Even though this story is a work of fiction, the author handles the subject matter with such a sense of realism and depth of character that you will find yourself completely empathetic to Ben, Henry, and their burgeoning relationship. Even those who are not sports enthusiasts will understand the gravity of being an athlete who identifies as anything other than straight, and the importance of continuing to do what you love, while finding a new kind of love for yourself. This story is refreshingly absent of the tropes that seem to plague most stories of fictional romance, instead focusing on the issues that can arise from entering into what is, at the onset, a fake relationship, only to have genuine feelings develop along the way. Readers will be intrigued, anxious, but above all hopeful that Ben and Henry can navigate through the inevitable complications that they will face, and ultimately attain the happy ending they both deserve.
This author is exceptional at relaying multi-person character development to the reader from one POV character. There are no drawn out scenes of over-description that seem more appropriate for speed dating instead of storytelling. Instead, the reader is immersed into the story through the use of literary devices that develop organically from within each scene. For example, a misunderstanding arises from an overheard conversation, rather than a blatant argument between two characters. The author also excels at creating conflict without damaging the integrity of the characters in question. Instead of ‘character assassination’, there are situations in which the reader will recognize the necessity for action, even if the immediate results appear negative.
Overall, I cannot recommend this story enough. There is romance, humor, heartache, and happiness…each element coming together like a puzzle you can’t wait to complete.