Trick Play by Alison Hendricks
Series: Eastshore Tigers #3
Published: September 14, 2016 by Alison Hendricks
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
They’ll do whatever it takes to save their team. But can two best friends survive a fake relationship?
Luke Trent is desperate to bring his team back together. If the Tigers can’t get over their slump, he’ll never make it to the pros. With the LGBT-inclusive ‘Rainbow Tigers’ mania dying down, it’ll take a crazy scheme to restore their former glory, and Luke has the perfect one in mind: Dating his best friend.
Brandon Tucker has secretly been in love with Luke for years. He knows he’s going to get hurt if he agrees to a pretend relationship with his very straight friend, but he can’t help it. This is as close as he’ll ever get to the real thing.
The strength of their friendship makes their lie an easy sell, and things are looking up for the Tigers. But when Luke kisses him in front of the whole team, Brandon can’t help but wonder if the only man he’s ever wanted might actually want him back.
With the fire of their fake romance beginning to burn true, a teammate’s devastating betrayal forces them to make a difficult choice: Sacrifice their relationship to save their career, or give up everything else for the chance at a once-in-a-lifetime love.
Trick Play was a great read and certainly enjoyable though I didn’t connect with the characters as strongly as I have with the previous books. However, I was still pulled right into the story by Alison Hendricks’ writing and this was an easy read to finish. The team’s previous couples have all graduated and the team is floundering. This is where Luke’s brilliant or possibly not so brilliant plan comes in. Because Luke and Brandon have known each other so long it should be easy and believable to fake a relationship and quiet frankly their team isn’t really all that surprised since they spend so much time together.
What’s most interesting about this story is the dynamic between Luke and Brandon and how it’s constantly shifting and changing as they discover unexpected surprises about each other. While Brandon knows his best friend would always support him he’s still afraid to come out after his parent’s disowned him as a teenager. I find it a little odd that Luke wouldn’t have figured things out before now but it’s not impossible. For Luke, it’s no hardship to fake-date Brandon but when an impulsive kiss turns out to be better than he expected he begins to question his own sexuality.
“If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, you fucking call it a duck. And maybe I’m the gayest duck there is.”
Luke and Brandon come from a small town and families that have been pretty expressive in how they feel about LGBTQ issues and they’re not always favorable. Luke especially is a bit of a good-old southern boy but he’s incredibly openminded and accepting of others. He doesn’t accept his father’s and his hometown’s opinions but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t also make some mistakes along the way.
While I didn’t necessarily relate to the characters, I did enjoy them together and thought they had great chemistry stemming from their years long friendship. No hints were dropped about characters for the next book so I’ll see where it takes me.
4 stars – it was enjoyable
Eastshore Tigers reviews
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