Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Book Review: The Rival Quarterback by Devyn Morgan

The Rival Quarterback
Two rivals become unlikely lovers in the hostile and homophobic world of college football ...

Randy is a star quarterback who lives to play. The only problem is, so is Ted, and the golden boy got there first. After a year on the bench, Randy knows he has to go somewhere else if he wants his chance to shine. Luckily for him, a rival school is eager to steal him away. The fact that Randy’s previous team sees it as a betrayal seems like a small price to pay.

A summer of tension between the young men turns them into star-crossed lovers before the school year can even start, and neither quarterback knows exactly how to deal with that, so they both try to ignore it. Ignoring what is building between them proves to be more difficult than they’d thought, however, and it happens again. The pressure is on for the young, handsome football stars. America is watching.

They can’t keep their hands off of each other.

Randy and Ted know they're compatible in the bedroom, and they're both talented on the field. But are their egos up to the test? Can their relationship make it through competition, adversity, and a summer adventure in New Zealand? Is it worth risking everything for?

The Rival Quarterback is a standalone MM romance novella with no cliffhangers or cheating. It has a HEA ending and explicit scenes.

Todd's rating:

I found this short story to be bordering on "meh".

There was some tantalizing locker room UST at the beginning of the book, but the feelings felt somewhat manufactured to me, especially toward the beginning.

Also, the shifts from hating one another to falling in love felt kind of jerky, instead of being a subtle, gradual progression.

The sexy bits were pretty strong here, though, so kudos for those flip-floppy scenes of HAWT JOCKS DOIN' THE NASTY (all caps, because it's 'a thing' for me).

I really wanted some good side-characters here, too, but other than Randy's BFF gal-pal, it felt like the MC's *rarely* ever talked to ANYONE. No best guy friends on the team, no casual friends either really, which left the MC's lives feeling pretty two-dimensional.

Also, since the MC's were rarely in the same city, we were in their heads, being *told* more than we were actually shown how their feelings were intensifying, through in-depth, on-page conversations.

I did like the trip to New Zealand at the end, when not only their feelings were solidified, but also their plans for the future. And the scene with the little girl, with Ted and Randy envisioning a family of their own, well, that was completely ADORABLE.

The epilogue felt a bit info-dumpy and was less than satisfying than I would've liked.


The one thing that made me bat-shit crazy was the use of the terms "the older man" and "the younger man", which happened ad nauseam.

First. It's tired. STOP IT.

Second. It implied a significant age gap, when NONE EXISTED HERE.

One MC was a college Sophomore and the other was a Junior, so a whopping ONE YEAR AGE DIFFERENCE.
[Insert eye-rolls here, as needed.]
Sorry, but ONE YEAR does not an age gap make. So again, STOP IT.

Confession: It was making me so nuts that I had to feed the book into Calibre and mass-replace "the younger man" with "Randy" and "the older man" with "Ted". I was seriously about to KILL a bitch before I did that.

With slightly better editing and the omission of the sad age gap emphasis attempt, the story *might* have hit closer to 4 stars, but as is, I can't rate this book at higher than just under 3 stars.

This book is *FREE* with Kindle Unlimited membership.

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