Thursday, January 8, 2015

Straight from the Heart by Kimberly Gardner

Straight from the Heart
Straight from the Heart by Kimberly Gardner

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

While this is the third book in the series and characters from the previous two books do appear, Straight from the Heart can be read as a stand-alone book without issue. In this installment in the Exception to the Rule series we meet Kyle and Dave. Kyle is an out and proud dance student who needs to learn more about football so that he can land the position of team mascot and get a full scholarship to finish paying for school. Dave is the big man on campus, straight as an arrow quarterback whose coach just suggested he take ballet lessons to improve his game. After a brief conversation, the two learn that they can help each other out and agree to share their knowledge with the other.

One of the things I really liked about this book was that Dave wasn’t embarrassed to be seen with Kyle. Quite frequently in novels with this kind of storyline, the straight jock is too worried to be labeled gay by association to be seen in public with the other guy. However, Dave wasn’t worried about it and not only met Kyle in public, he also took him to the football field to demonstrate different plays and invited Kyle as his plus one to a mutual friend’s wedding. I was also surprised by the adolescent experience Dave related to Kyle prior to their first encounter – not at its occurrence, but rather that Dave shared it. I enjoyed the way in which Ms. Gardner developed Dave and Kyle’s characters and their relationship in a gradual manner which added to the realism of the book. Their sexual encounters were hot, with the first one being even more intense when Dave admitted to Kyle that he really didn’t know what he was doing. That admission showed Dave’s vulnerability because he could have just as easily pretended to know what he was doing and hurt Kyle in the process, and that he did this just endeared his character to me even more. But even that paled in comparison to Dave’s grand gesture at the end because he understood that he needed to be a man of action and knew that words alone would not help him to achieve his goal … Kyle.

Straight from the Heart was a great read. I have read other books by Ms. Gardner and found her writing in this one to be just as enjoyable. I look forward to reading more of her work and plan to read the previous books in the Exception to the Rule series as I liked “meeting” their characters in this book and would like to read their stories as well – especially Josie’s story.

I received a complimentary copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Reviewed by Angela at Crystal's Many Reviewers!

Check out the Straight from the Heart by Kimberly Gardner blog post on Crystal's Many Reviewers.

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