Christian Rafferty is looking forward to graduating college. He’s had a great run being the star quarterback on the college football team, but he’s about finished with living in the closet. Yet, his conservative parents still control his life and while his father is making arrangements for Christian to go to law school, Christian has no interest in that. Statistics may just be his downfall, however, and when his grades are called into question, Christian needs to get a tutor.
Rory Kirkland does not strike most people as a math whiz. The tattooed former wrestler is the perfect combination of athleticism and brains and Christian is attracted to him at first glance. While figuring out what to do next after graduating from college, Rory is a tutor and he expands Christian’s mind in more ways than one.
Out in the Offense follows Lane Hayes’ series of guys coming out in college. This book is told through Christian’s perspective and we see him playing his final season of college football, trying to pass statistics, and trying to figure out how to tell his father that he doesn’t want to go to law school. We also see him try to figure out what to do with his attraction to Rory. Christian is used to living in the closet and his one relationship with his best friend was easy to hide in plain sight.
The book moved a little slowly for me and, while there are no real issues I can point to, the way the characters and the relationship were presented didn’t really grab me. Hayes writes solidly from one POV and we get to know Christian. But Rory still remained somewhat of a mystery to Christian for most of the book, and if one main character doesn’t feel that he knows the other well, the reader doesn’t have much of a chance. The story felt too one sided with no balance between the characters for me.
The book gave me the feeling that we were being told the story and not living it along with the characters. The men have love for their sport and grow to have love for each other, but the passion never comes off the page. I also felt like not much happens during the course of the book. Sure, Christian and Rory start dating, and the men have to figure out their lives, but I felt little impact and the story just moved along at an even pace. I liked both characters when we meet them, but with this being the third book in this series, no character stands out for me and they all blend together.
There is an incident toward the end of the book and it read as drama for the sake of drama to move the story forward. The police are called in to investigate and for a moment it has an impact on Christian’s life, but then it is completely dropped and there is no mention or status update of it again and that part didn’t work for me.
The books in this series all have a similar feel to me and the stories and the characters don’t distinguish themselves enough for my liking. This book was just fair for me, but if you like firm single POV story telling and a mostly angst free story set around college sports, it might rate higher for you.