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Sporting Chance Kindle Edition
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For original review see The Prism Book Alliance Blog online
I spent about 65% of Sporting Chance by Alexa Milne with one opinion of the book. I will admit that opinion was not the most favorable. However, as I finished the book, though I did find a number of flaws, I had changed my overall perception of the story.
It seems Ms. Milne falls into some of the literary traps that hit my pet peeve list.
First of all, there are three separate characters with the same name. Granted one is mostly a passing mention (though he does show up a few times and once in person), but the other two play important roles in the story. This is fiction writing 101. Don’t use the same name for multiple characters, unless there is a valid plot point, and it is well explained. In the case of Sporting Chance, the redundant character name was neither a plot point nor well explained. The first time I have to stop reading to figure out who the character is talking about, I am pulled from the story. It then takes a while to get back into it.
Another common literary trap Ms. Milne falls into is oversharing… otherwise known as wordiness. There were entire scenes that have no relevance to the story being told and should have been removed. I don’t put this mistake all on Ms. Milne’s shoulders, however. A competent editor should have caught these scenes and reigned the author in. Aside from the complete scenes that could have been skipped without changing the story, some of the relevant scenes also suffered from wordiness. As a reader, I don’t need to know every single step they take in every scene.
The final literary trap I found in Sporting Chance, is that there were a few scenes that were just plain unclear or confusing. This confusion was mostly due to pronoun overuse or reuse and action that just wasn’t consistent. For example, during at least one of the sex scenes I found myself wondering if the guys were switching positions (without explanation) or if the description of the action was just that unclear. Unfortunately, I found a few more scenes that were confusing in this manner. Each time I hit a scene where I could not follow the action or dialogue, I would be pulled from the story again.
So I said I was sure of my opinion for about 65% of the book… What changed? Well, nothing really changed. There was still the wordiness and the other little niggling issues. However, I found that despite my reluctance to get through the first two-thirds of the book (and almost putting it down numerous times… see pulled out of the story) somehow Iestyn and Dan wormed their way into my little heart. When it came time for the obligatory breakup scene (or in this case scenes), I felt my heart strings tugging hard for Iessie. When his heart broke, so did mine.
I don’t know when Iessie found his way into my heart, but he did and for that I am glad. I can’t tell you why he took up residence there, but despite my best efforts, I needed him to have a happily ever after. I needed him to get his man. Maybe there were other side stories that I didn’t need. Maybe there were three characters that I never could fully grasp because, by the time I figured out which one was in the scene, the scene was over. Maybe I couldn’t follow every scene. In the end, I rooted for Iessie and Dan. I needed them to find their way back to each other. I needed them to have their HEA.
For some reason the following song lyrics are running through my head at the moment:
Now due to a construct in my mind
That makes their falling and their flight
Symbolic of my entire existence,
It becomes important for me
To get up and see
Their last second curves toward flight.
It’s almost as if my life will fall
Unless I see their ascent.
Sporting Chance is Alexa Milne’s first book, I sincerely hope it’s not her last!
The story is about Iestyn (Yest-in) Jones a much loved history teacher whose co-workers and pupils have accepted his openness and Dan Morgan the only openly gay rugby player anywhere. They meet when Iestyn falls at Dan’s feet in the middle of showing his class how he can skate backwards whilst on a school trip. Considering Dan has always had a ‘thing’ for teachers he can’t help but give Iestyn his phone number after helping him up.
Dan has had only one relationship in which his ex left him, as a result Iestyn isn’t confident he’s not a rebound affair because to him, he’s not exactly model material while Dan is gorgeous, so they take their time getting to know each other. Luckily Iestyns friends and family are very supportive when they meet Dan, his team mates and friends.
Just when everything has fallen into place for both Dan and Iestyn, they’ve fallen deeply in love, Dan has the captaincy of the Welsh Rugby team for the Six Nations, several of their mutual friends have started relationships, someone outs their relationship to the newspapers before anyone is ready. Neither Dan, nor Iestyn are prepared for the fallout that follows, having their private lives dissected and lied about. So what should have been a fairy-tale love story is destroyed by pressure from Dan’s rugby club, the paparazzi and Iestyns bosses at school.
The entire story is filled with all the ups and downs of any normal new relationship, then you have the added complication of being a famous, gay rugby player and that’s when you realise just because people don’t say anything it doesn’t mean they accept you. Thankfully, with the help of his friends, Iestyn decides to fight for his right to love.
I would definitely recommend this book to all rugby loving, romance lovers!
Most recent customer reviews
I enjoyed this book - a slow burner, it takes its time and we get to see Iestyn and...Read more
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