Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 3.5 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Two stubborn men.
One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.
It was hate at first sight.
Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.
When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.
Review: I thought this was going to be a fun and sexy story about professional beach volleyball players who go from enemies to lovers. It was at times but it also brought the pain! I got teary eyed multiple times in this book. Finn’s heartbreak is palpable. I hurt for him. I cried with him. Considering the length of this story I was very impressed with how much emotion this brought out of me. Then there’s Dex. He has his own tragic past that makes him the career focused man he is. It also explains why he’s so firmly in denial about his attraction to men. Mainly Finn. I hadn’t planned on this book being as heavy in the emotional and angst department as it was but I was disappointed.
This sounds weird coming from me but all the sad stuff in this book helped the massive load of angst work. I’m not a fan of blow ups and communication fails but they did make sense in this book. I could have done with about 3 less storm offs or blow ups but there was a lot for the guys to work through. Finn spent his life in the closet for his career and fear of losing his family. This meant he had to handle the hardest and lowest time of his life alone. I thought the author did an excellent job sucking me into his mindset. I totally got how you could fall that far in his situation. Dex was more frustrating. He’s so in denial of his attraction he lashes out frequently. Being cruel to someone who just picked himself up from the depths of sorrow isn’t exactly a likable quality in a guy. Of course he doesn’t know the full story of why Finn is so distraught for the majority of the book so he gets a bit of a pass there.
I do recommend this book. Be prepared for lots of angst and blow ups. Tons of denial. Heartbreak. I thought the connection between the players is the hard fought long time coming sort and yet it still came off a tad convenient to have the full impact on me it could have. They’ve known each other for years but it still had that insta love feel. Still worth the read in my opinion if you like to read about very real feeling characters. Their struggle to get it together is compelling and they get their happy ending.