One night of passion.
They never expected to see each other again.
They were wrong.
Tobias Bennett is a quiet and unassuming man who teaches yoga and enjoys parkour. Though he is proud to be gay, an abusive relationship with a domineering man has left Tobias wary of romance, and he keeps to himself in his tidy Los Angeles apartment.
Pro football player Sullivan Archer is Tobias’s complete opposite: loud, brash, fond of the spotlight… and deep in the closet. When a hamstring injury sends Van to Tobias as part of his therapy, neither of them is expecting to come face-to-face with his one-night stand. Now they’re stuck together throughout Van’s healing process, and the close proximity will force them to deal with some hard truths. For Tobias, it’s realizing his hookup is a celebrity. For Van, it means accepting that he likes Tobias more than he wanted. They’ll both have to acknowledge that if they choose to pursue a relationship, their lives will change in big ways.
*The Players of LA Series are standalones, but characters from each book to appear in subsequent novels. It is recommended to read in order to maximize the reading experience*
This was a really good story. I liked the storyline and the characters. Plus Ms. Carman’s writing kept me interested in the story from start to finish. I enjoyed watching Toby and Van get to know each other and fall in love. Some of the emotions and reactions were over the top and made me roll my eyes a few times. Plus I got tired of the Alpha chest pounding, “you’re mine”, “protect what’s mine” type of behavior pretty quickly. However the story was still sweet and enjoyable and I didn’t want to stop reading until it was over.
Toby was a sweetie. My heart hurt for him and his past. He overcame a lot just to get to where he was ready to meet Van and start a relationship. He struggled with panic and his self worth. But I loved his friendship with Leo. Toby handled some of the situations in the story kinda poorly. However his reactions were very appropriate for his past. I liked watching Toby grow and figure out he’s worthy of love and happiness.
Van was a bit of a mixed bag of a character. His emotions swung from one extreme to the other, sometimes within the same scene. However he truly cared for Toby and wanted what was best for Toby. I enjoyed the scenes dealing with football and the other players. Those scenes came alive and really took me into the workings of how a professional sports team worked. Van’s journey to coming out was wonderful to watch. His emotions were clear during his times when struggling if he should come out or not, and if he made the right decision.
Van and Toby are so good together. They are so in love by the end. Their happily ever after is sweet and makes me very happy to see they’re going to make it. I also enjoyed the characters around them. Toby and Van’s friends were wonderful additions to the story. I’d love to see more of the friends get their own happy endings and their own stories. Ms. Carman is an author to watch. She has major potential and I’m eager to see how she grows as an author the more books she puts out. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series.
I turn to leave the narrow hall and at the exact same time, the door marked “office” flies open and a handsome man steps out. He’s bigger than me, tall and burly, with auburn hair and a ginger beard. The black T-shirt pulling tight across his impressive chest displays the bar’s provocative logo.
“Excuse me.” I drop my gaze and try to make myself as small as possible as I move to duck around him.
“Wait.” The big man grabs my wrist, and my heart leaps into my throat.
Oh God. He sees my hard-on.
My adrenal gland kicks into high gear, flooding my veins with anxiety and embarrassment. Heart pounding, I spin around and yank out of the man’s hold as I attempt to control the tightness in my chest. The guy holds up his hands to show he isn’t trying to pull any shit with me. “Sorry, buddy. Didn’t mean to startle you. I was just wondering if I could talk to you for a second in the office.” He nods toward the door.
With a huff, I cross my arms over my chest, then uncross them and scratch my head, unsure what to do with my hands. “Why on earth would I go in there with you? I don’t know you.” Plus, I might be athletic and in good shape, but I’m the opposite of huge. This guy has a half a foot and at least forty pounds on me.
The man grins, his navy-blue eyes sparkling. He holds out a one of his giant mitts. “Griff Freeman. I own this club.”
I eye his hand warily, but end up shaking it despite the overwhelming urge to flee. “Toby Bennett.” We drop hands, and because I’m an idiot, I can’t help but explain myself. “I haven’t done anything wrong.” He’s not bringing me into the office to kick me out because I overheard sex in the bathroom, is he? They don’t do that, do they?
Griff laughs. “No. You haven’t. But what I want to discuss is a sensitive matter. You’d be doing me a huge favor if you’d just duck into my office for a quick second.”
Sensitive? Now I’m on high alert, my muscles drawing as tight as a bow. I take a step back.
“A favor? What kind of favor?”
“Trust me, kid. You’ll probably end up thanking me,” Griff says, grinning.
Griff holds open the office door and awaits my decision.
It feels like this is a crossroads of sorts in my life. I can continue hiding, letting my past run my life, or I can take a chance and throw caution to the wind. What the hell do I have to lose? For the first time in my life, I don’t overthink my decision. Instead, I walk through that damn door with my head held high….
And my jaw drops open when I look around inside.
Leigh Carman was born and raised in New England with all of its fall foliage and winter snow. She escaped to the South, where she currently lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband, two kids, and French Bulldog, Shelby.
She loves the Red Sox, the Patriots, and anything chocolate (but not white chocolate—everyone knows it’s not real chocolate so it doesn’t count), and has left explicit instructions in her will to have her ashes snuck into Fenway Park and sprinkled all over while her family enjoys beer, hot dogs, and a wicked good time.
Leigh also writes M/F dark romance under the name Heather C. Leigh. She also loves exploring the underbelly of fame and the crushing weight of those under the microscope 24/7.
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