Wednesday 28 September 2016

Review ~ Strong Side (Eastshore Tigers #1) by Alison Hendricks

Book Description:

Their chemistry on the field is undeniable. But can they ever be more than friends?

Jason Hawkins is about to throw the biggest Hail Mary pass of his career.

If he can't turn NFL recruiters' heads this year, he'll lose his shot at the one thing he's ever been good at. But every quarterback needs a man he can count on down-field. For Jason, that man just might be the Tigers' new receiver, Derek Griffin.

Four years ago, Derek nearly lost everything after being outed by his teammates.

Now he finally has a chance to get it all back as a walk-on for Eastshore College... if he can resist his immediate attraction to the gorgeous and very straight star quarterback.

An instant connection during practice leads to an easy friendship that only grows stronger off the field. Derek is convinced friendship is all it'll ever be, but a very confusing moment of impulse leaves both of them fumbling for answers about their relationship.

As curiosity gives way to passion and passion gives way to something deeper, Jason and Derek will have to tackle their own personal demons to bring home the win and earn their happy ending.

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Our Review:

Reviewed by Donna ~ 4 stars

“I think I’m starting to have feelings for my best friend.”

For a debut author Alison Hendricks certainly starts off with a bang and stamps her name firmly in the MM genre. Strong Side is one hell of a sweet, cute and adorable Gay For You story that will have you championing these two from the very start. Low on angst, with a healthy balance of steam this story will quench those MM itches that I know I get on the regular, trouble with me though is one MM is never enough.

Derek Griffin is the new guy, the new receiver, the new team mate, the new gay team mate. His coach knows his sexual orientation but he has kept it quiet from the team for the fear of repercussions. He had been there once and didn’t want to go there again. He is openly gay with a huge support network, but coming out the first time had nearly cost him his footballing career and had left its lasting mark.

“…I want things to go back to the way they were before I got injured. Before I realized there were people in this world so fucking hateful that they would do something like that.”

Jason Hawkins was the team; he was the All Star Quarterback that needed to make his impression this year to catch the NFL recruiters eyes. He was the crux of the team, the guy that the team relied on for the moves, the calls and the motivation. He was the guy that all girls wanted to date and the guy that all guys wanted to emulate. He was as straight as they came, chock full of testosterone and masculinity. But Jason Hawkins was different. He was not your typical jock and from the very start he was a character that I connected with.

“Fake it ‘til you make it.”

Derek is having a few struggles and issues and Jason can see it, but Jason can also see Derek’s potential. Jason knows that if he can iron out those issues that he and Derek could make a formidable team. Giving up his spare time to help, Jason and Derek start a fantastic friendship, one where secrets are told and they become each other’s confidante. Where they both spur the other on to be the best and are a great support network to each other. Derek tells Jason that he is gay and Jason isn’t bothered, but what happens when those lines of friendship blur?

“I want more of this. I’ve never been all that sex-crazed before—I’ve always had too much other shit on my mind—but with Griff, it’s like I can’t get enough. He’s a drug, and I’m the guy who can’t quit buying. Can’t quit using.”

Strong Side was an engaging read, low on drama and angst and with something that I crave…the slow burn. The transition from friends to lovers was captivating but most of all, believable. Both Griffin and Jason were adorable, two characters that I instantly fell in love with and the journey that they undertake was engaging. This book will leave you with the warm and fuzzies, a heart glowing full of love and pride as the heart knows who the heart wants. I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

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