elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Offside by Ryan Loveless

For an Italian reader, Offside is a bit of a fantasy tale for two main reasons: first of all, soccer players in Italy are like heroes, and like that they are high-paid professionals with a huge following and in no way a favourite of the team could be easily exchanged, like a pawn of a bigger game; second, homosexuality is still a taboo, no one will admit there are gay soccer players in the Italian league and in no way a soccer player could come out without losing his team and everything else.

Said that, I know the same is not abroad, and I think that in the US, soccer is more a little brother sport of the bigger game like Football and Baseball; maybe, for this reason, a soccer player has less pressure in comparison to other athletes, and he is allowed more freedom, even to come out. That is the point of this novel, Adam is a not so young athlete (true he is less than 30 years old, but for someone who started his career when he was 15 years old, he is an old player now) who is kicked out from his team to let space to younger meat. He has now a contract with a team in St. Louis, Missouri, very far from Los Angeles, not only on a miles distance, but also on custom. While Adam, openly gay, has some freedom in Los Angeles, which is not the same in provincial St. Louis.

Truth be told, most of his troubles are not from him being gay, but since he is the new guy in town. Indeed the other team-mates are mostly welcoming him, and in one specific case, Colin, seems even interested in him as more than a fellow soccer player. Colin is way younger than Adam, not only in age, but also experience. Sexual experience. From what I gathered, Colin is a virgin in every sense of the word, and basically Adam is corrupting him.

The relationship between Colin and Adam is mostly sweet and even funny; maybe even a little too much funny, Colin fainting during sex, not once but two times, is maybe not so realistic, but it adds a “comic” touch to the whole story. Aside from that, Colin and Adam don’t meet many obstacles to their love story, and Adam finds also support around him, from friends, colleagues and relatives. That is again nice, I realize that sometime I’m a bit pessimistic, but I don’t find so many time such situation in today society, even if we are in the XXI century. But more and more I find this in the stories I read, and more than once authors and readers commented that that is their own experience (like the same author in the author's bio of this novel), so maybe it’s possible, and I’m glad that it’s.


Amazon Kindle: Offside
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 26, 2011)

Reading List:

http://www.librarything.com/catalog_bottom.php?tag=reading list&view=elisa.rolle

Cover Art by Anne Cain
Tags: author: ryan loveless, genre: contemporary, length: novel, review, theme: sports, theme: virgins

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