Guest Review: The Rainbow Clause by Beth Bolden

Heisman winner. Member of the National Championship team. NFL Rookie of the Year. Quarterback Colin O’Connor knows he’s become the ultimate romance novel cliché: all the success he’s ever dreamed of but nobody to share it with. Too bad it’s not as simple as asking out the next girl who intrigues him – because the next girl to intrigue him probably won’t be a girl at all.

Unexpectedly, the solution comes in one neat package: Nick Wheeler, lead journalist for a leading sports and pop culture blog. Hired by Colin’s team, Nick comes to Miami to shine a spotlight on the NFL’s most private quarterback.

The heat in Miami rises when Nick discovers that Colin is nothing like the hollow personality he pretends to be in interviews and he’s even hotter in person than on his Sports Illustrated cover. Nick knows this is the story of his career, and after spending his teenage years as a bullied, closeted teen, it hits very close to home. What he needs is to help Colin share his story while keeping their growing relationship from boiling over in the press, but what he wants is to tell the world.

Reviewer: Shee Reader

Before I start, this was a hugely enjoyable book I would recommend with very few reservations. There was just a couple of annoying things, but this was an ARC, so I assume they’ll be fixed by publication? There were a couple of annoying typo niggles, and one huge one that set my teeth on edge. At one point, our lovely men were in Florida, sitting on the deck, watching the sun set over the Pacific. Yep, that's right, the Pacific. I was screaming at the book at that point.

My pedantic nature aside, this was a great book with an excellent absorbing story, nicely written characters, I was engaged from start to finish, and its happy ending, is one I can only dream about for now in professional sports.

Nick is an out and proud journalist for a sports pop culture blog. He has a teeny-tiny obsession with a Heisman trophy winning quarterback whose Sports Illustrated cover had Nick drooling for months.

Colin O’Connor is something of an enigma. He rarely gave interviews, and if he did give one, it was difficult to penetrate his reserve. Nick had always felt Colin had a certain cardboard-cutout persona going on, but meeting the beautiful man in person put paid to that theory from the outset. Colin’s best friend Jemma was the only person ever to get to write a wholly ‘real’ piece about the quarterback, and it was on the strength of that one football profile, that Nick had hired Jemma to be his assistant. She’s progressed now of course, but her report on Colin had sealed that particular deal.

Now back to our guys. There was some low grade flirting and checking out, which had astounded Nick, but it was the start of something.

It all became clear later, when Nick was contacted by Colin’s agent and the team’s publicist to write a detailed profile on Colin to pave the way for his coming out as bisexual. Colin wanted to date, and he wanted the freedom to date anyone he chose, and that meant invoking the Rainbow Clause that he’d had added to his contract enabling this coming out to take place without damaging his place on the team.

In order to write the article, Nick invites himself to stay with Colin in his Florida home to get a real feel of Colin in his natural habitat. What follows is a lovely to and fro flirtation that eventually results in the men sharing a bed. There is a love affair in the air, and there is support from Colin’s friends on the team, but the way the whole Piranhas organisation got behind their man was the dream come true.

The path to happiness was not without it’s struggles, especially as our guys are a sports journalist and a leading player in the NFL, but it was worth it in the end.

I really enjoyed the story, and hope like crazy it is one that could come true for active professional sportsmen. One of the best bits for me was the supporting roles of Jemma (Colin’s best friend and onetime love interest who works with Nick) and her boyfriend Gabe. The scene with the dodgeball had me laughing out loud.

All in all, (annoying details notwithstanding) it was a super story. Highly recommended!

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

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