Monday, March 20, 2017

Fair Catch by Leigh Carman

Two men.

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.*

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
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

This is the second in a series, but I read it as a standalone and enjoyed it a lot. As a big sports romance fan, I was very happy to find a new author to read.

It is not often that a side character really deserves first mention, but really Leo does! He was the unexpected voice of reason and champion of the closeted Van when things got tough. And his sartorial style and self-confidence was very endearing too.

The story itself is well written, has a good pace, and deals with some big issues for both Van and Toby. There are some really lovely touches which bring to life these two men, and how much they feel about each other.

A good read, thank you Ms. Carman.

There were some really sweet moments in this story about Van, an American football star, and Toby, his yoga teacher. While much of the storyline is familiar to any readers of m/m sports romance (closeted star/secret relationship/threat of exposure), Toby’s personal experiences with an ex-boyfriend add a layer of suspense to the story.

I like Van. He wears his star status lightly and reacts with kindness in difficult situations. For a main character and a romantic lead, he feels a little underdeveloped. I wanted to know more of his past and I wanted him to have hobbies and interests.

This is really Toby’s story as most of the book is told from his perspective. I really didn’t warm to him. When he isn’t whipping himself into an emotional frenzy and playing hot and cold with Van, he’s allowing himself to be bullied by the ex-boyfriend he’s attempting to hide from. Meh. He’s a bit of a damp squib.

The action sequences that focused on Toby and Austin, his ex, were a little bit bewildering at times. I hate it when an author allows characters to ignore the simple solution (call the police), in an obvious effort to draw out drama and tension. All the miscommunication in this story felt so contrived and repetitive that I wasn’t terribly invested in the final outcome of Van and Toby’s relationship.

This is my first book by this author and I struggled with her writing style. I found the writing quite choppy and the dialogue didn’t always ring true. There was more ‘telling’ than ‘showing’ in this book and, as a result, the characters and situations didn’t quite feel real to me. Writing style is always a personal preference, so I’d urge readers to download a sample and make up their own minds.

Also Available in the Players of LA Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
Dreamspinner Press

For reviews & more info, check out our Match Point post.

Leigh Carman was born and raised in New England with all of its fall foliage and winter snow. She escaped to the South, where she currently lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.

She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate—everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count), and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.

Leigh also writes M/F dark romance under the name Heather C. Leigh. She also loves exploring the underbelly of fame and the crushing weight of those under the microscope 24/7.

Connect with Leigh

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Fair Catch (Players of LA #2) by Leigh Carman to read and review.

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