One night of passion.
They never expected to see each other again.
They were wrong.
Tobias Bennett is a quiet and unassuming man who teaches yoga and enjoys parkour. Though he is proud to be gay, an abusive relationship with a domineering man has left Tobias wary of romance, and he keeps to himself in his tidy Los Angeles apartment.
Pro football player Sullivan Archer is Tobias’s complete opposite: loud, brash, fond of the spotlight… and deep in the closet. When a hamstring injury sends Van to Tobias as part of his therapy, neither of them is expecting to come face-to-face with his one-night stand. Now they’re stuck together throughout Van’s healing process, and the close proximity will force them to deal with some hard truths. For Tobias, it’s realizing his hookup is a celebrity. For Van, it means accepting that he likes Tobias more than he wanted. They’ll both have to acknowledge that if they choose to pursue a relationship, their lives will change in big ways.
*The Players of LA Series are standalones, but characters from each book to appear in subsequent novels. It is recommended to read in order to maximize the reading experience*
(Book 1 reviewed here: https://openskyebookreviews.com/match-point-by-leigh-carman/)
There were parts of this story that I really liked. I loved the Parkour, the Yoga, and for awhile I was thinking that Archer would be learning a new “sport” or vice versa and our MCs would have some interesting conversations and activities surrounding that. But… those things were almost just teasers, and they really didn’t have much to do with the main story.
The main story was about being in the closet and being victimized by an awful ex.
I really felt that Toby was way too trusting and accepted Archer and his closet far too easily considering how poorly he was treated by Austin, the ex. If your whole life was spent in hiding by a malicious ex, I think the LAST thing you’d do is sign up to be someone’s secret. It is different abuse, but being constantly denied by someone professing to love you is abuse of it’s own.
The relationship path was so full of angst, that by the time we’d had not one or two but three or four “kiss and make up” scenes, I was getting pretty over it and none of it made me think highly of either MC.
There were just too many threads in this story that didn’t get enough attention and some gaping holes that left me feeling like the story wasn’t as complete as it could have been. I’d have loved a few less “reunion scenes” and some more time developing any of the many interests Toby had or finding out more about Archer – his past, his family, anything.
Toby was a genius, yoga guy, victim, parkour enthusiast and had a (very nosy) best friend/neighbor. His interactions with his ex were hideous and he continued to do things that involved him and just plain didn’t make sense. I didn’t really connect all that well with him.
As far as the relationship between Toby and Archer – besides sex and make up sex – I didn’t see them interact or bond in any meaningful way. Both of them ran hot then cold and it was incredibly frustrating.
While I loved the whole “coming out to the world” as a concept, it felt sort of anti-climactic by that point. The violence with the ex overshadowed anything and was immensely unsatisfying as far as resolutions go.
I really enjoyed book 1 and will definitely look into book 2 – especially if it ends up being with Leo and Viktor and HOCKEY! – but this didn’t work so well for me.
As always, I recommend looking at other reviews – other people enjoyed this a lot – so I do think it has an audience. It just wasn’t for me.
The writing was fine and it had a lot of potential, so I’m going to give it a 2.75 (rounded to 3) of 5 stars for effort and leave it at that.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher For Honest Review