Title: Fair Catch
Author: Leigh Carman
Series: Players of LA #2
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 3/20/2017
Genre(s): M/M Sports Romance, M/M Coming Out
Page Count: 200
Heat Level: 2 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
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 is Tobias’s complete opposite: loud, brash, fond of the spotlight… and deep in the closet. When a hamstring injury sends Van to Tobias as part of his therapy, neither of them is expecting to come face-to-face with his one-night stand. Now they’re stuck together throughout Van’s healing process, and the close proximity will force them to deal with some hard truths. For Tobias, it’s realizing his hookup is a celebrity. For Van, it means accepting that he likes Tobias more than he wanted. They’ll both have to acknowledge that if they choose to pursue a relationship, their lives will change in big ways.
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 a force of nature, bring them back together.
Fair Catch was a very quick read and had some depth in unexpected places. For example, Toby had suffered in an abusive relationship in his recent past and that was a theme that continued throughout. [Warning: triggers in this story for domestic violence and gay bashing.] And while Van is “just a jock,” he’s so much more when Toby gets to know him – and together they make a great match.
While I enjoyed how the story unfolded, there were a few tidbits that didn’t seem to matter, add value to the story, move the story forward, or get solved throughout the novel. For example, we hear about Toby and his relationship with his parents, but they aren’t a part of the story at all. Neither is his genius-level brilliance really important… although it could have been perhaps? Small things like this that seemed to step on the line of being significant and important, until they just didn’t seem to pan out.
Regardless, this is a recommended read – especially for anyone who likes sports romances and the “I’m coming out for you” storylines. Both characters were a pleasure to get to know and their story was filled with a lot of ups and downs right until the end.