Description from the Tigers and Devils Amazon page:
“The most important things in Simon Murray’s life are football, friends, and film—in that order. His friends despair of him ever meeting someone, but despite his loneliness, Simon is cautious about looking for more. Then his best friends drag him to a party, where he barges into a football conversation and ends up defending the honour of star forward Declan Tyler—unaware that the athlete is present. In that first awkward meeting, neither man has any idea they will change each other’s lives forever.”
I have no idea how Australian football works. I even went and watched a match while I was reading this to try to figure out what was going on. Still no clue. I ended up thinking of it as something like rugby mixed with quidditch minus the brooms, which was good enough for my purpose. Tigers and Devils isn’t really about Australian football anyway, so don’t worry too much if you’re clueless like me. All that really matters is that one of the guys is a super famous athlete in a less than accepting society.
I was initially worried that too much of the book would be focused on the difficulties of being a gay athlete and “kill the mood”, so to speak, but Kennedy does a good job of balancing that particular dimension of the story with fun characters and a solid romance. And in my opinion that’s the way it should be. I feel a very strong bias towards happier stories, or at least stories which contain some happiness. Gone are the days when we had to kill our characters to get published, and I think we should be taking advantage of that. Tigers and Devils adheres to many “requirements” of the romance genre, so there’s some high points and low points. Some of the crises feel very forced and left me asking “why are they being so stupid?”, but that’s just what you get with a genre like this. Even with these blemishes, the book is still a solid choice and makes for a fun, light read.