The geek, the jock, and a new set of rules…
My friend’s brother needs an academic assistant and I need a job. Problem…jocks are my weakness. Seriously. I lose my ability to speak coherently around muscle-bound hotties. Oh yeah, I lose my inhibitions too—not a good look for a guy with a genius IQ. So what am I going to do about Simon?
Finishing college isn’t high on my list of priorities, but my future in professional football is looking bleak. I need a plan B or C, and I could use some help navigating life as an undergrad. Topher is perfect. He’s also a little strange…but in a good way. And I like the way I feel when I’m around him—as though anything is possible. Maybe if we follow our hearts, we’ll find what we’re looking for. But that means changing the rules…
Following the Rules is a MM, bisexual awakening romance starring a lovable nerd, a cool jock, and some extracurricular fun.
Title: Following the Rules
Author Name: Lane Hayes
Series Title and Number: The Script Club #1
Publisher: Lane Hayes
Cover Artist: Sleepy Fox Studio
Release Date: May 7, 2021
Romance Pairings: Male/Male
Other Tags or Categories: Nerd/Jock, MM Romance, Bisexual Awakening, Best Friend’s Brother
I served us both a slice of each kind of pizza and slid a plate his way, gesturing for him to help himself to the cheese or whatever else he might want.
“I don’t care about money,” I said around a mouthful of food. “Eat up. This is tasty, but it won’t be as good when it’s cold.”
Topher flashed an anxious sideways smile and took a mouse-sized nibble. “Mmm, that’s delicious.”
I washed down my pizza with a healthy swig of wine, nudging his knee as I swiveled to face him. “Are you okay?”
He wiped his hands on a napkin and drained half his water, setting it on the island with a decisive thud. “Yes, I’m just a little nervous.”
“Nervous? Oh. I’m sorry.” I frowned and before I could rein my tongue, blurted, “You seemed fine when we were joking about tiny gorilla penises, and hell…you saw my dick and—”
“I wasn’t joking. I was reciting a fact and as far as your penis is concerned…”
I twisted to face him, unable to contain a mischievous grin.
“Yes? I’m waiting,” I singsonged, biting into the ham and pineapple pizza.
“I told you, Simon…I was simply doing the math,” he replied matter-of-factly. “Six and a half inches.”
Topher narrowed his eyes, his features softening in amusement. “Six and three-quarters, max.”
I scoffed and hooked my thumb under the elastic waistband of my sweats. “Wanna see?”
“No! Geez. You know, it’s very difficult to stay on topic with you. And staying on topic is the only way this will work.”
“Okay, fine. Back to dick size. What animal has the biggest schlong on the planet?”
He gaped at me for a hot second. “The blue whale. It’s estimated to be seven to ten feet long.”
“Although I don’t know that it’s ever been measured during intercourse. Or if that’s even possible.” He reached for his pizza with his brow knit in concentration as though pondering whale dick…as one does.
“Whales are huge. It makes sense. What about land animals?”
“Elephants. They’ve legitimately measured specimens in excess of thirty-nine inches.”
“You’ve got to be kidding.” I snort-laughed. “Christ, I’m feeling very inadequate with my mere twelve inches.”
“Six,” Topher scoffed. “Look, before we get sidetracked again, I just want to—”
“I’ll pay you double.”
I sighed as I picked up my wineglass. “I don’t want to fail. No…it’s more than that. I need to look smart. I can’t come across as the fuckup wide receiver who got dumped from the NFL and blew the cushy back-door admittance to a prestigious university by failing his first semester. I thought I might be able to muddle through with a few pointers from George, but it’s going to take more than that. I need a real assistant.”
Topher widened his eyes, then blinked in disbelief when I named an exorbitant salary. I had a hard time keeping my own expression. What the hell was I thinking? Did I really need an assistant?
I didn’t know, but I needed…something.
“Oh, that’s a lot of money,” he whispered breathlessly.
“It’s the going rate for a personal assistant. Ironically, I never had one while I played ball, but I need the help now. I want the best, and George says that’s you.”
Topher smiled. “George didn’t say he was the best?”
“Actually, he did. But we can’t be in the same room for an hour without wanting to take a swing at each other.”
“You and George fight?”
“Not as much now that we’re older, but…yeah, I guess we still fight. We don’t have much in common.”
“You and I have even less in common,” he replied.
“That’s a good thing. Trust me, it’s better for me that you don’t know that I slept with a teddy bear until I was thirteen…or that I still have that damn bear for reasons unknown.” I gave a self-deprecating chuckle, then sipped my wine and set it on the island. “So…are you in? Make me smarter, Toph. I need your brain!”
He stared at me for a long moment, inclining his head. “Okay.”
“Yes!” I fist-pumped the air as if I’d just scored a touchdown and held out my hand for a high five.
Topher left me hanging for a few long seconds before gently tapping his palm to mine. I grabbed his wrist to hold him steady for a redo. The contact was light and breezy…and spontaneous. But that was how I rolled. For a guy who played professional football, it was nothing.
However, this didn’t feel like nothing.
This is one of my favorite tropes. I loved Topher, his idiosyncrasies where down right adorable. I loved hoe open he was in certain aspects of his life. So sweet and confident. But knew his limits and tried to keep to his comfort zone.
Now Si (Simon) was soooo sweet and sexy. The perfect match for Topher. He just stood up and embraced his sexuality. He respected Topher, but also tried to push his boundaries a bit. I felt bad for him and where he was at with his choices. I HATED his agent.
All in all this was a sweet, sexy, funny read. Another hit for this author.
Geek and Jock. A trope that will last forever and ever. It’s like the epitome of opposites attract. This time we get EPIC geek and jock. A rocket scientist and a professional football player.
The geek- Topher- is kind of roped in to tutoring/helping his roommates brother with his online college classes. The big jock football player brother who was released from his contract and needs to do something with his life. Jocks are Topher’s kryptonite. Simon is in limbo with his career and kind of lost. But what he does find is a strong attraction to Topher.
What I really enjoyed about this book and made it a bit different from most geek/jock books is that Topher is so sex positive. More often than not the geeky guy is a virgin or has very limited experience. But not Topher. He is experienced, he loves sex, he is open to trying new things and he is NOT shy about it.
And Simon, having grown up with a nerdy brother, isn’t a jerk at all. He’s a nice guy who kind of doesn’t know what to do. He has the beach house but he is lonely and drives an hour to hang out with family and friends. And Topher.
The main reason Topher took the job with Simon was because his paid internship fell through. So he was waiting and hoping for that to come through again, but also open to other internships. And even though that was a big plot point at the beginning, it never really went anywhere as he seemed to spend all of his time with Simon.
Simon also is a house flipper, he is the money man not the toolbelt man, but we don’t really see that either. That would have been some fun scenes looking at houses to flip.
So, yes, I did like it. I liked how confident Topher was and how open Simon was. There were a few loose ends that could have been tied up, but overall a good read.
3.5 pieces of eye candy
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.