Author: Jeff Erno
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Narrator: Ezekiel Robison
In Dumb Jock, Jeff and Brett fall in love, but their relationship is not without challenges. Brett’s a football star, and Jeff is the classic nerd. Their coming of age and coming out story is set in the 1980s, and they face many obstacles. Yet their love for each other is strong, and they finally get their happy ending.
Now, almost three decades later, their children are teenagers. Adam, their fifteen year old son, is the star pitcher of his high school baseball team. He has grown up with two dads, in a loving, non-judgmental environment. Yet Adam has challenges of his own. He’s failing two of his classes at school, and he’s been suspended for fighting. He resents being labeled and insists that just because he has two dads, it doesn’t mean that he is himself gay.
When he is forced to accept help from another student in his algebra class, Adam starts to have feelings that cause him to question his very identity. He’s got to decide whether to follow his heart or to maintain the image he’s worked so hard to portray. Will he have the courage to take a stand for what he knows is right, or will he end up being just another dumb jock?
So I may have just binge-listened to 5 hours of audio book! Just sayin. I remembered loving this series, and it’s so interesting to have the new MC of the book be our previous main character’s teenage son! What an interesting way to re-visit previous characters, instead of the usual. I laughed, I cried, I literally hid under the blanket in embarrassment and emotional turmoil to teenage shenanigans.
Adam is immature. But he’s an appropriately immature 15 years old. This isn’t the type of stunted immature that normally bothers you about MC’s in a romance. He doesn’t realize how good he’s had it and he’s starting to rebel and push against his parents loving arms. I thought this was so well done. It addresses a lot of teen and parenting issues without being preachy or condescending to Adam.
Trevor was strong and confident yet shy and insecure. He was the perfect foil to Adam, and I loved how steady they were once they decided to go for it. No back and forth bullshit or angst here, they don’t know all of what they want… but they know they want each other. The rest can work itself out.
I wanted to keep status updates throughout so I could track my whirlwinds of emotions, but I didn’t want to take breaks to do that soooo… SOL. I’m making it sound overly emotional, but it really wasn’t. It had its rough moments but those were perfectly tempered by sweet moments and funny moments and just general contented moments.
Could have done without the really emotional anniversary speech at the end. Funny how when Adam was saying how wonderful it was that his family is open with their emotions, I was eye rolling and thinking “ok ok enough with the mushy stuff, not all your acquaintances need this level of detail into your lives!”… I’m apparently a tad more emotionally stunted than a 15 year old boy.
There also isn’t outright sexual content on page— that fits with the story given that they are 15 years old. But there are several hot and heavy make-outs that are intensified by the emotional connection, and some fade-to-black oral. I didn’t mind it the way I normally would, as I said, it fit with the tone of the story and with the characters. Smut would have felt out of place, but this also isn’t completely G-rated. Trevor is a little vixen!
And I would highly recommend the audio version! Ezekiel Robison did an amazing job. Not over-acted at all. The voices weren’t wildly different but he brought a lot of personality in through the small things. I specifically remember the teasing annunciation Adam’s sister used when giving him a hard time. I remember the subtle emotion coming through when a character was “tearful.” I remember Adam’s sulk that was usually accompanied by an eye roll. Ezekiel did a really good job and I think it increased my enjoyment of the book in general.