Short stories from the DSP 2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play (PART 5)

The Daily Dose from Dreamspinner Press is a collection of themed short stories  released every day in June. The 2013 theme is sport.

Nothing fires the blood like a little friendly competition. Anything from a meeting of the minds to full-body contact, these men are making a play. There are no losers in the game of love.

The stories in this review include:

  • Prize Package by Kyle Adams
  • Press Start to Play by Brianna Lawrence
  • Protection by John Amory
  • Riding the Board by Cate Ashwood
  • Sage Advice by Susan Laine
  • The Magic Broom by Teegan Loy

Prize Package (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Prize Package by Kyle Adams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

When Jason Smith wins a contest he doesn’t remember entering, he earns a visit with The MeatGrinder, aka Trent Peterson. Trent expected a rabid fan; instead, he gets Jason, who knows nothing about wrestling, doesn’t care about the prizes, and would prefer to skip the official wrestling demo, please. Trent should be annoyed, but by the end of the day, Trent knows he wants more than one day with Jason. Now he just has to convince Jason that Trent is more than his alter ego.

So what did I think?

Brilliantly witty! Absolutely loved this story! Loved the characters, loved the plot and adored the humour.

Jason, who knows absolutely nothing about wrestling (just like me!), wins a contest consisting of a full day spent with The MeatGrinder, a wrestling star. Turn out Jason knew and crushed on The MeatGrinder back in school, back when The MeatGrinder was plain-old Trent and before he become famous. Jason, is also not the same guy he was in school, with improved looks he has also lost his shyness.

Prize Package had me laughing out loud on nearly every page. The comments made by Jason were brilliantly witty. He was definitely the star of this story!

Favourite line…..Jason in response to The MeatGrinder (Trent) flexing his pecs…“Oh my, you big stud, your dancing boobs have enchanted me with your hypnotic sexual magnitudeness.”…that basically sums it up!

5 Stars

Press Start to Play by Brianna Lawrence

Protection (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Protection by John Amory

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Jamie is an anomaly in the shooting world: a relative newcomer who became a leading contender overnight. He’s representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics, and people are drawn to him both for his marksmenship and the past he refuses to divulge. During his downtime in London, Jamie visits a gay bar and meets a chipper young man named Ben. Despite Ben’s heartfelt offer of succor, Jamie’s mounting nerves over the Games and his scars from the past threaten the new relationship before the night even begins.

So what did I think?

This was short and sweet. What could have just been a casual hook up has the potential for so much more as Ben sees beneath Jamie’s exterior and recognises the sadness within.

After a night together, Jamie seems to have more hope “Your eyes. There isn’t as much sadness as before.” and he obviously has developed a trust in Ben, able to share the details of ‘The Incident’ which led him to take up shooting as a sport.

There is a cute HFN ending as Ben sends Jamie breakfast and a sweet note.

4 Stars

Riding the Board (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Riding the Board by Cate Ashwood

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The blurb…

Blake Emmerich arrives at practice, already apprehensive, to meet his new synchronized diving partner. When he sees Nick Freeman, Blake doesn’t feel confident about their chances. The day begins with Nick pushing Blake off the ten meter and ends with their coach cuffing them together to force them to deal with each other like the adults they’re supposed to be. Synchronized diving is about trust—how can you trust someone you can’t stand, no matter how hot you think they are?

So what did I think?

This was a interesting take on the enemies-to-lovers theme in the world of synchronized diving, not that Nick and Blake were truly enemies, it was more a case of Blake not really knowing or understanding Nick.

Their coach has a very interesting approach to getting them to work together which has some very interesting results for the men! The cuffs force them to spend every minute together and it becomes very difficult for them to deny how they feel about each other.

“He had thought he would barely make it through the week without killing Nick and now he was reluctant for it to end.”

It was a nice short story. 3.5 stars.
4 Stars

Sage Advice (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)Sage Advice by Susan Laine

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Piper is a ballet dancer who has lost his footing—literally. Now his dreams are shot and he’s depressed enough that his best friend, Sage, lures him into a night of drinking and games. Except the game is truth or dare, and they end up doing less drinking and more confessing. Hidden secrets spill out and brazen acts draw the two men closer as they discover what really matters: if they’re winners or losers in the game of love.

So what did I think?

Very short and sweet friends-to-lovers story. A game of Truth or Dare provides opportunity for Piper and Sage (interesting names!) to reveal some interesting truths. Of course, they love each other and this is revealed but I also liked the reveal of the issues that Piper was facing. Piper is going through a really emotional period in his life impacting his career as a ballet dancer. The depth of Sage’s feelings are really shown in his ability to see something is wrong with his friend and his understanding.
3 Stars

The Magic Broom (2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play)The Magic Broom by Teegan Loy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

With the winter Olympics on the horizon, Cody Mikkelson’s editor assigns him several stories about athletes in the area with gold medal aspirations. But there’s a catch: Cody has to try all the sports when he interviews the athletes—and he is so not an athlete.

The day before his torment begins, four new guys move into the apartment down the hall, including the handsome Shane Spicer. Cody is immediately desperate to figure out if Shane is gay, but both men have busy schedules, leaving little time to socialize. So Cody heads back to work and goes to interview the local curling team, where among brooms, laughter, a sore backside, and an unexpected meeting, Cody finds he just might get his chance after all.

So what did I think?

I loved this book purely for the humour element. It was laugh aloud kind of stuff. Following Cody from one winter sporting event to the next was hilarious!

Here are some of my favourite bits – don’t read further if you think it will ruin your enjoyment of the story!

“The amount of work she put into her sport was either amazing or incredibly stupid, considering the only time anyone knew this sport even existed was for the two weeks when the Olympics were on television.”

“The next moment he was down on the ice with his face pressed against the cage of his helmet. That should be an interesting bruise. Someone would probably think he fell asleep with a waffle stuck to his face.”

“Cody knew what he would be thinking about, and it certainly wouldn’t be steering some sled down a giant slide made of ice. He’d crash on the first turn and probably break his dick or shatter his balls.”

I didn’t need the romance to enjoy this book although I enjoyed seeing Cody, even with his broken gaydar, finally get together with Shane.
“In my mind, I’ve already won the gold medal.”
“Me too,” Cody said. “And I suck at sports.”

5 Stars

Buy a book from the series from Amazon. (Select the 2013 Daily Dose: Make a Play link)

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