Rating: 4.75 stars
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Vincent Wade is focused on his studies in biology, with goals to become a geneticist and help end world hunger. When Vincent was abandoned by his best friend after moving to Lubbock, Texas for college, he was forced to get a full-time job in order to pay for the two-bedroom apartment of which he was now the only occupant. Luckily, he was able to take an assistant manager position for the graphics company he worked for in high school.
While finishing up at work one night, Vince encounters a football player needing a school project printed, but Vince is unable to help and directs him to another store that is open all night. The jock and his friend don’t want to take no for an answer, but after arguing for a while they eventually leave. Later Vince finds out that the jock was none other than Carson Cress, star quarterback and Heisman hopeful.
When Carson sees Vince walking through campus, the quarterback chases after him. Vince’s first instinct is to hide from him because he is sure Carson is out to beat him up, or at the very least give him a piece of his mind. The last thing Vince expects is for Carson to come on to him and then ask him out. Knowing that being gay would likely end Carson’s football career worries Vince, but the persistence that Carson shows finally convinces Vince to give him a chance. Even though Vince is convinced that Carson is only experimenting and will only be a one-night stand, Vince finds it hard to tell the man of his dreams no.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a fan of Mary Calmes’ writing, and Steamroller is no different. It is a sweet story of an overachiever who is blindsided and steamrolled, so to speak, by the man of his dreams.
Vince is the typical college student. He is a hard worker and he takes the word “overachiever” to new levels. He is very grounded and focused. I adore his character because he is so honest and quick-witted. He is also snarky and sarcastic, which I happen to love in a character. Carson is the big man on campus. He is living his father’s dreams and has finally decided to live for himself. He storms into Vince’s life just like a steamroller. Carson has made up his mind that he wants a relationship with Vince and that he is willing to give up a possible football career to live his life the way he wants to. I completely respect and love Carson’s character.
I like that this story is a light read. It did not have a lot of angst and conflict, and I found the story, as well as the characters, extremely refreshing. The storyline is a fun and energetic one. It is fast-paced and well-organized. There always seems to be something going on in Vince’s life that creates some sort of drama. The large cast of secondary characters consisting of family and friends are a big support and help throughout Vince’s story. I also found this book to have good humor. There were times I giggled out loud because of Vince’s snarky attitude. And the love-making…wow! These two characters were meant for one another when it came to bedroom play.
In the end, the only reason I did not rate this novella as 5 stars was because the focus of some of the conversations tended to waver and get off of track. It’s something you might not notice if this is the first time you’ve read this author. But it was a little frustrating to me only because it is a common characteristic of a lot of this author’s more contemporary stories. It tends to give the characters – not just the main character – a flaky, air-headed quality.
I found Steamroller by Mary Calmes to be an adorable college love story low on the angst-scale and filled with humor, a little drama, and a lot of attitude. I highly recommend it.
Cover: I like this cover by Anne Cain. It is very appropriate for the themes of the story – the academic over-achiever and the jock. And not only that, it’s very clean and beautiful.