Fair Catch is the second in the Players of LA series, formerly titled Sports of the Seasons when the first book, Match Point, was released. If you read the series starter, you may remember the cameo appearance of Sullivan "Van" Archer, younger brother to Coach Garrett Archer. Well, book two is all about the twenty-five-year-old NHL wide receiver, considered to be currently the best in his sport. Van is very much gay and very much in the closet, but he does find ways to get what he wants, and while at a club one night, he spots twenty-two-year-old Tobias Bennett. They share an unforgettable hook-up and go there separate ways. Fast forward to the Superbowl where Van not only scores the winning touchdown but one painful injury to his hamstring as well. He's instructed to take part in a yoga class to help with his healing two months down the line and while he may not be thrilled at the prospect of being all bendy, things begin to look up when he discovers his yoga instructor is none other than his hookup, Toby. Van wants more time with Toby but Toby is filled with wariness, courtesy of an abusive relationship and the fact that Van isn't out. But if they're both willing to give what they're feeling a shot, it could be exactly what they need.
I loved Match Point, so my expectations for whatever was going to come after it were quite high. While I did like some parts of second in a series, I confess that it fell short of what I was hoping for. There was a lot--A LOT--of back and forth going on with Van and Toby, to the point that it was difficult for me to believe that these two were as deeply into one another as they were supposed to be. Their interactions were limited and majority of those were not exactly all that great, not with Toby's back up constantly when it came to Van's true intentions. Van was actually a good guy, someone who was understandably hesitant about coming out in the open about his sexuality, fearing he would lose his shot at continuing to be part of the sport he loved. It was Toby that I was frustrated with. I understood that he had issues brought about his past relationship, but there were times that it felt as if he was toying with Van's emotions and possibly even getting off on the idea that here was this athlete who had a thing for him and he had decided to keep him at arm's length. I actually ended up liking Leo Greenway, Toby's best friend, more than I did Toby himself. So, Fair Catch's 3.5 stars are more for both Van and Leo than anything or anyone else. ♥
Date Read: 07 July 2017
Learn more about Leigh Carman.