The Star, Charleston Condors #1 by Beth Bolden

The Star is the first in a new NFL football series from Beth Bolden. His best friend's little brother is now his roommate and Landry can't help his attraction to Riley. Football is RIley's priority, but when his long-time crush might be interested, Riley is all in because Landry is everything he never thought he could have.

From the blurb:

Tight end Landry Banks knows the score when he signs with the Charleston Condors in a rebuilding year.

New owner. New coach. New players. New rules.

But one rule hasn’t Don’t hook up with your best friend’s little brother.

Rookie quarterback Riley Flynn knows what it takes to make it in the NFL. He’s in Charleston to prove himself—to the world and to his teammates, but mostly to his older brother, who’s never believed he could be a star.

The last thing he expects is for his brother’s best friend Landry to welcome him with open arms and an offer to become roommates.

Riley’s always believed Landry was straight—but the way Landry keeps checking him out leaves him suddenly unsure. And Landry’s hot looks certainly don’t help squash the crush he’s always had on his brother’s best friend.

Revisiting his teenage crush isn't part of the plan. But as he and Landry fall into a rhythm of thrilling plays on the field and sizzling tension off it, there's no denying their connection.

Riley isn’t willing to trade becoming the next big NFL superstar for love. But with a man like Landry Banks waiting to catch anything he throws at him, maybe he can have both.

SNik's Review:

First in series (Charleston Condors). Brother’s best friend. Close proximity. Low angst. Dual POV. 

NFL tight end Landry has come to Charleston to help rebuild the team, he’s no rookie and when his best friend asks him to help out his little brother the newest player on the team, Landry knows he’s in trouble. Riley finally has the chance to step out of his brother’s shadow and quarterback in the NFL, and being around his long-time crush is an added benefit, this might be all of his dreams come true. 

I really appreciate a story where one character accepts their new sexual attraction with minimal fuss, sure Landry takes his time to evaluate his feelings, but once he does some reflection he is all in with his feelings for Riley. 

The relationship develops quickly but the writing makes it seem like a slow and cozy romance, both men pining and then communicating honestly as they navigate the building of a relationship. 

Both Landry and Riley are sweet, caring, protective and 100 percent supportive, and their attraction and steamy interactions are swoony. 

The Star is a great start to the series and I can’t wait for more.

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I think I'm going to like this new world of Beth Bolden's.  The characters and the world are queer positive and it's refreshing to read a sports themed story that isn't all about dealing with homophobia and hiding in the closet.    

The first couple in this new spin-off are Landry and Riley - a best friend's younger brother trope that almost reaches age gap levels (8 years),  It features a bisexual awakening, a bit of brother angst and lots of sweet and steamy romance between the two men.  We also get a glimpse into the rest of the world and whose stories will be featured eventually - so many pairings are already apparent, just below the surface and that was fun to read too!

I truly enjoyed everything about this book - the characters, pacing, lack of relationship angst and getting to know the Charleston Condors team!

Rating: 5 Stars

KjnRose's Review:

AH, OMG, this was so good!! I loved reading about Landry and Riley, their story and Landry's awakening was wonderful to read. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book, once again the players here are just fab.

Rating: 5 Stars

Angel's Review:

I was so excited to read this book after finishing the Piranhas series, and I'm so, so glad that this book is as good as the Piranhas series were, and I think it could end up surpassing the Piranhas series in its own way.

After a new owner bought out the Condors team, they are completely cleaning house, they only want good men, good players with a good attitude. That's why they spent the money to sign Landry, it's also why the new owner took a gamble and signed Riley as well. Riley nor Landry expected the whirlwind romance that occured between them, nor did they expect to be apart of such an inclusive and supportive team. With team dinners, and outings as a team they are building up the trust, respect, and are creating a positive energy for the team. 

Riley having Aiden be his older brkther has weighed on  him whole life, Aiden might think he's being helpful, but his comments are hurtful and discouraging. Riley has had a crush on his brother's best friend for years, he never thought he would have a chance with the man.. until they met up at Riley's game and shared a look that changed the course of each of their lives. 

Landry has believed he's straight his whole life, no guy has ever turned his head. He's only been interested in women. Until he sees Riley all grown up for the first time in years, and seeing him ignited something deep inside him he wasn't expecting. 

I didn't know if I would like this new set of characters or the world that this new series takes place in, mainly because I got so attached to the Piranhas team. However, I was pleasantly surprised by how different yet amazing these characters are! This book made me so excited for future books, and to see these men have their own relationships. Every single character in this book isn't just a side character, they each have a big role in not only contributing to moving the story along but to also add depth and humor to the plot. I honestly grew attached to each chsracter featured in this story, and i do hope that each of them get their own books. I really enjoyed seeing Micah again, and I'm curious about what the story is between him and Beckett. 

I really enjoyed the pacing of this story, Landry and Riley didn't just jump into bed together and automatically become a couple. They took their time getting to know each other, then when they did get together they still made sure to communicate with one another which I thought was really important. I'm really happy with how this story turned out and I'm very excited to read what's next! 

Rating: 5 Stars

The Star is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.