Review: MJ O’Shea – Game Point (Dreamspun Desires)

Author: MJ O’Shea
Reviewer: Barb
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: Contemporary

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Summary:

Game, set… match made in heaven.

Spoiled socialite Quinn Valenzuela has no interest in sports or his family’s huge sporting goods empire, Sparta Athletics. So when Quinn learns his grandfather has died and he’s in control of the corporation, no one is more surprised than Quinn himself.

Dedicated COO Porter Davis has little time and less patience for brats like Quinn who have never done a day’s work, but circumstances leave him with little choice. Quinn claims he’s ready to leave partying behind and grow up, but it’ll take more than words to earn Porter’s respect. As it turns out, they can work—and play—together after all. A friends with benefits arrangement makes sense for the two busy men, but are they too different for it to ever develop into more? Not if Quinn can convince Porter he has his head in the game.

Review:

This story got off to a slow start for me but then by about 20 or 25% I started to find it hard to put down. There’s a very enjoyable dynamic between the two main characters and there are strong secondary characters, including Quinn’s mother and his BFF, Dane, and Porter’s sister, Perry.
Basically, an enemies-to-lovers story, Quinn Valenzuela is summoned home when his grandfather suddenly passes away. Owner and CEO of Sparta, a sporting goods apparel corporation, he’s run the company with Quinn’s mother and a young man named Porter Davis. Porter is all left-brained—intellectual, analytical-thinking, and very straightforward in his speech. He’s quite shocked, along with all the others present at the reading of the will, to learn that the old man left the majority of his stock to his grandson and that he expects Quinn to come back to the Seattle area to live and to run the corporation.

Quinn’s mother is elated by the news, but the problem, from Quinn’s perspective, is that he never even attended college. He’s been living the life of the rich, gay playboy in Europe since he completed the boarding school his mother sent him away to when he was twelve. He and Dane and another friend, Hunter, have been almost like triplets, running up and down the Riviera, having flings and parties and literally living a life of decadence. The now twenty-six-year-old man hardly seems the type to take over running a corporation. What no one but Quinn knows is that he’s been bored with the party scene, but he loves his mother and truly loved his grandfather, so he’s willing to give it a try.

But in the epitome of enemies-to-lovers trope, Porter resists helping him—going so far as to shun him and relegate him to a less than human stereotype of party boy. Porter just hopes he can outlast him and that Quinn decides to quit and return to his friends.

Of course, he doesn’t count on Quinn standing up to him, nor does he count on the slowly developing friendship between the two, nor does he realize that the friends-with-benefits agreement the two make to lessen their work-related stress—more fun than tennis, naturally—will lead to something important between them.

Of course, there will be heartbreak before the end of the story. But the good news is that the author leaves us with a HEA.

One minor issue that drove me crazy (and still does) is the title of the story. I just don’t get it. There were some tennis games as tension breakers before the friends-with-benefits option hit the table but no other mention of the term “game point” at any time during the story. It just doesn’t fit, even with using sex as a tension-breaker IMHO, so I’m knocking a half point off my rating.

Overall though, yes, I do recommend this one. I enjoyed it—both the story and the slow burn sexual dynamic and resulting romance—and I recommend it to lovers of MM romance.

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