Book Review ~ Tight End by Devon McCormack
Book: Tight End
Author: Devon McCormack
Release Date: October 9, 2017
Length: 363 pages
“I don’t need a fucking babysitter.”
Out and proud NFL star tight end Tad Roarke has success, money, and fame. Just about everything. Except a good reputation. After being outed by the media as a promiscuous cheat, sponsors are dropping him left and right. To make matters worse, he’s been targeted as the next victim of an anti-gay celebrity serial killer. The FBI works with his team to protect him, assigning Agent Bryce Finnegan as his undercover bodyguard. But Tad doesn’t like Bryce from the get-go. The fed thinks he’s a spoiled brat. Maybe he’s right. Regardless, Tad doesn’t plan on proving him wrong, and he’ll do anything to make Bryce’s job even more difficult. Still, as much as he hates him, he can’t deny the guy’s hot as hell…and he wouldn’t mind passing a few balls around with him in the sheets.
“I don’t get paid enough for this.”
Agent Bryce Finnegan is no stranger to undercover work. With a background in busting drug cartels, he’s used to his life being on the line. He’s not used to putting up with spoiled rich kids who don’t realize how good they have it. When he meets Tad Roarke, he expects him to be a jerk. And he’s right. But the more time he spends with him, the more he realizes that all Tad’s attitude is little more than bravado. He’s not an asshole, and the media has twisted more than a few facts to tarnish Tad’s reputation. Now Bryce isn’t just worried about protecting this guy from a serial killer, but about falling in love in the process.
Tight End is a stand-alone gay romance with a HEA and no cliffhanger.
I can't say I loved either of these characters at first. Although I liked Tad a bit more than Bryce. When we first meet them they are both unlikable, but as we move forward in the story and begin to chip away at the outer shell, what you find under their tough exterior is two men that are very similar. Two men who are damaged and who have been hurt by the people who are supposed to love them unconditionally: their parents, as well as past romantic relationships. When you peel away the layers and get past the attitude you find two men who both desperately want to be loved, but aren't quite sure if they deserve or can accept that love.
I liked the premise of the story. I thought the plot was well executed, but I didn't care for the writing style. The story is written in present tense and by the end of the book I still wasn't use to it and really didn't care for it. The action, well, I guess I mostly noticed it during the sex scenes, is very "telly" and not so much "showy". I want to feel like I'm there, not feel like an outsider looking in. And yeah, lets talk about the sex. OUCH!! This book is filled with very angry, hate sex, to the point that the bottom is in physical pain. Even though I didn't care for the pain, the characters didn't seem to mind and actually seemed like they enjoyed it, although it wasn't so pleasant to read. I almost wonder if it's used like cutting to numb the emotional pain they are in. Or maybe I'm just reading too much into it.
Although the mystery portion is kept in the background for most of the book, when it finally does come to a head, it was well-written, fast paced and action-packed. The story ties up all the loose ends, but it's all wrapped up rather quickly. I thought the issues with Tad's father, who was a complete twat throughout the majority of the story, so much so that I wanted to punch him in the face and also Darren's betrayal, were all resolved a bit too easily.
All in all, this was an enjoyable read, well except for the sex *cringes*, filled with emotion. The author does a fabulous job with this portion of the story. It's either very well researched or the author has first hand experience with the inadequacies the characters experience. He taps into Tad and Bryce's emotional struggles and makes them and the reader feel it. If you don't mind some pain with your sex, this is a recommendable read!
About The Author:
A gay man himself, McCormack focuses on gay male characters, adding to the immense body of literature that chooses to represent and advocate gay men's presence in media. His body of work ranges from erotica to young adult, so readers should check the synopses of his books before purchasing so that they know what they're getting into.