This story about two English teenagers had a lovely, quiet way about it that I absolutely adored. From Aaron and Laurie's first slightly awkward encounter, through the growth of their friendship and those early flutters of attraction, to their separation and their inevitable reunion, I thought that Man of the Match
hit all the right notes for a coming-of-age, friends-to-lovers story.
Over and over, the characters brought a smile to my face with their earnest emotions and the tender care they took with one another's hearts. It was clear to me right from the start that Aaron and Laurie cherished
each other (and that's not a word I throw around lightly) in a way that few men seem to allow themselves to. It was lovely. LOVELY, I tell you!
And while there was no Big Misunderstanding that ripped the characters apart (thank heavens!), the author gave us plenty of tiny moments as they drifted apart that left me feeling like someone was jabbing my heart with a toothpick. There was a sense of realism in those moments that I think anyone who has ever drifted from a close friend or loved one would be able to relate to (it certainly gave some weight to the emotional journey of the story's characters).
I probably could have done without quite
so much rugby jargon (because I didn't understand a word of it), but that's entirely a personal preference and not a reflection of the author's obvious talent.
As always, my thanks to the author for participating in the Love's Landscapes event and for all of the behind-the-scenes work that editors, beta readers, and the MM Group Mods put into making this FREE event a massive success! Don't Read in the Closet events are hands down one of the best ways to find new-to-me authors like Lane Swift. I won't even lie, I'm a little crushed now that I've discovered her that this author hasn't published more work; I would love
to see what she could/would do with a full-length novel.
Do you hear that, Lane Swift?! I want more. Pronto. ;)