Dev and Lee are both college students. Dev is a jock and Lee is not a nerd but almost, he is for sure a "straight" student like Dev: Lee is gay, he is part of the LGBT circle and he writes gay themed play for the local theatre group. When Lee's friend, Brian, is attacked and sent to hospital by two football players for the only reason that he is gay (even if later in the story probably we realize that Brian isn't a so easy character, and probably is not a 100% victim), Lee decides to vengeance his friend at his own way: he dresses in drag and goes to the pub where the local football team is celebrating a victory and hooks up with one of the jocks, Dev. If at this point someone is wondering how Lee could deceive Dev so much, disguising himself as a girl without no one notice it, well, it's simple, there are no clear elements to tell Lee from a girl, like a breast or gentle hips, if not his male attribute (that he can hide under a skirt), since Lee is a fox and Dev is a tiger. Out of Position is another of the anthropomorphic novels by Kyell Gold, and for me his best so far.
As in the other contemporary romance I read by Kyell Gold, Waterways, the problems that Dev and Lee have to overcome in order to have their happily ever after are the same of an ordinary couple, but in this novel there is the bonus that they are both "furry" characters, with tails, and paws and scents... plus there is an obstacle more, they are of different breeds, but this one is not so important as the other big one, that they are gay. Actually at first Lee approaches Dev believing him a 100% straight boy: Lee wants to teach to Dev a lesson, proving him that he can have sex, and enjoy it, also with a man. Problem is that Dev non only enjoys it, he is almost addicts to Lee: Dev can't help to search for Lee even if they are at opposite; Dev is in college with a sport scholarship, he is not a perfect student but he manages to have his credits thanks to his sport success; Lee is the classical perfect student and he and his friends look upon the jocks at college with superiority, like something to suffer since they can't do anything else.
At first Dev comes out like the simple mind guy who discovers that he can enjoy also a male partner; he is not an homophobic, but he has never considered having sex with a man. But if you read with attention Dev's introduction, you will realize that he is not simple as appears; in a world where Dev has the chance to have all the girls he wants, thanks to his jock status, he has a discriminating attitude, he is more for the quality than the quantity. For Dev is not necessary only a willing body, he wants that his partners have also a mind of their own, he wants to be challenged. And so when he meets Lee, after the first shock when he realizes that Lee is a man, he is ready and willing to overcome this obstacle due to the fact that he really likes Lee as a partner, not only as a body to have sex with. Not that the sex is not important, and in the book you will find plenty, so yes, if you can't go through the fact that this is an anthropomorphic novel, be careful since you will have to face a lot of scenes in which the fact that the two characters have furs, paws and tails is clearly in display.
The book is very long and follows the two characters in a long span of their life: not only as two college students that have to hide their relationship due to the homophobic environments where Dev lives, but only as two young man, Dev as a professional football player and Lee as a sport procurator for a professional football team. Strange is that it's not Dev that realizes that living as an openly gay man is not so easy as you imagined in college: it's Lee that has to come to reality, Lee who always though to change the world, and instead now is living and working in an all-male world where gays are not supposed to be. It's Lee that is questioning his beliefs and what he wants to do with his life. What the reader thought at first of the two main characters, Lee the steady one with his future all planned and Dev the uncertain one with no real skills other than being good with a ball, is totally turned up: outside of the secured walls of the college world who has problems to settle down is Lee.
I like a lot how Lee and Dev's relationship evolves: even if they have to face a lot of obstacles, they are always together, and for together I don't mean in the physical way; for work Lee and Dev have to live apart from time to time, but they are always sure of their love, they never question who is the real forever love for each other. They can have problems, they maybe have to change idea on something they thought was the right thing to do, but never, never they think to give up to their relationship. I also like as Dev comes out of the story, how his character develops and deepens to prove to the reader that being a jock not always means being dumb; all in all who makes the most embarrassing and dangerous mistakes is Lee, the one who should be the clever of the couple.
Amazon Kindle: Out of Position
Cover Art by Blotch