Canning the Center

Canning the CenterTitle: Canning the Center (Long Pass Chronicles #2)
Author: Tara Lain and John-Paul Barrel (Narrator)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: August 20th 2015
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary
Length: 9 hrs and 17 mins
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 4.17 stars out of 5


Six foot seven inch, 300 pound Jamal Jones loves football, so when he finds out the ultra-conservative owner of his new pro football team fired their current center because he’s gay, bisexual Jamal decides to stay in the closet and hang with the females. Then, at a small drag show, he comes face-to-face with his sexual fantasy in the form of Trixie LaRue, a drag queen so exquisitely convincing she scrambles Jamal’s hormones — and his resolve to nurse his straight side.

Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, hides more than his genitals. A mathematician so brilliant he can’t be measured, Trevor disguises his astronomical IQ and his quirk for women’s clothes behind his act as a gay activist undergrad at Southern California University.

To Trevor, Jamal is the answer to a dream — a man who can love and accept both his personas. When he discovers Jamal’s future is threatened if he’s seen with a guy, Trevor becomes Trixie to let Jamal pass as straight. But Trevor risks his position every time he puts on a dress. Is there a closet big enough to hold a football pro and a drag queen?

Belens Audio Book Review

A story about a hot football star falling for a gorgeous cross-dressing genius? Oh, hell yeah. I. Am. Riveted.

Lauren Conrad Attention

Add tons of humor and sexiness with the delightful narration of John-Paul Barrel…and you have one happy girl here.
Lauren Conrad Happy

I really enjoyed John-Paul’s narration. There were a couple of breathy points and some editing drops, but they go by quickly and don’t make a great many appearances, certainly not enough to diminish the enjoyment of the story.

Unfortunately my Big Pet Peeve “Miscommunication” makes an unwanted appearance:

I hate when one character breaks up with another in order “to save” their partner without any proper communication. What can I say, it’s a thing that makes me rage every time.

Lauren Conrad Shrug

Frankly, there was more than enough “necessary” drama in the story so, in my opinion, it would have worked just as well, if not better, if Jamal had just gone to Trevor (or, hell, his father) right away with what Arondel was doing.

Lauren Conrad Sucky Person

Also, what was with only finding out about Trevor’s childhood, etc. 91% in??? Man, I would have liked to have had that explored better, and earlier, than it was. *pouts*

Thankfully, the miscommunication is corrected in a timely manner and was handled well enough my head didn’t explode. Other that that there weren’t any over-the-top unnecessary drama moments, which I was grateful for, because the narration really is all the entertainment you need.


John-Paul Barrel made me laugh, get a little teary-eyed, and gave enough heat to the sexy times to have me glancing around to see if anyone was looking at me…you know what I mean? wink, wink, nudge, nudge And can I just take one more moment to drool some more over that FANTASTIC cover by Cover Artist Anna Sikorska?

eyes up here

Bottom line: I was thoroughly entertained with only minor bumps in my happiness highway. Recommended!

Buy Link Author Link GoodReads

Review Copy

Copy generously provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange for an honest review.


I am an unapologetic book addict/lover. I’m happiest when reading and I spend most of my time with my Kindle, which is never far from my hand.
I love to be told a good story! I mostly read fiction: Romance, Erotica, Young Adult, New Adult, Paranormal (shifters? Yes, please!), a little BDSM when I’m in the mood, and I love a good ménage story. I DEFINITELY PREFER A HFN/HEA!

My biggest no-no’s are cheating, miscommunication / misunderstanding plots, unnecessary angst, and cliffhangers.

A sampling of my “Favorite M/M” stories:

Carry the Ocean The Half of Us Red Dirt Heart Adulting 101 Tied Up In Knots
Shelter the Sea Manties in a Twist David, Renewed Ethan who Loved Carter Perfect Imperfections
Wolfsong Fight the Tide How to Walk Like A Man The Lightning-Struck Heart Forging the Future

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