I’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge and originally posted this review at my blog.
This is the very enjoyable first book in the HeaveI’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge and originally posted this review at my blog.
This is the very enjoyable first book in the Heaven Sent series which is about a rock band. In this first installment we meet the lead singer of the group, Johnnie Heaven. He and his group are booked to play at the opening of this new nightclub at the Weiss Strande Hotel. Tyler’s family owns the hotel and he’s running it since his father is sick with cancer. The nightclub is a new venture that should keep the hotel in business and it’s huge that they managed to book Heaven Sent. The opening of the club is not only a success, his acquaintance with Johnnie is pretty big too, because Tyler, who always thought he was straight, feels attracted to the very sensual and handsome Johnnie. The singer feels the same towards Tyler and tries to seduce him. Tyler is reluctant and hesitant but Johnnie is very persuasive. Therefore the sex scenes bordered on non-consensual. And although I haven’t actually read yaoi yet, but I did read about it here, I did get a feeling that Heaven is somehow yaoi inspired, with a seme (attacker) and uke (receiver) as the two participants in the relationship. The seme is in yaoi the stronger one and always on top, which makes Johnnie here the seme and Tyler the uke. It’s probably this casting that made their encounters a little bit more black and white than in the usual m/m romance.
Still, Johnnie had his insecurities. Being the famous rock star, he has to deal with the fact that he never knows if someone likes him for him or only for his fame. He has much fun in the bed room with a lot of people but almost never for more than one night. Tyler is different, his reluctance is new for Johnnie, which makes him want Tyler the more so as it assures him that Tyler is not in for the fame aspect. I liked this concept. It gave Johnnie somewhat more depth and made his eventual love for Tyler understandable. Aside from that Heaven is a lovely Gay For You themed story. Before he met Johnnie, Tyler never felt attracted to guys. He even was engaged with a woman until a short while ago. And of course, after he has been with Johnnie, he’s not interested in other men either: just in his rock star. I gotta admit that I’ve developed a soft spot for Tyler. I felt for him and his doubts about his feelings and it was funny how he initially explained away his behavior when he went for the sex with Johnnie. Those sex scenes were pretty hot too, by the way.
I was not only totally involved with these likeable main characters and their gradually developing romance, I also appreciated the glimpse I got from the secondary characters. Heaven does have a nice cast with quite a lot of characters, but although they played a part in the story, the focus was on Johnnie and Tyler throughout the book. That’s how I like my romances best. The other band members had my interest though, since they all get their own book in this series. I look forward to the other books and the extra shorts regarding this rock band. Although I’m not sure if I’ll read the last book (Revelations) which tells Gretchen’s story, the band’s manager, and is a m/m/f ménage as opposed to the other stories that are all m/m romances.
The series contains: #1 – Heaven (Johnnie & Tyler) #1.5 – Pretty Red Ribbon (Johnnie & Tyler) #2 – Purgatory (Lucas & Reese) #2.5 – Sexy Spring Surprise (Lucas & Reese) #3 – Hell (Brent & Hell) #3.5 – Feisty Little Firecracker (Brent & Hell) #4 – Faith (Darien & Chris) #4.5 – Sly Spectral Trick (Darien & Chris) #5 – Genesis (all 4 gay couples from the first 4 books) #6 Revelations (Gretchen, Owen, Archer – f/m/m)...more
When I started blogging and bloghopping a couple of months ago I quickly discovered that a lot of bloggers out there were really big fans of the paranWhen I started blogging and bloghopping a couple of months ago I quickly discovered that a lot of bloggers out there were really big fans of the paranormal genre. The whole romance genre was pretty new to me, and so far all I’d read were contemporaries. I could not imagine what was so hot about this paranormal genre. Hah! But, the curious little cat that I am, I started asking around for recommendations. And one of the first peeps to help me out was Leontine. She offered to send me some of her paperbacks and emailed me a list with names and book titles. One of the writers she mentioned was Gena Showalter, although the book she told me to start with, The Darkest Whisper, was the fourth(!) in the series, lol! I bought it as an ebook to have a quick start but discovered quickly that there were three other books I should read first, because, yeah, I’m that anal, I have to read in order when I know about it. Well, in the end it took me a while but I finally bought and read the first book of this so called Lord of the Underworld series! It’s not the first paranormal romance I’ve read, because in the meantime I got some other recommendations too, but it is the first paranormal I’ve read that is part of a series like this - with the whole world building thing going on. While reading it you sense there’s so much more and you can feel it’s big but you can only guess how big.
To cut to the chase: I’m sold! I can totally understand the fandom for this genre now! I never guessed that I would like it so much. But I do. These Lords of the Underworld are freakin’ appealing and I want to know all there is to know about these hot immortal warriors!
This first book is the love story of one of the warriors, who all carry a demon inside of them. Maddox’s demon is Violence. That’s bad enough, because it causes him to have outbursts of uncontrollable rage and well… violence. But on top of that he’s also cursed to die a painful death every night because he’s the one who killed Pandora, keeper of the box with the demons inside. After she got killed the demons escaped and took possession of the immortal warriors’ bodies (there are a lot of them, and we meet them all in this first book). So Maddox leads a life full of torment and pain. But then he meets his significant other: Ashlyn. She has her own nightmare to live with: she hears voices from the past everywhere she goes and where other people have been. When she meets Maddox the voices stop and a blissful silence takes over. No wonder she wants to be with him from the beginning. While their love story evolves other elements are added to give more insight in the whole war of the gods and demons. A hunt for Pandora’s (empty) box is started, and I’m sure we’re going to see more of that in the next books. It’s complex, because there’s not only the gods against the demons but apparently there’s also quite some animosity among the gods themselves (the Greek vs the Titans) and among the demon warriors as well.
I devoured it all! There was not much I didn’t like in this story. Although it felt a bit like the first book of a series, with many better things to come, it was in itself a wonderful story. Maddox is a deliciously hot alpha hero and Ashlyn is strong, sweet and just right for him. I totally bought their falling for each other. It was a bit tooth aching sweet in the end, but I’m not complaining.
All was written in a way that made it hard for me to put the book down. Ms Showalter’s writing is very compelling and she certainly knows how to keep her readers at the edge of their seats. That’s partly because of the high rate of action and new developments but also because of the sexual tension between the h/h. I have to say that the smexing wasn’t disappointing at all. It was postponed quite some time, but the pace was just right for this couple. And their chemistry was good.
I’m looking forward to the other books in this rather dark series. The next one for me is The Darkest Kiss, Lucien’s story. He’s the warrior who’s bonded to the demon of Death. We’ve yet met his love interest in the first book: Anya, goddess of anarchy, and she had me laughing already. Gena Showalter’s humor showed itself in a couple of scenes and I can’t wait to see more of that as well.
My conclusion: Very good first book of what seems to be an intriguing series. I’m definitely going to read the other books too. And, I’d like to declare myself a fan of the paranormal genre, it’s official now! Where can I get my PNR membership card, please?...more
Genre & Keywords: M/M, contemporary, nerd/jock romance, high school teaching/coaching, baseball
Why IThis review was originally posted at my blog.
Genre & Keywords: M/M, contemporary, nerd/jock romance, high school teaching/coaching, baseball
Why I read it: I’ve enjoyed other books by these writers and wanted to read more. I’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge.
Storyline: Jake and Brandon renew their acquaintance when they have to coach the high school baseball team together. Both are gay but don’t know the other one is. Therefore they try to fight their attraction at first until one of them makes a move. A sizzling hot relationship starts in which they each have to deal with insecurities about the other man’s feelings.
My opinion in short: Caught Running was a joy to read. It has likable, sexy heroes, a fabulous build-up, hot kissing and arousing sex scenes and a great story arc without there being much external conflict. The humorous, light scenes and the more serious feelings and developments are well balanced and the love scenes complement the wonderful relationship building without them being the main focus. I think it makes this a perfect read for new readers to the m/m genre, who don’t shy away from explicit sexual content but want to be taken there gradually. Being an angst free and ultimately enjoyable and hot novel, Caught Running has come to stay on my list of comfort reads as well as on my all time favorites list.
~~~~~ Rating: 4.75 out of 5 stars Heat level: 3 out of 3 flames ~~~~~
What’s more to know about this book: • Characters Both heroes are sexy and fun guys. Jake is the so called jock and Brandon the nerd, but they both learn quickly that there’s way more to the other man than these stereotypes. The character development of both protags is excellent. These men have depth and are well-rounded characters. I absolutely adored them both and their chemistry is a joy to witness. I also loved the little banter and comfortable humor between them. • POV There’s an omniscient narrator that has access to both main characters’ minds and thoughts in every single scene, even to those of some secondary characters. With the result that within one single paragraph we get both Jake’s and Brandon’s point of view, back and forth. This asks for a high level of concentration to keep up with the POV fluctuations, which can become dizzying. It took me a little while to get used to this, but once I was, it had advantages to know exactly what both characters thought or did at a certain moment, even when they were not in the same place. Readers who have issues with head hopping in general, probably will get annoyed very quickly. Personally, it didn’t bother me too much in this book. • Plot The first half of the book consists of introduction and development of the characters and the build-up to their first kiss. Anticipation is the key word, which is done fabulously. All we want to know is ‘(when) will they hook up and who’s going to take the first step’. The second half of the book is drawn around their building relationship and the question ‘will it last’. There’s not much of a conflict and hardly any external threats to their relationship, but that doesn’t diminish the urge to keep reading. I still wanted to know how they would handle things. All in all, it was an enjoyable angst free plot, which still had a good suspense arc. • Smexing M/M. Very hot kissing scenes and arousing sex scenes made me enjoy this novel a lot. The love scenes complement the story without ‘being’ the story and were extremely well written. And I loved that both men were equals in the bed room. Although Jake is more the alpha type and Brandon is somewhat more insecure about Jake’s feelings, they both took charge in bed when the situation asked for it. Their fabulous chemistry as well as their playfulness made for a lot of variety in scorching, sexy and fun love scenes. • Writing style There’s only one niggle regarding the writing style, and that is the abundant use of the descriptions ‘the science teacher’ and ‘coach’ or other varieties when Brandon and Jake are mentioned. Other than that, I enjoyed this duo’s writing very much.
“He was slowly figuring out that he wasn’t going to get words from Jake. But the actions were pretty damn incredible, and he told himself to be content with that.”
Linking: Madeleine Urban’s blog | Abigail Roux’s blog | Caught Running on Goodreads Buy Caught Running as an ebook here and as a paperback here
Other books by these authors: • Warrior’s Cross (read my review here) • Cut & Run • Sticks & Stones (Cut & Run, #2)...more
This is the second book of this author’s Men of Smithfield series. I’ve read the first one tooI’ve read this book for the DIK Book Reading Challenge.
This is the second book of this author’s Men of Smithfield series. I’ve read the first one too, Gobsmacked, but these books can all be read as standalones. The third book is Cover Me. And the fourth, In and Out, will be released in May. Besides the two MoS books I’ve also read L.B. Gregg’s latest, Catch Me if You Can. Between these three books and her blog Nose in a Book it’s safe for me to say that I really like her sense of humor. This is an author who can make me laugh out loud with her way with words! A lot!
That being said, I have to admit that Happy Ending didn't make me laugh out loud as much as the other books did. Still, Seth made me chuckle quite a lot and he's a rather refreshing character, with his gruffness and direct, short responses. And the opening scene is memorable and hilarious. Seth and David meet each other when Seth comes in for his weekly massage and David is the replacement for his usual massage therapist. The massage turns out to be a bit too much for Seth, who can’t help himself feeling attracted to the young, somewhat weird David. It’s not so much what happens that makes this a great scene, although you’ll never forget about the poor massage table ever, ahum, but it’s Seth’s view on things and his thoughts that adds a special touch to the scene. To give you an idea of his grumpy, self-assessing ‘voice’, here he is, waiting for his massage therapist, Linda:
It reeked of lavender. Why did everything in the goddamn room have to stink of it? I opened my mouth to breathe. I always meant to complain about the smell, but by the time Linda was through working out the kinks in my back it didn't seem that important. It shouldn't seem important now. This was yet another indication that I was stressed out and irritated. Irritated that it was currently 2:05 and still no sign of Linda. The music was getting to me. Who would choose this shit? Birds warbled over Celtic fiddles and bagpipes and penny whistles and—holy hell, it was giving me a tension headache. A little Dave Matthews would have been appreciated. I was tired and tense and whining to myself. Even I didn't like me right now.
Seth and David's first encounter doesn’t end in a friendly way and when they meet again I have a hard time picturing them together, also as a result of Seth’s twisted thoughts about David which oscillate from attraction to repulsion. What David thinks is a mystery but apparently he sees something in Seth. And before the night is over they end up in a dark alley having some fun together. Seth and David are an unusual and somewhat odd couple - talk about opposites attract - but eventually the author succeeded in making me believe in their pairing. Although I thought that the story ended at a point their relationship started to get interesting. And I found myself wishing the book had at least 50 more pages to see a little bit more of them as a couple. By then the non-romantic storyline, which was also part of this book, was wound up and imo that would’ve been the perfect moment to focus more on their feelings for each other. Ah well.
About that non-romantic storyline: I don’t want to reveal too much of this, because it’ll spoil your reading pleasure if you haven’t read the book yet. But there’re a dandy ex-boyfriend, some sneakily taken, compromising pictures, a threat from a loser dad, some secrets about fatherhood and a kidnapping, involved. All these elements bring some suspense and tension to the story that I didn’t get much from the evolving love story, to be honest. They gave Happy Ending a fast-paced plot with some good twists. That and the presence of Molly in Seth’s life - his, motherless niece that he describes as ‘a stout moppet with hair as thick and auburn as mine and eyes the color of copper’ - were the highlights of this story for me. I also enjoyed Seth and David as characters and a couple, but not as much as I wished to, because I feel I don’t know them well enough.
Nonetheless, Happy Ending was an enjoyable read for me that I’ll recommend to anyone who likes a fun, fast-paced, sexy quick read or who’s a fan, like me, of this author’s sense of humor and witty writing.
There are some books you really look forward to reading and then they just can’t live up to your own high expectations. There’s no one else to blame bThere are some books you really look forward to reading and then they just can’t live up to your own high expectations. There’s no one else to blame but yourself. Hard To Hold by Stephanie Tyler turned out to be such a book for me. Based on three Blaze novels about three SEAL friends by this author I really wanted to read her new contemporary military romance series about the brothers Jake, Nick and Chris, all Navy SEALs too. The first book about Jake was released on November 24, 2009 and the third one a few weeks ago. It took me a while to finish Hard To Hold because I struggled a little bit with the book.
I’ve read this book for the DIK Reading Challenge which made me finish it this month and also makes me write a review now, very shortly after reading the last page. I usually like to wait a little bit longer before putting my thoughts on paper because I like the little distance and objectivity the lapse of time provides, so I can look at a book without it still being under my skin. But I have to post my review in January for the Challenge, so here are my High 5, Low 5 concerning Hard To Hold. The High Five are five things that have impressed me or that I really enjoyed, and the Low Five are five things that had me shaking my head in a less admiring way.
• The hero Jake One of the highs of this novel for me was definitely Jake’s character. He’s adorable, attractive, wounded, caring and hot. His tormented soul and anger are very sexy and his consideration for Isabelle is really sweet. He’s struggling with his own feelings while protecting Isabelle’s. Maybe his life story was a bit extreme (he had a very abusive youth) and we are made to believe that he joined the navy at the age of 15 or 16 without anyone in the army noticing or doing something to prevent it. That’s quite unbelievable. His grander than grand issues with his past were probably necessary to make Isabelle realize she’s not the only one of them who is struggling with abuse and guilt. For me it would have been enough if Jake just helped her heal by being patient and kind like he was from the beginning without the addition of their shared problems as a remedy to make her whole and trusting again. But that has more to do with one of my lows I guess. One of the sweetest Jake moments was the one where they have a love scene on the couch in which Jake cuffs his hands behind his back while Isabelle sits on his lap and he tells her that she is safe and can touch herself.
• Good secondary characters I like a story in which the protags are surrounded by friends and family. Mainly Jake has great people in his life. I especially had a soft spot for Nick, Jake’s stepbrother. He’s easy going, tough and sexy with his habit to walk around the house without clothes.
• Great story building Ms. Tyler tells a rounded story that is well build. All pieces of the puzzle fall into place in the end. It’s all very well plotted. Her story contains a lot of suspense as well, but to be honest it didn’t bring me once to the edge of my seat.
• Easy writing Ms. Tyler’s writing style is pleasant. With seemingly little effort she can make a scene visible and tangible. Sometimes she tends to explain a bit too much for my taste and she becomes repetitive, while in other moments (towards the end) she skips a few things. But overall her writing has an easy vibe and doesn’t ask too much (or less) from her readers. For example I like the way she described Jake: “Nothing about him was overtly pushy or blatant or cocky. He didn’t have to be. He moved with the quiet confidence other men envied, tried to emulate and failed. His commanding presence wasn’t something to be copied, it was something to be earned.”
• Interesting world Ms. Tyler has the ability to evoke a whole world with her words, an interesting world that I wasn’t familiar with but that became vividly alive before my eyes. She provides us with a lot of information and details to reach that. The lives of SEALs, mercenaries and social/medical workers in Africa were all new to me.
• The heroine Isabelle As much as I liked Jake, I could not feel the same sympathy or tenderness for Isabelle. In fact, she pretty much annoyed me a great deal of the time. And I feel bad about that, given her abuse and ordeal during the kidnapping and all. She sure did deserve my sympathy, and she had it most of the time. But not so much when it comes to the way she treated Jake. Okay, she had trust issues, I got that and sure, she had a hard time giving up her control sexually, I got that too! But I didn’t get her selfishness and her being mean to him at one point. And after denying him his pleasure a few times while she had hers, she finally is ready for him – you know, all the way – after Jake has shown his anger and then she tells him: “I want you,” she repeated in a husky voice against his ear. “Don’t deny me this.” The nerve, to be so demanding!
• The very distracting multiple POV’s From the beginning I was struggling with this book because of the often changing POV, not just between the hero and heroine but between many secondary characters as well. And not their POV on the H/h, nope they all had their own storyline and personal issues. I found these very distracting, since I hardly knew the H/h at that point. Gradually I got used to the multiple POV’s and in the end they were reduced to just a few besides that from the H/h (mainly Clutch and Sarah’s, which was an interesting couple btw).
• Many flashbacks in italic I don’t really mind flashbacks in a story, they can add something essential, but in most cases it’s enough when the narrator just tells what happened. The showing with the help of flashbacks is not always necessary, especially not when the telling is already done. In Hard To Hold often both the telling and the showing takes place. That’s superfluous imo. Besides that, I don’t need the italics to know that I’m dealing with a flashback – the italics can be omitted! The bad thing really was that a great part of these flashbacks were from the secondary characters! That was just too much for me, I couldn’t care less. Their POV’s and secondary storylines were enough distraction from Jake’s and Isabelle’s love story, their flashbacks were over the top for me…
• Incomprehensible love Why Jake and Isabelle fell in love with each other? I have no idea, except that they experienced an intense ordeal together maybe. Perhaps I can see why Isabelle liked Jake in the end, because I myself fell in love with him a little bit, but I never felt her love! I needed more of her thoughts and perspective concerning her feelings for Jake, because now I didn’t believe it. And why Jake loved Isabelle is really beyond me! Not only because what I wrote about her (see my first low) but also because of the lack of an explanation of his feelings.
• Lack of love scenes There weren’t many love scenes between Jake and Isabelle. And no, I’m not only talking about the hot kind (although I’m a big fan of those and to be honest the love scenes between Clutch and Sarah were a welcome addition). I’m also talking about tenderness and sweetness between the two. Of course, the physical part of their relationship was hindered by Isabelle’s abuse experience. But that part was stretched out way too long I think.
Those were my five highs and lows. Overall, Hard To Hold was an okay read for me. It didn’t meet my high expectations by far and I’m the only one to blame for that ;). My dislike of certain elements in this story is personal. I hope that the second book, Too Hot To Hold, about Jake’s brother Nick, will be more than an okay read for me, since I already purchased it. When my high expectations had something to do with my rather harsh judgment of Hard To Hold than maybe my very low expectations of Too Hot To Hold will make me like that one way better!...more
Every once in a while you read a book that you don’t want to finish because you’re not ready yet to ‘live’ without the characters you’ve just learnedEvery once in a while you read a book that you don’t want to finish because you’re not ready yet to ‘live’ without the characters you’ve just learned to know and love. Tigers and Devils is such a book for me! The main characters Simon and Declan and almost all of the secondary characters as well, have become so dear to me while I was reading their story, that I just wanted to keep reading about them. Knowing at the same time that when I did do that, their story would come to an end… So I managed to slow down a little, but not much, and in the end I finished their story way too soon. Now all I have left is trying to convince others to read Tigers and Devils so that I can talk about Simon and Declan a little bit more with other people.
• Simon as the narrator I love Sean Kennedy’s choice to voice this love story through Simon. He’s a brilliant narrator. I’m usually not a big fan of first person narratives, although I’m learning to appreciate them more and more after reading L.B. Gregg’s and Josh Lanyon’s stories. But in Tigers and Devils it’s really Simon’s voice that made me fall in love with the book (and with him as a side effect). He’s witty, funny, self mocking and perceptive in telling his and Declan’s love story. He knows he can be stubborn and a drama queen but he can’t help himself. He’s constantly commenting on his own narrative, like when he and Declan first kiss:
I was surprised that he tasted like beer, but at the good point, before it becomes stale and a little rank. I know I’m not exactly selling the romanticism here, but I was pleasantly thrilled by it at the time.
But most of all he had me laughing out loud all the time with very short intervals at times, like the next two quotes on the same page, not far apart from each other:
“So what are you going to wear?” I looked at her, wondering if she thought I had suddenly grown a vagina in the past five minutes. “Clothes.” She sighed. “Men.”
(Btw I think I would find this type of joke less amusing in a M/F romance then in this story)
And a few lines further down the page:
I pictured myself trying to be cool and debonair over coffee with Declan – and then falling comatose into my latte and drowning before him. He was a footballer; he had quick reflexes. Hopefully his resuscitation skills would be just as good.
Simon is also the foot in his mouth kinda guy. That’s actually how he and Declan met and what Declan liked about him. At the party where they first ran into each other Simon is defending Declan’s honor as a football player in the same sentence in which he calls him an arrogant prick. He didn’t know Declan was listening of course. But later on in their relationship this type of honesty still occurs and causes a few more embarrassing moments. Luckily for Simon, Declan finds this all refreshing and cute.
• Great sub characters I like a story in which the protags are not some lonesome cowboys but have a good supportive group of friends and/or family. And both Simon and Declan have wonderful friends. Especially Simon’s best friends Roger and Fran (Roger’s wife) are very well developed, three-dimensional characters. It was a joy to read about Simon and Roger’s little squabbles and bigger fights. And Fran is just a woman after my own heart, she is great: sweet, funny, loyal and honest. Roger and Fran have their counterparts in Declan’s friends Abe and Lisa. Not as three-dimensional as Roger and Fran, because we only get Simon’s POV and not Declan’s, but as important to Declan.
• Declan’s attitude as outed gay footballer Declan is a famous football player and as such has to deal with a lot of publicity. Media are hunting him down and eventually it’s a journalist who outs him as being gay. He stayed in the closet for a long time because of his profession and he also wants to keep his relation with Simon a secret. They manage to do that for a long time, until Declan lets his guards down when his father is hospitalized and looks for consolation from Simon, in a semi-public space. But after he’s outed, he gracefully accepts this fact, makes a public statement and doesn’t hide his sexuality any longer. Where Simon stays careful with public display of affection, Declan is way more carefree. He’s acting like a freed and proud man and never wants to hide in the closet again. I found him refreshing because of this attitude. It would have been so easy for Sean Kennedy to build some story tension with a different attitude from Declan, but the author didn’t chose for this simple way. He derived some tension from another issue between the guys. I loved Declan for his cool, controlled passion. And in between he came across as a funny guy as well. For example, when Simon tells him after a public kiss that he should be more careful, Declan responds with:
“Oh.” Declan clicked his fingers sarcastically. “I didn’t know, because I wasn’t given the queer handbook when I came out. Is there a number I can call to get one sent to me?” “It’s like cats and hunting. It’s intuitive.” “So you’re saying I’m a lousy cat?”
• The football rave This book wouldn’t be the same without the love for football. It plays an important role in Simon’s life even before Declan starts to become a part of it. Simon and Roger are huge fans of two different football teams, which causes some friendly rivalry between them. At one point it becomes an important symbol for their relationship when Roger shows up at a game without his infamous team scarf. Simon understands why and tells him to be proud of his team and buys him a new scarf, which is a big deal because even to have to touch the rival team's scarf is unthinkable. But for his friend he’s willing to bring this sacrifice. The title of the book refers to the passion for football as well. Simon is a fan of the Tigers and Declan plays for the Devils.
• Beyond the HEA I was pleasantly surprised that this story didn’t end at the point that most love stories end but took us a little bit further into the relationship. And there was some tension added in that part that made my heart wrench for those two fabulous guys. The book is structured like a football match in 4 quarters (I don’t know anything about Australian football, so I had no idea that there would be a fourth part, but I could tell by the amount of pages left that the story wasn’t at its end by far). The extra ‘playtime’ provided a good insight in their relationship which came across as very realistic, with ups and downs.
• The love scenes I can’t find more than one thing that I can call a Low, because there actually weren’t many in this book that are worth mentioning. If I have to name one - but it didn’t even make me shake my head or raise my eyebrows - it is that the love scenes were a bit tame and not very present. I wouldn’t have minded if the sex had been a wee bit hotter.
Those were my five highs and one low. I guess it’s obvious that I totally loved Tigers and Devils! It was a fabulous read, a heartwarming love story and an ode to friendship and football. I completely fell in love with Simon and developed a little crush on Declan too. This story gives an excellent impression of a gay relationship that has to deal with publicity, media and fame. And shows how it can be to come out of the closet, deal with a new way of public life and handle the communication with your partner in the midst of all this. Tigers and Devils made my Favorites of 2010 list for sure.