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Block and Strike

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  316 ratings  ·  95 reviews
Jacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the fr ...more
ebook, 1st edition, 266 pages
Published January 6th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  316 ratings  ·  95 reviews

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Tanu Gill
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Mhmm.... Lovely....

This book was so adorably delicious. Jake's prickly exterior hiding his soft, sweet interior was like the idea of a perfect boyfriend for me. His strong core yet cuddly nature was just wonderful to read about. It was such delight to experience. His concern and caring for Max totally made me swoon. The portrayal of Jake's off-key singing, his loud, teasing family and patient handling of beaten-down Max by taking him to his self-defense classes were such a juxtaposition. The for
~✡~Dαni(ela) ♥ ♂♂ love & semi-colons~✡~
A punching bag doesn't fight back.

Long ago, Max decided that it's easier to just take it. His father thought the school bullies had a right to teach him a lesson with their fists. Max is a runner, not a fighter. He hates depending on anyone else and works two jobs to afford his flat, which is really a small, dark cellar.

Max's upstairs neighbor has never noticed him, not until he finds Max bruised and bloody on his doorstep. Jake has problems of his own and does not want to get mixed up in anyt
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mm, hurt-comfort
2.5 stars

This book made me angry. Why on earth would the abuser be forgiven and the person coming to the rescue be punished, and considered a person with anger management issues???

Jake arrives at his apartment when he sees a young man lying bleeding on his doorstep. It turn out to be his downstairs neighbor, Max. He takes Max to the hospital, even though Max doesn’t want to go.

After Max is released the two strike up a friendship and Jake takes Max to his self-defense class to help him.

Jake knows
Block and Strike is a story about new beginnings and second chances. And family.

Jake Kendricks knows what it's like to make mistakes. He's made more than his share; the most recent one landing him in prison for a year. And he is remorseful and he is trying to do everything he can to get his life back. And some days, it really is a struggle. Being on parole, he especially has to stay out of trouble and under the radar. So when he comes home and finds a man passed out on his door step, his first t
Dec 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
*4.25 stars*

Block and Strike isn't a light and fluffy story, but it's real and insightful. I think it's my favorite Kelly Jensen to date.

Above all else, I feel that this story is about self-acceptance, and the long and painful journey to get there. To fight that demon that keeps messing things up for you.

For Jake, that demon is his anger. It gets the best of him whenever he is wronged, and he paid for it the hard way. For Max, it's his inability to defend and stand up for himself. He is resign
I’m a big fan of Kelly Jensen and Jenn Burke’s sci-fi Chaos Station series, so I was excited to read a contemporary MM book from Jensen. ‘Block and Strike’ delivers a solid slow-burn hurt/comfort contemporary gay romance.

Jake’s story is revealed slowly. The circumstances of his imprisonment and family life aren’t very clear at first, so I just had to trust that he didn’t do something that I would find completely unforgivable.

Jake was in no way the stereotypical angry-at-the-world character that
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is my first novel by Kelly Jensen; I read few other stories by her but all of them were either shorts or novella length. I haven't read her sci-fi stories (yet) because sci-fi will never be a favorite genre of mine.

Well, I was really pleased with this -- it was good!

I really liked both characters! I appreciated the fact that while Jake did spend time in prison, but he wasn't the aloof/loner/full-of-baggage kind of guy. Yeah, sure, Jake had anger issue, but it was mainly directed to his ex-
Tamika♥RBF MOOD♥
Talk about a slow burner! Goodness, my add wasn't going to allow me to participate any longer if things didn't happen at the correct time. It's my third book by Kelly Jensen, and I really love how relatable and realistic her stories make me feel. This book was no different. Jake & Max are two individuals who needed a Win in life. They both have struggled with various issues that has happened to them.

I really adored Jake's character. I loved how he wanted to protective Max, teach Max, and lov
Katrina Passick Lumsden
A lot of melodrama without a lot of payoff.
Serena Yates
Jan 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gay, read-2017
When I read a blurb where both men in a potential relationship have baggage, hang-ups, and issues they face with other people, as Jacob and Max do in ‘Block and Strike”, I know I’m in for a bumpy ride. With Jacob (Jake) it’s about trying to get back his life after spending a year in prison – and visitation rights with his daughter are at the top of his list. For Max it’s about standing up for himself, dealing with the lack of self-esteem his father drilled into him, and deciding whether he has t ...more
Based on the blurb, I knew not to expect a fluffy romance, and this wasn't one for sure.

Jake is an ex-con, living in a small apartment. He's bi, though he doesn't advertise that, he has a daughter he doesn't get to see, for reasons you find out in the course of the book, and works hard to get his life back on track. He's a member of a dojo, he goes to work, and he pretty much stays to himself.

One night, on his way home, Jake nearly stumbles over what seems to be a body on his doorstep. Grumbli
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: lgbtq
Enjoyed this story however it was different to what I expected. This was a journey back from trauma that never seemed to end for Max, beaten, humiliated and stripped back to a shell this poor young man tried to move like a shadow through his world. Jacob finds Max on his doorstep and makes a decision that would change the direction of his life. Jacob was angry at the world and struggling to rebalance. This was the journey of Jacob & Max forming a friendship and then slowly into a relationshi ...more
JustJen "Miss Conduct"
Jan 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: bgirls, ebook, mm

Review by The Blogger Girls.

Jacob is trying to put his life back together after doing time in prison for injuring his ex-wife’s loser boyfriend in a fight (thanks, in part, to the ex not standing up for him). Unfortunately, this has also caused a forced separation from his young daughter. He has been working very hard to stay under the radar and not do anything to get into any more trouble. But, when he finds max broken on his stoop, he takes a chance and does the right thing in trying to help t
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
4.5 Stars
This is the second Kelly Jensen book I’ve read. Here’s the interesting thing; the two were polar opposites. One was light, funny, magical. Block and Strike was emotional, raw, a bit gritty, and a lot amazing. I love the fact that the author is so versatile in her writing.

Block and Strike deals with something so many people are familiar with…bullying. Sometimes bullying is words and sometimes it’s physical. In Max’s case it’s both.

Max’s journey in life has been nothing but push down, d
Pianka *call me PIU*
More than angsty, overtly emotional stories, I prefer healing/comfort stories and this book delivered on that front perfectly. Both the MCs were broken and suffering in their own way either physically or psychologically. Their pairing helps them in fixing their lives for the better. Both had demons which had ruled their lives in various degrees and their tentative friendship then romance helps them to overcome those and heal in the best possible way.

Jake Kendricks’
biggest enemy is his anger. It
This was a really well done, slow burn love story. I enjoy slow burn stories but I feel like we rarely see them. As a result I was really excited when I started reading this and realized that's where the story was going. These two meet under very bad circumstances and the author takes the time for them to build a believable friendship and then a believable love story. Both of these men have some issues that they need to work through and it's something that they do together. I loved that there wa ...more
Steph ☀️
Oct 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: hoopla-ebook
***3.5 stars***

The book started off really well and was truly a four star read for me, unfortunately at the end it dropped a bit. I cannot for the life of me understand why Jake’s daughter, even with the restraining order against Jake, could not have visits her grandparents(Jake’s parents).

In addition, even though Jake’s ex-girlfriend did not press charges on Dom (boyfriend) for hitting her, why was the child not taken out of her custody? Wouldn’t that be possible child endangerment, which are
Feb 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think I have a bit of mixed feelings about this book. It was a very smooth and enjoyable reading. I got pulled into the story at once and it kept being engaging to the very end. It didn't drag and no moment in it was boring. Everything made sense - the characters, their problems, their struggles - I could see and believe in all of them.
I really liked Jake. Man, he was a dreambot. I really, really think every one would benefit from having a Jake in their lives :) And him not being perfect someh
I liked this story because this is a love story that the author took time to develop. This story was well written and the main characters were constructed methodically.
Jacob “Jake” Kendricks was a man who let his temper get the best of him at times, which resulted in a stint in prison. When he was released, Jake resolved to lay low and piece his life back together starting with rebuilding his relationship with his nine-year-old daughter Caroline.

Jake found his neighbor Maxwell “Max” Wilson on
Lisa The Novel Approach
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Jake Kendricks is not your typical hero. He’s made mistakes—some of them more devastating than others. Recently, he’s been released from prison, is back at his construction job and trying to get his life back on track. When he finds a guy on his doorstep, he thinks it’s some drunk bum sleeping it off—until his hands come back covered in blood when he tries to move him. He calls his sister, who is an ER nurse, and he takes the guy to the hospital where he discovers it’s his neighbor who he’s neve ...more
3.5/3.75 stars rounded up.
I've read a load of books recently but it's getting difficult to keep on top of reviewing them on GR, so just a quick note on my thoughts.

This was good - something a bit different. Nice characters, really liked them together and wanted them to have their HEA. A few niggly things and I did find that it was dragging a little in places, especially towards the end, but overall I enjoyed the read.

I didn't realise until afterwards but Kelly Jensen is co-author on the sci-fi s
Nov 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great characters, including Jake's family. Excellent hurt/comfort. When they had disagreements or problems, they each backed off for a couple days, and then got together to DISCUSS things--like adults. I would love a to read a short story or Christmas story about how they're doing a few years down the road.
Nat ReadingAllNite
Dec 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: m-m, dreamspinner
3.5 Stars. I wasn’t always very sure of this story as it went along but the positive aspects were better than parts I personally didn’t like as much. The negatives: Jacob’s character was less likeable than I wanted him to be and finding him still in need of serious anger management late in the book was disappointing. The reactions from his ex and her boyfriend didn’t seem to fit well either. I couldn’t entirely make sense of how the author portrayed him against the history he was given. I liked ...more
Mar 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
It was an engaging read, not so dark as I feared from the blurb. Nevertheless, during the final third I lost some of my interest.

Christi Snow
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
My Review:
Heartbroken sigh...gah, talk about two guys who simply can't catch a break. This is one of those stories that just makes your heart hurt to read it...but in the very best way because it's a romance so you know something has to work out eventually.

The story begins when Jake finds an injured Max on his doorstep. He honestly considers leaving him there. Jake is on parole. He doesn't need anymore complications in his life, but his conscience won't allow that especially when he discovers Ma
Dec 12, 2016 marked it as books-i-wrote  ·  (Review from the author)
I'm simultaneously anxious and excited about the release of Block and Strike - which goes for any of my books, really. This one, though... My heart is in this book. It's about knowing and accepting yourself - which is something we all have to learn how to do.

I wrote Block and Strike between Chaos Station and Lonely Shore, so about two and a half years ago. The idea for it nibbled one day and I tossed it around for a bit until I figured out where to begin. Then the book kinda wrote itself. These
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie

*Copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by Dreamspinner Press for my reading pleasure in hopes of an unbiased opinion, a review was not a requirement.*

When Jake stumbles upon a passed out bum in front of his door he contemplates just leaving him there, but when he discovers he's covered in blood, Jake takes him to the hospital. Turns out the bum is actually his downstairs' neighbor, Max.

I'm struggling with how to rate this book. While I liked the premise, the execution, for me at least, fell short
Joyfully Jay
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kris
A Joyfully Jay review.

4.5 stars

I was eager to pick up this author’s work, but hadn’t yet had the opportunity. When this book showed up, I knew it was the right time to take the chance. And I wasn’t disappointed. Jensen has a real talent and ability, painting clear pictures with her words that allowed me to fall into and get absorbed by the story. The characters were so well defined, flawed and imperfect, but oh so real. All in all, I found this book to be a really enjoyable read.

What I loved he
Secretly Reading
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a complex book that fans of pure erotic romance may not love. The characters developed beautifully and their romance, while not super erotic, had a believable intimacy that I adored. I especially liked that the characters were so well written that I could *see* why they'd fall for each other. I tore through this romance and highly recommend it for MM readers looking for more than insert tab.
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review and much more can be found at The Novel Approach

Jake Kendricks is not your typical hero. He’s made mistakes—some of them more devastating than others. Recently, he’s been released from prison, is back at his construction job and trying to get his life back on track. When he finds a guy on his doorstep, he thinks it’s some drunk bum sleeping it off—until his hands come back covered in blood when he tries to move him. He calls his sister, who is an ER nurse, and he takes the guy to t
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Goodreads Librari...: Please add Rainbow award winner, 'Block and Strike' 2 10 Dec 20, 2017 08:23AM  

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If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories of the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.

Kelly is the author of ten novels–including the Chaos Station series, co-written with Jenn Burke–and several novellas and short stories. Some of what