The Black Jack Gentlemen is Detroit’s expansion soccer team. The players play hard both on and off the field. In this first book in the series, Nicholas “Nicco” Garza – the former bad boy of European football – has been chased out of Europe amidst a scandal created by his ex-wife. He is forced to sign with the expansion team if he wants to play soccer.
Parker Rollins is playing his final college soccer game. As the team star, he has given up soccer in favor of heading off to medical school to please his parents. When the Black Jack Gentlemen’s coach, Rafe, approaches him, Parker defies his parents and signs on to play soccer.
As Nicco and Parker vie for the same position on the team, they become instant rivals…yet both of them are attracted to the other. With the team entering their debut season, they and the club need to pull it together if the team is to show the league and the fans that they are there to play and win.
This is the first book in The Black Jack Gentlemen’s series focusing on two of the players of the new expansion team. For a sports-themed book, there really wasn’t a whole lot of sports action going on. If anything, this book was a “behind the scenes” look at the players. So, for those of you who aren’t into sports, this book really doesn’t really have any play-by-play on the field. For the rest of you, who are like me, and like to have a bit of action going on in the field as well as in the bedroom, you may be disappointed that there really isn’t a whole lot of soccer balls being kicked around.
I instantly fell for Parker. He has been playing soccer since he was three years old, but his mom and dad have his life planned for him, and it doesn’t include playing professional sports. With his playing days numbered, the coach from the Black Jack Gentlemen’s team seeks him out and makes him an offer he doesn’t want to refuse. Defying his parents’ wishes about going to medical school and breaking it off with his long-term girlfriend, Parker heads off to Detroit. Having suspected he is gay, meeting Nicco pretty much seals the deal as he has to remember to stop himself from staring at the European player. Yet, after attending a club with Nicco, Parker finds it is really hard to not remember what Nicco did to him.
Nicco was much harder to connect with. He is 29 years old and has played on three different teams. While married, his wife participated in his bisexual activities with other men. When she realized he was in love with a fellow soccer player, she outed him to the press. After his lover was killed in a plane crash, there were rumors of drinking, drugs, and sex addition which brought Nicoo’s European career to a halt. Forced to sign on the American expansion team, Nicco isn’t thrilled about playing in Detroit, but figures that he is such a star that they should be glad to have him. Before his plane even lands in Detroit, Nicco is creating waves with his sexual addiction. When he realizes that Parker is his competition for a starting spot, he initially is determined to ignore him. Yet, after a night out at a club together, Nicco is determined to make the young player his.
The sex scenes in this book are off the charts. Readers should be aware that this is not strictly M/M, but there also M/F and M/M/F scenes going on in this book. For me, the whole sex addiction storyline was a turn off. I am not a fan of my hero hopping from one bed to another.
I also wasn’t a fan of the side story of Rafe and his wife/family. To me, it felt like filler. There wasn’t a whole lot that it brought to the story. If anything, at times it left me wondering what the author wasn’t telling us. For instance, how did Rafe convince Parker to come join the team? To me, that seemed like a detail that I wanted to know.
Overall, this was a well written book, the characters were well developed, and the sex scenes were steaming. Personally, I didn’t like the whole sex addiction story-line or the multiple partners; it made it harder for me to connect with Nicco. With that said, I look forward to reading the next few books in the series.