My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’ve spoilered the beta read background to my review thoughts for those who aren’t bothered.
***SPOILER BUT NOT REALLY***
When Beth sent me the beta read Word Doc for this book I started reading it thinking I’d just get a few chapters in and then come back to it later.
Yeah, that didn’t happen. I read it all in one go and my only comment back to her was:
Honestly, I have no comments. Okay, there’s a couple on the Doc but they’re more along the lines of OMG I love this, Me Too Spencer, and I want more 😀
So you can imagine how I feel about this book.
We first met Spencer in Chase and Tate’s Food Truck Warriors book Hit the Brakes when he wasn’t particularly nice at all.
Here, we find out why he’s got a reputation as an absolute arse both on and off the field.
As the NFL’s first out player, he’s spent nine years at a team filled with homophobia and bigotry trying to be the most masculine defensive player on the field without any support in the locker room.
When I started this book, I honestly did not expect to love Spencer the way I did. I knew there would be more to his story because Beth writes characters who live in the imagination as fully fleshed out people with flaws.
But the pain this guy has had to live with, not only in his isolation at what should be a second family for him – the changing room of his professional team – but also in suppressing every part of his personality which doesn’t fit into his outwardly projected self, killed me.
Alec though, I knew I loved Alec from the off because he’s been there in the background of so many of Beth’s footie and foodie stories as the out agent for a number of big name sports personalities.
When you find out just how long these two have been dancing around each other, and how long they’ve been in love without ever acting on it, I swear your heart will break just like mine did.
Through the clever use of limited flashbacks, we get to see every time Spencer and Alec met and how they came so close but let their fears or outside pressure stop them from connecting.
The opening Prologue of this book is a harsh look at the pressures of professional sport and while a few players are out, they’re still pretty much unicorns in arenas which are filled with unaccepting minorities who are very vocal about their disdain.
The love between Spencer and Alec is a beautiful thing, seeing how the two work together to not only get Spencer away from the toxicity of his pro team, but also in how Alec gets him to open up and actually explore and discover who he is as a gay man, will bring tears unless you’ve got a heart of stone.
It’s no secret that Colin O’Connor and his love Nick from Beth’s The Rainbow Clause are my absolute favourite couple of hers, but I have to tell you, Spencer and Alec pushed them all the way here.
This book is a wonderful addition to the Riptide catalogue.
Oh, and don’t miss out on the Bonus Scene (via Book Funnel sign up for Beth’s newsletter) because it will simultaneously make your eyes leaky and set fire to your undies as Spencer and Alec show why their utterly perfect for each other in the bedroom 🔥🔥🔥🤪❤🔥🔥🔥
#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review