Reviewed by Susan65
Title: Offside Chance
Author: Mercy Celeste
Series: Southern Scrimmage #3
Heroes: Jude Brody and William “Slayer” Slater
Genre: M/M Contemporary
Length: 300 pages
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 11, 2014
Available at: Amazon, All Romance eBooks & Barnes and Noble
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads & Booklikes
Blurb: Judah Brody meets William Slater and it’s loathe at first sight.
Jude had spent his whole life in his famous brother’s shadow. Returning to New Orleans seemed like a good idea now that Levi was back home. But Jude couldn’t turn around without something of Levi’s getting in his way. In this case it’s Levi’s best friend, a three hundred pound knuckle-dragger named Slayer, who likes strippers, football, porn and making Jude’s life miserable—not necessarily in that order.
William Slater’s season couldn’t get much worse. He lost his house to fire, his contract was set to expire, and his prospects of getting picked up by another team were slim to none. House sitting for his best friend was the only bright spot in an otherwise bleak New Orleans winter. Until Levi’s stuck up nerd of a brother came to stay.
A freak winter snow storm, deep familial secrets, and a whole lot of male/male bonding wasn’t exactly in the game plan. But bragging rights were on the line and there wasn’t an offside chance in hell of this game going into overtime
Let me just throw it out there…. These boys are a mess!!! Yes, they are. However, that is exactly what I expected and exactly what you know is going to happen whenever you read a Mercy Celeste book. And fortunately, I am a girl who thrives on her main characters struggling and fighting hard for what they want…even if they don’t yet know it’s what they want.
In this third installment of the Southern Scrimmage series, we have two seemingly straight, emotionally closed off tough guys who each come with their own set of baggage, issues and drama. Knowing a bit of their past from previous books, I was very excited to see how the author would pull off this double gay-for-you. She definitely didn’t choose the easy route when she wrote this book and I give her major kudos for adding a new spin to an old, tried and true, storyline.
We start off with Jude, Levi Brody’s younger look-a-like brother, who is temporarily moving back to his brothers New Orleans townhouse while he attends classes. Unbeknownst to Jude, Levi’s best friend/teammate Will “Slayer” Slater, is also living in Levi’s house since his house was recently burned down. These two meet, instantly dislikes the other, and a gun is involved. You know right away that things are not going to be easy for these future love birds.
This is a case of two supposedly straight men fighting non-stop because neither one is willing to entertain the idea that they might just be gay, bi, bi-curious, or anything remotely related to being attracted to another man. Slayer is as close to being homophobic as a man can be without actually losing his gay friends. They only put up with his lip for so long, but he does push it…even after he gets caught with his pants down, literally. The denial is almost comical…if it wasn’t so sad.
We also get an unexpected twist concerning Dylan and Bo, the main characters from the first book. Bo floored me with his little confession…I did not see that coming at all. Those boys still have a lot to work through, but I don’t foresee any major, future drama for them…hopefully. Also some concerns with Levi and Tracey, who are still so knew as a couple but their love is so real that you know they will overcome and thrive. We also see a combination of issues involving Jude and Levi, Bo and Tracey, Will and Dylan….nothing earth shattering, but enough to turn their lives into a modern day gay soap opera.
So yeah, there you have it, not a tear jerker like we got with Dylan and Sunday, not the shock factor you got with Levi/Liv and Tracey, but definitely an uphill battle that was hard fought and required both men to make concessions and uneasy choices…but in the end they finally accepted their natures and realized they were worth it.
Overall Impression: I really like it
*I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.*