This book was a refreshing change, both main characters were Collage Football players, both confident in themselves, both accepted their sexualities, although not afraid to come out, they are both in the closet. Usually the New Adult / Collage Student genre is filled with Jock / Nerd characters, or strong confident vs shy timid types. But in this book the author has turned the usual upside down to give us a fresh story
Simon and Parker are competing for the same starting spot on the team when we start the book. But early on Simon loses his temper when he sees Parker with his girlfriend. Resulting in a drunken punch in Parker’s face. The result is Simon is off the team as they have a No tolerance to violent behaviour.
This turns what was team rivalry into a personal grudge for Simon, he blames Parker for loss of his girlfriend, his spot on the team and his dream of going pro. He feels isolated after leaving the team, which was also his friend circle.
Parker feels bad for Simon, he never wanted Simon to lose his spot on the team, well not in this way. In fact, he misses Simon, the guy he has been secretly crushing on. All the rivalry was just banter as far as he was concerned. But he cannot help but wonder if Simon took it more personally. What makes Parker feel even worse is that he does not have the same passion and drive for football as Simon did. In fact, he does not see football in his future, he just has not found a way to tell his parents, especially his mother, who is living through his football journey for her failed dance career.
Wow the tension between these two guys is at boiling point, but that is not all, it starts leading to hot angry sex.
Slowly we see the characters develop an understanding of each other, and the chemistry keeps pulling them back for quick hook-ups which must be kept on the down low because of Parker being on the football team.
I really liked how the changes in both characters developed slowly, it was not instant making up and boyfriends. After their first sexual encounter they both tell themselves it cannot happen again.
It also great reading how the two characters dealt with their problems, both with their relationship but also with their lives, family, and goals.
The love/hate relationship was often funny, especially when Parker turns up to volunteer and Simon gives him the nastiest job to do. Parker takes it on the chin, giving Simon one free ride.
The book was in my opinion well-paced, the plot is strong, and growth of characters is real. The characters themselves are like chalk and cheese at least in the early chapters, but as they progress and grow, they realise that maybe they are not as far apart as they thought they were.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys New Adult / Collage student romance novels.