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Tigers & Devils (Tigers and Devils Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 376 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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The main character and narrator of this book is Simon Murray, the director of a small film festival in Australia. As the summary explains, Simon is lonely, but hesitant about taking the plunge into a serious relationship. This stems from his own self-esteem issues paired with general complacency with his life. I thought Simon was a fabulous narrator. He is funny in a snarky, self-deprecating way and extremely relatable. I absolutely loved his quirky outlooks on life and love and really enjoyed watching him fall in love.
Declan Tyler, the other protagonist, is a famous Australian Rules Football (AFL) player who is hesitant to reveal his sexuality to this uber-masculine world. I thought Dec was a great counterpart for Simon. He is strong and sweet, but has a definite vulnerability when it comes to keeping his privacy. There are definitely emotional issues in Dec's personality associated with his hiding of his sexuality as well as some damaging past relationships.
Together Simon and Declan are magic. They are not perfect people, but they just work so well together. I love reading opposites attract stories so this was right up my alley. They both are required to work hard at keeping their relationship strong which was a joy to watch. At the end of the day, their devotion to each other is very admirable and sweet.
Another thing I loved about Tigers and Devils is the side characters that pepper the landscape. They are all given deep personalities that provide great balance to the love story. The couples of Abe/Lisa and Fran/Roger give nice parallels to Simon/Declan while also giving them something to aspire to. Simon's assistant Nyssa was an absolute hoot and her back-and-forth conversations with him were some real highlights.
The general plot is nothing out of the ordinary: guy meets guy at party, they fall in love, drama happens, etc. But, what I think makes this book special (beyond the great characters) is the setting. It takes place in the world of Australian Rules Football which is very unique. I will admit that I knew absolutely nothing about AFL before reading this and am still not sure how much knowledge I really gained, but this did not impede my enjoyment one bit. Overall, it actually provided some real-world drama for our heroes and really put their relationship in perspective.
All in all, I absolutely fell in love with this book and its characters. I felt like I really got to know Simon, Declan, Nyssa, Lisa, Abe, Fran, and Roger through the course of the story which is always a plus for me. The romance was sweet and dramatic without ever feeling over-the-top. If you have ever thought about trying a male/male romance, I definitely recommend this one as a starter because of its humor and tender moments. Also, while there is definite sexual chemistry and adult language, the sensuality is pretty low-key which might help any newbies to this genre.
The story starts with Simon and Declan meeting at a party when Simon simultaneously defends and insults Declan, setting the tone for their relationship. These are two very different men from very divergent backgrounds that manage to come together partially because of those differences and sometimes in spite of them. Neither of them has very good communication skills which cause some of their problems and exacerbate others. Simon's response to stress is to internalize it; Dec's response it to run away from it. Both of these responses are common in real life and I think that is what I truly love about this book. It is about real life. Declan is an extremely famous sports figure but what we see of him is more about what he is like off the Football ground (yes, I had to look that up) than what he is on it. The outside forces that affect them often come from Dec's celebrity but they are realistic.
I have to admit I didn't even notice the lack of sex in the book. When I read some of the other reviews that pointed this out I was surprised at first. There may not be a lot of sex but there is a lot of intimacy. I found their love and concern for each other more enjoyable than most sex scenes manage to convey anyhow.
I am not a sports fan and had avoided reading this initially because I knew there would be sports, probably a lot of sports, involved. After this reading I actually kind of want to look into Footy just to be able to understand some of the stuff that didn't translate that well for me. Not that you can't read and enjoy this book without having that knowledge but I enjoyed it enough that I actually want to understand all of it instead of just accepting the parts I didn't quite get. I think that pretty much makes it clear how much I enjoyed this book; a non-sports obsessed person being willing to look into a sport simply so I can more fully enjoy the story.
Most recent customer reviews
Doesn't matter how many times I read this one, I still love every second of it. It comes to footy finals and I immediately think of Simon and Dec, starting the...Read more
Tigers & Devils was unexpectedly humorous, in a way that wasn't over-the-top or...Read more
The first chapter or so is actually kind of rough.Read more