Friday, February 24, 2017

Christa Tomlinson - Showing Him the Ropes

Chance “The Chancellor” Gerhardt is a mainstay for Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s won multiple championships and has the respect of the locker room. But after ten years at the top, Chance is looking for a new challenge. The one he gets, mentoring FPW’s young rookie, is both unexpected and unwanted.
Devin Jacobs is a hot new talent signed by Frontier Professional Wrestling. He’s always been a fan of The Chancellor, and not just because of the older man’s skill in the ring. He has it bad for the steely eyed veteran wrestler. Unfortunately for Devin, The Chancellor isn’t looking to get involved with anyone. Or is he? During long nights traveling and working together, Devin catches more than one secretly admiring glance from The Chancellor…
Devin is determined to earn victories and championships in the ring. But he’d also love the opportunity to win Chance’s heart. Can the two of them navigate their way through the hyper masculinity and backstage politics of professional wrestling to the most important victory of all? Or will their shot at love be defeated 1-2-3? 

Comment: I saw this book being referenced at some discussion board and it caught my eye because the romance was described as not being an insta-love thing, so often common nowadays. I was very curious and got the book but obviously it's been a couple months in the pile.

Chance is the main character in this book centered around the wrestling showbiz. His boss asks him to help a newcomer, a young man who has shown he had the drive and the humility to work hard to become a good and strong professional. Chance is a sort of loner and wouldn't choose to mentor the kid but his boss convinces him. It also helps the kid is very attractive but that's just collateral because Chance isn't going to mix business with his private choices.
Devin is the rookie, he's had a crush on The Chancellor - Chance's moniker - since he was a teenager and the age difference isn't important when he has the opportunity to work with him. He's also very attracted to him and starts a sort of seduction campaign...but will he be reciprocated?

In this book we meet characters from the wrestling world and the romance focuses on Chance and Devin. I liked this book because the romance was cute, believable and romantic at the same time and I got to learn a few more things about wrestling we see on TV.
I admit I don't particularly like it, it's not something I try to understand or know things about so it was a nice surprise to see the (apparent) knowledge the author has about this, or at least the result of all her research. I can't know if it's totally equal to real life, but the way things were inserted in the story convinced it was real, so... very interesting and added a sense of meaning to everything.

I liked the main characters. Chance is a professional wrestler, he's been with the company for years, has won many titles and knows the business side of things quite well. I liked him a lot because he is a professional. He isn't driven by silly actions or stupid, inadequate moments of sex just because. I liked how he is always concerned about how to present himself and how to act a professional, even if in his privacy he is as amazing as one could hope for.
Devin is a great protagonist as well, he's young but he isn't dazzled by everything to the point of losing sense of his abilities, expectations and most of all, his limits. I really, really liked how both guys were committed to their jobs and their actions and weren't silly nor uncaring about their surroundings.

The romance was very cute, in my opinion. It's a bit of a slow burn at first only because the author has cleverly included a great dose of sexual tension in the scenes between them, when outside work. It was wonderful to follow their romance until it got to the point where they finally got together. It made it seem so much more realistic and special. Their intimate connection also felt real and I was very glad how, with time, their feelings for one another started to become stronger and the HEA is actually very sweet and amazing and now I feel like reading some scenes again...

The secondary characters were well done, I guess. Of course there's not enough page time to develop every single aspect of each one, but I think we got a good idea about some of them and their roles and even how they fit in with the wrestling company and so on. I'm very curious about three characters, two of them I think might have a story of their own if the series continues.

All in all, I'm very pleased with this story. I'll have to try another book by the author to see if it was just a random lucky item for me but I have hopes. I especially would love a sequel to this book.
I think the pace and the content were very well done, there are always some little things I'd change or would see different, but for the most part the emotional process each protagonist went through to become the person the other was falling in love seemed very well done to me.
Grade: 9/10

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