Monday, January 30, 2017

Up and Coming (Coastal Football Book 1) by Andrea Dalling

Title: Up and Coming (Coastal Football book 1)
Author: Andrea Dalling
Genre: Sports
Length: 192 pages
Buy/read on KU at Amazon

An unexpected love could cost him his dreams.

Emmett Cross doesn't have time to date. A college quarterback on a path to turning pro, he can't afford distractions, especially with the academic challenges he faces. When he's blindsided by a growing attraction to his friend Jake, he fights it—rumors that he's bisexual could wreck his draft prospects. But he can't stop thinking about the cute blond twink with the warm heart and gentle smile.

Biochem major Jake Schott has had a straight-boy crush on Emmett since freshman year. Emmett's cool logic is the perfect complement to Jake’s sensitive nature. He’s sure nothing can come of his longing—until a scorching kiss turns desire into hope. Although the tall, sexy athlete with the trim waist and thick biceps denies that there’s a chance for them, his lustful looks and stolen touches tell a different story. Passion ignites between them, but Emmett insists on hiding the relationship.

When their secret threatens to come out, will Emmett give up Jake to protect his career? Or will he risk everything for love?

This steamy friends-to-lovers, out-for-you romance is a standalone novel with an HEA ending and no cliffhanger.


This one was a mixed bag.

What I liked: the premise. Football player falls hard for another man, coming to realize he's bisexual, and trying to make it work, in spite of the issues related to football and inside his own head. (Not to erase the bisexuality, but he's written to be pretty fixated on only one woman in the time he was with her, and only one man in this book, so he's reading demisexual to me, but if Emmett says he's bi, he's bi.) And his love interest Jake has a lot more going on than just getting together with Emmett: he's headed to a career in a scientific field where he could make a huge difference in people's lives. I also liked having an interracial couple where that wasn't the big conflict. And the sex scenes. Emmett was in new territory, and wanted to explore all of it, not just rush to the big penetration scene.

What I had issues with: the execution.

Present tense is a pet peeve of mine, some people like it, but it makes me work harder to stay in the story. Then I notice other stuff more, like how two main characters from wildly different backgrounds sound enough alike that I had to scroll up to see whose head we were supposed to be in sometimes.

Once great scene where this was absolutely not a problem was Emmett's interview. He had no trouble giving the interviewer some shit, in a voice all his own. I would have liked more of that.

These two took not talking about things to new heights, so things that could have brought them together, like Emmett's reasons for working double hard in classes, were side issues to the get together break up get together break up cycle that repeated a few times too many for my tastes.(I think there were 4. Pulease.)

A few other issues, like Jake's parents, seemed like window dressing and not anything really to do with the story, although they affect Jake quite a lot, and an English major like Emmett might have some practical questions, but those didn't really get asked. Neither did anything resembling "What about a future that doesn't include getting drafted to the pros?" Because a football player is always one injury away from retirement, even if he's the best ever. Yeah, it's a fantasy, but there are some bits of reality that are baked in to the career.

I can deal with the solve the current set of problems, skip ahead to the big happy for the ending. But I was really frustrated with this book, because I wanted to like it so badly, and it was pretty close to a DNF. If the next one is teammate Waseem's story, I'll read it, because he's a good guy and should be happy.

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