepticism and reserve towards YA couples. And we are not even talking legal age, in this case. The main character is 14, for God's sake! Yet, I wanted to listen to the end, maybe not so much for the sake of romance, but more and more for those sudden bursts of wisdom Jeff Erno threw in.

BR, September 3rd with Paul, Sonia and Julie.

I've read it but I shouldn't have, so I won't be rating this.

For a more elaborate review please read Paul's

Veronica /  V
Jul 27, 2013 Veronica / V rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars
I don't usually read books about teenagers, I'm one of those kinky readers that I like my books with sex scenes, a little bit hot and dirty, a nice plot and that's the honest truth, and for me, teenagers don't fulfill that category at all.
Even though, I finally decided to read this story and I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed it, some parts were heartbroken and I felt so sorry for Jeff.
Even when he was so smart he was also very insecure, after all he was only a child not even 1
2.5 Stars

The romance was sweet; the angst was appropriately dramatic (and oftentimes upsetting); and the epilogue provided an extremely satisfying ending.

Unfortunately, I had a few niggles, particularly in relation to the writing style. This could very much be a “me” thing, and seeing as this is my first Jeff Erno story and I have no prior experience with his writing before now, I like to keep an open mind.

Initially, it took me way longer than is probably acceptable to realise this story takes
Maggie Simms

Jeff did it again. I loved this book!!!

I must confess that after cataloguing the Puppy Love series as one of my favorite of all times, I was a bit hesitant to read other Jeff Erno books, as he had been placed in a very high pedestal. Well, I should have known better. Though in this one the D/s is a bit more subtle I enjoyed it all the same.

This book had me enthralled, outraged, laughing, sad, and sobbing like a baby. I was a blabbering mess, crying like a baby with snot running down my nose at
Jack Pyke
This is my first Erno book, and the Jock v High Achiever in this made for such light change from my usually darker loves and haunts. Brett surprised me; I suspected he'd do what he did once pressure was applied, but the redemption for his screw-ups was a good way to finish the story. The twisted part in me wanted to see him hurt for his sins for a little longer, but the understanding was there with how difficult his redemption would have been for him, and my own need for revenge wasn't who Jeff ...more
Jan 27, 2012 Zach rated it it was ok
Shelves: gay-themes
He said it was his first real book and it shows. No one thing about it was bad just a lot of things I didn’t care for or that could have been done better. Characters in the latter half came out of nowhere, I found neither Jeff or Brett to be very believable or realistic and the ending seemed to come out of nowhere.
Elisa Rolle
Oct 25, 2015 Elisa Rolle rated it it was amazing
2009 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)
Jun 13, 2013 Vivian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: romance-hist, fr
Prepare to recall the awkwardness and confusion of being a teen and the struggle to understand one's feelings. The story rambles and repeats, much like the mantras running through a teen's head, but it can be a bit slow. The reader really does join Jeff's journey and rides along, the pace is realistic, but perhaps too realistic if one is looking for a more structured read; this one is like a diary.

It is a painful journey with ups and downs--a lot of downs, but it is optimistic even with the heav
Jul 21, 2010 Leah rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m-romance
After reading the Puppy Love and Landlord books I was really excited to read Dumb Jock. I anticipated it would be strange to read an author's work in reverse chronological order but figured what the hell I've enjoyed what I'd read so far. I don't think I ever connected with Jeff and Brett perhaps because I'm at odds with their perceptions of hegemonic masculinity and homosexuality among other things. I get the attention to the 80's zeitgeist, I actually loved that aspect of the book, still that ...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for

Set in the 1980's, DUMB JOCK illustrates the struggle of two young teens coming to terms with their sexuality and their growing love. Although the book is not autobiographical, author Jeff Erno looked to his own personal struggle of coming out as gay in a small northern Michigan town.

Jeff and Brett are as different as night and day in appearance and interests. Jeff is a slightly built freshman with no athletic talent whatsoever. His
May 06, 2014 Beck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
So I recently had a discussion with an author of BDSM about why I have an issue with Jeff Erno's books ... My main 'issue' has always been the element of humiliation in the D/s he portrays in his stories, although Dumb Jock minimised this aspect to some extent, it is a common theme through his other books and definitely influenced how I perceived the characters in this story.

During the discussion with the other author, she caused me to question my perceptions and judgments ... according to her,
Free for one hour DSP tweet away 9:00 to 10:00 a.m Eastern 11/18/2014
Aug 28, 2015 Iuri rated it it was ok
2 stars. I hate giving bad reviews, but I can't help it this time.

I love coming of age novels. I love the angst, the discovering yourself, the fight over the prejudice and all that, because I lived this and it's good to follow a story so close to my own life.

In this book you have a good old Jock-and-the-Geek with a bit of a Gay-For-You (biggest clichés in gay romance, IMO). I have nothing against these plots - I kinda like the cliché-ed thing about it, and even if most of them don't sound real e
Jan 16, 2010 Cory rated it did not like it
I didn't like this book. Jeff, the geek character, hated himself so much and the jock character, Brett just wanted to dominate him in bed. I know we're all suppose to love the high school jock but he seemed like a jerk. I read it as a very sad relationship. So much bad stuff happened to Jeff that it was hard to believe.
Sally halliday
Apr 13, 2012 Sally halliday rated it it was amazing
I loved it jeff describes things beautifuly i was crying at one point .
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Jeff Erno currently lives in southern Michigan. He holds a bachelor's degree in business management and human resources. Jeff began writing stories in the late 1990's and initially posted them to a free online amateur website. The positive feedback he received from readers encouraged him to continue, and this eventually led to the publication of his first novel, Dumb Jock. Erno has subsequently pu ...more
More about Jeff Erno...

Other Books in the Series

Dumb Jock (6 books)
  • Another Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock, #2)
  • Appearances Matter (Dumb Jock, #3)
  • Dumb Jock: The Musical (Dumb Jock, #4)
  • Two Dumb Jocks (Dumb Jock, #5)
  • My Dumb Jock (Dumb Jock, #6)

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