Canning The Center by Tara Lain ~ Book Review by Caroline

23264402 Title: Canning The Center

Author: Tara Lain

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: unknown

Rating: 4.5 of 5 Stars

Blurb:

Six foot seven inch, 300 pound Jamal Jones loves football, so when he finds out the ultra-conservative owner of his new pro football team fired their current center because he’s gay, bisexual Jamal decides to stay in the closet and hang with the females. Then, at a small drag show, he comes face-to-face with his sexual fantasy in the form of Trixie LaRue, a drag queen so exquisitely convincing she scrambles Jamal’s hormones — and his resolve to nurse his straight side.

Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, hides more than his genitals. A mathematician so brilliant he can’t be measured, Trevor disguises his astronomical IQ and his quirk for women’s clothes behind his act as a gay activist undergrad at Southern California University.

To Trevor, Jamal is the answer to a dream — a man who can love and accept both his personas. When he discovers Jamal’s future is threatened if he’s seen with a guy, Trevor becomes Trixie to let Jamal pass as straight. But Trevor risks his position every time he puts on a dress. Is there a closet big enough to hold a football pro and a drag queen?

Caroline’s View:

Jamal and Trevor’s story was definitely worth waiting for and I personally preferred this to book 1.

This is a book of secrets! Jamal and Trixie are not really dishonest people but they certainly play their cards close to their chests and only give out pertinent information. The whole book felt like an unwrapping of their personality’s one layer at a time.

Jamal Jones is a huge mountain of a man and has just been signed to a new football team. The owner of that team is ultra conservative and forever preaching about family values – those values don’t encompass same sex relationships. Jamal is a bisexual man who likes to be honest with everyone. Just as he has gathered up enough courage to speak to his coach about his sexuality another member of the team is fired when he insists on publicly announcing he is a gay man. Jamal feels stuck and frustrated but isn’t sure being honest is the right thing to do if he wants to keep his job.

Trevor Landry, aka Trixie LaRue, has taken a few hits to his confidence over the years and has lived an unconventional life with his mother. His IQ and skills as a mathematician are off the scale yet he hides himself under the cover of University courses he could have completed as a 12 year old. The other side of himself he keeps hidden is his love of cross dressing and his performances as a drag artist. He depends on his scholarships and being a drag queen is not the image his donors would like. These two parts of his life are never supposed to meet and that had worked well for him until the moment Jamal walked into the club where he performed and they made eye contact. Suddenly Trevor finds himself breaking his own self imposed rules and agreeing to date a customer.

Jamal and Trevor have really good chemistry straight away. They are both exactly what the other finds attractive in a man but the pressure from work, school and secrets soon starts to take its toll. When one of Jamal’s team mates suggests he dates his sister he is busy imagining a life with Trevor and things start to get muddled. When he needs a date for an after game event nothing works better than Trevor becoming Trixie – Jamal gets to keep his secret and keep up appearances.

Whilst Jamal is on the football field Trevor is outside the stadium picketing for gay athletes to be out and proud with the LGBT group he heads up at University. When the athletes and students clash Jamal rushes into defend Trevor but it feels like every day the secrets are closer to being exposed. Spurning a team member’s sister proves sinister when her anger at her dismissal ends up in blackmail and Jamal being told he must lie.

Jamal is a good man at heart and as mentioned before he is very honest. Hiding something was one thing but to be told to deny something is not something he can happily do. He has a tough decision to make that will define what sort of man he becomes and although he may feel alone he hasn’t counted on the strength and tenacity of his delicate Trixie LaRue.

Buy Links

Dreamspinner Press
Amazon US
Amazon UK
Amazon CA
All Romance eBooks

I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.

Farewell Giveaway
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.

Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,

Brandilyn
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