Author: Andrea Speed
Length: 24 pages
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: m/m contemporary
Luke Diaz signs up for an adult dodgeball league out of morbid curiosity and a love for a crazy movie. After all, sports aren’t his thing. Then attraction to the team captain, Shane Kinrade, keeps him from ducking out of tryouts, and Luke discovers he’s actually rather good at hitting where he aims. Along with his newfound ability, Luke considers the charming team captain to be right up his alley and luckily, Shane shares his interest.
This is one of the shorter stories in the daily dose and yet worked really well for me. This is mainly because as a short it was very well crafted with just enough characterisation to lift the characters from flat and enough to the story to satisfy without either cramming too much in or leaving me feeling I needed a whole lot more.
The story follows Luke, who in a moment of madness signs himself up for a dodgeball tryout. He arrives to find out that not only is he quite good at dodgeball but also that the guy in charge is gorgeous. Luke alternates between drooling over the guy and being annoyed with himself for drooling, but is delighted when it turns out that Shane is gay too.
As well as being well balanced in terms of plotting, this story had a genuinely likeable narrator in Luke. He’s a bit self-effacing but is also the type of guy to readily admit when he’s in the wrong. He finds the idea of grown men (and women) playing dodgeball a bit embarrassing but openly admits that he has a great deal of fun playing the game. I liked that the game itself is shown as being fun. There’s a competitiveness and desire to win, but that this tempered by a shared enjoyment and a lack of meanness. There’s no trash-talking here, just healthy exercise and laughter. It made me smile and I finished the story feeling happy.
The relationship between Luke and Shane is only just beginning when we finish the book but the camaraderie between them, the obvious desire and the shared interests left me with a strong impression that these were two guys who would last the course. I was also pleased that there was no tacky sex scene forced into the end of the story. It’s a chaste book, but that fit with the length of time the two men have known each other. It was still chock full of sexual tension, but of the kind which led to easiness and teasing and the promise of more. This meant that despite its short length this has been my favourite of the daily dose stories so far.
So overall, if you’re looking for a fun, lighthearted story with a very likeable narrator then this would be a great story to pick up and I’d highly recommend it.