Wednesday, July 12, 2017

FAST Balls by Tara Lain


Can two men with skewed self-images see their true reflections in each other’s eyes?

Jerry Wallender—firefighter, surfer, and occasional nude model—knows he’s no rocket scientist. So why does he keep choosing intellectual guys who make him feel dumber? He worked his buns off to overcome his reading disability and pass the firefighter’s test, and he loves everything about the job. Well, except for Mick Cassidy, the big, blond, hunky homophobe who harasses Jerry for being gay. But Jerry is smart enough to realize it’s not hate driving Mick, but the pain of a very unhappy upbringing.

Mick Cassidy, Firefighter Assist and Search Team, fights fires, but he can’t fight his attraction to the kindest, most generous—and sexiest—guy he’s ever met. Does that make him gay? If it does, he just might get himself killed by his gay-hating preacher father—and take Jerry down with him.

2nd Edition
First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2013.

Add to Goodreads –


Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press



Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Angie☆☆☆☆
I really enjoy this series; this book was a good addition. We have met Jerry in previous books, and actually Mick briefly as well. Mick comes from a very religious family and his dad is horrible. I honestly don't like to read books with religion in the forefront – not my cup of tea – but I made it through this one. Jerry is coming off a break up that came out of the blue and he is down on himself. Mick has been a douche to Jerry in the past and Hunter in previous books. Mick got his ass kicked by Rod in the previous book and now has a change of heart on lots of things. These two both have a lot of self-doubt and want to help people but don't believe they should find happiness. Mick and Jerry are hot as hell when they come together. There is a scare with a fire and then with Mick's a-hole of a dad. Heavy on the religion, moderate on drama/angst, and great on the love and sex. Can't wait to see what happens in the next book and hopefully, we will see more of this awesome couple.


Sarah☆☆☆
This is a darker addition to a fun, often silly series. This time, firefighter Jerry finds himself enjoying an unexpected sexual encounter with Mick, the homophobic firefighter Rodney beat up in an earlier story. As Mick makes a difficult transition from chief homophobe to enthusiastic gay lover, Jerry has to decide whether to risk his heart with someone who has been so cruel in the past.

This isn’t my favourite book in the series. Much of the playfulness and witty banter that I’ve enjoyed in the other books is missing here and the elements I haven’t enjoyed so much – the overly simplistic conflict between evil homophobes and happy, loved up gays is amplified as Mick attempts to extract himself from his father’s church/cult.

For me, neither Jerry or Mick has the charm and charisma of my favourite men in this series. Jerry remained especially bland in this story. He complains about not being intelligent but there is no evidence of this in his narration. I wanted to see more of Mick’s maths genius skills but he was also a little bit too simplistic for me to really invest in him as a leading man.

My biggest reservation is the cult storyline. This series doesn’t take itself seriously enough to tackle issues like religious cults and spiritual abuse. As an adult still deeply scarred by early experiences in a similar church environment, I was offended by the ease with which Mick and Jezebel seem to slip out of the church, their community, and their families into mainstream America. This book lacks sensitivity. It didn’t feel well researched and Mick and Jezebel’s experiences do not feel authentic.

This story offers welcome glimpses of previous characters in this series and there are moments where the fun and fluffy good vibes return, but I really struggled with some of the main themes and ideas.


Also Available in the Balls to the Wall Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Volley Balls post.


Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Fire Balls post.


Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Beach Balls post.



TARA LAIN writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Erotic Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, and Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. Readers often call her books “sweet,” even with all that hawt sex, because Tara believes in love and her books deliver on happily-ever-after. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. Her love of creating book titles comes from years of manifesting ad headlines for everything from analytical instruments to semiconductors. She does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog (who’s a little jealous of all those cat pictures Tara posts on FB) in Laguna Niguel, California, near the seaside towns where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says that on her tombstone, it will say “Yes!”

Connect with Tara

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https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of FAST Balls (Balls to the Wall #4) by Tara Lain to read and review.

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