Release Blitz, Excerpt & Giveaway:
Right As Raine
By Lucy Lennox
Aster Valley, Book 1
As the first openly gay professional football player, I can’t afford to make any mistakes, on or off the field. And the absolute biggest mistake I could make right now would be to fall for Mikey Vining, my best friend, employee and, more importantly, Coach’s baby boy. I might fantasize about Mikey at night-—every night—but actually touching him would be a serious personal foul.
And falling for him? That’s completely out of bounds.
I’ve learned my lesson about falling for one of my dad’s players. They’re a bunch of spoiled jocks with more muscles than brains. I’ve spent years learning to keep my eyes, and my hands, to myself. But resisting the temptation becomes nearly impossible when Tiller Raine and I end up together in a small cabin in a remote Colorado town.
Suddenly, there’s not much to do but look at each other. And talk. And hopefully, hopefully touch.
But what happens when our stay in Aster Valley is over and it’s time to return to the real world? Will Coach blow the whistle on our relationship? Or will Tiller admit there might actually be something he loves more than football after all?
I caught sight of Tiller Raine.
No gay man on earth could catch his breath when faced with this guy.
The team’s general manager began the introductions. “Mikey, have you met our newest wide receiver yet? This is Tiller Raine. Tiller, Michael Vining, Coach V.’s youngest boy.”
I stared at the wide receiver like I’d never seen a famous pro football player before, which was pretty funny considering I’d been around them practically my whole life and usually didn’t give a sh*t one way or the other.
But this guy? I gulped. This guy was freaking gorgeous. Like… melt your feet to the floor and make you beg beautiful. His body was muscled perfection, and his messy golden-brown hair made me immediately wonder what he looked like freshly f*cked.
I swallowed again, wondering if I needed a saliva gland checkup since mine seemed to be malfunctioning.
“H-hi?” I managed to say.
Tiller nodded and held out his hand for a shake. His reaction was all business, and his face was impossible to read. “Nice to meet you.”
I reached for his giant paw hesitantly. Wide receivers were known for big hands and strong grips. But when Tiller’s hand clasped mine, it was gentle and kind. I stared down at our joined hands and wondered how much these hands were insured for. Incidentally, I wondered how much I’d have to pay him to keep his gentle, warm hand in mine.
I jerked my hand back and hid it behind my back. “Can… can I help you with something, Mr. Lester?”
Bruce raised his eyebrows at my formal language. He’d known me since I was a preteen, and I’d called him by his first name since I graduated high school. “Mikey, you okay?”
No. No, I was not. I shook my head to clear it from the ridiculous baller-induced brain fog and focused back on my boss. “Yes, sir. Bruce. How can I help?”
“Tiller here needs some help with his nutrition. I remembered this was an area of expertise for you, so I hoped you might be able to help us.”
I nodded. “I spoke to Coach about it last night. I can’t think of anyone who would be a good fit. I’m sorry. You might—”
Just as I was preparing to suggest he reach out to the department at UT to inquire about recent grads looking for work, he held up a hand to stop me.
“You misunderstand,” Bruce said with a kind smile. “I was hoping you might help him directly. You can cook for Tiller through the season and start any new position afterward. That way he gets help learning how to manage his diet, and you have the freedom to continue your search without feeling rushed. What do you say?”
Every square inch of my body began to sweat at once. “Oh.” I could have really used some of that saliva right about now. My throat clicked as I tried to swallow again. “Oh.”
I love a good jock/nerd combo which is pretty much what we have here in Right as Raine. It’s a great setup, and I really liked the fact that Tiller Raine was already out before he made the pros. It was a nice break from all the “I can’t come out in pro sports” you usually find in M/M sports romances.
Something else I liked was that he and Mikey have known each other for several years before they wind up acting on their attraction. That allowed for them to have already put in the time to get to know each other in depth without needing to put it all down in this story. You feel like you’ve come into a very comfortable friendship—even in the boss/employee capacity they are in when this story begins.
It’s a given that the two of them will wind up crossing that line, the thing here is to see how they navigate it when there is an obvious time limit on what they are doing. I did enjoy the dynamic between them, and they definitely do have have that physical chemistry.
As for family members, Mikey’s father—Raine’s coach—was not in my good graces from the start as I wasn’t a fan of his overbearing personality. Mikey’s mom was kinda so-so, a bit air-headed and definitely not in tune with her son at all. Raine’s parents seemed okay, though I didn’t have my doubts about his father for a while. All the parents show their true colors towards the end of the story, and I was glad at how things went with them.
Overall this was a 4.5-star read for me. I liked the bit of drama at the end that helped tie everything up. It helped me feel much better about the resigned way Mikey was dealing with his dad. There is a nice selection of supporting characters for future stories in the series, so I’m now looking forward to seeing all of them again. Aster Valley is a great little town and the perfect setting for these guys. Recommended for 18+ for adult language and sexual content.
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After enjoying creative writing as a child, Lucy didn’t write her first novel until she was over 40 years old. Her debut novel, Borrowing Blue, was published in the autumn of 2016. Lucy has an English Literature degree from Vanderbilt University, but that doesn’t hold a candle to the years and years of staying up all night reading tantalizing novels on her own. She has three children, plays tennis, and hates folding laundry. While her husband is no shmoopy romance hero, he is very good at math, cooks a mean lasagne, has gorgeous eyes, looks hot in his business clothes, and makes her laugh every single day.
Lucy hopes you enjoy sexy heroes as much as she does. Happy reading!
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