We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre: m/m sport
Having served ten years in the Marines, the former Captain Eric Ramos is trying civilian life. His first job interview is to be companion, driver, and personal assistant to Tyler Haley, a rising young NBA star. At the job interview, the team’s owner asks him outright if he is gay. When she finally admits that she’s asking because of problems that have plagued Tyler’s companions in the past—mostly due to having sex with the “gutter groupies” who hang onto the players after every game, Ram admits that he is. Thrilled to have someone who can focus on Tyler, she hires him on the spot.
Tyler was drafted right out of high school and is now twenty-three. He doesn’t have a lot of friends on the team because the older guys with experience are married and hang out together and the younger guys don’t have the experience Tyler has and they want to party all the time, something Tyler doesn’t want to do.
Right from the start, Ram puts Tyler’s needs first and the two form a tentative friendship. When it becomes clear that Tyler never goes out with women and prefers not to attend parties or other social events, they find things to do at home. Ram begins to notice some of Tyler’s physical reactions when Ram gets into his personal space, leading him to think that Tyler may be gay but that he might be repressing his sexuality.
Tyler is a sweetheart, and it’s easy for Ram to enjoy their time together. He calls Tyler “Blondie” and they are constant companions when Tyler is in town. Then when he’s away, they start to text each other and continue their friendship long distance. Ram is forced to confront his own growing feelings for Tyler, but he refuses to act on them. It’s evident that something is really bothering Tyler every time the topic of sexuality comes up and it isn’t until Tyler breaks down after losing a home game that Ram finally learns the truth of Tyler’s past and the issues that are keeping him from living his life as a gay man. The two will need to work together to help Tyler if he has any chance for a happy future.
This was a nice story and I enjoyed Randy Fuller’s narration. The voice he gave Tyler reminded me of a “twink” teenager though, and I would think that anyone six foot seven inches tall would have a deeper voice. On the other hand, Ram’s voice was spot-on and he did a good job with the secondary characters, so it was only a minor negative for me.
This was a fairly short audiobook and I’d recommend to those who enjoy stories about men who struggle to come to terms with their sexuality and to those who like a long, slow burn romance because there was no intimacy in this book until the very end.