The Star by Beth Bolden
Series: Charleston Condors (Book 1)
Cover Artist: The Book Brander Boutique
Release Date: June 7, 2023
Genre: Contemporary MM sports romance
Tropes: Best friend’s little brother, bisexual awakening, roommates-to-lovers
Themes: Unconditional support, brotherly/familial love, team-as-found-family
Heat Rating: 4 flames
Length: Long Novel / 107,000 Words / 400 Pages
The Star is the first book in a new series, which is a spinoff of the Miami Piranhas, but reading those is not necessary before starting this series.
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 changed: 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.
“How many years do you and Aidan have between you?” Landry answered Riley’s question by asking one of his own.
Riley leaned against the counter, clearly at home with a knife in his hand. Even a big shiny chef’s knife. If Landry tried to use that, he’d probably accidentally cut off a finger. At the very least, an emergency room trip would’ve been in his future. But not Riley. And more than anything else, that confirmed what Riley had just claimed.
They didn’t know each other very well, despite the fact Aidan had been his best friend forever.
“Almost eight years,” Riley said. “So yeah, when I wasn’t the annoying little brother anymore, you guys were gone and busy with your own lives. I get it.” He shot Landry a look. Were his eyes full of heat, or was that just Landry’s currently overactive imagination? “I guess we’re gonna be making up for lost time now.”
Landry swallowed hard. “Guess we are.”
“Don’t sound like I’m gonna march you down to the cliff and push you right off,” Riley said, laughing. “I promise it won’t hurt too much to get to know me.”
Oh, it wouldn’t hurt at all.
What was going to hurt the most was keeping his hands off.
“Is that what all the boys say to you?” Landry teased before he could reel the words back.
Riley fluttered his eyelashes. God, he was temptation incarnate. “The girls, too. I don’t discriminate, baby.”
“Right.” Landry wanted to say, me too, as long as the guys look like you, but he didn’t because what if this wasn’t what this was? What if he was wrong?
Then there was the fact he knew enough about coming out that it wasn’t necessarily right to do it just because he enjoyed flirting so much with Riley—and wanted him to keep doing it.
“Though,” Riley said, shooting him another look from underneath those killer lashes, “I do tend to prefer the boys, so you’re not entirely wrong.”
Landry swallowed hard. “Is that…is that a thing? Can that be a thing? A preference even if you’re bisexual?”
“Of course it can. Sexuality is a pretty fluid thing when it comes down to it. Surely I don’t have to tell you that.” Riley had gone back to chopping lettuce, like their conversation wasn’t sending shockwaves through Landry.
He means: surely, your brothers explained that to you. Not that you personally are…well…fluid.
But maybe he was. More than he’d ever imagined he was.
“Logan and Levi are less on the fluid side of things,” Landry explained.
“Ah yes, your brothers. The ones who would’ve apparently found me irresistible.” Riley grinned.
They wouldn’t be the only ones.
Landry flushed. The way Riley was looking at him with those gorgeous eyes, like he could see right through him, down to the place where he was questioning everything, and unlike Landry, it was like he knew exactly what all this meant.
Even if he couldn’t possibly.
“Don’t tell me that isn’t normal for you,” Landry said, trying to equal Riley’s casual approach to the subject of just how fucking hot he was.
But Riley just shrugged. “Don’t tell me you wouldn’t love it if, every once in a while, people saw you as more than a pair of pecs and a head of blond hair? I kinda liked it better when I was that scrawny kid nobody paid attention to.”
Even if Landry ignored how he looked, giving his looks the barest attention in the mirror every morning, he knew people still watched him. Approached him. Felt like they deserved a piece of him.
“Yeah, I get that,” Landry said quietly.
Now, suddenly, it was hard to see Riley as just his abs and his biceps and those dreamy eyes.
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About the Author
A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.
Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She has published over forty novels and novellas.
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