Book Reviews

Fair Catch (Players of LA 2) by Leigh Carman at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 29-June-2017

Book Blurb

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.


Book Review

After enjoying the intense feelings and passion in ‘Match Point’, I was looking forward to another pairing of two men too stubborn to recognize they are made for each other. This time one is quiet and withdrawn and shying away from future relationships based on a bad experience with a domineering man. The other part of the future couple is a professional football player who is as loud and brash as he is deeply in the closet. Talk about opposites! While quite different than the first book in terms of plot and tone of the story, the emotions and issues between quiet Toby and pushy Van are just as intense as those found in Finn and Dexter’s story.

Toby and Van’s relationship starts in a rather unusual way. Neither of them expects a hookup: Toby is too scared of strangers to normally attempt something like that, and Van is too well known to be seen in a gay club, so he has the club manager bring the men he is interested in to him instead. Once they meet neither is opposed to some quick, dirty interaction, and both expect never to see the other man again.

Fate has other plans.

The next time they run into each other, Van has been told to take some yoga to help him heal from a hamstring injury, and Toby is shocked to find out whom he will be working with. Both are shocked, but for different reasons, and both quickly realize their short encounter may have been only the beginning of something between them neither of them wants to acknowledge was more than lust. But, as Van’s health improves and they get attached to each other, they discover a compatibility beyond the physical – and that is when the real problems start.

Just like the first story in the series, the two main characters “speak” in alternate first person, and it enabled me to get really close to each of their thought processes and feelings. Sometimes that was painful, since I was really close to Toby’s fears of being overwhelmed and dominated again as well as his reaction to the a**hole ex making an ugly reappearance. Van’s dilemma between personal happiness and his success and fame as a professional football player wasn’t an easy situation to deal with either. Seeing them both struggle up-close-and-personal made reading this book quite an experience.

If you like stories about opposites who attract, if you want to watch two men go from one casual hookup to a deeply passionate relationship, and if you’re looking for a read that is as frustrating as it is emotional and has lots of character growth on both sides, then you will probably like this novel.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by Dreamspinner Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 200 pages/64340 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 20-March-2017
Price $6.99 ebook, $14.99 paperback, $14.99 bundle
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