Tigerland by Sean Kennedy ~ Audio Review

Sean Kennedy - Tigerland Audio Cover 345jhdTitle: Tigerland

Series: Tigers and Devils 02

Author: Sean Kennedy

Narrator: Dave Gilles

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 8 hrs, 31 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 15th 2014)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: After an eventful and sometimes uncomfortably public courtship, Simon Murray and Declan Ty-ler 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 transpar-ent 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.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Tigerland is the second book in Sean Kennedy’s Tigers and Devils series. Book 2 picks up a little down the track after the end of the first book, so it is important to read – or listen – to this series in order. I adore this series and have read it as it has been published. Being an Australian, I was attracted to a book that talks about something I am familiar with (although I don’t follow AFL it is impossible not to know something if you come from Australia – unless you’re New South Wales or Queensland, that is). It also sounds exactly like an Australian, it’s funny how much I realise Australian English is just sas ridiculous as US English. However, Kennedy writing, quirky and very well developed characters led to me falling in love with the first book of the series.

If you read my review for the audio book of the first book, it was clear that while I listened to and enjoyed the book, which I already knew I loved, to say I had a lot of problems with the narration is an understatement. However, with book 2 we have a new narrator, Dave Gilles. I’ve heard Gilles’ accent for a number of Renae Kaye’s books (set in Western Australia), so I knew what to expect and looked forward to his work. While he isn’t Australian he does an excellent accent and he has clearly done his research when it comes to pronunciation. Overall, it was a great performance and I honestly have nothing bad to say. Gilles did an awesome job giving voice to Simon and Declan, as well as their friends Roger, Fran, Abe and Lisa, as well as Nyssa, newcomer Cobie and Simon’s arch nemesis from book 1, Jasper Brunswick (real name Jon Brown). We are also introduced to a new character, the villain of the piece

Fans of the first book will not be disappointed with this sequel, Simon is as snarky as ever and Declan has come a long way from a closeted to openly gay football god to retired openly gay football god. Since injuries that have been plaguing Declan since book 1 forced his early retirement, the pain was too raw to go into coaching and so went to being a commentator and panellist for many of the numerous footy shows for a commercial television network (trust me, there’s A LOT of those IRL, and in my head it’s Channel 9 or 7 that he’s working at, haha). Simon has also had a career change, from being director of an indie film festival to a content producer for a LBGTQI community television station. However, after being together for three years Simon and Declan have to deal with their next big storm in the shape of Declan’s ex while he was still in the closet, a fellow AFL player. Simon and Declan go through their own ups and downs with Greg Heyward causing trouble with his media frenzy, maliciously dragging Simon into the mess and making him the bad guy. On top of that, we also see Simon’s pain and need to help his friends financially when he sees Fran and Roger go through hell when it comes to infertility preventing his best friends from starting a family.

It’s not difficult to feel for Simon as he tells the story. He gets a lot of shit thrown at him. And despite having the support of Declan, as well as Simon supporting Declan throughout the Heyward saga, Declan’s media silence over the various claims does hurt Simon. These guys still have and do a lot more growing as characters and as a couple throughout this book. The ups and downs make the guys really relatable and makes the relationship feel real.

Like the first book, this is great for fans of the sports romance genre. Although for fans of Simon and Murray and Declan Tyler, this a great continuation of their story.

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy ~ Audio Review

Sean Kennedy - Tigers and Devils Audio Cover 2wb36vTitle: Tigers and Devils

Series: Tigers and Devils 01

Author: Sean Kennedy

Narrator: Paul Morey

Genre: Contemporary, Sports

Length: 15 hrs, 51 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (7th March 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film – in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a foot-ball conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler – unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods – until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon’s support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy – for himself or for others.

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Tigers and Devils is the first book in Sean Kennedy’s series of the same name. I’ve read this whole series a few years ago and absolutely adored it. I also absolutely adore Kennedy’s spin-off series, Get Out. The narration of this book was performed by Paul Morey, not a narrator that I am able to recognise by name, but according to my audible app and my reviews, I’ve listened and enjoyed his narrations in the past.

I feel a strong connection to these books, because this is an Aussie author, from a football (AFL) obsessed state (Victoria). I am originally from the equally AFL obsessed state, South Australia, but I get the feeling. Living in New South Wales (and recently seeing this discussion in one of by Facebook groups), I know New South Welshmen and Queenlanders won’t believe the AFL fever written in these books as being accurate but trust me it is real. Every other state other than Queensland and NSW are AFL mad, those other two heathens are obsessed with Rugby League and Rugby Union. (Jokes, I don’t follow any sport codes, but living in NSW for 3 years I hear no AFL and am absolutely sick of NRL in a way I used to hate hearing about AFL). So yes, call me obsessed with this series and I am also one of those weirdos that doesn’t like sports IRL but am a total glutton for sport romances. Add to that, the scenery of Melbourne and the feel of it is so familiar and authentic to me. Yet, unfortunately, I shake my head at how horrible culture is in the AFL that I think if any player was outed or came out, even in 2019 it would be as prickly as Declan’s journey as penned by Kennedy in 2013.

So… I guess I’m here to talk about the book.

Firstly, I’ll explain my review. Needless to say after the above outpouring, this is a 5-star book for me. However, the narration for me left a lot to be desired, which I give 3-stars, hence the 4-star overall rating.

I’ll get the unpleasant part out of the way, my opinion on the narration. And it’s a long story that I have to tell because I can be a drama queen. Ultimately, though I know it is down to an American narrator butchering the pronunciation of many words and places horribly, the saving grace was at least the butchering was done in the said American accent and not in a false Aussie accent. Since this is a long book and I was making a long flight to one of these said AFL obsessed states recently, I decided this would be the perfect way to pass time – I love the story so if I lost some details because of the noise of the planes or airports it wouldn’t matter. So, at the first airport I press play as I wait for my plane to board. I lasted less than a minute. Within the first few sentences, as main character Simon explains Aussie Rules Football and the league, I hear Melbourne pronounced Mel-born (we say Mel-ben) and Brisbane pronounced Bris-bane (we say Bris-ben). Yes, I know Australians are lazy with their talk, as a South Australian I ridicule NSW for not pronouncing all the letters and syllables in words, but… and I’m stepping down from my soap box. And so I switched to another audio and left it for 2 weeks before trying again. It took me a bit to get used to the narration and ignore the pronounciation hiccups but I am so proud that I persevered because for me the story was completely worth it.

Anecdotally, I can tell you that I know of two other Australians, both from Melbourne, who hold the same opinion as me (to the point I had to convince one of them to move onto book 2 because the narrator does change). But you can take what you will from my opinion, I would say that this is like times I read English people get annoyed at non-English narrators butchering the local accents but I listen and like the performance well enough.

As for the story itself – oh, there was a story, I hear you say? Because I feel like and have been complaining for the past 350 words.

The story is about Simon Murray, a Melbournian who works as the managing director for a local indie film festival who loves his football that this is the only conversation he happily gets involved in when his best friends, Roger and his wife Fran, drag Simon to a party against his will. It is at this part he meets AFL God, Declan Tyler (Trademark Pending), who betrayed his Victorian fans by moving to the island state Tasmania and is now on the injuries list more than the playing list.

Simon is a prickly sort of a man, his got a quick wit and a sharp tongue. He’s not antisocial I feel he’s just particular in who he hangs out with. And while he marvels at Declan Tyler on the footy field, he sees the man as a stuck-up arsehole. Declan, who is very much in the closet being that he is a professional AFL player with a multi-million dollar contract, is intrigued and he forces himself into Simon’s life. Turning Simon’s world and his heart upside down. Their relationship starts out as a secret, with only their best friends knowing about them. However, life gets complicated in so many ways, especially when you’re a football god in the public eye.

They are a quirky couple and are the epitome of the saying that opposites attract. Simon and Declan have a wonderful chemistry, which I don’t think is diminished by there not being not many (if any) actual sex scenes. I feel that there is a great intimacy reflected between the characters by the little touches and the passionate kisses which Simon describes. I really liked it and is one of those cases for me that shows you don’t need useless and seemingly never-ending sex scenes in a book to make a romance. These guys have a lot of depth and they develop so much throughout the course of the book. It felt real and for me that made the characters more relatable.

The secondary characters also have a life and depth of their own. They aren’t token characters and I loved them all as much as I love Simon and Dec. Simon’s assistant, Nyssa, his best friends Roger and Fran, as well as Dec’s best friends Abe and Lisa, all bring as much soul to the book as the MCs.

This is a great read for those that love a sports romance, I just love the fact that it has the Australian setting.

Micah Johnson Goes West by Sean Kennedy

Sean Kennedy - Micah Johnson Goes West CoverTitle:  Micah Johnson Goes West

Series: Get Out 02

Author: Sean Kennedy

Genre: Contemporary, Young adult, Sports

Length: Novel (186 pages)

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press (Dreamspinner Press) (4 April 2017)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: Micah Johnson is living two separate lives. On the field he’s making a name for himself as a rookie with the AFL football team the Fremantle Dockers—at just eighteen. But when he steps off the field, Micah is a mess: confused, away from home for the first time, and feeling isolated from family and friends three thousand kilometres away. The foster family he’s staying with is nice, but Micah isn’t ready to open up to them about what he’s going through. Distracting himself with hookups and partying seems like a good idea until a friend’s life is changed by misfortune and Micah’s own health is threatened by his behavior. Micah knows he has to make a change, that he can’t do it alone, and that maybe there’s no shame in reaching out to others. 

ISBN: 978-1-63533-364-0

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/micah-johnson-goes-west-by-sean-kennedy-8209-b

Reviewer:  Prime

Review: I’m just putting it out there – I love reading anything by Sean Kennedy and I especially love reading anything in the Tigers and Devils, and the related series Get Out (which this title is part of). However, something important to note is that the Get Out series needs to be read in order, starting with The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson. I will admit that I have a particular soft spot for this series because I love reading sports books with sportsmen who are out of the closet. The fact that this series, like Tigers and Devils, is set in Australia and as an Aussie this is just way too many levels of awesome.

Micah Johnson Goes West picks at where we left off. Micah was a troubled teen who was helped by a program run by an ex-football (AFL) player who was outed towards the end of his playing career (See Tigers and Devils, though not necessary to read to understand). He is mostly reformed but since being drafted into the AFL and having to move from Melbourne to Perth is difficult for him to cope. He tries not to depend on his now ex boyfriend as an anchor to sanity, but that only leads him down a path of self destruction once more until he gets to know his roommate/team foster family Sam and Dane. Micah is struggling as the first openly gay footy player but he is still on the path of “growing up” and becoming the football player he wants to be.

This book strikes me on a number of levels. 1) As I said, I’m Aussie and I love the fact there is stories being written about gay men in football, it’s something that we need in real life. 2) I totally relate to Micah’s difficulty in moving from Melbourne to Perth since I made the move in the opposite direction between Adelaide and Sydney for work. And 3) It reminds me of something cool that hasn’t been overly talked about (I wonder if it’s because it’s about 2 women and not 2 men, whatever). Ok, so a bit of back story, in Australia this year was the first year that the women’s AFL was played at a professional level. The Co-captain of the Adelaide Crows – who won the grand final just the other week – is a woman who started her professional career playing state and national level basketball. She also happens to have a wife, who she married in the States, and adorable twins who were pictured seated in the AFLW grand final trophy with their sporty mama.

One other thing I love about this book – it almost has a soundtrack, with the song by the Village People, Go West – although to me it is was the version by Pet Shop Boys which was popular during my childhood. The themes of the song, as stated by Micah’s ex, perfectly sum up the themes surrounding Micah’s life. I love the concept of books having soundtracks, although I often construct my own playlists and often use Foo Fighters, Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Pete Murray songs for romances.

So in short – this is one fantastically written and totally down to earth, coming of age in professional sport in the world of the Australian Football League. I love Sean Kennedy’s wit and humor and the development of the characters so far have me looking forward to more.

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy

OngoingReformationofMicahJohnson[The]LGTitle: The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson

Series:  N/A

Author:  Sean Kennedy

Genre: Young Adult/ Sports

Length: 190 pages

Publisher: Harmony Ink Press, Dreamspinner Press (7 April 2013)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts

Blurb: There is no Plan B.

After being outed in an especially brutal way and briefly running away from home, Micah Johnson has sworn to get his life back on the straight and narrow.  Well, not so much straight, but you know what he means.

Unfortunately the path to redemption is not an easy one.  With fights at school and on the football field and an all-round snarky attitude as his number one defense mechanism, will Micah survive the school year and the training camps to achieve his dream of making the national draft and becoming a professional AFL player?

His mentor, Declan Tyler, believes in him, but Micah wishes he had the same confidence in himself.  Only time will tell if the ongoing reformation of Micah Johnson will be successful.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-547-3

Product Link: https://www.harmonyinkpress.com/books/the-ongoing-reformation-of-micah-johnson-by-sean-kennedy-374-b

Reviewer: Prime

Review: The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson is an awesome book. I’m just going to state that fact outright. I will admit that part of the attraction of reading Sean Kennedy is that I love reading Australian authors, yet at the same time I also love his writing style. It is just so easy on the eye and easy on the brain to process.

Not only that, for me this book was refreshing because normally when I read sport/young adult MM novels, it’s sports that are generally not on my radar – i.e. gridiron, rowing and ice hockey, although I love those books too. Here we are in the world of Aussie Rules, AFL, football and I at least am familiar with the rules!

Although to be honest, I don’t like or follow AFL, does that mean my citizenship gets revoked?!

Anyway, before getting to the actual story, I think I will give a few warnings as there are themes here that are definitely not to the liking of everyone. 1) As I said, this one involves sports, 2) it is a young adult story, so no heavy sex, and 3) something which I know is important to a lot of people, this is not really a romance story, although there is the slightest hint of one.

However, none of this mattered to me in what shaped up to be a thoroughly enjoyable read.

The book is narrated by titular character, Micah Johnson. He’s a young guy – around 17/18 years old – who is basically trying to grow into his own skin. He had a difficult time coming out, as mentioned in the blurb. In his own words he is a reformed arsehole, though let’s face it. He’s still a bit of a sarcastic arse with a twisted sense of humour which I totally love and totally relate to.

Though things are looking up for him, he’s still having some issues at home and at school. But he has great parents and a cheeky younger brother, as well as some friends at school which include a straight guy, a lesbian and the new chick in school who happens to be bisexual. However, with life moving ahead – school finishing up and attending AFL draft camp (it’s here that there is a hint of romance on Micah’s horizon), things are busy and it’s up to Micah to stay reformed.

Readers and lovers of Sean Kennedy’s books Tigers and Devils and Tigerland may be excited to see the appearance of Dec and Simon who had previously battled the fickle world of AFL and being openly gay (seriously, something that the AFL really needs in real life!). Dec especially is there filling the role as mentor to Micah, as he prepares and works towards being drafted for the upcoming AFL season.

There is one bit that will only be funny to Australians and that’s one part where Micah is watching Family Feud on TV and he makes mention of the host’s small stature, something that is pretty common when it comes to Grant Denyer over here. I have been laughing for over an hour over the line:

“…“Excuse you, but I need to know the seven things one hundred Australians think are smaller than Grant Denyer. It’s a tough round.”…”

This is a really fun and uplifting book. Micah meets a number of interesting people along the way as we see him develop into a man through the course of the book. Do I see hints of an upcoming sequel at the end of the book? I sure hope so. I’ll glad go back into Micah’s world and see how things go for him professionally and personally and perhaps even romantically!

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy Guest Post & Excerpt!

Sean Kennedy - The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson Banner s

Hi guys, we have Sean Kennedy stopping by with his upcoming release The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson, we have a great guest post and a fantastic excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy!

Sean Kennedy - The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson Cover s

The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson

by

Sean Kennedy

There is no Plan B.

After being outed in an especially brutal way and briefly running away from home, Micah Johnson has sworn to get his life back on the straight and narrow.  Well, not so much straight, but you know what he means.

Unfortunately the path to redemption is not an easy one.  With fights at school and on the football field and an all-round snarky attitude as his number one defense mechanism, will Micah survive the school year and the training camps to achieve his dream of making the national draft and becoming a professional AFL player?

His mentor, Declan Tyler, believes in him, but Micah wishes he had the same confidence in himself.  Only time will tell if the ongoing reformation of Micah Johnson will be successful.

Release date: 7th April 2016

Continue reading “The Ongoing Reformation of Micah Johnson by Sean Kennedy Guest Post & Excerpt!”

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy ~ Audiobook

TigersAndDevilsAudLGTitle: Tigers and Devils, 2nd edition

Series: Tigers and Devils, #1

Author: Sean Kennedy

Narrator: Paul Morey

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Length: 15 hours and 50 minutes

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (03-07-13)

Heat Level: Mild

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Reviewer: Tams

Blurb: The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and Mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favour. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon’s support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press (March 2009)

Purchase Link: http://www.audible.com/search?advsearchKeywords=Tigers+and+Devils

Review: Simon and Roger have been best friends since they were twelve years old. A shared love of football has kept them thicker than thieves ever since, even though they pull for opposing teams. Simon came out to Roger when they were teenagers and he has lived an open life with his friends, family and co-workers since then. It’s never been exactly easy, but it’s who he is and how he feels he has to live his life, regardless. So when he secretly begins dating the hottest footballer on the planet, his best friend is less than thrilled.

From the first time, Declan saw Simon at a house party and Simon was defending his current stretch of bad luck on the field, Declan was smitten. He stole a kiss under the stars and the cover of trees that very night. But the thought of coming out makes Declan sick, he doesn’t know how the media, his adoring fans or his teammates would take to a gay footballer in their midst. But as time grows, Simon grows on him as well, and when a glory hound reporter gets his hands on photos of Simon and Declan kissing, all bets are off! Will Declan take the deal his team owner offers him? To brush it off and say Simon made a pass at him that he rebuffed. Or will he put his career he has worked his life for on the line to come out and be true not only to himself, but to the man he loves as well?

There were a lot of ups and down in this book, and the majority of the time, it seemed down. I did love the differing personalities of the two ML, and the way the secondary characters complemented them within the story. The story flowed well and to spite an overall slowness to the book as a whole, the pace remained steady. I might have skipped ahead a few times if it had been narrated by anyone other than Paul Morey. I would have liked a little more intimacy between Simon and Declan when they had sex, which aspect was always mostly glossed over. And the ending was anticlimactic for me.

All that being said, there was an opposites attract and have a way of bending each other aspect that I liked to the story. It started off well, but lost me somewhere toward the end. I think that someone who really likes football would enjoy this story more than I did. But hey, I got to listen to Paul Morey for fifteen hours! His narration added something to the experience for me that the story itself was lacking in the end.

** I received a copy of this audio book from Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review through MM Good Book Reviews **
http://www.mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com

Tigers and Devils by Sean Kennedy

Title: Tigers and Devils

Series: N/A

Author: Sean Kennedy

Genre: MM/Contemporary

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (reissued August 31, 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honor of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.

Like his entire family, Simon revels in living in Melbourne, the home of Australian Rules football and Mecca for serious fans. There, players are treated like gods—until they do something to fall out of public favor. This year, the public is taking Declan to task for suffering injuries outside his control, so Simon’s support is a bright spot.

But as Simon and Declan fumble toward a relationship, keeping Declan’s homosexuality a secret from well-meaning friends and an increasingly suspicious media becomes difficult. Nothing can stay hidden forever. Soon Declan will have to choose between the career he loves and the man he wants, and Simon has never been known to make things easy—for himself or for others.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3197

Reviewer: Thommie

Review: This is Simon’s story.  A story of how he managed to not only fall for a god, but also how that god fell for him; how they learned to be in a relationship facing the good times and the bad.

Simon is a football fan, a deeply caring friend and the man responsible of the triple F film festival. In addition, he is a man who hides all his feeling behind snarky comments and cocky attitude. Although he’s been out and proud for many years, Simon never really had a relationship, and that is something that is eating his soul. He misses that feeling he sees in his best friend’s eyes whenever he is with his wife. Despite the fact that loneliness is suffocating him, he still resists his friend’s attempts to take him with him on parties and social events. It is one such night, at one such party that Simon meets Declan, a known “god” in the football industry, while passionately defending him.

It seems surreal that Declan is attracted to Simon. How can he possibly want Simon, when Declan could have anyone at all? These little insecurities along with Declan’s need to hide his sexuality and keep their relationship hidden will come often to be thorns in between them. How can you hide something this major when one of you is a celebrity constantly on the eye of the paparazzi? After all, we all know, nothing remains hidden for long and when the bubble blows the pair will have to show a strong front to absorb the damage.

I loved this book a lot. Simon’s personality is one I found very charming.  I love the snarky guy that deep inside is just as scared as all of us, trying hard to make it through his emotions. I felt for him and the fact that his insecurities made him react in ways that made things even worse, helped even more. His fears, desires and passion are something I could well relate to. I also liked the fact that this story is narrated only by Simon’s point of view. That brought me even closer to him and when all his actions seemed unjustifiable to everybody else I had the inside glimpse to keep me on “Simon’s” side. It also made for a very good suspense during the break up times he and Declan had.

Speaking of, Declan was also a very likable character. His entire life as a celebrity and a role-model was brilliantly written. His fears realistic enough to make me want to shelter him from harm. His one obnoxious flaw had me pissed more than once, yet it was that one flaw that humanized him even more in my eyes. For me, Declan and Simon were perfect for each other and as soon as they learned how to be together, it was almost magic.

All in all, this was a very well written book, a romance on the sports field, and even if I have never seen or heard of Australian football I had a fun time reading it. The romance was absolutely fantastic, with all the highs and lows and the intensity to make you hold your breath at times. I missed the sexual action a bit, it would be nice if there was any, but hey, apparently we can’t have it all 😉 I recommend this one for anyone interested in a very realistic approach of the fan/celebrity fantasy.