Canning the Center, book #2 in the Long Pass Chronicles, by Tara Lain has become my favorite so far. Of course, this is only the 2nd book into the series but there are so many good things going on in this story. I’ve been a fan of Tara Lain for quite some time and I’m always thrilled when she has new release. She writes with so much passion and she is not afraid to allow her characters to feel love or express their love. Her writing style is smooth and effortlessly, or so it seems to me, the reader.
I don’t think it is mandatory to read the first book in order to enjoy this one. However, with that said, Noah and Will, from book 1 play a pretty big role in this story. They are friends with Jamal and they want the best for him and they want to help him find his happy ever after just like they did. So…
Jamal is now playing for the NFL and since he is bi-sexual, he decides it’s best to continue dating girls. His family knows all about his sexuality and are super supportive of him. They are also very close and want the best for him but Jamal knows his father is not very pleased with him remaining in the closet. Until he gets a little more situated in his new career, he wants to keep some things private. Especially if some of the rumors around the locker room are true.
He has been training hard and has had no personal time so when Will, his best friend comes to sweep him away to a nightclub, he is more than ready to go. Noah and Will have a little surprise up their sleeve for their buddy. Turns out the nightclub is having Drag Queen night and wow, when she walks out on the stage Jamal is completely smitten. She is the most beautiful thing he has ever seen.
Trixie LaRue, aka, Trevor Landry is kind of an enigma. She performs as a drag queen in order to put herself through college. She/he was kicked to the curb by his mother when his sexuality became known and he hasn’t seen her since. Trevor is super smart and doesn’t need the classes he’s taking at school. He is genius that he downplays to others. He just wants to get his education, live his life, and no fuss no muss. He is also a very private person with trust issues. He doesn’t share either aspect of his life with anyone.
Coming out onto the stage to perform he sees Jamal and immediately takes notice. He’s tall, dark, and handsome. Everything Trevor loves and wants in a man. IF he dated, which he doesn’t.
Jamal leaves the first night but can’t get Trixie out of his mind. He decides to show up one more time, by himself, just to see if, by chance, she may be performing. When he finds out she is, he takes his chance to introduce himself. She is going to be one tough cookie because she has no qualms in letting him know she is not interested. She doesn’t date nor is she going to start. Of course, these are things she tells herself as well but she really wants to see what this guy could offer.
From here, the story really takes off and will keep you consumed until the end. If Jamal plays his cards, right he may just turn out to be someone Trixie could really like. Someone also he could begin to trust and tell his secrets too. Trevor would love to find someone who accepts him for himself and as Trixie. For Jamal, it’s the perfect partner. He could still be seen with Trixie in public and his teammates would think he was dating a girl but as Trevor, he will have the man that he wants. How much better could it be?
As things begin to get heated between the two, misunderstandings will happen, and honesty and trust will become a major factor in their relationship. If they plan to have one, and they do. They may not tell the other but they both want the same thing. Hopefully, Jamal will come to his senses and put his true feelings out in the open. What started out as fun and games in the beginning will soon turn into heartache and despair as they both try to do right by the other.
This is such an enjoyable, gratifying story. There is humor and laugh out loud moments that will keep a smile on your face. But, with laughter sometimes come tears and many will be shed as they try to figure out what is most important to each of them. Will they realize they are stronger and better as a team? Will Jamar’s dreams finally come true where he has everything he wants?
Only reading this amazing story will give you those answers. As I said above, there is a lot of goodness in this story. The originality of the storyline along with Ms. Lain’s unique writing style will certainly leave you with a smile. I would definitely recommend Canning the Center, and Outing the Quarterback, to anyone who loves romance, passion, laughter, great sex, and a true feel good story.