#Review — Fair Catch (Players of LA) #2 by Leigh Carman + Giveaway
Title: Fair Catch
Series: Players of LA #2
Author: Leigh Carman
Publication Date: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Page Count: 200 Pages
One night of passion.
They never expected to see each other again.
They were wrong.
Tobias Bennett is a quiet and unassuming man who teaches yoga and enjoys parkour. Though he is proud to be gay, an abusive relationship with a domineering man has left Tobias wary of romance, and he keeps to himself in his tidy Los Angeles apartment.
Pro football player Sullivan Archer is Tobias’s complete opposite: loud, brash, fond of the spotlight… and deep in the closet. When a hamstring injury sends Van to Tobias as part of his therapy, neither of them is expecting to come face-to-face with his one-night stand. Now they’re stuck together throughout Van’s healing process, and the close proximity will force them to deal with some hard truths. For Tobias, it’s realizing his hookup is a celebrity. For Van, it means accepting that he likes Tobias more than he wanted. They’ll both have to acknowledge that if they choose to pursue a relationship, their lives will change in big ways.
*The Players of LA Series are standalones, but characters from each book to appear in subsequent novels. It is recommended to read in order to maximize the reading experience*
I was really looking forward to reading this book, especially since book one, Match Point, was a top pick for me in 2016. Unfortunately, Fair Catch didn't work for me. Maybe I was expecting the same intensity as the first book, the same passion and chemistry, setting the bar by previous works and I shouldn't have done that.
Van is a closeted football player who has a small fling with Toby one night at a bar, no names exchanged—just spit and spunk—and they go their separate ways. When Van gets injured and needs rehab, he ends up at Toby's yoga class, but he's quick to jump to conclusions—assuming it's a set-up.
Van needs rehab, but Toby turns his classes over to another member to avoid seeing Van, but he gets contracted to go to a client's house...Van.
From here, the story never developed for me. Van and Toby worked their problems out by going to bed and having sex. There were many times that confusion or miscommunication stood between the two—but they never discussed anything. The storyline turned into insta-love and I don't hide that this is my least favorite plot to read. Plus, Toby willing to change things he loves to do because Van doesn't like it. ...Uh-uh!
I love the slow-burn that develops between the main characters—the build-up of the romance—the tug and pull of their emotions over figuring out what they mean to each other... and that just wasn't part of the equation here. They didn't even go on a date—I know Van was in hiding—but they could still do something. They didn't even know each other's age and they are exchanging I love you's.
What I did enjoy, however, was Leo, Toby's best friend and his positive and steadfast friendship he insist they maintain—even though Toby tried his best to avoid and push Leo away. I hope he has his own book in the future because I would definitely read his story.
Now, I love sex as much as the next person, but it has to be important to the storyline. There were several "more important" issues that I felt were left out and filled in with sex, instead. I would like to have seen some of the reactions from the players after Van's announcement, for example.
I really wanted to hear more about Toby's ex and what came from that disaster and also the trauma that Toby suffered—at the hands of said ex—was really glossed over. I felt that should have, at the very least, been discussed between Toby and Van instead of having sex.
The writing, unfortunately, is choppy in places, time jumps with no warning, but the main thing for me...the main characters lack connection—there was no banter between them—no zing. I never felt pulled into the story.
Van's jealousy, Toby giving Van a pass for every mistake he made, neither of them having any serious conversations—about anything—never allowed me to get to know either character or get a feel for where they were coming from and why they felt the way they did. I had several issues, but we'll stop here.
However—with that said—the next book looks really good, and I will check it out, because just by the short prologue it looks like the intensity is back to what I was expecting after reading Match Point.
* I WAS PROVIDED A COPY OF THIS BOOK IN EXCHANGE FOR AN HONEST REVIEW *
Meet the Author
Leigh Carman was born and raised in New England with all of its fall foliage and winter snow. She escaped to the South, where she currently lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.
She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate—everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count), and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.
Leigh also writes M/F dark romance under the name Heather C. Leigh. She also loves exploring the underbelly of fame and the crushing weight of those under the microscope 24/7.