Fourth and Long

Author: Michele Micheal Rakes

Publisher: Loose Id

Rating: DNF

Buy Links: LId and Amazon

Type: Novel

Received from Publisher


Blurb:  Irus Beaumont, cornerback for the Highlanders, has an issue with his nemesis: wideout for the Pirates, Jackson McCoy. Partly jealous over Jackson’s skill and ability to scrub coverage, Irus also struggles against an unbearable attraction to the receiver. Firmly ensconced in the closet, Irus also has a no football player rule, leaving his desires for Jackson unfulfilled. Anti-gay sentiment in the league keeps Irus closeted, even though he’d rather be out and proud.

When Jackson McCoy suffers a gay bashing at the hands of his team mates after winning the national championship, he finds himself traded to the Highlanders. Spring training brings out Jackson’s competitive nature, eliciting the aggression of his new team’s cornerback, Irus Beaumont.

In practice, Irus hurts Jackson badly. The injury places Jackson on the reserve roster. Jacks has plenty of time to contemplate his life, career, and his attraction to the sexy cornerback. Off to Orlando for the best rehab where guilt inspires Irus to call him every evening, Jackson can’t stop thinking about Irus, or what the season holds for his team.


Review:  I’m a total sports nut so any book about two men falling in love with a sports theme is for me. Especially football since there really aren’t that many of them out there in the m/m genre. So when this book came up for review, I snatched it up. The book alternates between Irus and Jackson’s POVs. Both are players in the NFL. Right away you notice Irus has a VERY angry voice. Especially if it involves Jackson. It was a bit much initially IMO and carries on for a while in the book. He’s so spectacularly angry that he’s attracted to a rival player that’s it’s kind of a turn off. I ended up putting the book down for several months and then when football season started I decided to give it another go.

Once I picked it up again I noticed that Irus’ POV were still pretty angry. To the point of physical violence by way of hits on the practice field and fights in the locker room. It balanced out a little getting Jackson’s POV which I strongly preferred other than seeing Jackson through Irus’s eyes. Jackson has a pretty brutal past that is surrounded by sexual and physical abuse. His old team is the worst kind of stereotypical homophobic group of men you can imagine. Again this was way over the top and I just don’t see it getting to this point in the NFL today without someone blowing the whistle or stepping in. I mean we’re not where we should be but it is 2015. The actual football parts of the book were excellent until the characters turned into evil stereotypical jocks. Or rapist doth protest too much closet case jocks. Either way it was too far fetched and dramatic for my tastes. Jackson’s struggle was enough hurt without all that.

Then comes the past abuse and the abuser back to taunt poor Jackson with a new boy in tow…..and I quit. I’m just done. 175 pages in and I decided I’d had enough. Stacking up rapes, beatings and pedophilia is just not what I thought I was getting myself into when picking up this book. I don’t like reading about it but I can prepare myself for it mentally IF warned ahead of time and I think it’s adding something to the story. I enjoyed the MCs together once they worked out their issues. I even thought some of the secrets and shame Jackson felt from the abuse added to the story and gave him amazing character depth BUT then it was just became too much once the pedophile coach came back on the scene. I told myself last time I read one of these books I’d save myself the time and heartache and quit reading it. So I did. Go me!

I never actually write reviews for books I DNF but I honestly had NO idea that rape and pedophilia was going to be a feature in this book. There’s also physical and verbal abuse. Rough punishing kind of sex. I don’t know if the book would have gotten better but I know it was making me ill reading it. The point here is I had no warning or I would never have picked up this book. I can and do read books with rape and violence but this felt more on the side of sensationalizing it for dramatic effect. And I just can not read that type of thing. Sad because I did like the guys and parts of their story. I’m pretty disappointed honestly.

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