Friday, September 15, 2017

Book Tour for The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Readers will find themselves drawn to this tale of coming-out and all the fears and pressures associated with it.  Keep reading to get a tempting taste of The Quarterback by Mackenzie Blair, along with my impressions of this New Adult m/m romance set in the world of college football.  You'll also hear from the author and you can learn even more about this book by visiting the other sites hosting this tour.  In honor of this charming and sensual sports-themed romance make sure to leave a comment below telling me your favorite football team (College or Pro) for the chance to win a $30 Riptide Publishing GC too!

Hello, I’m Mackenzie Blair and I’ve been reading romance novels ever since my mom took me to used book sale after book sale as a teenager.  I loved that every romance novel had a happy ending.  (Those covers were also pretty scandalous to my small-town mind, so there was probably a good dose of rebellion in my reading as well.) A few years ago, I discovered MM romance, and although I’d considered writing a romance novel for years, it turns out it took an MM story to finally inspire me to finish one!
So I hope you enjoy reading THE QUARTERBACK as much as I loved writing it.

In walks Trevor Kim, a gorgeous, pierced, tattooed fellow Bodine student who does massages—without happy endings—to pay for school after his family kicked him out for being gay. Trevor takes one look at Matt and breaks all his own rules about mixing business with pleasure.
Matt needs to keep his scholarship, win the National Championship, and survive his asshole father. Instead, he falls in love. Trevor needs to accept that the football god is meant to end up with him rather than a perky cheerleader. It’s time for a happy ending for both of them.


There are just some books that you can't help but like even though the premise is familiar and the action predictable.  The Quarterback is just such a book as the angst the main characters go through played out in a way that left no surprises.  While the main couple went through lots of melodrama to get their HEA, dealing with issues that sometimes went over-the-top, I always knew that the ending would leave me with a smile on my face.  And boy, did this story give me a lot to smile about as its main couple were just too cute!  Their banter was sweet yet sexy and whatever problems arose that caused them to lash out in hurt and fear, they always talked it through and made amends quickly and satisfyingly.

Matt Lancaster is the Golden Boy quarterback beloved by the girls and admired by the guys.  Every girl wants him and every guy wants to be him as he's on the cusp of taking his team to the National Championship.  Behind the scenes though his life is anything but golden as his father is an alcoholic who lives on other people's money while belittling his children and using them as a cover for his nefarious acts.  Fear of his father and fear from society and his teammates is also keeping him firmly entrenched in the closet and living a lie of heterosexuality that's weighing him down and making his life miserable.  The moment his friends take him to a massage parlor, and he meets the sexy and exotic Trevor, his life will never be the same.  Trevor makes him question things, his life and his future.  He gives him a glimpse of freedom that he can't help but be tempted by and which helps him slowly come to terms with who he really is.  As they evolve from friends-with-benefits to more, Matt gains strength and fully embraces the love and acceptance Trevor offers in a journey full of wonderment, awe, and numerous endearing moments.  Matt's a good and loyal friend, quick to admit when he's wrong, and is extremely protective of others. He's a sweet soul, trusting of Trevor to help him in his new life, and their scenes together put a smile on my face.

Trevor Kim knows the steep price of coming-out as he too was once the Golden Boy of his family for his smarts and academic achievements until he told his family the truth about his sexuality.  Everyone turned on him, cutting him off emotionally and financially.  His scholarship got him to college but it's a struggle to make ends meet which led him to the massage parlor and his life-altering meeting with Matt.  Trevor's had his eye on Matt for years and is excited to have the opportunity to put his hands on him.  What starts out awkwardly soon starts feeling all too good as feelings soon become involved.  Feelings of jealousy and resentment for being Matt's dirty little secret lead to a few ups-and-downs that cause harsh words but ultimately makes them a stronger couple capable of reaching their HEA.  Trevor's an appealing character, full of life.  He's very understanding when it comes to their sex life and never pushes Matt more than he's comfortable with in a romance that builds over time.  He's quick to assume the worst though as his family made him feel worthless and as such he doesn't feel good enough to be loved.  His self-esteem issues added to the melodrama, but despite my occasional frustration with him I still found him immensely appealing.

Overall this was an enjoyable read with a likable main couple and a cast of entertaining secondary characters.  Matt and Trevor are endearing whose interactions put a constant smile on my face.  Their romance was sweet yet sexy and full of increasingly-erotic encounters.  At times though the interactions became a bit too frequent and became a bit blase.  Their struggles are what kept me riveted, the realities and the fears that have never truly gone away. The author dealt with those issues head-on, showing predictable villains and others doing their own hiding, in situations that frustrated me at times as I'm ever the optimist about acceptance.  The secondary characters were equally likable with a cast of friends who were funny in their banter and supportive of Matt and Trevor, protecting them when everything hits the fan.  They're a unique group who in their own ways played matchmaker.  From the first page to the last this was an enjoyable romance that had me rooting for the main couple every step of the way.  Despite an occasional frustration I still cheered once the final page was turned courtesy of a feel-good ending that gave me lots of warm fuzzies!

My rating for this is a B+

*I got this book from Netgalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Mackenzie Blair is an award-winning screenwriter in Los Angeles who’s written for shows and films you’ve probably heard of.  Mackenzie grew up in the South but fled the humidity for earthquakes, university, and a brief stint in finance. As a cynical idealist, she prefers to write happy endings whenever possible.



-To increase your chances of winning, comment at each of the stops on this tour.
-Winner will be chosen randomly from each valid comment left.


  1. Thank you for the review and post =)
    humhumbum AT yahoo DOT com

  2. I enjoyed this one and hope to see more books from you. Thanks for the giveaway chance and congratulations again for the book release.


  3. Love the Stanford Cardinal for football...I'm more of a San Jose Sharks hockey girl than a pro ball watcher!


  4. I wish you are having a wonderful release week!

  5. I was a huge Peyton Manning fan for his entire professional career. Now I am kind of adrift...

  6. Thanks for your review!
    legacylandlisa at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for the excerpt and congrats, Mackenzie. Welcome to m/m romance. I too am a "cynical idealist," but an older southern boy, & went to a conservative Baptist school. So it'll be interesting to see how this plays out in this debut. - Purple Reader,
    TheWrote [at] aol [dot] com

  8. The book sounds great! I am a fan of both Michigan and VA Tech.
    heath0043 at gmail dot com