J.M. Snyder – Playing for Keeps


Author: J.M.Snyder
Reviewed by: Vivian
Publisher: JMS Books LLC
Genre: M/M Contemporary
ISBN 13: 9781482791525

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 


Shy, soft-spoken clarinet player Thad Archer tours Europe over spring break with his college marching band. He’s lonely lonely so far from home and everything he’s ever known, but at least he has his friends — Mark, Peter, Seth, and Jamie. Thad has had a secret crush on sexy drummer Jamie McIntosh since they met but has never managed to pluck up the courage to confess his feelings. Could Jamie be as lonely and homesick as Thad?

Confident and cocky, Jamie is Thad’s opposite in every way, but something about his quiet friend sets his heart aflutter. Unfortunately, Thad’s deep in the closet, while Jamie is much more secure in his sexuality. Jamie doesn’t want to rush Thad into anything he isn’t ready for, but hopefully at some point their friendship, they can move toward something more.

But any romantic hopes the pair have are frustrated by Mark, the band’s drum major, who has his sights set on bedding trombonist Seth, or flutist Peter, or anyone, really. He isn’t too picky. If he can’t get into pants of his straight friends, he’ll settle for whoever he can get. Thad? Jamie?

The band will be flying back to the States in a couple of days. Thad knows once they’re home, he’ll have missed his chance with Jamie.  

Review:  Trying to get something going on while away from the home turf.

Disjointed storytelling with four POVs. This is the big problem for me. The reader is tossed from one head to the next and while there is a theme, how different males react to their sexuality, it is too short to explore fully.

That’s not to say that the guys aren’t interesting, but if you’ve ever chaperoned an overnight trip then you kind of get the gist of what is going on here. Not that exciting in real life and just as chaotic in the story.

In the end, it is three days of anticipation and scheming, but not much happens.


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