Virtual Tour: Love Complicated by Teegan Loy ~ (ARC Review, Guest Post, Giveaway + Excerpt)
Author Name: Teegan Loy
Book Name: Love Complicated
Release Date: May 11, 2015
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Christy Caughie
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Austin Suter is the hot, talented tennis player who has the entire school bowing at his feet. Girls routinely throw themselves at him, and boys like Jalen stay the hell out of his way. Austin is destined for greatness on the world stage of professional tennis.
The kiss between them wasn’t supposed to happen. Falling in love definitely hadn’t been part of Jalen’s plan.
And when Austin turns pro, Jalen begins to realize that the choices he makes will affect Austin’s life. One wrong choice and Austin’s career could be over before it really begins. Jalen is not sure where he fits, or even if he fits at all in Austin’s life. But the more complicated things become, the less the idea of being apart appeals. Love should simplify things, not complicate them.
Pages or Words: 280 pages
Categories: Contemporary Romance, New Adult
The locker room reeked of socks that hadn’t seen the inside of a washing machine since the beginning of the semester. This place was the second worst part of my day in high school. The first was walking through the front door.
But gym class was its own private hell. I didn’t dislike sports; I just wasn’t any good at them. The kids loved to humiliate me on the court, in the water, on the field, or wherever the teacher had us. I’d been smashed in the face with a basketball, volleyball, soccer ball, and every other ball invented by humans.
Today my class was playing tennis, which was worse, because not only was there a ball, but also a racket. It increased my chances of getting hurt by tenfold. And I really wanted to survive my final year of high school and not die from embarrassment in gym class. I’d made it through the first sport of the year, soccer, by sticking to the sidelines and pretending to participate by running away from the ball.
This morning my mom came home from work as I was leaving for school, and I begged her to write me some sort of note to excuse me from tennis. She declined and told me to get more involved at school. What good was having a surgical nurse for a mother if she wouldn’t help her only kid out of a jam? And what did participating in gym class have to do with getting involved at school? I couldn’t get involved if I was in a coma or dead.
I started to argue with her, but the dark circles under her eyes and the heavy sigh that fell from her lips made me ease off. I kissed her on the cheek and told her to get some rest.
So now my only hope of not playing tennis was a freak rainstorm, and from the way the sun was shining, I knew it wasn’t going to happen. I had no choice but to change, hide among my classmates, and hope Mr. Tames, my sadistic gym teacher, didn’t pick me to play.
Most of the kids were excited to be outside and acted like monkeys just released from their cages. They jumped on one another and hollered all the way out to the courts.
I hoped my quiet demeanor would help me blend into the background. Unfortunately my stellar plan didn’t work. Mr. Tames handed me a tennis racket and paired me with a hockey player named Kasey. Our first opponents were another music nerd and a regular kid. I stayed out of Kasey’s way as he raced around the court, destroying them. We won the match, and Kasey high-fived me by smacking me on the forehead. I scowled at him, because if we had lost, I could have sat down and celebrated getting out of gym class unscathed.
Our next match was against a soccer player and Austin Suter, who had been pegged as the next Wimbledon champion. At least that’s what he told everyone.
He was a pretty boy with full lips and light brown wavy hair that brushed his shoulders. Girls routinely threw themselves at him, and boys like me stayed the hell out of his way. One smoldering look from him and I’d have to walk around school with a book in front of my crotch. Admiring him from afar was the best I could manage.
“Hey, Austin,” my partner shouted across the net. “I’m going to shove this ball down your throat.”
“You’re going to be eating yours,” Austin shot back. His partner gave him a fist bump. Kasey and Austin exchanged a few more verbal warnings. I fiddled with the strings on my racket, and pretended to listen to Kasey’s game plan. Austin’s partner dutifully held his racket while Austin pulled his hair into a ponytail.
“Gentlemen,” Mr. Tames warned. “Enough trash talk. Start the game.”
I groaned and resisted raising my hand to ask to be dismissed. They spun a racket to see who served first. Austin sneered and Kasey growled.
It was supposed to be a friendly game, but the testosterone roared, and the game quickly turned cutthroat. I managed to stay out of Kasey’s way and every ball hit in my direction. I even accidentally returned one. The shot startled Austin and he missed. Mr. Tames whooped and pumped his fist. I should have taken the moment to demand an A.
“Lucky shot, blondie,” Austin shouted at me.
Kasey flipped him off and got yelled at by Mr. Tames again. The students surrounding the court yelled for someone’s head on a platter. I was pretty sure it was me they wanted served up for lunch.
The intensity of the game increased with each returned ball and I started to fear for my life when one zinged by my ear.
“Take it easy, Austin,” Mr. Tames shouted when Austin tried to nail Kasey in the balls. “Jalen, you don’t move this well when you’re playing dodgeball. The point of this game is to actually make contact with the ball. At least attempt to use your racket.”
I rolled my eyes and readied for the next point. Austin served to Kasey, who somehow got his racket on the ball and it popped over the net. The ball seemed to hover in the air, giving me time to figure out I had a bull’s-eye painted on my forehead. Austin raised his racket and connected with the ball, which connected with my face. Who knew a tennis ball felt like a giant rock when smashed into your eye socket. My racket clattered to the ground, and I covered my face to make sure my eyeball didn’t actually fall out.
Austin must have hurdled the net, because he was suddenly kneeling next to me and breathing down my neck. I tried to crawl away from him and his stupid apologies, but he caught me and helped me to my feet. Tames barked orders to set me on the bench while he went for medical supplies. Austin put his arm around my waist and I limped to the bench. The other guys hooted and hollered at me until Austin shot a scowl at them and quieted the entire gym class.
“Is your ankle okay?” Austin asked.
“My ankle is fine,” I snarled and sat down. “Limping makes my eye feel better.”
*copy provided by author/publisher via pride promotions in exchange for an honest review*
I wanted to love this book so much, but I didn't love it. I liked the premises and the story line was good. My problem with the book was the characters. They are in high school, but they are 18, so they are legally adults. They didn't act 18, I felt more like I was reading about 15 year olds, Jalen much more than Austin. Jalen was so immature and annoying at times. The phrases "Stop saying Shit Like that", "he whined" and "he grumbled" were repeated over and over.
It's a real shame, because I loved the characters together. They were sweet and loving to one another. They had great chemistry. The sex was hot, yet also sweet and tender. I just really wish they would have been more mature.
I did laugh my ass off at times. These characters were funny. Their friends were funny, and I really enjoyed their banter and back and forth. I loved watching Jalen come into his own with his music.
If you can get over Jalen being annoyingly immature at times, well this was a really good read!
Author Guest Post:
We are so happy to have Teegan here at Bayou Book Junkie today, to talk about what inspires her to write about the prejudices and hardships faced by Gay athletes in the professional sports world. This is such a sad subject. You shouldn't be judged for anything according to who you have sex with.
What inspires you to write about the prejudices and hardships faced by gay athletes in the professional sports world?
I’ve been around sports all of my life. I like sports. So when I started writing m/m romance, it seemed like the perfect fit. I write about the prejudices and hardships faced by gays in the professional world because it’s a reality. One that doesn’t need to exist in my opinion.
I do not define a person by their sexuality. I do not understand the concept of having to “Come Out” via a press conference. That’s like saying that every athlete should stand up in front of cameras and tell us what they do in bed. Or maybe everyone should be required to publicly declare who and what we like in the bedroom. Do you do want to be subjected to that sort of scrutiny?
One thing I find incredibly interesting is the idea that if a gay man is on the team, he will immediately be attracted to every other man in the locker room. Really? I find that incredibly vain. If I walk into a room filled with guys, I may not find any of them attractive. So why do we think because there is one gay guy they will obviously check out every guy?
Where to find the author:
Tour Dates & Stops:a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rafflecopter Prize: A book from Teegan’s backlist
Rafflecopter Prize: A book from Teegan’s backlist