Friday, May 20, 2011

Offside

Title: Offside
Author: Ryan Loveless
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publisher URL: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/
ISBN: 978-1-61581-964-5
Genre: {M/M} Contemporary
Rating: 3.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Adam Dumas has played soccer since childhood and currently, he’s the only openly gay player in Major League Soccer. When he’s suddenly transferred from LA to St. Louis mid-season, he’s not happy and plans on getting out to a more important team as soon as he can. His attitude changes when he sees his new roommate, center forward Colin Evets, and suddenly, he’s thinking of making a good impression and maybe, pressing their bodies together. But Colin’s straight…right? When Adam misinterprets his young roommates easygoing, laidback attitude for something it isn’t, Adam’s afraid he’s ruined their friendship. While Adam has to decide if staying in St. Louis is what he wants to do, Colin must come to grips with his sexuality and determine if Adam is the man for him.

Offside is the newest release by Ryan Loveless, who is a new author for me, and it looks into the world of Major League Soccer, a sport I’m totally unfamiliar with. I could be wrong but it seems that Mr. Loveless did a great deal of research on this sport. The information about the game, the practice sessions and how it’s played, among other things, flow smoothly throughout the story, making the game come alive and peaking my interest in watching a real game.

It took me a little while to warm up to Adam, since he initially comes off so arrogant and cocky, which isn’t the case with the much sweeter and kindhearted Colin. These two are very different in attitude, age and life experiences and I had trouble seeing them as a viable couple…at least in the beginning. It wasn’t until later in the story after Colin had been injured during a game that I really started to see them as something beyond the superficial. There really wasn’t a lot of conflict outside their relationship…not even Colin’s family, after he comes out to them, but it still allows for a nice integration of the numerous secondary characters.

I found the nasty reaction to Adam’s sexuality by some of the players and fans handled well and pretty typical of the real world, but I was surprised with the ready acceptance of the St. Louis team to Adam and Colin being an out couple. It’s the Mid-west and since I live in this area of the country, I have trouble believing they wouldn’t have trouble, as much as I wish it wasn’t so.

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