Reviewed by Dan
TITLE: False Start
SERIES: Eastshore Tigers #2
AUTHOR: Alison Hendricks
LENGTH: 206 Pages
RELEASE DATE: May 25, 2016
The heat between them is impossible to ignore. But can they ever be anything more than rivals?
Dante Mills has one more year to prove he can hack it in the NFL. If he can’t score attention from the scouts this season, he’ll never be able to give his hard-working mom the life she deserves. The last thing he needs is more competition, but that’s exactly what he gets when blond-haired, blue-eyed behemoth Mitchell Erickson walks into the locker room.
Mitchell Erickson has one year to prove he belongs on a football field. He’s spent his whole life struggling to find acceptance in his family, and now his father’s finally giving him the chance to follow his passion… for one season. If he doesn’t bring the Tigers to victory, it’s back to upholding the Erickson legacy in a suit and tie. But how can he possibly succeed when someone as talented as Dante stands between him and a starting position?
As if the tension between them wasn’t high enough, Mitch is insanely attracted to the very straight linebacker. As the season ramps up and both men fight for their place on the team, a heated locker room encounter leaves Dante questioning everything he thought he knew about himself.
When Dante and Mitch work together, they’re unstoppable. But can two men destined to be rivals ever be anything more?
False Start is a steamy, standalone gay romance novel with a HEA and no cliffhanger.
I was super happy to see another story involving the Eastshore Tigers, the college football team that Alison Hendricks created in the first book of this series, Strong Side, which I read and reviewed earlier this year.
In False Start, we are again back at Eastshore College and reading about its football team, the Tigers. This time the characters from the first book, Jason Hawkins and Derek Griffin, have graduated, moved off to California and are living their happily ever after. In this second story the focus shifts over to those characters’ close friend, Dante Mills. Dante is now a senior, a linebacker, and hoping to be drafted by the NFL after the season so that he can help his mother out financially and enable her to stop working two jobs just to get by. His father died years ago, and it has just been him and his mom.
But a new linebacker has arrived. Mitchell Erickson is the son of a blue blood Connecticut family. His father is an opinionated, prejudiced, and quite thoroughly vile individual. It was funny, I’m writing this review the day after after watching the latest Game of Thrones episode, where Sam went home and his father was vile to him. Reading this book today, I put that characters face to the father in this book, since they were both so awful to their sons. If you aren’t a GOT fan, just ignore that reference. Mitch’s father thinks that Mitch can’t do anything right, and that he needs to get over this football fad and go to Yale, get married (even though he is gay), and settle down in his father’s company. Mitch has made a deal that he gets one year at Eastshore to prove himself and then he will go to Yale if he isn’t successful with the football team.
Trouble brews at the very first team practice when the coach announces that the best players will start for the Tigers, with no preference given to the players who’ve played previous years. Dante is furious. He needs to start to earn that coveted spot with the NFL. But Mitch is really good. They start butting heads immediately, literally…when Dante throws Mitch up against a locker and their animosity only continues to grow. But neither man can ignore, or forget, that Mitch instantly popped a boner when Dante manhandled him!
What will happen when they are arguing again and Dante kisses Mitch? Dante is straight. His best friends are gay, but he has never even considered that he might not be straight. He is around naked men all the time, and nothing, but there is something about this huge linebacker from New England.
I liked the story. It moved along quite fast, and the characters were very believable. I really liked how they dealt with, or didn’t deal with in some cases, problems as they arose. Denial, distrust, and family drama each played a large part in the story. A financially strapped black young man from Florida and an ultra-wealthy white young man from Connecticut might sound like total opposites, and are they ever. Is there hope for them? You’ll have to read it to find out.
I really liked this one, and I’m recommending it. It really is a standalone. You have no need to read Strong Side before you read this one, but I recommend you read them both, in whichever order, because I really enjoyed them both. Meanwhile….I’ll be here waiting for the next installment!