Title: Out in the Offense (Out in College #3)
Author: Lane Hayes Narrator: Michael Pauley
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Release Date: February 11, 2019
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Length: 5 hrs and 31 mins
Reviewed by: Lily G. Blunt
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Christian Rafferty is a talented quarterback with a big secret. He’s determined to make the most of his final season on the football field and, if possible, avoid any confrontations with his conservative parents about his future. It shouldn’t be difficult; he’s become adept at keeping his public and private lives separate. However, when a math class threatens to derail his plans to graduate on time, he realizes he may need outside help.
Rory Kirkland has a reputation for being a tough guy. He’s a former wrestler and recent college graduate who needs a real job. Until he finds one, tutoring is a decent temporary gig. Luckily, his brain is his biggest asset. Rory is a genius. He credits his sport for helping him deal with angst and rumors about his sexuality when he was younger, but he doesn’t care what others think anymore. He likes his new status as an out and proud bi man, and he recognizes something of himself in Christian.
But Rory didn’t count on falling for him. When an unlikely friendship collides with intense attraction, both men begin to realize that coming out on offense just might be the surest path to love.
This is my favourite story in Lane’s latest series featuring college sportsmen, which also deals with coming out to teammates and family. I thought the chemistry between the two main characters this time around was hot and there were lots of lovely ‘feels’.
If you’ve followed the previous two stories, you will already be familiar with Christian and Rory as they featured before, albeit rather briefly. Rory came across as negative before, but in this story he shines. He’s such a great guy. He’s patient, caring, smart, and smoking hot. And Michael Pauley’s voice made him even hotter! Roar! No wonder Christian fell for Rory. He’s bi and out of the closet and the sexiest tutor ever. His sense of humour and their banter had me smiling.
I loved how Rory and Christian fall for each other and how the story builds to Christian gaining the courage to come out to his sports friends and family. There’s some conflict along the way that comes via Christian’s ex-boyfriend’s new beau and also Christian’s overbearing father. I’m glad there were no ‘interfering’ female characters this time around. The inevitable ‘break-up’ scene near the end was moving and the public coming out was uplifting. I’d love to read a story set in the future to see how their relationship has developed over the subsequent years!
Although the story could be read as a standalone, I suggest reading/listening to the other two first to gain an insight into the characters and the general background to this series.
Michael Pauley certainly brought the characters to life, matching the various voices to personalities, and making it easy to determine who was speaking. Spot-on pacing and some lovely emotional moments. I love his growly voice and the enthusiasm he puts into his narrative work.