I hope to read it and love it rather than skim it and DNF it but either way I'll be so, so glad to have removed one book from my most ancient of TBR piles! Thanks everyone for taking the time to vote.
Here's what I'm doing & when I'm doing it:
♥ Saturday Feb 3: I post my picks, you lovely people vote
♥ Saturday Feb 10: I post the winning book & get to reading because I am a slowpoke!
♥ Saturday Feb 18: When everyone else doing this starts reading.
♥ Saturday Feb 24: Post my review (OMG, the deadline looms so close!) & host a little US giveaway for Snow by Ronald Malfi
To join in the fun next month visit Because Reading the first Saturday of March. All of the rules are here.
*I received a free copy of Tackling the Tight End from Dreamspinner Press via Enchantress of Book Blogtours in exchange of an honest and unbiased review*
Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez — and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Welcome to my stop on the Tackling the Tight End blogtour. I have my review and favorite quotes as usual, and there are other goodies here for me to share with you as well! This Blogtour is hosted by Enchantress Design and Promo.
Tackling the Tight End is the third instalment in Lain’s Long Pass Chronicles series, and it features the ‘bad guy’ from the first book as one of the main characters. The story is filled with conflict, both external and internal, and it was sweet in some moments, and pretty dark in others.
At the beginning of Tackling the Tight End, I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story being about Dennis, he was such a scumbag in the first book, and I really, really hated what he stood for, and the lengths he went to in his youtube show to ‘out’ people from his university. When he was hired by Raven’s father to do a promotional video for the Casino of their tribe, I was sure nothing good would come from it. Lain completely proved me wrong, though, even if the road was narrow and quite bumpy…
Raven was a character I fell in love with from the start of Tackling the Tight End, because he was strong, both on the football field and out – he was openly gay, and even his team mates, and most of his tribe, were completely on board with that. I loved that this tribe had some very strong mythology of what they called the ‘two spirited’; those who could be either man or woman, or both. The ones who were very much in touch with the spirit world, often medicine men (or women) and who would always be there to help the tribe, healing, and finding solutions to problems. Raven was a lot like that, he worked at a youth shelter for gay youth, many of which had been thrown out by their families.
As the story unfolded, it became clear that while Dennis had done some very wile things, he wasn’t inherently a bad person. He struggled a lot with what he was doing, but in many ways, he didn’t really feel like he had a choice. Even as he got to know Raven much better, and they became friends, then something more, Dennis felt so conflicted. He truly didn’t think he deserved any goodness in his life, but at the same time, Raven shone so bright it was impossible for Dennis to stay away. While Raven was out, Dennis was so hidden he wasn’t exactly sure himself he was gay. Both young men faced a lot of pressure from their families, and they had to fight to stay true to themselves so that maybe one day, they could live the life they had chosen.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, the story was nicely paced, and the flow was seamless. The only reason why I didn’t rate Tackling the Tight End higher was because of my own pre-conceptions of Dennis at the beginning of the story, even if Ms. Lain managed to change my mind as the story unfolded.
His father never loved that Raven hung out with a bunch of gay white kids when he could be working for the glory of the tribe – preferably on the football field. Raven dragged Walt behind him as he followed his father toward the dais. His dad’s formidable hawk profile turned back toward him. “Priorities, Raven.” “Yes, sir.” He had plenty of priorities. They just didn’t include large gatherings of tribal dignitaries.
Raven stood six feet five and weighed in at two twenty-five. Big. Powerful. Shoulders for miles, a twelve-pack that would have made bodybuilders swoon, and a waist so narrow it was hard to believe it was on the same man as the shoulders.
His grandfather smiled. “Do you think if there is any Creator, that he or she would makes such a terrible error? To craft beautifully unique people and then call them mistakes?” He shook his head and sipped his tea.
Buy Links for Tackling the Tight End:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”
Thanks for stopping by today, and good luck in the giveaway!
|Genre||Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / New Adult / Erotic Romance|
|Reviewed by||Lena Grey on 16-January-2016|
Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven's gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
“True Redemption is seized when you accept the future consequences for your past mistakes.” ~ Eduardo Macedo
Raven Nez seems to have it all with his Native American good looks, athletic skills, possibility of an NFL draft, and charisma. In their overenthusiasm, Raven's family and fans are pulling him in several directions, none of which are the way Raven wants to go. His success is good for the locals, especially considering how much revenue Raven's ventures will bring in. It's not that Raven is ungrateful for his success, but he wishes he had more choice in the matter.
Trying to be the “good son” and doing what's expected of him, Raven assists with a publicity project for his father's casino in which Dennis Hascomb, a young photography student, will be doing the filming. From the beginning, there is a spark between them, but Dennis isn't gay and Raven has a boyfriend, Walt, who is actually just his best friend. As Raven and Dennis work together, they become friends. Raven senses that Dennis is extremely troubled by something, which he admits but can't talk about. His attraction to Dennis continues to grow stronger, but Dennis resists getting closer. When Dennis finally shows up again, Raven is determined to find out what is wrong and won't take no for an answer. Dennis can't tell him the whole truth, but admits that he thinks he's gay. Besides talking it out with Dennis, Raven does his best to help Dennis accept himself. Raven introduces Dennis to his grandfather and the counselor at the Gay Youth Center where Raven volunteers; both of offer him help but Dennis is resistant.
All of his life, Dennis has lived in fear of his parents with good reason. Due to their manipulation, Dennis lives in fear of what the consequences might be if he didn't listen to them. Their brainwashing, physical, and psychological abuse have taken its toll. His parents are despicable con artists who force Dennis to gather “sensitive” information that can be used against them. Dennis is beginning to hate it and them more each day. Raven's Native American stories about two-spirited people, those who don't fit into the binary gender model, being treated with respect hit a chord with Dennis, but even the thought of his parents' reaction to a gay son is enough to terrify Dennis and “keep him straight”. When Dennis's parents realize that he's friends with Raven, they encourage the relationship, thinking that they might able to use it to their advantage. The idea of Raven in their clutches terrifies Dennis. He knows he has to do something drastic to keep that from happening, even if it means severe consequences.
Making a hero of a villain is a tall order, but Tara does it with ease. Dennis was a person I considered despicable before since he caused so much misery in the first book of the series. He seemed unredeemable, but Tara explained why he acted the way he did. I began to feel sorry for him for having such dreadful parents and such an awful life. Surprised as I was by this, I was even more surprised when I finally found myself liking him, even though I still think his consequences were a bit too light. While Tara was accomplishing this monumental feat, she also reminded me of the old adage: “To err is human, to forgive is divine.” If you enjoy reading about Native American customs, football, parental expectations, underhandedness, deceit, kidnapping, drama, and angst, you may like this book. Thank you, Tara, for showing me the true Dennis and for giving him and Raven the love they earned.