Dual M/M Reviews: The Quarterback + Rank and File

Posted September 19, 2017 by shooting in Book Review / 8 Comments

The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads): Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ever after for both of them.

Review: Oh, I really loved this one! The relationship, so to speak, between Matt and Trevor starts off in an unconventional manner but it leads to them both wanting more. Matt is finally learning to deal with his own sexuality, even if he’s afraid to let people know about it. He has a lot on the line – a jerk of a father who could take his sisters away from him, a conservative college that might not care he’s the star quarterback if he’s gay and he needs his scholarship to graduate. There is a lot to lose for Matt. On the other hand, Trevor has already lost a lot, including his own parents. It’s tough sometimes for these two to see the other side. Matt isn’t always sensitive to what Trevor has gone through, and Trevor sometimes forget what Matt is dealing with and how it could harm his future if he comes out too soon.

Despite it not always being easy, these two do work well together, and they have some wonderful friends that make great secondary characters. I loved seeing them push the two guys together when it might seem like their stubborn natures will keep them apart. Plus, they have some hot chemistry, so there are plenty of sexy times…don’t worry!

While neither of the guys have great parents in their lives, they do have extended and “adopted” family that make it known they will always be there for them. I loved this, because even when parents show that their love has limits, there are people out there who will be there for you and love you just as you are. It was great that both Matt and Trevor were able to find and/or realize this by the end of the book.

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Rank and File (Anchor Point #4) by L.A. Witt

Review by Lauren

Source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Official Summary (add on Goodreads – released September 25): Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except—too late.

Review: I love the Anchor Point series, and Rank and File is probably one of my top favorites out of the four so far. Senior Chief Will Curtis has been in the Navy for a lot longer than Lieutenant Brent Jameson, but their titles mean that, technically, Brent has rank over Will. It doesn’t exactly seem fair, but it’s the main reason Brent and Will can’t be out together. They meet each other in a slightly awkward situation, but it doesn’t take long before the attraction for each other kicks in. Another chance meeting leads to them hooking up for the first, and what is supposed to be the last, time. Of course, this just leads to them sneaking back and forth into each other’s apartments.

Throughout these clandestine meetings, the two really get to know each other and lust definitely turns into love over time. Of course, there is still the issue of them not being allowed to date. As the summary states, Will could retire – he’s closer to that time – or Brent could resign. Obviously neither of these options seem great since they have both worked a really long time to get where they are, and Brent especially has a lot to lose by giving up his Navy career. I loved Will and Brent together, but there is always the undercurrent of when things are going to blow up, so to speak. Readers will definitely be rooting for some way for the two of them to make it work, and still be happy with their jobs and each other.

Personally, I don’t mind drama in a book, especially when it feels warranted and not too overdone. However, Rank and File doesn’t really have much in the way of drama, at least when it comes to Will and Brent. They understand perfectly the situation they created for themselves, and while they might not be happy about the seemingly inevitable conclusion, they don’t take that out on each other. Definitely a mature relationship that worked well! I can’t wait for Anchor Point #5!

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