Title: Tackling the Tight End
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Author: Tara Lain
Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis’s pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Tackling the Tight End is the latest story in the Long Pass Chronicles. Of all the books in the series, this is the one I liked the best. When I first read the blurb for the story I had forgotten who Dennis was, so of course once I started the book I could not figure out how the author would be able to justify him as a character fit for a book of his own. While the readers soon learn that some of what is going on in Dennis’ life, it is not until later that we learn the whole truth. I could not help but feel sorry for him and glad to see that he would get a happily ever after that he deserved.
Of course Tackling the Tight End is a romance so there is another main character that is just as important as Dennis. A member of the SCU football team, Raven is headed to the NFL that is if the tribe as any say in it. The tribes, and his father, are hoping that once Raven makes the NFL the publicity will bring gamblers to the casino. Raven has other dreams however and he is not sure how his father will take that.
Raven meets Dennis when he is assigned, by his father; to help the other men put together a video showcasing the casino. There is an instant attraction between the two men, yet both have reasons for staying away from the other. When Raven learns about Dennis’ past from other members of the team he can’t make that jive with what he has seen. Unable to stay away from each other the two start dating. As you can imagine, this does not go smoothly for either of them.
There is a lot going on in Tackling the Tight End. Some of this story may be difficult for readers to read, and the story is definitely full of angst, but I could not put it down. I wanted these two to get their happily ever after, yet worried that something would happen that would keep that from happening. The author did a great job not only wrapping up the story between the two men, but also clearing up the secondary story surrounding one of the young men from the youth center.
While this is a series that you do not need to read in order I do recommend that you give all the books a try.
Reviewed by: Lydia
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