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Balls to the Wall series by Tara Lain

The Balls to the Wall Series by Tara Lain

  • Volley Balls (book #1)
  • Fire Balls (book #2)
  • Beach Balls (book #3)
  • Snow Balls (book #4)

Volley Balls  (Balls to the Wall, #1)Volley Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

David Underwood needs to go to AA – Alpha-lovers Anonymous. His last attraction to an alpha male got him into an abusive relationship, and now ogling two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach gets him harassed yet again.

Australian Gareth Marshall needs to come out. A lifetime of hiding his orientation from his best friend and volleyball partner, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, has left him hurt and frustrated. When Gareth gets a load of David posing nude as the Michelangelo statue in the famous Laguna Pageant, he knows his days in the closet are numbered. And David is more than willing to help him take the first step out of the dark.

But Gareth’s teammate, Edge, has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his thumb. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male – or two?

So what did I think?

I love a story with alpha males and athletes and you can’t go past a combination that includes an Aussie volleyball player!

This was a nice story with a few things really going for it: Gareth is gorgeous, Gareth’s mum is fabulous, David is wonderful, it has a public coming out, there’s humour, there’s hot sex…

There were a couple of things that I found mildly annoying (that’s probably not even the right word, they were more just things that stood out). Firstly Gareth’s Australian accent – it seemed more New Zealand than Aussie (eg. ‘Understend’ for ‘understand’ and ‘yis’ for ‘yes’). Plus it seemed he overused ‘mate’. Yes, some Australian’s say mate but not all the time and it sure didn’t sound right in the middle of a sex scene! And the description of David just seemed too stereotypical of the effeminate gay man – hand gestures, swaying walk, high voice, tight clothes, bright clothes – I loved his nature and this is how the author portrayed him but for some reason wanted him to be a bit more unique.

The ending was a bit of surprise and it’s a shame the story ended there. I wanted to read more of David, Gareth and Edge’s story!
3 Stars

Fire Balls  (Balls to the Wall, #2)Fire Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Rodney Mansfield is tiny, flamboyant and, oh yeah, a black belt in karate. He is also one of southern California’s greatest artists. Too bad the work of art he really wants is firefighter, Hunter Fallon. But the gorgeous “straight gay” guy could never want the Runtback of Notre Dame, so when Rodney’s handsome, surfer friend, Jerry, develops an unexpected passion for the beautiful firefighter, Rodney breaks his own heart by helping Jerry land his man. And then Rod makes it worse by embarrassing Hunter when he protects him from a firehouse bully. Hunter hates gay guys like Rodney – doesn’t he? Then why can’t he get the powerful pipsqueak’s face out of his mind… and cock out of his ass? And why does he risk his job and his life to rescue Rod from a burning building? Isn’t it time for him to admit he’s not an alpha male after all and that he is the property of the artist?

So what did I think?

Another great combination of characters with the flamboyant artist Rodney and the gorgeous firefighter Hunter.

Interestingly, I didn’t really like Hunter when first introduced. His attitude to Rodney, the out and proud ‘queen’ was unsettling. It was clear that he didn’t want people to ‘get the wrong’ idea about him if he was seen with Rodney but it wasn’t until much later in the book that the true reasons become clear and his behaviour seems better justified.

The story is interesting as both Rodney and Hunter pursue relationships with other people. But they can’t resist the pull of each other. There’s an event that occurs here, due to their attraction to one another, that was slightly disappointing – luckily Jerry is a good and understanding friend!

The sexual relationship between the two men was full of surprises as were both men. Rodney was tough and able to stand up for himself and other’s when required. The ‘flaming queen’ definitely had some tricks up his sleeve!

This was a really enjoyable story.

4 Stars

Beach Balls  (Balls to the Wall,  #3)Beach Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Adam James is so far in the closet he could find Narnia. But coming out would threaten all he’s built as the lead attorney for WMA Development, and the million dollars he can get when he finishes pushing a big land remediation project through the City Council. Then on an early morning scuba dive, Adam meets a tall, lean rebreather diver named Sky who makes him want to live a different life. But Adam’s dreams are shattered when he walks into the council meeting and finds the fire-breathing environmentalist who’s screwing up his chances of winning is none other than that same beautiful man. Sky Sea Mickeljohn doesn’t compromise, so how could he find himself lusting after a damned developer? And what happens when somebody open’s Adam’s closet door? These two better start telling the truth if they’re ever going to find world peace.

So what did I think?

This story is very different to the first two in the series and is really not about sport at all – unless you count the bit of scuba diving that occurs – so I had to reclassify on my bookshelves! It also has a very different feel to the others in the series without really crossing over with any of the characters we have met so far (apart from a brief mention of Roman’s paintings).

Not that this is a bad thing because I totally enjoyed the story.

This story brings together a very much in the closet attorney/developer and an out and proud environmentalist. Adam just happens to be going incognito when he first meets Sky (cute name!) so they don’t realise they are involved in very opposing careers.

I liked the characters, I liked the story, I liked the resolution. Yes, I missed the original characters, but actually couldn’t imagine how they would have fit into this story and think this one works more as a standalone.

4 Stars

Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall, #4)Snow Balls by Tara Lain

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Big, handsome and hunky, JJ LaRousse looks like an alpha male but acts like an interior decorator. And he’s trying to be happy about it — until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop, Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes guys who are manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors over his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough but he hides in the closet at work since he learned in New York that being a gay cop can cost you your life. His attraction to that big, handsome kid threatens his anonymity, but he can’t seem to resist. JJ is just his type. But then JJ goes skiing and comes face to face with his greatest nemesis– and all the secrets come out of the closet. Can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More important, can JJ?

So what did I think?

Such a cute and lovely story!

It was interesting to read about ‘big, handsome, hunky’ JJ LaRousse whose appearance just doesn’t fit with how he sees himself “It just happened that JJ was a pansy. All pink and purple and multipetaled.” He wants to be an interior decorator, he’s scared of spiders and he doesn’t do sports.

Ryan is a closeted cop, with very good reason for not wanting to come out at work. He and JJ embark on a relationship but it is based on lies as JJ tries to be what he thinks Ryan wants – a sports keen, beer drinking male. But eventually it all comes out!

Lots of humour, lots of loving and some surprising heroic actions!

4 Stars

To find out more about Tara Lain and her books visit her website.

Buy the Balls to the Wall series from Amazon.

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6 comments on “Balls to the Wall series by Tara Lain

    • Well you can tell from my review that I liked the series! 🙂 My recommendation would be to give it a go! I do hope you like the rest of the series.

  1. Pingback: Furtive Liaison by Amanda Young | Because two men are better than one!

    • It’s my absolute pleasure to read your books! I am really looking forward to F.A.S.T. Balls later this month. Best of luck with the release. xx

  2. Pingback: F.A.S.T. Balls by Tara Lain | Because two men are better than one!

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