Exception to the Rule 3: Straight From the Heart by Kimberly Gardner

Title : Straight From the Heart            Word Count :60,555

Genre : Contemporary Gay Romance

Blurb : College student Kyle diStefano is having trouble paying his tuition. So when he hears about a job as team mascot with the accompanying full scholarship it seems like the perfect solution. Except he knows nothing about football. But why should that stop him?

Known as the Big Cock on Campus, Dave Masterson never lets his antics with the ladies interfere with his true love, playing NCAA football. But when his coach suggests the team do some off-season conditioning at the ballet barre, most of the guys scoff. Only Dave takes him seriously.

With Dave’s knowledge of football and Kyle’s knowledge of ballet, it seems each has exactly what the other needs, except they play for different teams. Or do they?

Kyle knows one sure path to heartbreak is falling for the straight jock who’s teaching him the rules of the game. Dave falling for another man is going to mean nothing but trouble. But neither man can seem to help himself.

When a public display of affection casts doubt on Dave’s NFL dream, he is forced to make a choice. Stay with the game plan or call an audible straight from the heart.

My Review : I am totally obsessed with the Gay for You trope. I really like the idea of being attracted to that special someone irrespective of their gender. Dave is the star quarterback of the team and he is a shoo in for playing in the NFL.  He is big, brawny and a sexy ass jock who is known to get any cheerleader he wants. He is juxtaposed to  ballet dancer Kyle who is the very definition of a twink. Kyle is graceful , delicate, very pretty and knows absolutely nothing about football. Kyle has to turn to Dave when he finds out that the mascot position comes with a full ride scholarship which he desperately needs to stay in school.     

When they meet each other for the first time, they rub each other the wrong way because they see their stereotypes rather than getting to know the real person. It seems Dave needs Kyle as well , when his coach suggests that ballet will improve his skills on the field.  They both start hanging out more , especially  since both their roommates Mark and Josie are in a committed relationship. 

When Kyle sees Dave passed out on the floor at a party after having too much to drink, he gives him a hand to his room. Dave is afraid to ruin his straight boy image so he has been  suppressing his bicuriosity. By the time he gets to his room, he is a little more sober than when he left the party. He takes advantage of his ‘drunkenness’ to ask Kyle for an experimental blowjob. Kyle can’t seem to resist his ‘straight crush’ despite his reservations that he is probably walking into heartbreak territory. Once he is done, Dave promptly rolls over and pretends to fall asleep. Even though he is flabbergasted and wants to try gay sex again, Dave is extremely scared of what people will think. 

It’s a few weeks before they see each other again at Mark’s and Josie’s 4th of July weekend getaway. Kyle feels weird about seeing Dave again ,but Dave is not fazed. After a night of carousing and drinking,  Kyle and Dave wakes up in the same bed. One thing leads to another and before they know it , they are going at it hot and heavy and it’s exceeds both their expectations. Kyle and Dave gets more comfortable with each other and Kyle starts falling in love with Dave. He sees a more vulnerable side of Dave that nobody else sees.

Things finally come to a head, after a kiss shared by Kyle and Dave is captured on film and put on Facebook for all to see. Dave’s father and coach does damage control by spinning some elaborate drunken tale for the public, rather than admitting that Dave is gay. Kyle is left heartbroken and picking up the pieces of his heart.

Dave is troubled by his decision and he is devastated that he will lose Kyle when he notices another teammate making a play for him. Dave realizes that he can’t live his dream of playing in the NFL,  if he can’t have his dream guy by his side. He comes out by publicly claiming Kyle with a scorching-hot liplock for all to see at the final game of the season. They definitely don’t have it easy but they have each other.  This was a sweet romance without too much drama. I give this my ratings of 4 – lose the underwear. 


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