Happily Ever After Book Nerd Favorite
False Start by Alison Hendricks
Eastshore Tigers #2
LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
Dante Mills needs to impress on the football field so he can get drafted to the NFL and make the money he needs to care for his single mother. The last thing Dante needs is competition from a rich freshman, but Mitchell Erickson is not what he was expecting. Mitch has one year at Eastshore to prove himself before his father makes him return home and get in line with the family business. But Mitch doesn’t want to be in his father’s shadow; he wants to play the sport he loves and make friends who like him for himself and not for his money or connections. Crushing on Dante is just asking for trouble because as far as Mitch can tell Dante is straight — or is he?
I adored False Start and stayed up to 2:00am to finish reading it which is very rare for me to do. But I just couldn’t put the book down and I needed to know what would happen next for Dante and Mitch. I’m not really a football fan in real life but I enjoyed the blood, sweat, and tears atmosphere found here as each team member fights for their position on the team.
Dante wants to dislike Mitch for possibly taking his starting spot but there’s something so genuine and nice about Mitch. I loved Mitch and every time he worried he wasn’t being liked or wasn’t fitting in I just wanted to hug him. He’s never really had friends or a team to support him and watching him find that at Eastshore had me all squishy with happiness. Dante tries to keep his distance in the beginning, which is different from his normal welcoming attitude but he can’t maintain that. I liked Dante’s dedication to helping his mother and how open he is when Mitch makes assumptions or mistakes. Both Mitch and Dante talk and communicate and it was wonderful because they could actually work through any problems that arise.
On top of loving both our heroes, I loved their developing relationship. Dante has always been accepting, he was friends with Derek and Jason from Strong Side, and he grew up seeing his grandmother in a relationship with another woman. After a surprising kiss with Mitch, Dante begins to question what he’s attracted to. With some helpful advice from a friend to basically watch some gay porn, Dante figures out that while he’s not necessarily attracted to all men he’s definitely interested in Mitch. I appreciated this inclusion of showing porn in a positive light and as a vehicle to understand sexual interests. Mitch and Dante were really sweet together and I loved how their team supported them as well. Of course, Mitch and Dante come from very different backgrounds and this causes some problems in addition to what will happen if Dante is drafted and leaves Eastshore.
Throughout the whole book I was captivated, interested, and in love with these characters and Alison Hendricks’ writing just pulled me in from the start. I can’t wait to read the next in the series because Hendricks is quickly becoming a new favorite author.
5 stars – loved it!
Dante Mills has one more year to prove he can hack it in the NFL. If he can’t score attention from the scouts this season, he’ll never be able to give his hard-working mom the life she deserves. The last thing he needs is more competition, but that’s exactly what he gets when blond-haired, blue-eyed behemoth Mitchell Erickson walks into the locker room.
Mitchell Erickson has one year to prove he belongs on a football field. He’s spent his whole life struggling to find acceptance in his family, and now his father’s finally giving him the chance to follow his passion… for one season. If he doesn’t bring the Tigers to victory, it’s back to upholding the Erickson legacy in a suit and tie. But how can he possibly succeed when someone as talented as Dante stands between him and a starting position?
As if the tension between them wasn’t high enough, Mitch is insanely attracted to the very straight linebacker. As the season ramps up and both men fight for their place on the team, a heated locker room encounter leaves Dante questioning everything he thought he knew about himself.
When Dante and Mitch work together, they’re unstoppable. But can two men destined to be rivals ever be anything more?
Published by Alison Hendricks on May 25, 2016
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