Review: Volley Balls by Tara Lain (Balls to the Wall #1)

Note: This ebook was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.

Tara Lain is an author who I’ve been wanting to read this past year or so, and I finally got the opportunity to do so via Volley Balls, the first in her Balls to the Walls series. This is a second, expanded version that the author has “pumped up” but since I never got to read the original, this review is solely focused on this newer edition. Set in Laguna Beach, California, we meet twenty-six-year-old David Underwood, a gallery owner whose last relationship was abusive enough for him to have a restraining order against his ex. When verbal abuse is thrown his way courtesy of a member of the Australian volleyball team, it shouldn’t be a wonder that David was wary when another member made a point of letting him know just how interested he was to go out on a date.

Twenty-two-year-old Gareth Marshall has kept his sexuality under wraps for his entire life, trying not to show how much it hurts when his homophobic best friend and volleyball partner slings his hateful slurs and thoughtless commentary. What makes it worse is that Gareth has had feelings for John Edgerton for years, but with Edge making it more than clear how disgusted he is with gays, there could never be a chance for them to be together. So, why shouldn’t Gareth pursue David, especially since David is the first man other than Edge to affect him so intensely? But what happens when Edge’s behavior makes Gareth and David wonder if he’s hiding his own secrets? Could David actually find true love—with not just one, but two Aussies? Not if ex has a say in it…

The basic premise of the story is what caught my attention and there was certainly a lot of promise, some of it fulfilled in a couple of points in the book. However, I think that this felt like everything was happening at warp speed. For someone who was supposedly virginal when it came to penetrative sex with another man, Gareth seemed to slip in—pun not intended—far more easily than I would have expected, especially with him being in the receiving end that first time around. The chemistry between Gareth and David was meh at best, and I definitely didn’t feel any going on between David and Edge, so the idea of the three of them not just hooking up but falling for one another didn’t really click with me. At the end of the day, I can only give Volley Balls 2.5 stars. ♥

Date Read: 04 February 2017

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