Match Point (Crabbypatty’s Review)


Title: Match Point (Sports of the Seasons #1)
Author: Leigh Carman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: July 20, 2016
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 167
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Two stubborn men.

One is a rude jerk. The other, the life of the party.

It was hate at first sight.

Pro beach volleyball players Finn Callahan and Dexter Savage have been rivals since college. While Finn always comes out on top on the court, Dexter’s carefree and fun-loving personality earns him scores of adoring men and women. And as much as Finn fights to deny it, there’s another reason for the tension he feels when Dex is around. Hate wasn’t the only thing he felt when he first laid eyes on his opponent.

When they’re forced to team up, the two men must bury their differences—on and off the court—if either of them is going to succeed professionally.

volleyball player beach digHello, my name is Crabbypatty and … oh, this is hard for me to blurt out … but … I’m shallow. When I saw that gorgeous cover and read the blurb, I was in. I mean, two hot professional beach volleyball players? Yes, oh please … yes.
Volleyball player

I like the premise of this book. Dex and Finn have known (and hated) each other since college, and find themselves on opposite sides of the net in the professional beach volleyball world. Dex is the great guy with lots of sponsors and a winning smile. Finn? So, he’s not Mr. Friendly (or personable or charming) but he and his partner Tristan are a winning team both on – and off – the beach. When an almost unbearable tragedy devastates Finn, he finds his way back from grief by teaming up with Dex on the PBVA tour.

The sexual tension between Dex and Finn is fierce and intense – but the same can be said of their animosity for one another. Dex and Finn alternate between fighting their attraction for one another … and fighting, as in knock-down drag-out fights, spats, dust-ups, etc. Both are fond of storming off after a fight, and frequently Dex or Finn grab their keys and drive off, only to find themselves pounding on the other’s door later to make up, or waiting in the parking lot. Personally, I felt this really slowed down the pace of the story as it happens again and again.

Finally, without going into too much detail,

while Dex’s backstory was very unsettling, it felt almost too unrealistic. The same could be said of Finn’s family argument / assault situation. Given the length of the book, I needed a few more scenes handling these issues rather than another round or two of Dex and Finn arguing.
However, the HEA ending pulls everything together nicely, and I have to give Leigh Carman bonus points for using the sentence, gay sex unicorn“How embarrassing to find out you’re some sort of gay sex unicorn.”

While there was some plot points that irked me, I’m aware they may not bother anyone else, and I recommend this book for readers who love hot professional athletes who fight their way to a happy ending. Enjoy!

Players of LA Series

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of Match Point provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.


Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.  Frederick Douglas I distinctly remember that day in school when, all of a sudden, those squiggles on the page made sense and I could read. It has changed my life in ways I still cannot comprehend. My favorite M/M tropes are friends-to-lovers, murder/mysteries, amnesia, hurt/healing and historicals. Shifters, vampires, paranormal? Meh ... not in my wheelhouse, but I'm a sucker for a well-written well-plotted book, no matter the genre. Favorite authors includes Brandon Witt, Rick R. Reed, Abigail Roux, Jay Northcote, JL Merrow, KJ Charles, Lane Hayes, Marshall Thornton and so many more. A few "badges" from NetGalley: 100 Book Reviews Reviews Published Professional Reader
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