Author: Leigh Carman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Two stubborn men.
One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.
It was hate at first sight.
Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.
When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.
Beach volleyball pros Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. Of course that’s because they’re attracted to each other, and though Finn admits that he’s gay (at least to himself), Dex has resolved that he’s straight.
Leigh Carman has crafted a rivals-to-lovers tale where both guys are charming (at least to the reader) and their viewpoints and actions are ultimately understandable. However this book will NOT be for everyone. In her striving to show us what’s going on in both these guys’ beautiful heads she’s created a bit more confusion than some will tolerate. (I was continually going back to sort out who was who) This “alternating points of view” approach can be daunting, particularly without the help from gender specific that M/F romances can rely on. And POV switching within the same chapter can make the problems even worse.
There were also a few niggling problems that I had with other aspects of the plot. Dex’s “charming guy” persona didn’t seem to track well with his background and Finn’s physical attraction to Dex seemed a bit abrupt. It somehow made Finn less than I had pictured him.
If you can get past the confusion and aren’t as picky as I am about plot details, you may well really enjoy this. Even in its present form it is a good satisfying read and both guys are charming in their own right.
The back-seat writer in me wondered toward the end how this tale might have gone if Finn had been the charming one. Dex could have easily been the better player and with his background, the stormy disposition might have tracked better. …Or am I getting them confused again?