A Secret Match by Kelli A. Wilkins
Review by Lauren
Source: copy from author; all opinions are my own
Official Summary: Everett
Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of
millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with
anyone. He’s gay.
years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and
wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing
Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.
night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going
back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems – both personally and
professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing
down a tag team out to destroy him.
between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can
he find a balance between his career and his heart?
Review: I really enjoyed A Secret Match because I could understand both sides. I knew that Ev was in the spotlight and part of his “facade” is that he’s a ladies’ man. He’s worried that if he comes out as gay that he will ruin his career. At the same time, Josh loves Ev but he doesn’t want to be kept a secret their whole life. The two of them have a difficult time even going out in public for fear that someone will recognize Ev and out him to the media.
When Josh gives what seems to be an ultimatum, Ev realizes that he loves Josh too much to just let him go. However, he doesn’t realize he’s going to out himself on live TV until it’s happening. There is no going back for Ev or Josh, and now the two of them have to work together to make their relationship work under the firestorm. Sure, not everyone is upset by Ev’s news, but there are plenty of homophobic people.
I think the idea of making Ev a professional wrestler was great because it’s a career a lot of people don’t associate with a gay man. It shows that Ev is a complete person, regardless of his sexuality and his career. There are plenty of sexual moments, some more graphic than others, throughout the book. They work within the overall story though. That’s the main issue I have with romance books. I don’t mind sex scenes if they work within the overall plot, and this works! I would definitely check out more books by this author.
On a slightly different note, this book reminded me of a German soap opera called Verbotene Liebe (Forbidden Love) where a wrestler (Christian) ultimately falls for another guy (Olli) and they have to deal with the two lives. Christian actually comes out after winning a match, except his guy is there to celebrate with him, hence the photo below:
I thought of the similarities while reading, so I figured I would share! You can search their storyline via youtube if you’re curious!