A Secret MatchRating: 3.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

Everett Kinkaid is a world famous professional wrestler whose job requires him to play the role of a heartthrob for the female fans – a dream job for a straight man, pure hell for a gay one. Everett is forced to hide his sexuality and risks losing the one he loves in order to keep his career.

Josh is Ev’s dirty little secret. Hidden way at home while Ev travels from arena to arena, Josh is sick of convincing his friends that he really does have a boyfriend that they’ve never met. When Ev refuses to meet Josh halfway, Josh hands Ev his walking papers.

In his despair over losing Josh, no one expected Ev to out himself on live TV. Setting off a firestorm, Ev is forced to come to terms with who he is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him. Having risked everything, can Ev convince Josh to give him a second chance? Will Ev’s coming out destroy his career?

This is the second book by Kelli A. Wilkins that uses wrestling as a platform. The first book, A Perfect Match, is a M/F romance story. While this book is a standalone, it does feature Vin and Danni from the first book. I hadn’t read the first book and didn’t feel that I missed anything.

Professional athletes and coming out stories are like the Last Frontier for gay men. While we would like to think in this day and age that homophobia in sports is something out of the past, in reality it still reins strong. Add in that the sport in question is wrestling – a sport that requires close body contact – and the stakes are even higher for a man who is gay.

While I was never a fan of wrestling, I thought the author did a fabulous job of bringing readers behind the scenes. It’s part soap opera with the storylines that are devised, part theatre with the wrestling. Add in a manager, Nick, who made Everett famous and has the ability to destroy him and you have an entertaining book.

Readers should be warned that this book features a scene where there is some gay bashing/homophobia that occurs that may be disturbing to some. As Ev outs himself to his fans and fellow wrestlers, not everyone wants to hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

While the wrestling part of the storyline was interesting, I was seriously disappointed with the romance portion of the story. It just blew my mind to think that these two people (Ev and Josh) had feelings for one another when they were both living totally separate lives. Sex does not equal the solid foundation for relationships, yet all I saw that these two had between them was sex. Josh has his interests and friends while Everett has his. When Everett is away, Josh doesn’t even follow his man’s career. So I really had a hard time seeing these two as a couple.

I was also disappointed with the sex scenes. While they were hot, usage of the words “penis,” “anus,” “buttocks,” and “climax” was like a douse of cold water. I don’t want clinical terms in my sex scenes as it takes away from the sexiness.

Overall, this was a decent read. I would have liked to have seen a bit more romance (not sex, romance…) between Ev and Josh, but if you like wrestling, you might want to check this one out.

Wendy sig

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