My first review of the year is a 5-star! I'm so excited!
There's a reason Tigers and Devils
was selected as one of the best books in 2009 at Goodreads.com
. I could NOT put this book down!
Summary: Football, friends, and film are the most important parts of Simon Murray's life, likely in that order. Despite being lonely, Simon is cautious about looking for more, and his best friends despair of him ever finding that special someone to share his life. Against his will, they drag him to a party, where Simon barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler -- unaware that the athlete is present and listening. Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, Victoria, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are deemed gods and treated as such - until they do something to cause them to fall out of public favour. Declan is suffering a horrendous year of injuries, and the public is taking him to task for it, so Simon's support is a bright spot in his struggles. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other's lives forever. As Simon and Declan fumble toward building a relationship together, there is yet another obstacle in their way: keeping Declan's homosexuality a secret amidst the intrusion of well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media. They realise that nothing remains hidden forever... and they know the situation will only become more complicated when Declan's private life is revealed. Declan will be forced to make some tough choices that may result in losing either the career he loves or the man he wants. And Simon has never been known to make things easy - for himself or for others.
What I liked about this book:
I love that Sean Kennedy
chose to write this story in first person because you immediately relate to Simon in one or way or another. I felt like I was watching a great romantic movie and could NOT put this book down once I started and what shocked me was the fade to black in every sex scene detailed in the book! I'm normally the one to salaciously go for the dirty books with lots of sex and steamy scenes but this book sucked me right in and didn't let go.
Despite the book's story being set in Australia (a completely foreign country to me) much of the story didn't get lost on me. Sean Kennedy
did a fantastic job in keeping the reader tied to the story while still including elements that would be very geo-specific for natives without alienating those of us who are outsiders to the Aussie Footy leagues.
The book is beautifully written and I found myself thinking of my best friend Fred while I read the story. The humor was not lost on me and while the dialogue (at times) was difficult to follow (especially on an eReader that sometimes messes up the formatting) I was able to still follow the conversations well and enjoyed the banter between the characters.
Loved this book and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a true romantic comedy.
Excerpt: “So it’s the traditional dream you want?”
“No,” I retorted. Then I bit my lip. “Maybe. Well, the thought crosses my mind sometimes. Doesn’t it with you?”
“Of course. I always think about the future.”
“But it’s not so easy with us.”
“Which explains probably why you don’t like to think about the future.”
“It’s scary enough dealing with life day to day without taking into consideration the hugeness of the future.”
“There’s nothing to say we can’t have that kind of life. Just it will come differently.”
“How much do
“As much as anybody else does.”
“The home in the suburbs? The kids?”
“No, with the guy I’m going to dump you for.”
I yawned, sleep wanting to take me again. “Do you think about the logistics?”
“Dreams aren’t meant to include logistics. This is where you think too much.”
“Somebody has to in a relationship. For example, how do we get kids? Do you and Jess enter an arrangement where she has a kid for us and then a kid for herself?” Lost in trying to imagine such an arrangement, I continued, “but then if she’s using your soldiers, that means the kids are split up, which isn’t fair on them.”
Humouring me, Declan grinned. “We’ll use your soldiers, then.”
“Same problem. Or to try and ensure we get something resembling a child from both of us, maybe your sister can bear us a kid.”
“Now you’re making me scared.”
“See, this is why you should think day to day.”
“You’ve convinced me for now.”
“I guess we could always buy a baby.”
Declan winced and tried not to laugh. “I’m so glad you’ve never said anything like this in your interviews.”
“Well, your humour is pretty selective.”
“It’s what most celebrities or rich people do, isn’t it? We could buy a little African toddler and call him Senze-tonguecluck-niña.”
“Simon, shut up!” Declan was now holding his stomach.
I rested one of my hands over his and whispered, “I’d love to have a family with you one day. One day far away. Far, far, away. But one day.”
“Got it,” Declan said. “It’s good to hear, though.”
It sounded good to me too.