I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.A Secret Match by Kelli A. Wilkins
Published by Amber Quill Press on August 31, 2014
Genres: Contemporary Romance, M/M Romance
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Everett Kinkade is a world-famous professional wrestler and the sexy heartthrob of millions of adoring female fans. But Ev has a secret he doesn’t dare share with anyone. He’s gay.
After years of being Ev’s secret lover, Josh is tired of hiding in the shadows and wants Ev to openly acknowledge their relationship. Coming out is the last thing Ev wants and fears it will ruin his career.
One night in a moment of truth, Everett outs himself on live TV. There’s no going back, and his announcement sparks a firestorm of problems – both personally and professionally. He’s forced to come to grips with who he really is while facing down a tag team out to destroy him.
Torn between living a lie and losing the man he loves, Ev has risked everything… can he find a balance between his career and his heart?
I’d be lying if I didn’t admit this cover sucked me in even before I read the blurb. I’m still fascinated with it.
A bit of background
Everett Kincaid’s a professional wrestler who’s gay and deep in the closet, even though he’s been in a secret committed relationship for two years. His fear is that his career will end if he acknowledges his true nature. Complicating things even more is the sexy image and lifestyle that’s been developed for his wrestling character. When Josh, his committed partner, walks out on him, Everett is forced to come to terms with what’s most important in his life.
I’ve never watched wrestling but have family members who are insane about the sport. It really looked fake to me when I was growing up but today’s wrestlers are true athletes, even though the match outcomes are pure theater.
This story educated me about the behind-the-scenes realities of professional wrestling and I found it incredibly interesting. I loved Everett who is one of the good guys. His partner, Vinnie, knows about he’s gay and isn’t concerned in the least. In fact, some of the funnier moments are when he probes Everett for details about the m/m sexual experience. The wrestling scenes were mesmerizing on the page!
Everett’s romance with Josh varied from hot & steamy to frustrating when he suddenly left him. Everett’s sudden admission left him rudderless and unprepared for the consequences. The book packs an emotional punch for such a short novel and I was completely drawn in.
A little nit
My only nit with the story is discovering, while in the middle, it is a sequel to an earlier book. It stands alone pretty well but, as I’m a character-driven reader, I couldn’t shake the sense that I was missing essential details about events that occurred in the first book. I went on a search because those events were pretty significant. I probably would have rated the story higher if I’d read the earlier book.
The bottom line
I enjoyed this story in spite of having missed reading the first book. I highly recommend it but also advise starting with the connected book, A Perfect Match.