Offside by Alison Hendricks
Series: Eastshore Tigers #4
Published: December 6, 2016 by Alison Hendricks
Genre: LGBTQ+ Contemporary Romance
They’re both looking for a fresh start, but can they ever truly leave their pasts behind them?
Lance Harper knows how much the limelight can burn. A rising star who found all his NFL dreams coming true right out of high school, Lance crashed hard, pulled down by a string of bad decisions. Now, hiding from the media circus in Eastshore, Lance wants nothing more than to be left alone. But that all changes when a chance encounter brings him to the Tigers’ practice field.
Beau Woodridge figured out early on that being forgettable gets you nowhere. With a little bit of liquid courage and a willing audience, Beau’s managed to climb to the top of Eastshore’s social circles, but the field is another story. After an awful season, Beau’s NFL dreams seem barely in reach, and the lack of an offensive coach has left him directionless. But when a meeting with Lance leads the pro star straight to the Tigers payroll, Beau suddenly finds his path forward.
Desperate to escape his troubled home life, Beau convinces Lance to mentor him. What starts as hero-worship quickly grows into a strong attraction–one Beau is shocked to discover isn’t as one-sided as he thought. And when the spark between them finally ignites, coach and player are pulled into a secret romance.
But it’s only a matter of time before Lance’s celebrity status forces their relationship into the spotlight. The sudden attention may be more than either can handle, and if they want to stay together, they’ll have to take on the prying eyes of the whole world–and the demons that still lurk in their pasts.
Offside was another great addition to this series and once again I found myself getting sucked into Alison Hendrick’s writing and staying up well past my bedtime to finish. Things start out with a party, a lot of drinking, and a very hungover Beau who is trying to get to his football practice when his car breaks down. When a man pulls over to give Beau a ride he recognizes Lance but he also gets the chance to see the man under the famous persona. From this point on, Beau sees Lance for who is really is and I loved how this helped develop their relationship. Lance was drafted at just 18 and he quickly became known for his sexy smile, his washboard abs, and his charming personality but that image has worn on Lance and all he really wants is to be himself out of the public eye.
I really loved Lance who is a steady and mature man. He’s young for his amount of success but he’s managed to keep a level head and know when to get out. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t made mistakes but he’s also come out the other side and learned from them. Even though he’s Beau’s coach there’s only a few years between them and Beau brings a lively and youthful feel to their interactions. Mentoring quickly becomes friendship which then becomes a relationship as Lance and Beau spend more time together.
While I didn’t relate as strongly to Lance’s party lifestyle I still really liked him as a character. He’s struggling to maintain a relationship with his alcoholic father and he feels like the team only loves him when he drinks and lets everything go. He’s been openly gay since he joined the team and he loves that he can play football and be himself. He understands Lance’s wish to keep things private between them but he also struggles to live in secret. Beau has a surprisingly gentle heart and I feel like he was a better man when he was with Lance.
Lance and Beau dive head first into their relationship and their chemistry jumps off the page. I was pulled into their story and couldn’t stop until I knew how everything was going to work out.
**Reader Safety: References to/characters with alcohol addiction
4 stars – it was enjoyable
Eastshore Tigers reviews
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