Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez — and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis's pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Welcome to my stop on the Tackling the Tight End blogtour. I have my review and favorite quotes as usual, and there are other goodies here for me to share with you as well! This Blogtour is hosted by Enchantress Design and Promo.
Tackling the Tight End is the third instalment in Lain’s Long Pass Chronicles series, and it features the ‘bad guy’ from the first book as one of the main characters. The story is filled with conflict, both external and internal, and it was sweet in some moments, and pretty dark in others.
At the beginning of Tackling the Tight End, I had a little bit of trouble getting into the story being about Dennis, he was such a scumbag in the first book, and I really, really hated what he stood for, and the lengths he went to in his youtube show to ‘out’ people from his university. When he was hired by Raven’s father to do a promotional video for the Casino of their tribe, I was sure nothing good would come from it. Lain completely proved me wrong, though, even if the road was narrow and quite bumpy…
Raven was a character I fell in love with from the start of Tackling the Tight End, because he was strong, both on the football field and out – he was openly gay, and even his team mates, and most of his tribe, were completely on board with that. I loved that this tribe had some very strong mythology of what they called the ‘two spirited’; those who could be either man or woman, or both. The ones who were very much in touch with the spirit world, often medicine men (or women) and who would always be there to help the tribe, healing, and finding solutions to problems. Raven was a lot like that, he worked at a youth shelter for gay youth, many of which had been thrown out by their families.
As the story unfolded, it became clear that while Dennis had done some very wile things, he wasn’t inherently a bad person. He struggled a lot with what he was doing, but in many ways, he didn’t really feel like he had a choice. Even as he got to know Raven much better, and they became friends, then something more, Dennis felt so conflicted. He truly didn’t think he deserved any goodness in his life, but at the same time, Raven shone so bright it was impossible for Dennis to stay away. While Raven was out, Dennis was so hidden he wasn’t exactly sure himself he was gay. Both young men faced a lot of pressure from their families, and they had to fight to stay true to themselves so that maybe one day, they could live the life they had chosen.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, the story was nicely paced, and the flow was seamless. The only reason why I didn’t rate Tackling the Tight End higher was because of my own pre-conceptions of Dennis at the beginning of the story, even if Ms. Lain managed to change my mind as the story unfolded.
His father never loved that Raven hung out with a bunch of gay white kids when he could be working for the glory of the tribe – preferably on the football field. Raven dragged Walt behind him as he followed his father toward the dais. His dad’s formidable hawk profile turned back toward him. “Priorities, Raven.” “Yes, sir.” He had plenty of priorities. They just didn’t include large gatherings of tribal dignitaries.
Raven stood six feet five and weighed in at two twenty-five. Big. Powerful. Shoulders for miles, a twelve-pack that would have made bodybuilders swoon, and a waist so narrow it was hard to believe it was on the same man as the shoulders.
His grandfather smiled. “Do you think if there is any Creator, that he or she would makes such a terrible error? To craft beautifully unique people and then call them mistakes?” He shook his head and sipped his tea.
Buy Links for Tackling the Tight End:
About the Author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her bestselling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soulmate husband and her soulmate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”
Thanks for stopping by today, and good luck in the giveaway!
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: