Only an unfair universe makes a guy who’s that gorgeous so damned obnoxious.
Snarky, superbrain Dobbs and snooty football star Jesse stare at each other from their rival frat houses on opposites sides of the street — and opposite sides of everything else.
Alpha Lambda Alpha and Sigma Mu Tau have been sworn enemies for decades. Then one disastrous prank proves to be the last straw, and the college dean blows his cork!
Work together or lose both your houses.
Question – -How can Dobbs win his coveted Quiz Bowl championship with when he’s forced to put a dumb jock on his team?
Answer — Lots of personal schooling.
But when personal becomes very personal, Jesse risks causing his overtaxed family one more huge worry and the running back starts running.
Will Dobbs give up on the shocked jock, or show him that the answer to the big question is, Yes?
SCHOOLING THE JOCK is an enemies-to-lovers, opposites attract, campus romance – with one hell of a lightning round.
Title: Schooling the Jock
Series: Nerds Vs Jocks, Book 1
After lunch, Jesse’s mom said she’d clean up if Jesse watched Eli, so the three of us went out to the barn with the family dog, who I’d learned was named Mack, at our heels. Bella, the brown cow, wasn’t in the barn, but she was out in the pasture. When Jesse called her, she lazily ambled toward the fence. Eli stood on the lower fence railing and held out a baby carrot. The cow walked up and took it with an alarmingly huge gray tongue. Eli clapped his hands and petted her head.
“Look, Dobbs!” Eli said. “She’s real.”
“She certainly is,” I agreed. “She has pretty eyes.”
Eli didn’t say anything.
“And shapely legs. For a cow.”
I glanced at Jesse who rolled his eyes but smiled.
“She’s the prettiest cow in the world,” Eli pronounced.
“Well, she needs a crown then, don’t you think?”
Eli looked at me like I was nuts. I glanced around. I spotted a holly bush by the barn and went over. I took out my handy-dandy pocketknife and cut some branches. I bent them to form a circle and wove the ends together to make it stay.
When I presented it to Eli, he grinned. “This isn’t a crown! A crown is gold.”
“Au contraire, little dude. A crown can be made of all sorts of things. This is a cow crown.”
Eli placed it on Bella’s head, looping it over one ear. Bella looked unimpressed. She tr
ied to nose Eli’s hand, looking for more carrots. Finding none, she started walking along the fence, eating grass. The holly circle dangled.
Eli followed her along the fence line, chattering to her. Jesse and I stayed where we were and watched.
“Thanks for, you know, being nice to Eli.”
I gave him a don’t-be-weird look. “Despite what you might have heard, I reserve my venom for grown men.”
“Ah. That explains it. And here I thought you might have a kernel of decency.”
“Nope. Although, I can’t be mean to you today either. Not after you fed me sloppy joes and, uh, helped your mom at lunch.” My cheeks heated. That was such a lame thing to say even if I’d been thinking it. I tried to make up for the compliment. “You guys have a whole routine. You should take it on the road.”
He shrugged. “We’ve all learned how to get things done as efficiently as possible, I guess.”
And yet, you’re at Madison. “Bet she misses you when you’re gone.”
Jesse’s face tightened. “I got offered a good football scholarship to Madison, so it made sense. And my mom wanted me to go.”
I raised an eyebrow at him. “Really? You’re not that intolerable.”
He rolled his eyes. “I think she wanted me to get away from it for a few years. To be more independent.” He made a face. “Not that it’s bad, Eli and Micah. It’s just…”
He shrugged. “More like all-consuming. The first five years were really rough, especially since my folks were trying to get a diagnosis so they even had a clue what to do. But they’ve come a long way. Eli especially.”
“Yeah, I noticed Eli’s really affectionate with you. That’s great. I thought autistic people didn’t like to be touched.”
Jesse nodded. “None of us can touch Micah. Eli’s like that with most people. Even my mom and I can’t touch him sometimes. But, when he’s in the mood, he lets me. I think he missed me. And you were there. Like, he was maybe feeling a little jealous or insecure? And he’s upset because Micah’s in the hospital.”
That all might be true, but I knew what I saw. “Grammy Dobbs always said, the eyes speak louder than words. Eli looks at you like you’re his hero. He loves you a lot.”
Jesse’s face softened. “Yeah. I don’t know. It’s kind of a brother thing.”
“A brother thing?”
“Eli and Micah are in their own world. Micah’s non-verbal, so Eli talks for him. I guess, as their older brother, I’m sort of on the fringes of that bubble too.”
Jesse’s tone made that sound like a special thing. And I wasn’t sure what to feel about that, or this farm, or this family. He looked so ridiculously handsome standing there with the red barn behind him, the snow under his boots, and that sheepskin-lined corduroy farm jacket, hair mussed by the wind, pink cheeks, eyes bright. Like, if he were a calendar model, I’d leave it on that page for perpetuity. And he was looking at me in a way Jesse Knox had never looked at me before. His face was open and his eyes warm. Hot even? He stared at me. And I stared back. His gaze flickered to my lips.
A frisson of lust shot down my body, lighting me on fire. I suddenly had a bone-deep urge to kiss him. I coughed, shocked at myself. I mean, I was only human, and Jesse was…Jesse. But I was getting way out over my feet here. Thinking of him that way was extremely unwise.
“So! I hear there are chickens,” I said to lighten the mood.
Jesse waggled his eyebrows. “There are. Real live ones.”
“Oh, my God. This is practically a safari!” I shouted.
This was a fun story of two guys who are seemingly complete opposites. Two frat houses who aren’t really rivals since one is a jock house and the other is a nerd house, but being that they are across the street from each other, they play pranks on each other. Until one prank got a little out of hand and the dean comes down hard on them. The jock house has a competitive flag football team and the nerd house has a quiz bowl team. And they each have to send two people to the other teams.
This story focuses on the 2 jocks sent over to compete on the quiz bowl team. Dobbs (a nickname from his last name. Seriously- why do guys always do that?) is the quiz bowl team captain and he takes his position and his team VERY seriously. And when Dobbs and Jesse, the jock, end up stuck with each other for a weekend, expectations start to fall away.
Of course Jesse is in the closet. But he doesn’t even try to fake it with girls. He is committed to football because of his scholarship, and his college program because he is all about being a nurse. But you know the jock is going to fall for the nerd. And the nerd is going to figure out that the jock is pretty smart and a giant softie.
I loved how the entire story really involved a lot of different characters from both houses, as well as Jesse’s family. It made the whole story more believable.
One of the things that bugged me was the 2 frat guys who were responsible for the final prank never got any repercussions from their house. I understand how the dean was punishing everyone, but you would think that those two guys would face disciplinary actions.
And there were two sides to the punishment from the dean. But the flag football story will be in book 2.
If you enjoy college stories, opposites attract, etc, you will enjoy this story. Low angst and mostly fun.
Coming from a background in computer game design, Eli has written over 35 books in m/m romance since 2013. The Mating of Michael (2014) and A Second Harvest (2016) both won The William Neale Award for Best Gay Contemporary Romance, and Eli’s books have won many awards from the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s Reader’s Choice Awards. She is best known for her Christmas romances, the Howl at the Moon series of rom coms featuring dog shifters, and her Sex in Seattle series, which revolves around a sex clinic in Seattle.
Tara Lain believes in happy ever afters – and magic. Same thing. In fact, she says, she doesn’t believe, she knows. Tara shares this passion in her stories that star her unique, charismatic heroes and adventurous heroines. Quarterbacks and cops, werewolves and witches, blue collar or billionaires, Tara’s characters, readers say, love deeply, resolve seemingly insurmountable differences, and ultimately live their lives authentically. After many years living in southern California, Tara, her soulmate honey and her soulmate dog decided they wanted less cars and more trees, prompting a move to Ashland, Oregon where Tara’s creating new stories and loving living in a small town with big culture. Tara loves animals of all kinds (even snakes), diversity, open minds, coconut crunch ice cream from Zoeys, and her readers.
She has around 57 books published or scheduled for publication.
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