Book Reviews

Tigerland (Tigers and Devils 2) by Sean Kennedy at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Romance
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 02-February-2018

Book Blurb

Sequel to Tigers & Devils

After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Tyler settled into a comfortable life together. Now retired from the AFL, Declan works as a football commentator; Simon develops programs with queer content for a community television station.

Despite their public professional lives, Simon and Declan manage to keep their private life out of the spotlight. Their major concerns revolve around supporting their friends through infertility and relationship problems—until Greg Heyward, Declan’s ex-partner, outs himself in a transparent bid for attention.

Though Simon and Declan are furious with Greg and his media antics, they can’t agree on what to do about it. Declan insists they should maintain a dignified silence, but both he and Simon keep getting drawn into Heyward’s games. Simon and Declan will once again have to ride out the media storm before they can return their attention to what really matters: each other.

 

Book Review

Australian football with all its drama is back! This sequel to ‘Tigers and Devils’ is set three years after the end of book one, and much has changed for Simon and Declan. Interestingly, much has also remained the same, and I loved discovering what new excitement these two amazing men come across in their search for happiness. Their relationship is solid, but dealing with conflicting opinions about a self-centered ex of Declan’s leads to disagreement and a return into the public limelight that neither Simon nor Declan want. The issues they have to deal with are real, the emotions explosive, and between Simon’s inimitably snarky style and Declan’s macho persistence, I was in for quite a ride.  ‘Tigerland’ turned out to be one of those rare cases where I loved book one in a series, slightly dreaded reading the sequel (for fear of loving it less), and being pleasantly surprised that the second book more than holds its own. Oh, and one piece of advice: definitely read these novels in sequence or you’ll miss half the story!

Simon, football fan extraordinaire and now a producer for a community TV station, likes the comparative quiet his life has settled into with only an occasional reminder of his semicelebrity status as the partner of the first Australian football player to have come out as gay. Unfortunately this doesn’t last long, and Simon is catapulted right back into the limelight when Declan’s ex decides to come out. Since the b*stard has an agenda that means nothing good for Simon, things fall apart quite quickly. Much of Simon’s emotional turmoil is due to his way of dealing with things, and the fact that he doesn’t like himself when he becomes jealous only makes things worse.

Declan, former football star and currently a sports commentator, has to face his past head-on when his ex brings back memories, makes advances, and reminds Declan of who he used to be when his ex manipulated him. Even though Declan is in a much better emotional space now, facing the past is not easy and since Declan is concerned about Simon’s reactions as well as his own, the pressure is twice as bad. It’s a good thing Declan has already grown into a much stronger guy, or he would have had an even harder time balancing the external and internal pressure on himself and his relationship with Simon.

Simon and Declan’s relationship is really put to the test in this story. I could have strangled the arrogant a**hole of an ex more than once! His slimily friendly public persona is so different from the tough, selfish shark he is deep down that most people are fooled by his appearance – and that made everything worse. As for the media, even Declan’s colleagues and bosses? They act exactly like the bloodhounds they can be when they smell promising publicity and exceptional ratings, never mind the human pain they can cause. It’s all written very realistically, and that only made me more furious on Simon and Declan’s behalf. How are you supposed to fight back without sinking to the enemy’s level? It’s an age-old question and I loved the answer the author gives in this story.

Luckily Simon and Declan have very good friends and (mostly) supportive families, but even their support can’t make up for the strain between them. Fran and Roger, Simon’s oldest friends, have issues of their own, as do Lisa and Abe, Declan’s closest friends. And since I know and like these secondary characters almost as much as Simon and Declan, their issues made the whole situation worse more often than not. Quite the emotional roller coaster on more than one front!

If you want to see what other emotional turmoil makes Simon and Declan’s life close to impossible, if you want to see their relationship put to the test, and if you’re looking for a read about two men very much in love battling external attacks and internal stress alike when an ex out for revenge makes their life hell, then you will probably like this novel as much as I do. It’s intense, as gripping as the first story, and I was biting my nails most of the time – until the absolutely perfect ending. Bravo!

 

 

 

 

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, print and audio
Length Novel, 298 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 15-October-2012
Price $6.99 ebook, $16.99 paperback, $16.99 bundle, $19.95 audiobook
Buy Link https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/tigerland-by-sean-kennedy-1095-b