June Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

Shirtless hot guy (lower face and torso only) shows off his abs and guns as he leans against a wall holding an NFL football at about waist level in both hands.Most Valuable Playboy by Lauren Blakely, narrated by Zachary Webber – B Lauren Blakely writes reliably good, fun and sexy contemporary romance and I usually enjoy them on audio. Zachary Webber has improved significantly since he first started narrating and he was pretty good to start with. Blakely gets some of the best narrators for her books. Perhaps it’s her superpower?

Most Valuable Playboy is one entirely from the hero’s POV and that is pretty much catnip to me anyway as a hero-centric reader/listener. And I do have a soft spot for fake relationship, best friend’s little sister and friends to lovers tropes, all of which are in play here.

Cooper is the starting quarterback for the San Francisco Renegades, a fictional NFL team. He’s up for contract renewal and unfortunately the team owner’s sister is hitting on him without mercy. He is not interested but he doesn’t want to rock the boat by complaining about the sexual harassment he’s receiving for fear of ruining his chances to stay with his beloved team. So his good friend Violet steps up and helps him out. Only the pretense reveals real feelings to Cooper, who then has a whole nother set of problems. His best buddy is very frowny about the whole thing and what if Violet doesn’t feel the same way?

February Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

soft focus photo of the face and neck of a very cute dark-haired guy with blue blue eyes and pouty lipsHeartShip by Amy Jo Cousins – B A sweet, mostly low-conflict novella about Josh, a college football player (he’s heading into his final year and has been previously red-shirted so he’s 25) and Benji, a 32-year-old massage therapy student who meet on an online fandom for RWBY, a (real) American anime series. After they meet online, they take their conversations to Twitter and catch up once a week to live tweet episodes of RWBY together. Benji’s handle is “princessglitter” and he’s never actually specifically stated he’s a guy. Josh has never explicitly asked him. Benji assumes Josh thinks he’s a girl. But it doesn’t matter because Josh lives in Minnesota and Benji lives in Miami.

Until Josh, who has been sidelined due to a possibly football-ending injury decides to surprise his friend in Florida with a visit.

It’s not a gay for you story. It’s clear very early on that Josh has always known he’s gay. He just hadn’t come out yet, not even really to himself. However, once he meets Benji in person, their flirty online banter and the deep friendship they’ve developed spills over into physical intimacy. It’s fair to say that Josh takes to gay sex like a duck to water and he barely has a qualm about coming out – even to his teammates back in Minnesota. I read it as a “show the world as you’d prefer it to be” kind of thing rather than (unfortunately) actually realistic. There is a little homophobia referenced but it’s dealt with quickly and isn’t a big feature in the story.

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