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)
- F.A.S.T. Balls (book #5) – in this review
See the link below for review of the first four books in the series.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Firefighter and surfing champion, Jerry Wallender, looks like a hero to the world, but he can’t see it. He keeps falling for these intellectual guys who end up making him feel dumb and unneeded. On top of that, Mick Cassidy, super-gorgeous firefighter and total homophobe, makes Jerry’s life miserable with his slurs. Then one day Mick’s nice to Jerry and, at the Firefighter’s Ball, Jerry offers a helping hand and ends up with a hand-job. What the hell is going on?
Mick Cassidy is great with fighting fires and solving math problems but rotten with people. Raised by a gay-hating preacher, Mick’s carefully constructed world of gay bashing starts to crumble when he meets Jerry, the nicest, kindest man he’s ever known. Mick’s never wanted a woman and can’t stop thinking about sex with Jerry. In fact, he can’t stop doing it. Does that make him gay? And if he’s gay, what happens to his whole life? A hook-up between sweet Jerry and mean Mick might be total disaster — or the smartest idea Jerry ever had.
So what did I think?
A little bit of mixed feelings about this one. While I enjoyed the continuation of the series I did find there were a couple of things that slightly dampened my enthusiasm.
The plot seemed slightly familiar, centreing around around a guy (Mick) who has been raised with an extreme preacher for a father. His father is leading his ‘community’ in the ways of hate, encouraging intolerance to the point of violence. “And they’re armed, Jerry. They’ve got guns in trucks and closets and under beds.” Due to his upbringing, Mick needs to overcome his own prejudices and gain a better understanding of what being gay means before he can accept his own nature.
My issue with this story line was the resolution – there was strong conflict with Mick’s father but nothing like I would have expected given his beliefs and Mick seemed to deal with it a bit too easily. After a life-time of listening to his father’s sermons and rantings, I would have thought some heavy counselling would have been needed before he could accept his own sexuality.
I also found some of Mick’s dialogue uncomfortable. The words he used when talking about sex and body parts just seemed too childlike…“Then there was the thing. Turns out it was pretty big. He smiled. He knew from the shower at the station. That was supposed to be a good thing. Guys always bragged about how big their things were.” I know he was virginal but this just seemed too extreme, particularly for someone living in a world surrounded by masculine firemen!
What I did like was Jerry, who had been unlucky in love, getting his happy ending! I thought he accepted Mick and gave him another chance way too readily but it all worked out in the end.
This makes a nice addition to the series.
To find out more about Tara Lain and her books visit her website.
- Excerpt R: BEACH BAllS by Tara Lain;You Did WHAT Underwater? (trsparties.com)
- Balls to the Wall series by Tara Lain (someonehastosetabadexample.wordpress.com)