As the only straight player on the all-LGBT soccer team, Robert McKenzie is known to fans as “McWhatAWaste.” What no one knows is that Robert is actually bisexual and still in the closet. Now twenty-one and on the verge of a brilliant career in video game design, the only thing keeping Robert in the closet is his gay best friend.
Liam Carroll has a problem. His gorgeous best friend wants to kiss him, touch him, and fool around under the sheets with him. But for how long? Robert will soon to embark on a bright future far, far away from the rough and tumble East End streets and Liam. Liam can’t and won’t risk his heart by falling in love with the one man who he can’t live without. His solution…keep things casual and see what happens.
After one night together, though, being “just friends” is no longer an option. Robert wants more than sex and Liam can’t and won’t drop the barriers around his heart. As they push and pull, their lifelong bond – the bond that holds the Warriors team together – threatens to break. With the bridge back to friendship well and truly burned, Robert and Liam must go forward together or fall to pieces.
When we decided on a friends and enemies to lovers theme this week, I knew this was one of the books that had to be done! For those of you who have followed the Glasgow Lads series, Robert and Liam are the best friends and heart and soul of the team. Their connection to one another is legendary. So legendary that the team has capitalized on their relationship by featuring the two of them in a team designed game show called “Back to Back,” which is a Newlywed’s style game where they ask one a question and the other has to “guess” their answer. What no one was expecting was that when the sparks start flying, the connection between these two goes haywire! While readers of this series will remember Robert and Liam as minor secondary characters in previous books, new readers need not worry that you have to start at the beginning in order to enjoy this book as it reads as a standalone – though I warn you, this series can be highly addictive!
What I love most about this series is that it is set in Glasgow, Scotland where there is political and religious turmoil happening. While this story doesn’t focus as prominently on these issues as the other two in the series, it does address the social aspects of living in such a place and how growing up in the East End of Glasgow would leave its mark on anyone. While Liam may be out and proud, his home life left much to be desired as he is closer in age to his own mother than he is to his youngest sibling…and guess what? Mom is pregnant again. Liam’s dad took off, and the other children’s dads took off, leaving Liam to become the man of the house. So while he has his own apartment away from home, he still feels the responsibility to care for his brothers and sisters. It has also left him with the knowledge that no one stays in Glasgow if they have a way out…meaning, despite his lifelong friendship with Robert, he can’t afford to give away his heart.
Robert has been the only straight player on the field…or at least everyone has always assumed he is straight. In reality, he’s bisexual – though he’s never acted on his desires until now. Yet, when Robert comes out to Liam as being bisexual, Liam doesn’t believe him and thinks this is all just because he’s convenient…but that doesn’t stop them from having one wild night together, and a very awkward morning after!
One night changes everything for both these men. It seems the only place they connect any more is in the bedroom. When their inability to work together on the field jeopardizes the team’s chances for success and with their friendship floundering, Liam and Robert decide to give their relationship a chance by dating, except Liam has issues with trusting Robert isn’t going to chase after the first woman he sees.
As with all the Glasgow Lads stories, the secondary characters play a supporting role in creating a believable tale. As the series focuses around the GLBT soccer team, many of the past characters make reappearances. In this story, we meet Liam’s siblings and mother who provide insight into Liam and his issues with trust. We also meet Dan, Liam’s GrindR hook up, whose story will be featured next in the series.
My one complaint about this story is that I thought the whole issue with Liam not believing Robert’s sexuality was overplayed a bit. I understand that there is a whole issue within the gay community about bisexuality and the fear some people have that someone who identifies as bisexual may be playing the “gay now, straight later” card. However, I would have liked to have seen this issue be resolved much sooner than it was.
Overall, this was a nice addition to the Glasgow Lads series and a great friends to lovers story! I highly recommend!