The Quarterback

Title: The Quarterback
Author: Mackenzie Blair
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: September 11th 2017
Genre(s): Contemporary
Page Count: 330
Reviewed by: Ele
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5


Matt Lancaster is the star quarterback at Bodine College, a small Southern Division II school with an ultra-conservative Dean of Athletics. Matt is also very much in the closet, and he thinks he’s kept his secret well hidden. Until his best friends take him to a happy endings massage parlor and request a male masseuse for him.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.

Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ending for both of them.

Dissenting opinion ahead.

I’m fully aware I’m in the minority with this one, so don’t mind me, I’ll be over there in my box of shame.

This book was a weird experience for me. I never thought it could happen, but for the first time ever, the secondary characters almost ruined the story for me. Almost, but not completely, thus…rounding up to 3 stars.

First of all, I need to clarify that I did like the romance and the chemistry between Trevor and Matt. The tension was just right, the sexy times scorching hot and the relationship development came naturally. Trevor might have caved a bit too easily a couple of times, but I get where Matt was coming from, and I really appreciated the lack of melodrama. The angst was pretty expected and not OTT.

So if I liked the MCs, what was my problem? Everything else! Everyone else in this book was an OTT, ridiculous caricature.

Because who the hell would take their closeted gay friend to a happy endings massage parlor and throw him to a male masseuse, without him knowing, and without even telling him they have figured out his secret first? That would be Matt’s friends. “Hey man, we know you ‘re gay”, would have been enough.

Who the hell asks a person if he’s a top or a bottom, in the fist few seconds of meeting them? That would be Matt’s sisters.

Who the hell replies with “So.Fucking.Hot” when someone comes out to them? That would be Danielle, Matt’s friend. Note that just a few seconds before she was yelling at him for not treating girls right.

Who the hell checks out someone’s junk and comments on it, in the first few seconds of meeting them? That would also be Danielle.

Who asks what to wear in a gay wedding right after someone came out to them? That would be Matt’s coach.

For such a supportive group, though, they sure get grossed out pretty easily with PDA. Both gays and straights.

Some of the things that came out of the MC’s mouth didn’t help either. Like…

“You look pathetic,”

“Wouldn’t you be if some girl had kissed you? Gross.”

“Did you give me girl cooties?”


“Oh my god, I thought being gay meant I never had to have a DTR talk. It’s okay if you don’t want to be my boyfriend,” he mumbled.

“A ‘define the relationship’ talk? Wow, you are gay. And in middle school.”

The writing was ok but the humour was awkward sometimes, or I just didn’t click with it.

“Should he spray some [cologne] on his junk? Would it burn? Would it weird Matt out? Make him think all dicks smelled like exotic spices? Or only Asian dicks? He started laughing.”

I always try to focus on the MCs in my books, but sometimes it’s not easy to ignore the secondary characters and the setting, and this was one of these times. Maybe it was my mood, or the fact that I read this after a book I loved and set the bar high. I don’t want to discourage anyone from picking this up, so you should definately check some more reviews.

Personally, I can’t recommend.

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Advanced Review Copy

Galley copy of The Quarterback provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange of an honest review.


Mother, wife, teacher and READER. I read MM almost exclusively. My kindle is my best friend and the most important thing in my life after my son. My poor husband... I read MM romance almost exclusively. As a reader I don't have any hard limits except incest. I like Contemporary and Historicals and I rarely read Paranormal unless recommended...