Marc reviews ‘No! Jocks Don’t Date Guys’ (Jock 2) by Wade Kelly. The book was published by Dreamspinner Press on December 14th, 2015 and is 294 Pages long.
RGR received a review copy of the book for an honest review.
Thank you for stopping by to read my release day review of Wade Kelly’s new book. Please also check out the author’s guest post about writing what she knows. You can find out which parts of herself she has found in the different characters of her books and if you leave a comment on this post for her, you will be entered to win one of three $10 Amazon GC. If you leave a comment at ALL 8 stops of the tour, you can also win a signed paperback AND eBook of the winner’s choice AND a $10 Amazon GC. The Guestpost and more Giveaway Details HERE. Good Luck!
What is a sexy soccer stud supposed to do when “following family tradition” falls 180 degrees opposite his closeted ideal?
From birth, Chris Jackson has been schooled on how to land a cheerleader. After all, his father married one, and his father’s father before him. Heck, even his older brother married a stereotypical cheerleader the summer before Chris went off to college. For two years, Chris dodges invasive questions about relationships by blaming his lack of female companionship on grueling practices and heavy coarse loads. But his lack of interest in girls should’ve given his family a clue. It isn’t until Chris mentions meeting a boy that his father’s synapses short-circuit.
Alonzo Martin is anything but a buxom blond. From his black hair, combat boots, and trench coat to his nail polish and guyliner, the mysterious introvert isn’t easily persuaded to date. Alonzo’s insecurities keep Chris at arm’s length, but Alonzo’s painful past might meet its match in the charismatic jock’s winning smile and sense of humor.
When opposites attract, only cheerleaders and gummy bears can help overcome fear and family tradition.
This title reminds me of the title of book one. It immediately links this sequel to the Jock series.
The cover is amazing. You see the university and a soccer ball in the background, so you know some important themes of the book at first glance. It’s also very easy to see how cute Chris and Alonzo are. The cover models are great and make it much easier to imagine the main protagonists.
This is a romance story between two super sweet & sexy guys. I really like Chris’s happiness and optimism and Alonzo stole my heart. Alonzo is so vulnerable; and yet, he opens his heart to let Chris in. He has been through a terrible ordeal that is slowly revealed with each new page, but behind the trauma of his past is a confident and vibrant young man, hidden away.
While I really like Chris in many ways, he is not as perfect as he seems in the beginning. He is the soccer captain and incredibly driven and talented. He looks hot, is popular, but always takes the time to be friendly to everyone. He is smart and is easily enraptured by strange things. A guy can’t be quite that perfect, right? Well, I quickly realized he wasn’t and I struggled with my feelings for him.
Honestly, I’m glad that he has flaws. Because let’s be honest, who wants a Ken doll without faults and personality? Mistakes and faults make characters seem more human and easy to relate. Chris has many awesome qualities to him from the very beginning that made me like him.
However, he seems to feel a moral superiority at times that rubbed me the wrong way. I really enjoyed the book, though, and had a big smile on my face while reading it. Still, I like when characters apologize when they have messed up and it made me sad that Chris never seems to realize when he judges others in a harsh and unfair way.
It is beautiful how Chris and Alonzo feel more and more drawn to each other and get closer and closer to each other. However, he is so infatuated that he ignores his best friend completely. He has known Doug for years and they were inseparable. He just drops him like a hot stone when he falls for a guy. I understand that a new ‘relationship’ takes most of one’s attention, but Doug tries so hard to overcome his internalized homophobia to be the best friend he wants to be for Chris. He struggles and even asks for help, but Chris leaves him alone with all those feelings to figure it out without help, chews him out whenever Doug fails his friend’s expectations, and generally is not as much a friend to Doug as I expected.
Doug is the first and only person Chris tells about being gay and he supports him, even though readers discover quickly that he has his own homophobia issues and it is not easy for him to overcome that repression. It becomes more difficult when Chris finds a boyfriend, making his sexuality more than just words and tries to find a way back to an equilibrium in their friendship. He tries to find back to the open friendship they had and even though it clearly makes him uncomfortable, asks about things like sex – stuff they always used to talk about. Chris gets incredibly offended by that, even though he asked the same kind of questions about Doug’s girlfriends and just spent a lot of time telling his straight friend how he jerked off again and again in the shower imagining his boyfriend, even though Doug is obviously struggling with things. Everyone has a right to privacy, but Chris shares much more than I would be comfortable in sharing with any of my straight friends, especially if they were struggling with my sexuality and is then offended by an innocent question. As they have a history about talking openly about straight sex, I actually thought it was really cool of Doug to push through his own discomfort and try to continue as before. Instead of asking about Chris’s girlfriends, he asks about his boyfriend now.
Of course when Doug has very strong negative reactions to the gay issue, it makes sense that Chris has a problem with bringing Alonzo to his room. I probably wouldn’t want to expose a new relationship to that. But it broke my heart that Chris ignores his best friend and does not help him in working out his confusion about his own sexuality. If my best friend wold struggle like that and ask for my help to figure everything out, I would help in any way I could and I think Alonzo would have understood.
In any case, I’m super glad that Doug is the main character in Jock 3, because he was such a fascinating character in this book for me and I NEED to find out more about him.
I think a lot of the problems I have with Chris are things he got from his father. I strongly disliked his father, though Chris’ mom was awesome. His father knows a lot of fancy words, because his parents wanted him to be smart and he passed that on to his son. I thought that was really cool. However, he sees that as being smarter than others who don’t know those fancy words and only wants to deal with ‘smart’ people. Unless they are cheerleaders, then he is obsessed with them. I thought his obsession with cheerleaders (young women) was kind of creepy and I disliked the way the personality and everything about the cheerleaders is dismissed. This whole cheerleader obsession plot point was very hard to take serious, because it made no sense to me personally and I cringed whenever it was mentioned.
Chris has picked up that ‘I’m smarter than you’ mentality to some extent and it made me slightly uncomfortable how he saw the girls who he hangs out with as vapid, superficial and stupid. Personally, I loved that they stood by him when he comes out as gay. People can be so incredibly mean, become bullies, try to hurt and ostracize someone just for being gay, but these girls don’t. They have been his friends and want to continue supporting him. I don’t think they ever had much contact with gay people and there are some stereotypes in their heads that lead them to make some unfortunate comments. Chris could have just told them that he remains the same guy he was before and did not change into a stereotype, just because they now know he is gay. He could tell them when they ask or say things he is not comfortable talking about. I loved how everyone had his back and considering how everything could have turned out, he was incredibly lucky.
He’s lucky especially in regards to Alonzo, and he behaves like a total gentleman. He is patient with him and takes care of him. He draws him out of his shell and makes him live again. It is a beautiful transformation and Chris has everything to do with it. He risks it all to be with Alonzo, even though he only knows him for a short time and has never been in a gay relationship. He trusts his own feelings and makes Alonzo his one, big priority. As much as I might not agree with the way he interacted with his friends, I admire the courage and love he shows in his blossoming relationship. He is completely in love and it is a wonderful and cute thing to behold. He and Alonzo are beautiful together.
Honestly, I love all the ways Chris supports Alonzo and shows him how much he cares for him. As Alonzo’s wounds slowly heal and his confident personality breaks through more and more, he also starts to take care of Chris and what he does for him in the end is a beautiful sign of his love. They are not just sweet together, their sex scenes were hot and intimate.
It was also great to have cameos of the guys from book one. I missed them a lot and it was wonderful to see how their story continued.
Jock 2 is a super sweet and sexy book. The main protagonists have an instant connection and are drawn to each other and together they try to overcome Alonzo’s traumatic past. While it could not match the sarcastic wit of book one for me and I had a much easier time to identify with Ellis and Cole, I really enjoyed this sequel and can’t wait for the follow up. I can encourage any fan of book one to check this sequel out for themselves.
7.5/10 Pots of Gold (75% Recommended) compares to 3.75/5 stars.
Wade Kelly lives and writes in conservative, small-town America on the east coast where it’s not easy to live free and open in one’s beliefs. Wade writes passionately about controversial issues and strives to make a difference by making people think. Wade does not have a background in writing or philosophy, but still draws from personal experience to ponder contentious subjects on paper. There is a lot of pain in the world and people need hope. When not writing, she is thinking about writing, and more than likely scribbling ideas on sticky notes in the car while playing “taxi driver” for her three children. She likes snakes, can’t spell, and has a tendency to make people cry.