It has been such a long time since Simon has a partner. To make up for it, his time is spent on his job, dealing with film festival, as well as time for his best friends - Roger and his wife, Fran. Roger and Fran are aware of Simon's sexual orientation and accepts him for who he is. However, they are not so thrilled with his single status and hence, Simon is dragged to a party.

At the party, where everyone else seems to know everyone else, Simon meets the famous football player, Declan. It is a not a pleasant first meet. Simon defends Declan's ability in the football field, while calling Declan arrogant when Simon overhears a group of football fans criticizing Declan. Declan has been out of action due to a knee injury.

Since that night, Declan and Simon begin to keep in touch with one another. However, this is kept a secret as Declan is a national star, in closet. When Roger and Fran find out, they have been nothing but supportive friends (in awe of Declan). Simon gets to meet Declan's version of Roger-and-Fran best friends - Abe and Asian Lisa. Together, Simon and Declan the hardship of starting and maintaining a gay relationship, between an unknown gay and a gay superstar.

I have always been a big fan of beautiful gay love story. Until now, I have the greatest respect for Steve Kluger's Almost Like Being in Love. It is witty, funny and well-written. I have often wondered when I would be able to come across another gay novel that would make me fall in love with the art of story-telling, like Steve Kluger's fine work. I found it eventually, when I picked up Sean Kennedy's Tigers and Devils.

Okay. I am shallow. I did not even think highly of the book title. On the first page itself, it is already giving the warning sign that I may not favor this book. It talks about football. Me? Football? Oh boy.. so I thought.

However, as the storyline progressed, I was drawn into the characters. I cared for Simon. I cared for Declan. I even read slower to find the witty remarks between Fran, Roger and Simon. The conversation was divinely pleasing that I had to slow down my reading just to enjoy each and every punch line I could find. Throw in Abe and Lisa, and I was more in love with this book than a mere loving thoughts for Simon and Declan.

I love how Sean Kennedy is able to portray well the situation one would think of, and even not think of, when a non-jock guy dates a jock - an unknown guy in love with a famous national player. I mean, questions like - what does he see in me when he can date any supermodel? Will this be a fling? How long can this last? What is it in me that is interesting for him to be attracted to me?

In fact, the coming-out process was dealt well when even more insights were provided to the expected pressure for someone like Simon to blend in with the Wives and Girlfriends (WAGs) as well as the unwelcome attention of the nation on his relationship with Declan. A moment there, I thought I was catching a glimpse of the lives of Britney Spears, Zac Efron, Megan Fox and the stars of Gossip Girls for all the negative remarks of how a common him in the world of celebrities. And how he was the inferior half of the media darling couple.

You know what.. Almost to the end of the book, I had my eyes in tears. It was touching. And I have to thank Sean Kennedy for ending the book in a beautiful note and not to write another tragic love story for the gay community. Kudos. I am over the moon with this great gay story book.

This gay novel is highly recommended.


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