Author: Tara Lain
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 245 Pages
At a Glance: Ms. Lain sure knows how to pack a sexy punch.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: Everyone wants the best for SCU student and tight end Raven Nez—and they know exactly what that is. Enter the NFL draft, become a big football hero, promote his tribe’s casino, and make a lot of money to help people on the reservation. Just one problem. Raven’s gay and he really wants to work with gay kids. Plus he figures a gay Native tight end will get flattened in the NFL. Then the casino board hires a talented student filmmaker to create ads for the tribal business and asks Raven to work with him. But the filmmaker is Dennis Hascomb, a guy with so much to hide and a life so ugly it’s beyond Raven’s understanding. Still he’s drawn to Dennis’s pain and incredible ability to survive. Captivated by Raven’s stories of the two-spirited and by the amazing joy of finally having a friend, Dennis knows he has to break free from everything he’s ever been taught was good—but that’s a struggle that could kill him and Raven too. Is there a chance for “the great red hope” and the “whitest guy on earth”? A future for the serpent and the raven?
Review: Ms. Lain sure knows how to pack a sexy punch. If I could use one word to describe this book it would be HOT! Take a massive, Native American stud and a slender, modelesque twink and put them together. YUM-MY! Add to it that there’s no “who’s the top/who’s the bottom,” stuff and we get to see our two main characters get it on in all sorts of ways.
Raven is just an awesome guy from start to finish. He’s friendly, kind, and wants to help everyone, even at the expense of his own happiness. Dennis is a troubled character with vile parents. He finds himself in a situation where he can’t look himself in the mirror without seeing the monster he’s allowed himself to become.
As the story progresses, we begin to understand why Raven and Dennis make the choices they do as individuals and, ultimately, as a couple. These two lovers bring to the other courage and an ability to see themselves in a way they were unable to see before. Along the way, Ms. Lain incorporates some really cool side stuff. For instance, there are a few scenes where she dissects mainstream movies. Having her characters debate the same things we, as moviegoers, have also debated, the book took some really fun side-turns and then got right back on track. Another interesting element was how she wove in Native American lore and beliefs. It made for a more authentic read and provided depth to the story.
The only thing I can say that was a distractor for me was how I felt about Dennis for the first half of the story. While his circumstances are not of his own making, I had difficulty feeling sympathy for him because he was hurting other people. No matter what the reason, I felt like he should have not done some of the things he did. That said, I kept asking myself, how is Ms. Lain going to make this guy likable? The answer can only be found by reading her book…and by the end, I was very happy for both Dennis and Raven.
You can buy Tackling the Tight End here: