The Blueprint (Crabbypatty’s Review)

Title: The Blueprint
Author: S.E. Harmon (Rules of Possession #1)
Buy link: (Second Edition)
Release Date: March 13, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Sports Romance
Page Count: 270 pages
Reviewed by: Crabbypatty
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Kelly Cannon is satisfied with his life. He has friends, a wonderful family, and a great job. But his love life has reached a new level of pitiful. Why? Well, his heart decided to break all the rules. Don’t fall in love with a straight guy. And definitely don’t fall in love with your best friend.

NFL standout Britton “Blue” Montgomery has pressure coming at him from all sides. From his father, who’s only interested in Blue’s football career. From his coaches, who just want him to play without getting injured again. From the fans. From his agent. And from his mother, who has popped up on the radar after leaving his family years before. And now his relationship with Kelly is on shaky ground, and that frightens Blue more than anything.

When Kelly admits he’s in love with Blue, bonds are tested, and Blue has to decide what’s really important. He doesn’t want to lose the number-one person in his life, but the cost to keep Kelly close might be more than he’s willing to pay.

It’s a good thing his nickname is the Blueprint—it’s time to draft a new set of plans.

Blue and Kelly have been friends since childhood; Blue plays for the NFL while Kelly is a physics professor. Kelly is gay while Blue is … straight? Kelly has been in love with his best friend for years and lately Blue has been sending signals, definitely mixed signals, but signals nonetheless, that maybe he isn’t as straight as he proclaims to be. Blue, for his part, is willing (maybe) to concede that he’s bisexual but he doesn’t want to mess up his friendship with Kelly nor come out to the NFL and his fans. What follows is a push-and-pull situation with Blue and Kelly having some very steamy sex, then Blue using the friend card, again and again. As Blue thinks:

In this case Oscar Wilde seemed to sum up my situation with Kelly—“There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, and the other is getting it.” I asked for just friendship, and he gave me exactly what I asked for. No more, no less.

Kelly, on the other hand, wishes for a slightly different outcome:

Why not go all out with the fantasy? We’d probably eat dinner and watch a little TV. Then we’d shower and put on pajamas and get into bed. Our dog would curl up at the foot of the bed, and everything would settle. The house would be quiet and dark and cool, and I’d curl up against Blue… who would then proceed to rip my pajamas off and fuck me into the mattress. Our dog would sniff in annoyance and stalk off to her own bed, and I would proceed to make noises wild enough to make the raccoons at our trashcans pause.

I love the free-flowing abundant snark throughout and S.E. Harmon’s writing style is so seamless and smooth that it’s easy to get drawn into the story from its first few pages. I also like that we get Blue and Kelly’s POV throughout, but Blue seriously needs to make up his mind and stop the endless cycle of jealousy towards Kelly and really delve into his feelings. Despite the simmering sexual tension, the pace of the book feels very slow as there is nothing close to a resolution until the final pages.

And when the final resolution comes, it’s rushed along and we don’t see the consequences of the life-changing decision Blue worried about for most of the book. I want to get Blue’s father’s response, his coach and teammates, fans, and Kelly’s friends and colleagues and feel an epilogue is really needed. I like the plot but want a bit more … resolution, I guess. 3.5 stars for The Blueprint and I definitely want to read more by S.E. Harmon!

Rules of Possession Series

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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