Author: Leigh Carman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
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.
*The Players of LA Series are standalones, but characters from each book to appear in subsequent novels. It is recommended to read in order to maximize the reading experience*
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 intelligence and hobbies with a twist. He was out and proud, but not flashy about it. He didn’t want to be anyone’s dirty little secret and he had trust issues from a prior abusive relationship.
These guys had a roller coaster ride for a relationship that was somewhat fascinating to watch and frustrating at the same time. Their communication skills were sorely lacking which complicated an already challenging situation. This really peaked in relation to Toby’s ex when he came back into the picture and I found myself thinking “come on man, do the right thing” and ended up pissed off at how he chose to handle the situation with that freak.
I loved the secondary characters – Leo and Cal. Both were an integral part of the story. I wish that Toby and Van could have trusted in their respective best friends a little more readily.
Overall, I enjoyed the story and have a newfound fondness for pool tables and their, umm, versatility.