Tag Archives: College Football

Tal turns his hand to college age sports and knocks it out of the park

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The Jock by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I don’t know how he does it but it seems whatever he turns his hand to, Tal Bauer can produce a masterpiece of emotional turmoil which just ticks all my boxes and makes me happily raging!

This book sees him visiting college with a new age (21) pairing who really shouldn’t, on paper, have anything in common to connect them, other than their sexuality.

But from the moment Wes and Justin meet in Paris (my absolute favourite city, so this was a joy!) it’s obvious there is the potential for something special.

The thing which struck me most about this book is just how nailed on Tal gives the reader the unbelievable – and quite wrong – amount of pressure Wes is under as a closeted American Football college star with NFL prospects.

His coach piles it on, not maliciously, but it makes him live his life hiding a huge part until Paris and Justin. For the first time Wes meets someone he’d be willing to give it all up for.

Their romance is beautiful in its simplicity and its honesty, they fall fast and hard for each other but they’re also aware of the wider repercussions. At first Wes is willing to stay in the closet, and Justin is willing to live in the shadows.

***SPOILER***

But after the Coach’s responsibility speech, Wes worries about the threat of turmoil, exposure and potential danger to Justin if he comes out and he ends things.

This part of the book broke my heart as each of them suffers from the pain of losing the person you know you want to spend the rest of your life with.

There’s all kinds of sorrow and it’s intrinsically entwined with Wes’ college team’s success on the field, they’re storming their championship and scouts are calling for more than just Wes when it all comes crashing down.

And, at this point, speaking as an ex-journalist, can I just say how much I utterly despise scandal sheet reporting.

***END***

I’ve said in the past how much Tal’s books make me go OMG, so while I was expecting this book would be no different, I have to say I wasn’t prepared for the gut punch I felt when that moment happened.

It’s brutal and, sadly, all too common still even in this day. Wes’ life is upended and the consequences of him falling in love seem to be beyond repair.

However, as this is a Tal book, he somehow manages to draw all the broken pieces back together in a way which isn’t just relatable, but which feels honest and inevitable. The final few chapters are a hard fought for victory which makes it all the sweeter.

I’d have loved an Epilogue a few years down the line but, even though these two young men are only 21, their commitment and love is fixed so deep that you know it will last any challenges it faces.

Definitely one of my favourite books from Tal.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Show Me by Neve Wilder

Show Me | Neve Wilder

Extracurricular Activities #3

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Release Date: March 23rd, 2021

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Blurb

Two roommates. One camera. A whole lot of action. 

I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies.

And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring.

Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.

But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible.

Time to live it up and go out with a bang.

Or a lot of bangs.

And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone.

Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large… smile I caught a glimpse of once.

Or several times.

That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.

And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.

We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?

From the author of Want Me comes the third new adult college romance in the Extracurricular Activities series. Expect low angst, high heat, plenty of laughs, a flustered redhead, a gentle giant of a football player, and enough BDE to power a mid-size city.

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Excerpt

Mark glanced over his shoulder and waved to the approaching Adonis before turning back to me. “I worked with John this summer. Want me to introduce you? He’s awesome.”

“Fuck yes,” I hissed in a tone that I hoped was not too desperate. Nate’s amused glance suggested it was. Easy for him to be smug, though, with his own personal sexual Svengali sitting at his side.

Mark made introductions, and John took the seat next to me when Mark got up. Turned out he was a third-year law student, which ticked one more of my boxes. He wasn’t too big, wasn’t too small. Wasn’t too arrogant or shy either, and he had a nice, easy laugh.

“So you’re a third-year, huh?” I said. “Do you think you’ll join the law firm where you and Mark are interning… What’s it called?”

“Preston, Beasley, and Waring.” John smiled. “I hope so. That’s the plan.”

Sam snapped his fingers suddenly and pointed at John, startling me. “I just figured out who you are!” He said it like he was about to pull John’s face off, Scooby-Doo-style, and reveal him to be the crooked innkeeper haunting the overdecorated estate. “You’re a Sigma Alpha. Class of…” Sam squinted. “2014. No…2012.”

“I am, indeed.” John grinned. “Good call.”

They proceeded to exchange their stupid frat handshake.

“I’ve been playing a lot of pool recently. I thought your face was familiar,” Sam said.

“Ahh yeah. I spent many hours in that library. So they’ve still got all the class portraits on the wall?”

“Yep. You need to come by again soon.”

“I should. It’s been a while.”

They toasted each other, instant chums, and a prickle of jealousy ran through me. I supposed that was one benefit of being a frat rat.

“Have you ever really looked at the portrait of class of ’68?” John’s brow lifted in a mischievous arch, one that was supposed to result from me saying something witty.

Sam busted up laughing. “Yes! Every single one of them have the same exact mustache. It’s hilarious.”

I folded my arms over my chest and stared meaningfully at Sam. Wingman, my ass. “Should we switch seats so it’ll be easier for you two to talk?”

“Nah.” Sam grinned cheerily at me. “We’re good.” He turned his attention back to John. “So…wait, were you also the class that nailed all of the chapter room chairs to the ceiling?”

This was fine. I totally enjoyed being a net over which conversation was volleyed back and forth.

John grinned. “Guilty.”

“Oh man, that was awesome.”

They droned on while I moved on to a mojito, and finally Sam wandered off and it was just me and John again.

Go time. I fixed him with my most winsome smile. “So I imagine you must spend a lot of time at the firm, then. Mark makes it sound pretty cutthroat.” I tilted my head to show I was invested in his response and angled slightly toward him to demonstrate I was interested in him as a person. People skills. I had them.

“It’s competitive, yeah, but not all the bad. There are plenty of late nights, though, and more ahead.” John then launched into a good three-minute soliloquy about the cases he was working on and some of the complexities of employment law until my eyes started glazing over.

That was okay, though. I wasn’t trying to marry him or anything, just see what he had on under those khakis. Probably boxer briefs, if I had to guess. Probably a decently sized cock that he used decently in bed. Both were totally acceptable for a night or two of fun.

“Hopefully some of those are the fun kind of late nights?” I gave him a slow once-over, and the corner of his mouth quirked. “Do you have anyone who brings you dinner up there?” The twinkle in his eyes suggested he enjoyed my lack of subtlety. Hook, line, and sinker. Now I just had to get him in my metaphorical bucket. Or, more likely, his literal car, since I hadn’t driven. Hopefully he had. Otherwise maybe there was somewhere on the premises we could—

“Jesse’s a great cook. Er, chef.” I gave Sam a flat stare that he failed to properly interpret. He cocked his head, wrinkling his nose in thought. “Chef? Or cook? Whatever. His food’s good.” He handed John another beer and then passed me something peach colored.

“What’s this?”

“Bellini. Isn’t that what you were drinking? It looked similar.”

That hadn’t been the question I was actually asking, but in my confusion over being brought a drink in the first place, I answered, “It was a peach mojito.”

“Oh, well, hang on.” He snatched the Bellini back.

“Wait—” I blurted, but he’d already set off toward the bar again.

John and I watched as he navigated the crowd.

“He seems nice. Roommate, yeah?” John asked, and I could tell by the way he was studying Sam’s ass exactly what calculations were taking place.

I settled back in my chair and laced my fingers over my belt. Fuck me, it was hard being a nice guy sometimes. Too hard. I opened my mouth to pick up our earlier conversation, but my brain-mouth connection malfunctioned. “If you dare him to suck your dick, he’ll probably do it, because he’s pretty competitive. But he’s otherwise straight. On the other hand, I don’t require dares. I’ll suck a dick because I enjoy it. And Sam’s correct. I’m a really good cook. I’m even better at sucking cock.”

John choked on a mouthful of beer. “Was not expecting that. Alrighty, then.”

I handed him a napkin. “You learn all sorts of fascinating things living in a house with four other guys,” I offered chastely.

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About The Author

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Neve Wilder lives in the southern United States, where the summers are hot and the winters are…sometimes cold.

She reads promiscuously, across multiple genres, but her favorite stories always contain an element of romance. Incidentally, this is also what she likes to write. Slow-burners with delicious tension? Yes. Whiplash-inducing page-turners, also yes. And every flavor in between.

She believes that love conquers all. Except the heat index in July. Nothing can conquer that bastard.

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Giveaway

To celebrate Neve’s New Release, we are giving away 3 e-copies of Show Me

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Best one yet – oozing with sexual chemistry and loads of emotion

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My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Best one yet!

That was an absolutely stunning example of a sexual awakening romance with all the steam and all the feels Neve is so skilled at.

I absolutely adored Jesse and Sam and loved everything about way this narrative unfolded.

It begins with an accidental moment that sets off a chain of events which I could totally buy into.

Jesse’s attraction to Sam is built as much out of him being a nice guy as it his epic football player physique and Sam’s not missed how much he enjoys spending time with his housemate either.

The things they get up to are insanely hot, but the feels are all there, “hiding in plain sight” from the off too.

There’s very little drama, the only real tension point doesn’t even come from either of them and I seriously appreciated the lack of Sam angsting over his attraction to Jesse.

What starts out as a means to help Sam gain some savings with his NSFW project quickly turns into so much more.

The Epilogue is utterly delightful and explosively steamy.

I could have read another 80,000 words of these two exploring different ways to get off while full on loving each other with all the swoony boyfriend feels you’d ever want 😁

There are also guest appearances from all the previous characters, snarky jokes and sharp dialogue and Ansel still being as utterly mysterious as in the first two books.

Maybe his story after Cam gets a happy ending please Neve?!

#ARC kindly received from the author via GayRomanceTours in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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