Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Book review - Man On by Liz Crowe (m/m romance) 4 stars

Man On by Liz Crowe
M/M romance 
4/5 stars 


Bad boy of European football, Nicolas Garza is about to hit American shores with a vengeance. Signed by the Detroit Black Jack Gentlemen as lynch pin for their expansion club, Nicco only half believes he’s making the right move. But with a past full of ghosts and rotten behavior chasing him from his homeland, he has no real choice.

Parker Rollings is a college soccer superstar, but his parents’ plans for their only son do not include professional athletics. When the Black Jacks approach him to finalize their roster, Parker leaps at the chance to keep playing, leaving behind medical school, stability and his first and only college sweetheart.

Nicco and Parker face off as bitter rivals for a coveted starting spot at midfield and are forced to channel their negative energy into something positive for the sake of the group—and themselves.

All eyes are on the fledgling team in its debut season. It’s crucial that the Black Jacks prove all the doubters wrong. They must make a good showing in the league and with new fans. But player drama, club dynamics, and misplaced priorities may tear it apart before it even begins.

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Man On is the first book in a new series called The Black Jack Gentlemen, which is based around a new Detroit soccer team.  This particular book is m/m, but I believe some of the other books are m/f, so it's nice to have a variety of stories in a series.  I am a big soccer (or football as it's called here in the UK) fan, so I was excited to discover this series as I don't think I've read a romance novel about this sport before.  I was happy with the sport to romance ratio, I think the author got this about right to please both both fans and non-fans of soccer.  This was an enjoyable read and a great start to a series.

Nicco is the bad boy of European soccer and his antics have meant he is no longer welcome at most top clubs, so he makes the trip to the U.S. to join a new club as their star signing.  Parker is a soccer college star who dreams of going pro, but is being pushed by his parents to go to medical school. Following his heart, he joins the Black Jack Gentlemen and has to fight Nicco for a starting place.  They are attracted to each other, but both deny their feelings because any relationship between them would be forbidden.  As professional sports stars and gay/bisexual men, they have to carefully balance their professional lives with their personal lives. It is notoriously difficult for gay professional athletes to come out, and this is dealt with in this book.

I found Nicco quite difficult to like to be honest. He is very troubled, is a sex addict and extremely arrogant. He also seemed to sleep with nearly everyone he met! I eventually grew to like him, but nowhere near as much as I liked Parker.  He is a sweet character, yet also managed to be very sexy.  The chemistry between these two was good, and led to some hot scenes. On a slightly negative note I felt that parts of this story were rushed or skipped over, I would have preferred it to be longer and fleshed out a little .  I still enjoyed this book though, it is a nice, easy read.  Man On gets four out of five stars.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

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