Lex Valentine
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Loose Id
Release Date
September 2012
Contemporary Romance, LGBTQ

Evan McAdams has two constants in his life--football and his friendship with Reed Matthews. From the age of six, Evan's played football alongside Reed. In his teens, he realized he was gay and loved Reed, but fear kept him from confiding his deepest emotions to his best friend.

When he and Reed are drafted to the L.A. Stars, Evan decides to come out. His decision impacts Reed who's been in the closet too. The two men struggle with secrets of unrequited love while facing the world as the first two openly gay NFL players.

When injury forces Evan to retire, the love he bears Reed can no longer be hidden. But will Reed be able to reciprocate, or will Evan lose both football and the man he's always loved?

Book Review by Lynn (reviewer)
Dec 27, 2012   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
91 people found the following review helpful
SCRAMBLING is a fantastic journey into the lives of the first two openly gay NFL players. It explores their struggles with being in the closet and keeping secrets even once they are out of the closet.

I really enjoyed the story of Evan and Reed, friends since the age of six when they met on the peewee football field. Although a quick read, the relationship development showed the strength of the love and friendship between these two men. The author also did a good job of presenting the issues related to being openly gay, professional football players.

The character of Darcy was actually one of my favorites. Being a PR person she was able to approach the issue of coming out in the NFL from a completely logical and unemotional prospective. But Darcy never neglected the struggles and challenges these two men, who she came to care for, would have to face. The coming out story felt real with these two men getting support, friendship, hatred and fear all thrown at them.

But coming out in the NFL is only a small part of this story. The underlying themes are coming out and being honest, which are not the same thing. Evan and Reed, with Darcy's help, do become the first two openly gay NFL players, but they are both keeping many more secrets besides their sexual preferences. Both of them are involved in relationships that are not what they seem. And both of them are hiding their true feelings for the other.

While a certain level of angst makes a good, emotional love story, I felt this book bordered on having too much. Reading the initial moments when these two, individually, realize they had feelings for the other, but could never express them, was heartbreaking. And the way the two of them suffered in silence for years believing that the other was in a good, happy relationship was very sad. The frustration for me came when every person these two encountered knew how they felt about each other. Despite their feelings being so obvious to those around them, neither of them figures it out and no one else encourages them to express their feelings. It takes years apart and a potentially career-ending injury for Evan to finally be honest about his feelings.

The slightly overdone angst is the only thing about this book that kept me from rating it 5 stars. I quickly became obsessed with wanting to know more about these two characters and devoured this book in a few hours.
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