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★★★★★ Superhero by Eli Easton ★★★★★

Such a beautiful coming of age story with a perfect blend of emotional and sexual awakening. Happy, sad, warm, funny, special…

SuperheroSuperhero by Eli Easton

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

It’s not easy for a young gay artist like Jordan Carson to grow up in Jefferson, Wisconsin, where all anyone seems to care about in middle school and high school are the sports teams. But Jordan was lucky. He met Owen Nelson in the second grade, and they’ve been BFFs ever since. Owen is a big, beautiful blond and their school’s champion wrestler. No one messes with Owen, or with anyone close to him, and he bucks popular opinion by keeping Jordan as his wingman even after Jordan comes out at school.

Their friendship survives, but Jordan’s worst enemy may be himself: he can’t seem to help the fact that he is head-over-heels in love with a hopeless case—his straight friend, Owen. Owen won’t let anything take Jordan’s friendship away, but he never counted on Jordan running off to find a life of his own. Owen will have to face the nature of their relationship if he’s to win Jordan back.

So what did I think?

Such a beautiful coming of age story with a perfect blend of emotional and sexual awakening. Happy, sad, warm, funny, special…

What makes this book perfect are the characters, both of whom I just adored. It was wonderful to see the friendship grow between Jordan and Owen from the time they bond in the playground, starting a life-long friendship and this friendship develop into love.

Told in alternating POVs, we get insight into both boys/young men and a real sense of their thoughts and feelings. For Jordan it is very much about his love for Owen and the heartache he faces knowing friendship is all they will have. For Owen it is about his confused feelings and struggle to be the son his parents want.

I liked the way the story was told, with Owen always knowing that Jordan is gay and standing by his friend. He doesn’t let Jordan’s sexuality stand in the way of or change their friendship. This continues from the time of Jordan’s first admission to him (after a wrestle/kiss in the pool at age twelve) to Jordan’s final coming out at school when Owen’s sporting buddies pressure him about his friendship with a gay guy.

Sex plays a role, particularly as Jordan lusts after Owen, deeply attracted but knowing (well, thinking really) that Owen is straight. An “accidental” fumble in the pool when they are young, is still something Jordan thinks about years later… “I’d spun that one kiss in the pool into so many variations I could probably claim a Guinness World Record for Most Exhausted Fantasy.”. But it is one encounter much later that really sets the ball rolling for changing their lives.

The story is an emotional roller coaster from hilarious one minute,“Holy sexual paradise, Batman, I was so fucking glad I was gay!” to weepy, within the space of a paragraph or two! “The reality sunk in. I would never had Owen like that again. An intense, burning pain spread through my chest. It was so strong it took my breath away.
“It hurts,” I whispered.
“I’m sorry, Jordan.” He hugged me tighter. I could feel his tears on my cheek, but I had none of my own to give.”

I loved the strength of Owen, whether it was his support of anti-bullying at school or his strength in making the right decisions about his future with Jordan. His maturity when considering his options and making the choice to follow his heart gives faith that their future is secure.

I loved the pure love that Jordan had for Owen and I loved the way they both want the other’s dreams to come true – Jordan wants Owen to have a successful wrestling career and Owen wants Jordan to fulfill his artistic talent.

I loved the ending and the way the story was resolved. By the time I read the last chapter I had happy tears and was smiling stupidly at my Kindle!

5 Stars

For more information about Eli Easton and her books visit her website.

Buy Superhero from Amazon.

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★★★★ Scrambling by Lex Valentine ★★★★

A life-long friendship, unrequited love, gorgeous and out NFL players, injury, illness, heartbreak, happy ending…what’s not to love!

Don’t forget to check out the Book Trailer at the end of the review!

ScramblingScrambling by Lex Valentine

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Evan McAdams has two constants in his life–football and his friendship with Reed Matthews. From the age of six, Evan’s played football alongside Reed. In his teens, he realized he was gay and loved Reed, but fear kept him from confiding his deepest emotions to his best friend.

When he and Reed are drafted to the L.A. Stars, Evan decides to come out. His decision impacts Reed who’s been in the closet too. The two men struggle with secrets of unrequited love while facing the world as the first two openly gay NFL players.

When injury forces Evan to retire, the love he bears Reed can no longer be hidden. But will Reed be able to reciprocate, or will Evan lose both football and the man he’s always loved?

So what did I think?

A life-long friendship, unrequited love, gorgeous and out NFL players, injury, illness, heartbreak, happy ending…what’s not to love!

This was the type of book I was just in the mood for with lots of emotional ups and downs. One of those books where you just want to shake the characters and shout “Just tell him how you feel!”.

Evan has been in love with Reed ever since he was old enough to know what love is. As they move to college, before Evan can admit to his feelings, Reed let’s him know that he’s gay and has met someone. This is the start of a long term (albeit largely unhappy) relationship for Reed and prevents Evan from telling Reed how he feels.

Although both men have strong feelings for each other, fate conspires to make sure that the time is never right for them to come clean with each other. They are either in a relationship or think the other is, need to act a certain way because of the press or are just plain worried about ruining their friendship. Frustrating! But as the story evolves the decisions made by the men so seem to make some sort of sense.

Reed’s relationship is hugely complicated and guilt and media worried keep him with a man who has betrayed him. Evan makes career decisions that take him away from Reed. Thank goodness for the morphine that finally gets the tongue loose enough to talk about the real heart-felt emotional stuff!

4 Stars

Check out the Book Trailer for Scrambling!

For more information on Lex Valentine and her books visit her website.

Buy Scrambling from Amazon.

View all my reviews