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Kindle Alexander
Man On (Black Jack Gentlemen, #1) - Liz Crowe
Review written for Hearts On Fire Reviews

This is book 1 of the Black Jack Gentlemen Series. This is a solid start to an interesting new series about professional soccer. This story centers around the start of a new Detroit team, the Black Jack Gentlemen. This team is somewhat of a crapshoot project, comprising of retired professional stars for coaches, players retired or kicked out of European leagues, and a few up and coming rising stars.

This installment is about the team coming gathering and becoming successful, but the main characters here are Nicolas Garza, or Nicco, who was kicked out of the European league after a downward behavioral spiral stemming from his ex-wife outing him as gay/bi which is strictly forbidden or frowned upon in that league. He sees the Detroit team as a fresh start that will enable him to continue playing his sport. He is basically a bad boy, man whore, known for being somewhat of a trouble maker. After losing the one love of his life, he turned to a life of non-emotional sex and lots of it, with guys and girls, strangers and orgies.

On the flip side, we have Parker Rolling, a sweet young college star, who accepted the contract with team after turning down many offers to follow his parents’ dreams of his becoming a doctor. He realizes he might be gay but tries to deny it first to make his parents happy and then to be able to play soccer. While he makes a few monumental changes before moving to Detroit, denial is still a major factor here for the sweet southern boy who has only ever been with his long-time girlfriend.

When these two meet, there is instant sparks, though not all good. Nicco knows he has a problem, knows he is no good for the young star who, ironically, he must compete with to play the same position. Even though Nicco is essentially a slut for most of the story, it is easy to feel for him and what he has been through up to this point. That is not to say I didn’t want to kick his hot smexy accented Nicco’s ass more than a few times. Parker is sweet and innocent and you just want to protect him and help him out.

There are a few other things going on here, including the first out professional gay soccer player and the resulting aftermath, Nicco’s sex addiction and a few other issues. Aside from a way-too-convenience incident bringing Nicco and Parker together, this was a well written, very enjoyable story. I loved how things ended and am really looking forward to the continuation of this series.