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Crossing the Touchline

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What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks? What if that dream is so close you can smell it? What if you meet someone? What if you fall in love? What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart? And what if the dream changes? Reuben Taylor has a choice to make. Cameron What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks? What if that dream is so close you can smell it? What if you meet someone? What if you fall in love? What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart? And what if the dream changes? Reuben Taylor has a choice to make. Cameron Wano is that choice.


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What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks? What if that dream is so close you can smell it? What if you meet someone? What if you fall in love? What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart? And what if the dream changes? Reuben Taylor has a choice to make. Cameron What if you’ve worked your whole life for a dream, to play rugby for the most successful sports team on the planet, the New Zealand All Blacks? What if that dream is so close you can smell it? What if you meet someone? What if you fall in love? What if your dream will cost the man who’s stolen your heart? And what if the dream changes? Reuben Taylor has a choice to make. Cameron Wano is that choice.

30 review for Crossing the Touchline

  1. 4 out of 5

    Optimist ♰King's Wench♰

    DNF/NR My grandmother has a saying when she's unsure about a new recipe: "it has good stuff in it"! This book has good stuff in it including an athlete who's built like a brick shithouse and a femme and self-proclaimed sassy guyliner wearing love interest. Plus, they're really into each other which has its appeal. There's a slight age difference too! That's size difference, age difference, femme guy, closeted athlete in a sports romance for the folks keeping track at home, all of which are my DNF/NR My grandmother has a saying when she's unsure about a new recipe: "it has good stuff in it"! ™ This book has good stuff in it including an athlete who's built like a brick shithouse and a femme and self-proclaimed sassy guyliner wearing love interest. Plus, they're really into each other which has its appeal. There's a slight age difference too! That's size difference, age difference, femme guy, closeted athlete in a sports romance for the folks keeping track at home, all of which are my kryptonite. So this, by all rights, should've been a feast. But sometimes you can have the creme de la creme of ingredients and it still doesn't turn out like you want it to. Unfortunately, Crossing the Touchline rapidly deflated like a soufflé for me. I wanted to like it. Heck, I wanted to LOVE it. But some things made that challenging and I know myself well enough to know that if I continue I'll nitpick this thing until it looks in the neighborhood of this: No one needs that, ammiright? However, I will list some of the things that bothered me in no particular order: The internal dialogues of both Cam and Reuben, both of which I found grating. The dearth of emotional maturity on both of their parts. They sound, and even to a certain extent, think almost exactly the same. The squirreling. The info dumps. Cam's "sassy" comes across as more dickish. There was this pervasive sense that this story was trying too hard which made it feel clunky and stilted. Perhaps things improve as the story evolves but, like I said, I've no wish to pick this thing apart on the off-chance it doesn't nor do I wish to negatively review a new author. Obviously, my opinions are my own and YMMV. An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cadiva

    Full review tomorrow, but that was good, like seriously good, speaking as a huge Rugby League fan and follower of Rugby Union. Right. Ian Roberts, Gareth Thomas, Keegan Hirst, Sam Stanley, Nigel Owens, Louisa Wall, Phaidra Knight, Jillion Potter, Jen Kish, Mark Bingham ( hero of 9/11 although he never played the top game). Ten names, ten different stories, all rugby league or rugby union players (and one referee). In Crossing The Touchline Jay Hogan puts the spotlight on possibly the biggest, and Full review tomorrow, but that was good, like seriously good, speaking as a huge Rugby League fan and follower of Rugby Union. Right. Ian Roberts, Gareth Thomas, Keegan Hirst, Sam Stanley, Nigel Owens, Louisa Wall, Phaidra Knight, Jillion Potter, Jen Kish, Mark Bingham ( hero of 9/11 although he never played the top game). Ten names, ten different stories, all rugby league or rugby union players (and one referee). In Crossing The Touchline Jay Hogan puts the spotlight on possibly the biggest, and most successful, sporting team in the world - the New Zealand All Blacks (hush Manchester United fans 😉 ) and gives the reader an insight into the pressures of not conforming to the norm when it comes to sexuality. Both Reuben and Cameron are wonderful creations, they're fully rounded out characters, they live, they love, they hurt, they deal with tensions that the vast majority of people will never have to think about. This is a love story, make no bones about that, but it's also so much more. It's about the pressures put on our top sportsmen and women to conform, it's about the mental health issues of having to hide who you are and who you love, it's about dickhead families, it's about sporting organisations that put their money where their mouths (and sponsorship deals) are. I totally believe in this New Zealand All Black side, management and all, having the back of a gay out player, they're one of the loudest shouting sides in the world when it comes to equality. https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/a... The struggles both Reuben and Cam go through never overshadow the romance though. Jay has pitched this book absolutely perfectly (and I don't just say that as a full flag carrying supporter of both codes of rugby football!) They are scorching hot together, their relationship relies as much on friendship and support as it does with what happens between the sheets. There were times I was screaming at what was going on (not going to spoiler it, but be aware of potential triggers for a parental unit that should never have been graced with offspring), the careful and considered treatment of a character who falls on the Autistic Spectrum is also encouraging and brings another layer of tension to the narrative which is wholly believable. Everything about this book spoke to me. It's quite radically different than the first book in the series (which is now with Dreamspinner and will be re-published later this year for those wondering) but it's no less a story. I loved it. It's not an easy read, it's a long book but it never felt like a trial, I didn't want to put it down because I had to see how they reached their Happy and the Epilogue is beyond awesome. I'd love there to be no stigma about being a gay sportsman or woman, sadly I know we're a long way off that, but the more books like this give people hope, the sooner we might reach that goal. #ARC kindly received from the author via the publishers Dreamspinner Press in return for an honest and unbiased review

  3. 5 out of 5

    Christelle

    Try scored for me, yeah !!! I was not impressed by the prologue of this book which left me dubious about the enjoyment I could get. But you know what ? Chapter 1 and all the following ones washed all my doubts away ! This story is set in New Zealand, famous, even though not only, for his National Rugby Team. Reuben Taylor works hard as a rugby player to be noticed and selected by the All Blacks. Not an easy fate for him : he also has to deal with his shitty father, his drunken brother (and shitty Try scored for me, yeah !!! I was not impressed by the prologue of this book which left me dubious about the enjoyment I could get. But you know what ? Chapter 1 and all the following ones washed all my doubts away ! This story is set in New Zealand, famous, even though not only, for his National Rugby Team. Reuben Taylor works hard as a rugby player to be noticed and selected by the All Blacks. Not an easy fate for him : he also has to deal with his shitty father, his drunken brother (and shitty father as well) and his 4 year old nephew whom he adores but who needs special attention. Not willing to add more pressure on his shoulders, he refuses to come out to anybody. But that was before meeting with Cameron Wano. Cameron is out, sassy and not willing to involved in a relationship where he would be a dirty little secret (been there, done that). He’s grounded and caring but also sexy and fun and boisterous. And even though he feels the instant chemistry between him and Reuben, he’s also fully aware Reuben is not the “boyfriend” he’s looking for. Right from chapter one (I’m still not enthusiastic with the prologue, LOL), I was enthralled by this Sport romance full of fun, of sass, of family dynamics, enough angst to make it not dull and with 2 MCs fully rounded, with their strengths and their flaws. I greatly enjoyed watching the relationship being build, the pace set (no BAM factor at all as I was afraid from the prologue), the way they faced all the issues on their ways, and the hot chemistry between them. Did I mention that it was written with a lot of humor ? A sense of humor that worked well for me, enough to not care about some moments that felt a tiny bit too sugary for my tastes. Finally, the ending was so good, one that I hope to see achieved when it comes to the sport world, and one that I need in my reading world when it comes to romance. Good writing, great characters, hot romance. As the blurb says : “Reuben Taylor has a choice to make. Cameron Wano is that choice”. And I really liked being a witness of that choice-making. ARC of “Crossing the Touchline” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    *J* Too Many Books Too Little Time

    DNF @ 40% Going to throw in the towel on this one, otherwise it's likely to take me weeks to finish. This one had so much potential. Sports themed books are some of my favorites. But the pacing killed this one for me. I never really felt much chemistry with either MC either, or the MCs together. The writing was overly descriptive or something. Too many words without accomplishing anything. 40% in and I didn't feel like the MCs had progressed much at all. It was the same conversations, the same DNF @ 40% Going to throw in the towel on this one, otherwise it's likely to take me weeks to finish. This one had so much potential. Sports themed books are some of my favorites. But the pacing killed this one for me. I never really felt much chemistry with either MC either, or the MCs together. The writing was overly descriptive or something. Too many words without accomplishing anything. 40% in and I didn't feel like the MCs had progressed much at all. It was the same conversations, the same thoughts. I thought I saw a review somewhere that this book was too much sex. There wasn't much at 40%. Or none? I can't remember. The drama with the dad and brother was already making me ragey. No rating, but this one just wasn't for me.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Truuss / Loveislovereview

    Reuben and Cam I don’t even know where to start this review. I was swept of my feet by this stunning story !! Reuben was heavily impressed by Cam’s appearance. He was the most beautiful delicate person, stunning make-up, fem and out and proud. He looked fragile but Reuben was surprised by his strong demanding attitude. Cam was concerned for Reuben who was a rugby player and far in the closet. Reuben has the chance to play with the All Blacks rugby team. But with a lot of bigotry from family and Reuben and Cam I don’t even know where to start this review. I was swept of my feet by this stunning story !! Reuben was heavily impressed by Cam’s appearance. He was the most beautiful delicate person, stunning make-up, fem and out and proud. He looked fragile but Reuben was surprised by his strong demanding attitude. Cam was concerned for Reuben who was a rugby player and far in the closet. Reuben has the chance to play with the All Blacks rugby team. But with a lot of bigotry from family and friends he can’t risk this place by outing himself. It’s a widely written story and not one second dull or repetitive. It had excellent developed characters and a more than fascinating plot. Many different emotions all over the place. It was entertaining and engaging. Cam oh boy my dear, beautiful extraordinary Cam I loved him hard!! At moments I wanted to strangle Reuben, he needed time, a lot, he was over his ears from the first second he laid eyes on Cam. And this hurt both of them hard. He lived in a split position and that was so awful. Cory his little nephew on the autism spectrum was just so wonderful in all his being. My heart swelled at moments for him. Reuben was the only one who cared for him. There are family members whose name I don’t want to speak, and members I want to hug hard. The best families and the wurst families. Even I knew where it came from, I got very very frustrated by Reuben’s state of mind. But dear goodness, once he freed himself from his cage and spread his wings freely, he was the best everrr. An unbelievable heartbreaking story, beautifully written, captivating as hell and very emotional. And the heartwarming beauty in this story...? Actually, beside Cam and Reuben as the main characters, dear Cory was the center of this journey and my goodness was that right!! And the end.. best statement ever. I cried my eyes out and fainted of emotions, masterly done!!

  6. 5 out of 5

    .Lili.

    I'm going to keep this short. I love the premise. I'm a sucker for a good OFY sports romance, and it was a sports romance, but it wasn't good for me. Why? Drama. It was exhausting. I am not a fan of too much drama in books, and I just felt like it hindered the pace of the story. I almost DNFed this book. And while I love a steamy read- it was too much sex. While underneath all the drama there was a story of hope that covers many important topics- it wasn't for me. I'm sure I'll likely be the I'm going to keep this short. I love the premise. I'm a sucker for a good OFY sports romance, and it was a sports romance, but it wasn't good for me. Why? Drama. It was exhausting. I am not a fan of too much drama in books, and I just felt like it hindered the pace of the story. I almost DNFed this book. And while I love a steamy read- it was too much sex. While underneath all the drama there was a story of hope that covers many important topics- it wasn't for me. I'm sure I'll likely be the minority. 3 Stars

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bev

    4.5 stars rounded up from me for this well-written tale. Loved it to bits, angst and all. Cam was just a brilliantly rounded, take no nonsense character, and Reuben?? Well, yes there were a few times I wanted to give him a good smack, but until/unless you've been in that particular situation yourself, you don't have any right to judge, so this is me shutting up . Yes, it's a sports story...a rugby union story about playing for one of the greatest sporting teams in the world BUT...first and 4.5 stars rounded up from me for this well-written tale. Loved it to bits, angst and all. Cam was just a brilliantly rounded, take no nonsense character, and Reuben?? Well, yes there were a few times I wanted to give him a good smack, but until/unless you've been in that particular situation yourself, you don't have any right to judge, so this is me shutting up 🤐. Yes, it's a sports story...a rugby union story about playing for one of the greatest sporting teams in the world BUT...first and foremost it's a 'baring your soul' story, a friends to lovers story, a coming out story, a 'choosing who your own family is' story, and with the love of a good man beside you, finally having the courage to tell everyone else the unvarnished truth about yourself...whether they like it or not. Loved that Rube cared deeply enough about his autistic nephew Cory to practically wrestle him away from his incapable brother [who was obviously suffering from some kind of depression]...and as for their complete pillock of a father, well the less said the better 🤬.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Claude

    In one word: Rollercoaster. "In" then "Out" then "In" then "Out" etc... I really loved this but all along there are a lot of dramas. Surely Reuben was my hero in this. I mean between his family (OMG I just can't understand how he managed to survive that long with them. Really), his career and his love interest. He's deep in the closet. Really deep. For many reasons. And I understand every each of them. I really liked his HEA. What an incredible team this All blacks! Cameron was really incredible In one word: Rollercoaster. "In" then "Out" then "In" then "Out" etc... I really loved this but all along there are a lot of dramas. Surely Reuben was my hero in this. I mean between his family (OMG I just can't understand how he managed to survive that long with them. Really), his career and his love interest. He's deep in the closet. Really deep. For many reasons. And I understand every each of them. I really liked his HEA. What an incredible team this All blacks! Cameron was really incredible too. Such a big heart (due to his beautiful family! His mother. This woman really. The BEST). I must admit that he annoyed me many times too. He asked a lot of someone who already had the weight of a family (and a career) on his back. I wish he had done less in the drama. I still have to admit that my favorite couple is Jake (Cam's cousin) and Trent haha. They completely stole the show for me! Such a cute couple! I was so happy seeing them falling in love. I hope we'll have some news in the next book!

  9. 5 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    I love rugby so I was absolutely hyped to read this story of a young Kiwi rugby player striving to make the legendary All Blacks while struggling to figure out how to handle his attraction to his teammate's brother, all the while adamantly staying in the closet. Reuben Taylor is a young talented player with a lot on his plate. His father is a homophobic hard@ss who runs roughshod over his sons Reuben and Craig. Craig's son Cory is on the autism spectrum and needs diagnosis and help but Craig is I love rugby so I was absolutely hyped to read this story of a young Kiwi rugby player striving to make the legendary All Blacks while struggling to figure out how to handle his attraction to his teammate's brother, all the while adamantly staying in the closet. Reuben Taylor is a young talented player with a lot on his plate. His father is a homophobic hard@ss who runs roughshod over his sons Reuben and Craig. Craig's son Cory is on the autism spectrum and needs diagnosis and help but Craig is too weak to stand up against his father and casts Reuben in the role of protector and provider. When Reuben meets Cameron Wano, he is immediately smitten but believes he can never have a relationship with the lean, lithe charge nurse with the guyliner. Becoming an All Black and getting endorsement deals would finally free Reuben of his father's toxicity and provide him with money for Cory's therapy. But Reuben just can't face becoming the first out All Black and Cam won't go back into the closet for anyone, no matter how sexy.Anything ... between us ... Is.Not.Happening. So what are you doing? If you want to keep your gay undercover, it's maybe not the best idea to be seen talking to the guy wearing eyeliner, and who may as well have 'I love dick' tattooed on his forehead. I'm hardly a shrinking violet, yeah? I like the premise of this story but the pacing almost made me DNF this book. At 300 pages, the book feels bloated with all the melodramatic scenes rehashing this central conflict between Reuben and Cam, as well as Reuben trying to get therapy for Cory and dealing with Craig's excessive drinking. Sure the sex is very steamy and erotic but after a while, I found myself skimming the sizzling sex scenes because I didn't get any sense of an emotional connection between the two MCs. There is no resolution to either situation until after page 250 or so, and while other readers may not feel the same, by this point I was done. And a few minor niggles - there is some discrepancy on the time frame (mentioning how one year has passed, and into the second year, and then at another point referring to only a few months) and Cam is continually described by his use of eyeline/guyliner (over 20 times). "Crossing the Touchline" just did not work for me and I cannot recommend it, although please note "your mileage may vary." 3 stars. I received an ARC from Dreamspinner Press, in exchange for an honest review. Review also posted at Gay Book Reviews - check it out!

  10. 5 out of 5

    James Cox

    I started this book not knowing much about Rugby or New Zealand. This book was great! I really liked the details and felt they made a great image for sexy characters. And I do mean sexyyyyyyy!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 stars Jay Hogan impressed me with her first book, First Impressions, and then I was so ready to check out Crossing the Touchline as it continues on in the same world. We met Cam in the first book as he was friends with Michael and they work at the same hospital and we get an early scene checking back in with Michael and Josh. Hogan offered a great first chapter in that first book, and again here in the prologue, and I was immediately drawn in. I really like when that A Joyfully Jay review. 4.75 stars Jay Hogan impressed me with her first book, First Impressions, and then I was so ready to check out Crossing the Touchline as it continues on in the same world. We met Cam in the first book as he was friends with Michael and they work at the same hospital and we get an early scene checking back in with Michael and Josh. Hogan offered a great first chapter in that first book, and again here in the prologue, and I was immediately drawn in. I really like when that opening chapter sets such a great tone of what is to come and Hogan does it well. There was so much I liked about this book starting with both Cam and Reuben. Their chemistry is immediate and all consuming. Their internal dialogue and the snark and the banter and the way they notice each other initially sets the scene, but then continues on and grows as the book progresses. Read Michelle's review in its entirety here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Renée

    Reviews are saying too much drama, and I'm allergic to that in my books, so......

  13. 4 out of 5

    Aki | nose buried in books | ❤️ |

    Loved it! It can be easily read as a standalone, but I recommend to read also the first book, because it's truly a beautiful series! Can't wait for the next book by this author!! Loved it! ❤️❣️ It can be easily read as a standalone, but I recommend to read also the first book, because it's truly a beautiful series! Can't wait for the next book by this author!!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Nat ReadingAllNite

    I’ve recently developed a mild obsession with books about rugby players despite knowing almost nothing about rugby, New Zealand or even US sports for that matter. I grabbed this not realizing there was a previous book but it read just fine on its own. Reuben has been waiting for a chance to make the NZ All Blacks and hiding the fact that he’s gay, out of fear of losing that chance. He also fears losing touch with his probably autistic nephew, due to his homophobic father’s influence on his I’ve recently developed a mild obsession with books about rugby players despite knowing almost nothing about rugby, New Zealand or even US sports for that matter. I grabbed this not realizing there was a previous book but it read just fine on its own. Reuben has been waiting for a chance to make the NZ All Blacks and hiding the fact that he’s gay, out of fear of losing that chance. He also fears losing touch with his probably autistic nephew, due to his homophobic father’s influence on his brother. Cam is out and proud, mostly by default but he owns his fabulous self and refuses to fall for a closet-case, until he’s captivated by Reuben. There is a slow-burn element while they try to be only friends but it’s quite incendiary when they finally give in. Cam defies the stereotypes of fem gay men both in and out of the bedroom. It’s the situation with Reuben, his brother, father and nephew Cory that grabbed me by the heart and had me fully invested in the story. Reuben is under so much pressure and then Cam acts like a complete jerk (IMO) on top of it. Cam’s behavior improves again later but it made him feel like an inconsistent character and Reuben was too apologetic and self-effacing. It jarred my view of them as a couple and kept me from feeling connected to the romance which was also sometimes overwhelmed by the crises Reuben dealt with. It did help that both men’s perspectives were used. Even though the closeted sports star trope gets overused, this was still quite a feel-good story with some original twists to the plot. I’ll go back and read the first book, the author’s debut novel, and will likely read more in future.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ami

    3.75 stars rounded up I tend to consciously avoid MM romance involving "famous" people (like athletes, actors, and such) especially if they are still in the closet. It usually frustrates me to no end, despite knowing that in real life there are a lot of factors coming to play... BUT, I enjoyed the previous two books from Jay Hogan and I was dying to read Cam's story, EER nurse extraordinaire from First Impressions... True to my gut, I was annoyed with the push and pull of Reuben backing out, Cam 3.75 stars rounded up I tend to consciously avoid MM romance involving "famous" people (like athletes, actors, and such) especially if they are still in the closet. It usually frustrates me to no end, despite knowing that in real life there are a lot of factors coming to play... BUT, I enjoyed the previous two books from Jay Hogan and I was dying to read Cam's story, EER nurse extraordinaire from First Impressions... True to my gut, I was annoyed with the push and pull of Reuben backing out, Cam getting angry and jealous, but they did it all over again in the next chapter 🙄. It felt repetitive. HOWEVER, at the same time, Hogan wrote the characters well, and I loved the additional child in spectrum as a character (he is Reuben's nephew and one of the reasons why Reuben can not easily come out to the world). So I kept turning the pages until the end. Plus Reuben's acknowledgement of his feelings towards Cam was GLORIOUS. In the end, this is another wonderful book. I will keep eyes on future stories coming from Jay Hogan

  16. 5 out of 5

    Susan65

    The Blogger Girls I really loved this story. I am huge sports fan, and though rugby is not a sport I am very familiar with, I learned to love it. And more specifically, the All Blacks top notch team out of New Zealand. I did a ton of Googling and watching Youtube videos of the team and the haka. I preface this review by stating I did not read the first book, and unless I am missing something, I did not miss a thing by skipping the first book. I will, however, go back and read it because I loved The Blogger Girls I really loved this story. I am huge sports fan, and though rugby is not a sport I am very familiar with, I learned to love it. And more specifically, the All Blacks top notch team out of New Zealand. I did a ton of Googling and watching Youtube videos of the team and the haka. I preface this review by stating I did not read the first book, and unless I am missing something, I did not miss a thing by skipping the first book. I will, however, go back and read it because I loved Dr Michael in this book and look forward to seeing how he got to be so happy. In this story, though, the subject matter was a bit rough. Reuben is fighting to get to the elite, All Blacks, rugby team so that he can finally get away from his tiny apartment, help take care of his special needs nephew, but most importantly, get away from his horrific father. That man was an awful father and I wanted to punch his lights out. Cameron is the out, proud, and ain’t-no-mistaking-his-flamboyant-self gay man. He is also the brother of a team mate of Reubens, so no matter the attraction, Cam is way too gay for him and way to distracting for his plans for the future. Until Reuben learns that Cameron means more to him than just about anything, including rugby. Sounds easy, but trust me, it takes a lot before these two finally find a way to break Reuben out of the closet, away from his father, and still find a way to make his dream of being an All Black rugby player a reality. I think what I loved most about Reuben was the fact that no matter what he did, he was always brutally honest about his feelings for Cam. And Cam just melted at the heartfelt honey that dripped from his delectable lips. Cam was such a lucky man…and he knew it. This is not an easy story. There is a child neglect, attempted suicide of a side character, emotional and physical abuse by a parent, and topped off with a man fighting a sports system that forces him to hide his truth. But, just keep reading, because it is all settled so perfectly that I let out an embarrassing sigh at the end. A happy sigh for my happy heart. Overall Impression: I really liked it

  17. 4 out of 5

    BWT (Belen)

    Marking DNF, this just isn't working for me. No rating.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Oh wow. I loved this story so much! This is a gritty, angst filled read about the unlikely relationship between a rising rugby star and an A&E charge nurse. I love the ‘star crossed lovers’ feel to this story. And while this is Reuben’s book, it was Cam I fell hard for. Part flamboyant diva, part tiger, Cam is confident and fabulous. He’s the emotional grown up in the relationship and every time Reuben let him down my heart I was given a copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads Oh wow. I loved this story so much! This is a gritty, angst filled read about the unlikely relationship between a rising rugby star and an A&E charge nurse. I love the ‘star crossed lovers’ feel to this story. And while this is Reuben’s book, it was Cam I fell hard for. Part flamboyant diva, part tiger, Cam is confident and fabulous. He’s the emotional grown up in the relationship and every time Reuben let him down my heart broke a little bit for him. In contrast, Reuben is a little bit clueless. He desperately wants to secure his place with the All Blacks but his dysfunctional family makes it almost impossible for him to focus on his sport. And while Reuben is fearless on the pitch, he can’t stand up to his father and he can’t make things right for his nephew. Reuben constantly hurts Cam, but it is never intentional. The heat between Cam and Reuben is combustible and I love the way they complement each other perfectly. The sweet, sexy chemistry between Cam and Reuben is fantastic. I love the balanced portrayal of gay men in this story. A few years ago, I remember teaching a PSHE lesson during Pride month and showing a video made by Gareth Thomas. The first comment by one of my rugby playing students was ‘I don’t mind gays like that - it’s the ones that go all girly that make me sick.’ M/M sports romance can sometimes seem to encourage this sort of divisive narrative so I love the way the author of this book focuses on Cameron’s strengths. While Reuben is a rugby god, he’s also an emotional mess. Off the pitch, it’s Cameron who is fierce, centred and in control of his life. I also really enjoyed the rugby in this book. Rugby is much more familiar to me than American Football so I was able to really engage with the sport in this story. The All Blacks are spoken of with a hushed reverence by fans around the world and I loved the way this book made me feel like I was getting behind the scenes access to the legendary team. This book isn’t without flaws. It’s a long read and the plot wanders in places. There’s also a whole lot going on. Reuben’s home life is complicated and ugly and more of the story focuses on his family relationships than on his rugby. And while Cam and Reuben are wonderfully complicated characters, I didn’t like the overly simplistic portrayal of characters like Reuben’s father. But ultimately, I loved this book. This is the first book I’ve read by the author and as soon as I finished it I was searching Amazon for anything else by the same author. Sadly, I couldn’t find anything but I’m crossing my fingers for more in the near future.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Dara Nelson

    Jay Hogan - where have you been all my life??? As you can probably tell, this was my first Jay Hogan book but it most definitely will not be my last. Cam and Reuben's story had the perfect amount of sass (commendable given how much sass Cameron Wano has to give), tears, angst, humor It wasn't long before I was a sparrow's fart away from org@*m and incredible romance Cam wasn't ever a risk - he was a promise Definitely a 'Best of 2019' read. I stayed up too late, couldn't put it down, had my Jay Hogan - where have you been all my life??? As you can probably tell, this was my first Jay Hogan book but it most definitely will not be my last. Cam and Reuben's story had the perfect amount of sass (commendable given how much sass Cameron Wano has to give), tears, angst, humor It wasn't long before I was a sparrow's fart away from org@*m and incredible romance Cam wasn't ever a risk - he was a promise Definitely a 'Best of 2019' read. I stayed up too late, couldn't put it down, had my heart beating fast in my chest and, underlying it all was the running commentary of 'why haven't I read this author before?' I will definitely be rectifying that immediately - with a smile on my face.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ruthie Taylor

    ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the second in the series - and I have not yet read book 1, but will remedying that soon! It involves a couple who are side characters here, so it wasn't essential, but clearly the story is well worth a read. I didn't feel like I had missed elements important to Cameron and Rueben's story. What is interesting is that I couldn't resist reading this book because I am a huge sports romance fan, especially rugby, and ~~I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads ~~ This is the second in the series - and I have not yet read book 1, but will remedying that soon! It involves a couple who are side characters here, so it wasn't essential, but clearly the story is well worth a read. I didn't feel like I had missed elements important to Cameron and Rueben's story. What is interesting is that I couldn't resist reading this book because I am a huge sports romance fan, especially rugby, and actually the series is linked to medical romance - turns out that together they are fabulous! Cam is a very much closeted rugby player with a total pig of a father, and a distracted single Dad brother. He is holding everything together in the hopes of getting his big break with the All Blacks, and saving his nephew from the life he has had. That means that his life can only be training and childcare for now. He is introduced to us however finding someone so irresistible at a wedding that he breaks all his rules and kisses the man, and then pushes him away when some team mates come to find him. Thankfully we recognise it as blind fear, rather than disinterest, and so does he. For Cam though it is a nasty reminder of how denied he was by his only serious boyfriend ... but you need to read the book to find out more. As these two men fight an attraction which spills off the page, fate seems determined to keep causing them to meet, and they finally try for friends. Reuben tries to keep his nephew safe, and his father off his case, and his mind on the game - but really his thoughts are of Cam, of how to balance rugby with love, and how to prevent his father from blackmailing him. There was an amazing mix of small moments of calm and intense, surrounded by huge issues and how on earth they could be resolved. One could only admire both men, who in their way were trying their very best for each other, even if it took the inexperienced Reuben time to catch up. Lovely, lovely book, thank you Jay Hogan.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Mainely Stories

    What a fabulous, lovely story from @JayHoganAuthor, a new-to-me storyteller! My username might provide a clue that New Zealand isn’t just next door and in this case, my interest was heightened by the color and flavor of the far-away setting. From start to finish, I was captivated. This story was every bit real to me even though I had to use the dictionary a couple of times. I've traveled the world in books. I especially loved Cameron, the femme ER nurse who wasn’t hiding his light for anyone. What a fabulous, lovely story from @JayHoganAuthor, a new-to-me storyteller! My username might provide a clue that New Zealand isn’t just next door and in this case, my interest was heightened by the color and flavor of the far-away setting. From start to finish, I was captivated. This story was every bit real to me even though I had to use the dictionary a couple of times. I've traveled the world in books. I especially loved Cameron, the femme ER nurse who wasn’t hiding his light for anyone. Rugby player Reuben has worked his entire life for a chance to play for the All Black. OK, I’ll admit it. I’d never heard of the All Black before this but I’ve watched them on YouTube now and ‘get it’. Reuben loves rugby but he needs the success for more than his own personal satisfaction. He needs the money to protect his young nephew who is mostly nonverbal and undiagnosed but likely on the autism spectrum. For Reuben, coming out would ruin everything, especially since his father is the worst kind of abusive blackmailing bigot. When Reuben meets the dazzling Cameron, brother of a teammate, he is overcome with want. He wants him physically certainly but he also wants what some of his friends have, what his teammates have, a partner to share his life, to be his best friend and lover. Cameron wants those things as well but experience tells him that he is not likely to find them with a closeted athlete, especially one with so much baggage. Been there, done that and Cam isn’t going there again. Cameron is an absolute treasure! This story has themes to interest most readers, sports, romance, mental health, family dynamics both good and bad, friends and surprises. It is a love story but so much more. There are more books by this author just waiting for me!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    Crossing the Touchline snagged my attention for a few different reasons: a lovely cover, a relatively new author, and a sports romance that featured rugby, which is decidedly underrepresented in its genre. This novel marks the author’s second published work and I have to say I was impressed by the style and how polished the book was as a whole. Crossing the Touchline includes a slight overlap in characters from the author’s first book, but it’s a standalone and the start to an entirely new Crossing the Touchline snagged my attention for a few different reasons: a lovely cover, a relatively new author, and a sports romance that featured rugby, which is decidedly underrepresented in its genre. This novel marks the author’s second published work and I have to say I was impressed by the style and how polished the book was as a whole. Crossing the Touchline includes a slight overlap in characters from the author’s first book, but it’s a standalone and the start to an entirely new series. Overall, I enjoyed the story, really liked the characters, and definitely plan to continue following the series and author. There’s no shortage of sports romances that feature closeted heroes facing coming out after meeting that special person. Initially, I thought Crossing the Touchline would follow the fairly standard and predictable path many other in this trope take. However, there were several contingent factors I hadn’t anticipated that set Reuben and Cam’s story apart and drew me in. I really loved both men and liked how well flushed out their characters were. I also liked the slow build in their romance and Reuben’s careful decision to come out. And I definitely hadn’t expected all the spicy moments and characteristics of this couple’s love life. All these aspects made Crossing the Touchline an interesting book that ensured I’d be back for more. Unfortunately, the slow build in Cam and Reuben’s romance spilled over to the general pace of the book and I found my attention flagging at times. The unhurried tempo wasn’t helped by the author repeatedly circling back to some descriptions and conflicts throughout the book. That said, my investment in the couple never waned and I generally thoroughly enjoyed reading their story. As for the sports aspect, this isn’t one that mentions an athlete and then doesn’t touch on the topic again. I know little about rugby, and therefore occasionally found myself slow to grasp the author’s references, but as a sports fan, I appreciated there were plenty of details about the matches and teams and I’m sure rugby fans will be thrilled. I’d definitely recommend Crossing the Touchline to those who like slow burn romances or anyone eager to see rugby represented in the sports romance genre. *eARC provided via Signal Boost. The PA, author, and publisher had no influence over this review*

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kelsie

    4 Stars This one worked a lot better for me. The author did more with the pacing, and kept it from getting too repetitive. Still a little over long I’d say, but it worked out. Cam and Rube were adorable together, and I loved the fem/jock dynamic. Cameron was so toppy. Very sexy. I also really enjoyed the addition of Reuben’s nephew Cory. He was on the spectrum and adorable as hell. What I did not enjoy so much was Reuben’s father - what a disgusting ass. His constant vitriol was hard to read. I 4 Stars This one worked a lot better for me. The author did more with the pacing, and kept it from getting too repetitive. Still a little over long I’d say, but it worked out. Cam and Rube were adorable together, and I loved the fem/jock dynamic. Cameron was so toppy. Very sexy. I also really enjoyed the addition of Reuben’s nephew Cory. He was on the spectrum and adorable as hell. What I did not enjoy so much was Reuben’s father - what a disgusting ass. His constant vitriol was hard to read. I wanted Rueben to stand up for himself and Cam and it took him quite a while to do so. It seemed very authentic to how a real life situation would be though so I understood. Cam and Rueben also came off a little immature at times, but their general adorableness kept me invested and interested til the end so I’m glad I went on to read this one. “And you, Cameron Wano, are one hundred percent gorgeous and one hundred percent mine, and I am such a lucky fucking bastard to even get a piece of you let alone to love you.” “He no sooner laid his hands on me than every fibre of my body opened to him, and miles of walls crumbled. Walls I didn’t even know I had”

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kendra T

    I love books featuring athletes. I don't recall reading many (if any) books with Rugby, but I really enjoyed this. I felt like I actually learned a small bit about the sport while reading it, but it was great because I didn't feel like I was reading a Rugby instruction manual. It was well done. Reuben has been working his whole life to make the big team, and he wants nothing to stand in his way. Being gay has always been something he has had to largely ignore, but when he meets Cameron, he I love books featuring athletes. I don't recall reading many (if any) books with Rugby, but I really enjoyed this. I felt like I actually learned a small bit about the sport while reading it, but it was great because I didn't feel like I was reading a Rugby instruction manual. It was well done. Reuben has been working his whole life to make the big team, and he wants nothing to stand in his way. Being gay has always been something he has had to largely ignore, but when he meets Cameron, he starts realizing that he is better with Cam than without him. Of course, there is some of the usual "we can't be together" drama because Cam won't be closeted and Reuben won't be out, but I loved how they were able to resolve it in the end. I really enjoyed this book. I hadn't read the first book, and it did not take away any enjoyment from this book. This was well written, though, so reading the first book might be pretty awesome. I am voluntarily reviewing an ARC provided by Signal Boost Promotions

  25. 5 out of 5

    Valerie

    This is my first book from Jay Hogan and while I don't really know anything about rugby, the premise of the book seemed interesting. While I would have liked to say I enjoyed this book, there was a lot of emotional turmoil in the book that became tedious as the book continued. While I enjoyed getting to know Cameron, the drama that was Reuben's life made it hard to connect with him and like him in the long run. Although he had a lot to deal with (his homophobic father, his brother, and his This is my first book from Jay Hogan and while I don't really know anything about rugby, the premise of the book seemed interesting. While I would have liked to say I enjoyed this book, there was a lot of emotional turmoil in the book that became tedious as the book continued. While I enjoyed getting to know Cameron, the drama that was Reuben's life made it hard to connect with him and like him in the long run. Although he had a lot to deal with (his homophobic father, his brother, and his nephew, the story was bogged down with so much family drama it drew me away from the love story between Rueben and Cameron. There were several times I put down the book to pick it back up later, but the frustration as I read continued. The sex was hot, but ultimately failed to connect the two men in my mind.

  26. 5 out of 5

    blue night

    I’m not sure what went wrong, but maybe it was just tooooo long. And the template of deadbeat or just dead mothers persisted from the first book, which was unnecessary and distracting. So, dunno. I think it could have been edited to half the length and packed more of a punch.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Mrs.V

    I loved this! I suffered with Cam and Reubens in their struggles to be together with everything (sport, family, obligations and also self-esteem) fighting against them. Jay Hogan has earned a sure spot in my one-click-authors folder!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elle

    I practically inhaled this book. Could not put it down. The angst and rollercoaster of emotions the story makes you feel. I loved the main characters. All you wanted while reading their story is a HEA. I absolutely loved the first book in this series, First Impressions, and have so looked forward to this one. Let's just say that Ms Hogan didn't disappoint. Reuban! I loved him! Throughout this book he has this naivety and vulnerability that made me want to wrap him up and hug him. I reallyfelt for I practically inhaled this book. Could not put it down. The angst and rollercoaster of emotions the story makes you feel. I loved the main characters. All you wanted while reading their story is a HEA. I absolutely loved the first book in this series, First Impressions, and have so looked forward to this one. Let's just say that Ms Hogan didn't disappoint. Reuban! I loved him! Throughout this book he has this naivety and vulnerability that made me want to wrap him up and hug him. I really felt for him. He was in a horrible position. Wanting to do what was best for his family, and also trying to succeed at what he loves best. When Reuban  meets a very openly gay Cam, he is instantly smitten by his beauty and a little jealous of the fact that Cam makes absolutely no excuses for who or what he is.   What follows is a totally compelling story about two men who are total opposites, but desperately want to be together. Neither can see a way out of their dilemma, and their attraction seems doomed.  Problem is, Reuban has massive baggage,  (I loathed his pig of a dad!), falling for Cam and losing his  chance to play for the All Blacks, makes him afraid he’ll never be free to live his own life. As the two guys spend more time together, Reuban finds it harder and harder to stay in the closet. There's also so much more at stake. I really enjoyed this book! I thought the characters were brilliantly written and I ached for Reuban. His struggles of wanting to be successful in a sport he loves and embracing his sexuality really tore at my heart. It is so sad that there is so much fear and discrimination against people who can’t be their real selves, or are living their lives in order to please someone else.  I loved the story and adored the secondary characters, all well written. I’m already looking forward to the next book. in the series!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Serena Yates

    “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night Making choices and deciding what is most important in life, is never easy. But for people like Reuben, who can only achieve his dream of playing rugby for the All Blacks if he gives up a huge part of who he is, the choice becomes a dilemma. And it is one that has the potential of destroying any future happiness: either he plays rugby and can’t have love, or he can have a loving partner “We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.” ― Kurt Vonnegut, Mother Night Making choices and deciding what is most important in life, is never easy. But for people like Reuben, who can only achieve his dream of playing rugby for the All Blacks if he gives up a huge part of who he is, the choice becomes a dilemma. And it is one that has the potential of destroying any future happiness: either he plays rugby and can’t have love, or he can have a loving partner and forget playing rugby for the best team in the world. The predicament he faces has always been there under the surface, but it becomes real when he meets Cameron. Suddenly the “road not taken” is a man, not a theoretical situation. Reuben can either continue to pretend to be someone he is not and achieve his lifelong goal, or he can stop pretending, come out, and risk not playing for the All Blacks, no matter what their official, politically correct position may be. It’s a heart-wrenching situation and one that demands a maturity Reuben has to work hard to gain – and I was with him every step of the way. Please find my full review on Rainbow Book Reviews.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is Cam's story. The sassy nurse from book one and a character I already loved. He has a thing for a deep in the closet rugby player Reuben. I loved the way they met with Reuben being a total ass and the way things carried on throughout. I felt so bad for Reuben yet frustrated with him a well. His family was a total shitshow and he was still a really great guy. Cam is still fabulous and not as closed off as I was thinking from book one. This one was less emotional for me but written much This is Cam's story. The sassy nurse from book one and a character I already loved. He has a thing for a deep in the closet rugby player Reuben. I loved the way they met with Reuben being a total ass and the way things carried on throughout. I felt so bad for Reuben yet frustrated with him a well. His family was a total shitshow and he was still a really great guy. Cam is still fabulous and not as closed off as I was thinking from book one. This one was less emotional for me but written much better IMO. I will definitely be reading books by the author as they come out. Also being from the US I didn't the know the All Blacks was a real thing but looked up the haka on youtube and that shit is intense! (Ps. Do you think you have to be able to play top notch rugby and be panty melting gorgeous, cause it sure seems that way. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=604o4...

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