Ok, being a Brit, I have to admit that the rules of baseball are an anathema to me – I have no idea who does what to whom or where, only a scant knowledge that its a little like rounders…. with a bigger bat and tighter trousers.
Being given a gay romance novel to review that revolves around the game of baseball may seem strange, and it being written by a woman even stranger. This is her debut male/male romance novel and the initial idea came about over a family lunch involving her oldest son. An off the cuff remark by his girlfriend that ‘if he were ever to have a “gay” experience, then it would be with his best friend,’ led to the author picking this up and using it in her book.
The story revolves around the budding romance of Spencer Hightower and Brock Kinkaid – great all American names, conjuring up images of muscle, sweat and Gap… and this book does a great job of supplying you with imagery.
I’m not going to spoil the story for you, suffice to say, Spencer is the minor league baseball player with ambition and Brock the audience, after his nephew wins tickets to go see Spencer in action… on the pitch. They meet, fall heavily in love and then the story does something I really love, it shows them dating… not jumping straight into bed, a back seat or handy dark alley… no – actual dating. For me, this is what I love… normal life.
Too many gay themed books are “one handed reads”, going straight for the crotch from word one, but Grand Slam, although it has no shortage of very well written and highly charged sex scenes, also shows that we, as gay men, actually eat food at times too, we do laundry, we shop as well as all the other stuff we’re fabulous at!
Of course, being fiction, the normality doesn’t always last and their romance is soon under pressure from outside influences, bigotry and another man, but I’ll leave you to read it and get the juicy details. It is worth the purchase.
The book is available as both paperback and download and I love that. Too many books of this genre are simple downloads which can almost cheapen the experience. Having said that, I am a convert to the whole e-reader experience, both via tablet and dedicated e-reader.