Perfect 10, by Sean Michael
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: September 6, 2017
Despite a life-threatening injury sustained in a vaulting accident, top gymnast Christopher Allen is determined to get back to his former perfect condition and compete again. Brian Rainings is a coach in need of someone to believe in, and he takes Chris on, admiring the spirit and determination that drives Chris to succeed. And admiring the sturdy, muscled body Chris maintains.
Admiration soon leads to something much hotter as they train together. From their scorching first kiss, Brian and Chris’s chemistry is obvious, but they have a long road ahead to get Chris back into shape. Months of hard work lead to success, with Chris gaining strength every day and finally finding the elusive sponsor he needs for financial support. Secrets, hidden dangers, and family troubles plague them, though, and they have to face the fact that Chris might never compete again and score that perfect ten.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2006.
This review contains spoiler.
Oh man… how badly I just want to regurgitate the blurb back to you and be done with this book.
It started out promising. Chris is a professional athlete, a gymnast, who, after a major accident (he broke his back on a vault), is trying to make a comeback. His previous coaches and sponsors jumped ship, and he decides to take a chance on a new coach: retired professional athlete Brian.
What can I say… things started going downhill once the two start working and rooming together. My first problem with the book is Chris lies to Brian by omission. His injury was more severe than he leads on, and he goes so far as removing key information from his medical records before providing them to Brian to hide it. This was an issue for me because I’ve dated athletes before (professional and semiprofessional) and you know what coaches are? Nosey and thorough. You know what the first thing they like to do is… have you go see doctors they know and trust. I couldn’t decide if Brian was written poorly, or I was supposed to overlook this and just assume it was due to Brian being a newbie coach.
The next thing is, once the two started a sexual/nonprofessional relationship, the training and professionalism took a huge back seat. I was left wondering if Chris was going to be ready to compete or not. I wasn’t sure how the author was going to address Chris’s injury and come-back, and sadly it never happens. There was an absurd twist that becomes the cause of Chris being injured again, and then a fast forward to them getting ready to go to the competition, but that’s where the book ends.
Another thing, and I didn’t tag it because I don’t consider it to be an eating disorder, but Chris’s eating and nutrition is constantly discussed. Gymnasts have to keep a certain amount of body fat and muscle composition, so I completely understood why it was part of the story. But if extreme diets are triggering for you I would recommend passing on this book.
Overall, I was disappointed.
A prolific author, Sean Michael takes notes dictated by the men who live in his head and shares their stories. Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the Kama Sutra by channeling the long-lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to Chicago. A long-time writer of complicated haiku, Sean is currently attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate-spinning and soap-carving sex toys. Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.
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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.