Title: The Rainbow Clause
Author: Beth Bolden
Length: 324 Pages
At a Glance: I mostly really enjoyed this story of Colin and Nick, and would certainly read another story from this author.
Reviewed By: Sadonna
Blurb: Heisman winner. Member of the National Championship team. NFL Rookie of the Year. Quarterback Colin O’Connor knows he’s become the ultimate romance novel cliché: all the success he’s ever dreamed of but nobody to share it with. Too bad it’s not as simple as asking out the next girl who intrigues him – because the next girl to intrigue him probably won’t be a girl at all.
Unexpectedly, the solution comes in one neat package: Nick Wheeler, lead journalist for a leading sports and pop culture blog. Hired by Colin’s team, Nick comes to Miami to shine a spotlight on the NFL’s most private quarterback.
The heat in Miami rises when Nick discovers that Colin is nothing like the hollow personality he pretends to be in interviews and he’s even hotter in person than on his Sports Illustrated cover. Nick knows this is the story of his career, and after spending his teenage years as a bullied, closeted teen, it hits very close to home. What he needs is to help Colin share his story while keeping their growing relationship from boiling over in the press, but what he wants is to tell the world.
Review: Apparently The Rainbow Clause is part of a series, but I didn’t feel like I really missed anything in reading this as a stand-alone.
Colin is the hot football star of the moment, but he’s got a big secret, one he’s tired of keeping to himself. He’s distant with his teammates, and his best friend is the girl he loved and lost. He is so done with not being able to be who he wants to be, but he knows the potential consequences if he does pursue the person he wants.
When he finally decides that the time has come, he meets Nick and all bets are off. Nick is very attracted to Colin and, frankly, surprised by him. Colin is much more complicated than Nick had expected. The fact that Colin doesn’t have much interest in partying or hanging with his teammates, but would rather barbecue at home and binge-watch Netflix shows, isn’t what Nick had in mind. He also doesn’t expect that Colin would return his attraction. Colin is guarded—particularly at first. But as the two men grow closer, they have a hard time not acting on their mutual attraction.
There are, of course, complications; although not as many as I would have expected, given the issue major league sports seem to have with “out” athletes while they are still actively playing. For the most part, Colin has support and is less afraid of the consequences of his decision than Nick thinks he should be. Nick’s own experiences have not always been terribly positive, and as time goes on, he’s much more worried for Colin and his inexperience with negativity, given his extremely successful football career up to now. When things do get tense, Nick and Colin have choices to make and reality to face.
I mostly really enjoyed this story of Colin and Nick. I don’t think that some of the story was quite believable, but this is fiction, after all, so I was ultimately OK with suspending reality. Colin and Nick are both very likable characters, and Colin’s loneliness, in particular, I thought was very well portrayed. I do think that is something that many famous athletes who are not natural extroverts experience. There are so many who would exploit/capitalize on any association with them, so they stay isolated quite a bit.
There were some editing issues that got to be a bit annoying after a while. Overall, though, I liked the writing and would read another book by this author. Especially recommended for fans of sports romance.
You can buy The Rainbow Clause here: