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Fair Catch

(Players of LA #2)

3.57  ·  Rating details ·  60 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Two men.

One night of passion.

They never expected to see each other again.

They were wrong.

Tobias Bennett is a quiet and unassuming man who teaches yoga and enjoys parkour. Though he is proud to be gay, an abusive relationship with a domineering man has left Tobias wary of romance, and he keeps to himself in his tidy Los Angeles apartment.

Pro football player Sullivan Archer
ebook, 200 pages
Published March 20th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published March 2017)
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3.57  · 
Rating details
 ·  60 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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1.5 HEARTS--Told in dual first person POV, Fair Catch is a new adult romance (I use that term in the loosest of terms) between 22 year old yoga instructor, parkour enthusiast, genius techie and millionaire 5' 6" Tobias "Toby" Bennett and 25 year old Superbowl winning, best NFL wide receiver in the league, 6' 6" alpha male Sullivan "Van" Archer.

That's a lot of hats these main characters wear. Usually when I read a story that give their MC holds many titles, it's used as the depth and characterist
DNF 80%

-Choppy writing
-Contrived drama
-Predictable villain

This is not for me. Sorry.

4 stars – Fair Catch is my second exposure to author Leigh Carman, and it’s another dramatic storyline built around a professional athlete. In spite of the fact that the plot was largely predictable once the elements were set up and that the characters were much the same as their counterparts in other M/M novels using the same trope, the storytelling and the intensity of the connection between the main characters is what kept me hooked and ultimately led to my enjoyment of the story.

Tobias Benne
Mar 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-stars
When Van meets Toby and shares a hot club encounter, they never expected to see each other again. But when Van gets assigned to a yoga class by his trainer due to a healing injury, he is surprised to see his hook-up is the instructor. Thus begins the angsty back and forth between these two men who could not be more different.

Sullivan Archer is is living a double life. "Van" is gay and just wants to be in a real relationship, but "Sullivan" is a closeted football player who is worried that coming
This book was a big miss for me!

This book featured a yoga instructor, Tobias Bennett and an injured football player Sullivan Archer as they first met as an anonymous hookup, and then later as a part of injury therapy. Toby was out and Sullivan wasn't, so there was the secrecy thing as they sought to protect Van's successful football career. I had to put this one down several times because it didn't engage me at all. I really hate the non-communication thing between grown people. Seriously, peop
Tracy~Bayou Book Junkie
2.5 - 3 Stars

I loved the blurb and was really looking forward to this book, but it was kind of disappointing. I thought the relationship was a bit immature and annoying. Van and Toby were both stubborn and too quick to throw in the towel. The story needed more relationship time to make the love feel more believable. I love sex in books, but in this book it got in the way. Times where conversations should have been had to solve issues, the characters wound up falling into bed instead of communic
Mar 13, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

There were some really sweet moments in this story about Van, an American football star and Toby, his yoga teacher. While much of the storyline is familiar to any readers of m/m sports romance (closeted star/secret relationship/threat of exposure), Toby’s personal experiences with an ex-boyfriend add a layer of suspense to the story.

I like Van. He wears his star status lightly and reacts with kindness in difficult situations.
Serena Yates
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gay, read-2017
After enjoying the intense feelings and passion in ‘Match Point’, I was looking forward to another pairing of two men too stubborn to recognize they are made for each other. This time one is quiet and withdrawn and shying away from future relationships based on a bad experience with a domineering man. The other part of the future couple is a professional football player who is as loud and brash as he is deeply in the closet. Talk about opposites! While quite different than the first book in term ...more
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I loved the matchup of Toby and Van. From their very first meeting they just felt so right, I was hooked on the two of them from the start. And while there's the predictable angst from the pairing of a closeted guy with someone who's out along with an obvious bad guy in Toby's ex, I still really enjoyed seeing how Toby quickly became a part of Van's heart.

Angst point #1. Any time you have gay characters in an uber-masculine setting--like professional football--it opens up the gate
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Blogger Girls

I love football, I love football players, and I really love to read about them in MM novels. This is the second book in the Players of LA series, and I was unsure if the author could back it up considering how much I liked the first book. In this case, I would say Ms. Carman is 2 – 0 and I am a lucky girl.

Tobey is a heartbreaker in this one, and Van, well he is a little bit too, just in a different way. This book covers a multitude of topics, from abusive ex’s, closeted celebrit
Mar 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I really wanted to like this book. I really enjoyed Match Point so I had high hopes for this one. I honestly had to go back and make sure I was thinking of the right author on this one. Just too much of the same drama, over the top situations and unrealistic reactions to those situations. I am sometimes ok with all of that but something about this book didn't work for me. I will read others though, hopefully this is just a fluke.
Ruthie Taylor
Mar 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~

This is the second in a series, but I read it as a standalone, and enjoyed it a lot. As a big sports romance fan, I was very happy to find a new author to read.

It is not often that a side character really deserves first mention, but really Leo does! He was the unexpected voice of reason and champion of the closeted Van when things got tough. And his sartorial style and self confidence was very endearing too.

The story i
Lou~❧Powerless Over 1-Click❧
I tried, but I couldn't. There was something about the MCs that irritated the hell out of me, and I decided to give up at 20%.
Fiona Lyle
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Full review at:

Fair Catch, is book two of the Players of LA series, but it’s basically a standalone as there is no correlation to the previous book. This book follows the characters Tobias (Toby) Bennett and Sullivan (Van) Archer. Toby is a slightly shy and nervous 22-year-old yoga teacher who has only been in one serious relationship and has never had a one-night stand or hookup, even though his best friend Leo is always trying to encourage him to get ou
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it
I was really looking forward to reading this book, especially since book one, Match Point, was a top pick for me in 2016. Unfortunately, Fair Catch didn't work for me. Maybe I was expecting the same intensity as the first book, the same passion, and chemistry, setting the bar by previous works and I shouldn't have done that.

Van is a closeted football player who has a small fling with Toby one night at a bar, no names exchanged—just spit and spunk—and they go their separate ways. When Van gets i
Molly Lolly
Mar 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
Original review on Molly Lolly
Fours stars!
This was a really good story. I liked the storyline and the characters. Plus Ms. Carman’s writing kept me interested in the story from start to finish. I enjoyed watching Toby and Van get to know each other and fall in love. Some of the emotions and reactions were over the top and made me roll my eyes a few times. Plus I got tired of the Alpha chest pounding, “you’re mine”, “protect what’s mine” type of behavior pretty quickly. However the story was stil
Professional football player Sullivan "Van" Archer is outgoing, sensational, and definitely straight. Or at least that's what he needs everyone to think in order to keep his position. The truth is that there are some thick walls around his closet that he hopes will never come down. After Van suffers and injury that results in a recommendation to take yoga classes, Van finds himself in the class of Tobias Bennett--one of Van's one-night stands that he hoped he wouldn't cross paths with ever again ...more
Joyfully Jay
Mar 20, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: michelle
A Joyfully Jay review.

3.25 stars

When we first meet Toby, he is working on getting his life back together after leaving his abusive ex. He has a good friend in his neighbor, Leo, and it’s Leo who gets Toby to go out one night. Van and Toby meet when Van expresses interest in Toby for a discreet hookup. The author chose to keep this first meeting, with the exception of the introductions, off page so when the men are fondly reminiscing about each other in the early parts of the book, it was more d
Mel Bradley
Mar 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Who doesn’t love a hot sexy football romance? In Fair Catch, we meet Toby while he’s at the bar for the first time in forever, humoring his friend until he gets spooked and makes his way to the restroom for a break. Almost immediately, he runs right back out and is asked to enter the back office of the club owner and comes face to face with the man of his dreams. From there, Toby and Van’s love story unfolds – well, their first encounter at least, until several coincidental meetings, almost like ...more
Amy Dufera
Feb 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Fair Catch is one of those special sports romances that I fell for immediately. It is everything I love about sports romances.

Van's a closeted football player, who's one of the best in the game. Anyone can understand why he's been hiding in the closet, as it's realistic to fear telling your teammates that's your gay in any sport, let alone a macho one.

Meeting Toby changes his world. It's a long and scary road for them, but Toby's the guy who inspires Van to stop hiding in the closet.

Toby's ex,
Sep 26, 2017 rated it liked it
I didn't like this one as much as the first but still enjoyed it quite a bit. Like others had said, it did feel a bit disjointed and the time lapses threw me a bit. Still, I loved Toby and Van. They were both at fault for their craptastic beginning to the relationship and I really wish we got more depth in that area. It seemed like they were both so gaga for each other right away but I think that's where one of the time lapses happened. Maybe? I don't know but they seemed so totally into each ot ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it

What happens when a one night stand, shows up on your work wanting more than just that one night?
This book wasn’t what I was expecting at all. I loved the relationship between Van and Tobias, but there were moments where I wanted to smack both of them upside the head. But, I can see both of their point of views for being standoffish when committing to one another.
Tobias had it rough, really only having one relationship and look how that turned out. Van being a professional footballer, coming ou
Mar 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Leigh Carman knows how to deliver swoony men!!! I just devoured this book! I am a big fan of sports romances so I loved how this story revolved around football.

I loved how the story started out as a random, one night hook up but ended up leading to more, much more. I really enjoyed the story. I thought the characters had a solid start to their story. There was a lot of flirting and angst happening back and forth that kept me interested. In the middle it sort of tapered off but then,OMG the endin
Mar 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read

This book is real, sexy, and sweet. Van and Toby's journey is worth the read with a feel good ending.
Beverly Southern Babes Book Blog
What happens when you have a one night stand that just keeps popping back up into your life?

Toby is a quiet, proud to be gay but also a little shy. He keeps to himself because he's had an abusive relationship that he's not really over yet. He goes out with his bff Leo for his birthday and try's a one night stand. He's never been one for casual sex but there's a first time for everything. Never in a million years did he expect Van. And he never thought he would see him again until Van shows up a
Michelle Leigh
Jan 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What started out as one encounter of mutual bliss, turned out to be so much more.

Two lonely hearts. One afraid to risk it all on love, and one afraid to risk it all for his career.

The circumstances that keep bringing Toby and Van together almost scream "They're soul-mates!" Of course, these two hottie men need to figure things out for themselves. I kept asking myself if they would before it was too late.

You can really feel the hurt, confusion and rage that come pouring out of the pages while the
Wendy Ann
I found a level of predictability in the path of this story. Closeted jocks tend to intrigue me due to the conflict they face – especially if their career is in professional sports. Van was a pretty typical closeted jock in that he feared the consequences of coming out, but craved his cake and wanted to eat it too. His approach to getting his cake, however, was a little out there and slightly creepy.

Toby, on the other hand, was lovely. He was quite the interesting combination of hidden intellig
Morgan  Skye
Mar 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: series, reviewed, 2017
There were parts of this story that I really liked. I loved the Parkour, the Yoga, and for awhile I was thinking that Archer would be learning a new “sport” or vice versa and our MCs would have some interesting conversations and activities surrounding that. But… those things were almost just teasers, and they really didn’t have much to do with the main story.

The main story was about being in the closet and being victimized by an awful ex.

I really felt that Toby was way too trusting and accepted
FMR Book Grind
Mar 27, 2017 rated it really liked it

Leigh Carman knows how to deliver swoony men!!! I just devoured this book! I am a big fan of sports romances so I loved how this story revolved around football.

I loved how the story started out as a random, one night hook up but ended up leading to more, much more. I really enjoyed the story. I thought the characters had a solid start to their story. There was a lot of flirting and angst happening back and forth that kept me interested. In the middle it sort of tapered off bu
Anne-Marie Mogensen
A solid touchdown

Leigh Carman was an unknown author to me until very recently. In the last two days I've read two books by her and I can honestly say, that I'm a fan.

Her writing is solid and she has the story running smoothly. The plot might be a little predictable but it works.

Her characters are well developed and likeable even when they have there moments of stupidity. You can relate to them. They are real people with flaws and whatnot.

If you are still considering getting this book, I fully r
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Leigh Carman is the pen name for the M/M romances written by bestselling Contemporary romance writer, Heather C. Leigh.

She lives outside Houston, TX with her husband, 2 kids, and snorty French bulldog named Shelby.

She has left explicit directions in her will requiring her friends to discreetly scatter her ashes around Fenway Park. Then they can sit back, watch the Sox with a beer and a Fenway fran

Other books in the series

Players of LA (4 books)
  • Match Point (Players of LA, #1)
  • Two-Man Advantage (Players of LA, #3)
  • Full Count (Players of LA, #4)