Book Reviews

Schooling the Jock (Nerds vs Jocks 1) by Eli Easton and Tara Lain

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Athletes/Coaches / Students/Teachers/Professors / New Adult / Romance
Reviewed by Bob-O-Link on 16-February-2021

Book Blurb

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 final 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 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?


Book Review

First, let’s start with a word of commiseration and condolences for this reviewer, whose first draft "was eaten by his computer”. Unless you have access to the dark net of the web, you will need to take my word for it that this version is sooo much better.


Now, for those of a certain age, you may recall a little musical advertising ditty, bound to engage you as a constant earworm: “Sometimes you feel like a nut…” My initial approach to ‘Schooling the Jock’ will surely bring that to mind, perhaps requiring completion as “…Sometimes you feel like reading a no-brainer.” The novel seems too light and frothy, almost beyond the effort required to consume its entirety.


But, just wait!


Unexpectedly, ‘Schooling the Jock’ quickly reveals a more complex character, much like a Russian Matryoshka nested doll, layer within hidden layer – each more surprising than the last.


We are initially presented with rival fraternities, barely coexisting across the street from each other. They would be genuine rivals if either cared about, or had any respect for, the other. One is a house of super intelligent students: their annual goal is to compete successfully in Quiz Bowl, an inter-collegiate contest for brainiacs. The “jock” house is populated with athletes, almost none of whom have active musculature extending to the cranium. The authors aptly describe one typical member, “who was blond, blue-eyed, and perfect if you liked Hitler Youth toothpaste commercials.” A failed prank puts the survival of these two student organizations at risk, but the dean offers absolution if a few members cross-participate in some required events meant to generate mutual tolerance. Dream on, silly man! One of the events is that inter-school Quiz Bowl.


This opens up the novel to its next level – featuring Jesse, star football player from the athletes’ frat, and Dobbs from across the street, who is a really smart star at Quiz Bowl. While Dobbs is out and proud, Jesse is a habitué of Ye Olde Proverbial Coat Cabinet. Get it? And, of course, there is wild mutual attraction. I.e., Jesse’s thoughts: “His eyes were all over me, and I seriously resented wishing it was more than his eyes.” But - “Nope. I was engaged to be married to my good right hand." Dobbs is also smitten: “So why should I care if he was a conceited prick? Only he was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but care.”


Jesse and Dobbs are thrown together in preparation for jointly participating in Quiz Bowl. Each is described in physiologically, sexy detail by the authors. They are so erotically desirable. But, at this point in ‘Schooling the Jock’ their characters are also becoming essential to their blossoming relationship, especially when they take a side trip to visit Jesse’s family at their rural farm. The novel's tone irrevocably changes from silly to revelatory, and the reader is on an unavoidable path to learn something. [See Snide f.n., below.]


While the contents of my reviews are usually over-embellished with examples of authors’ skill at erotica, here I’ve decided that – to reward yourselves, you’ll just have to read the book. A fine read for easily consumed entertainment, Jesse and Dobb’s relationship follows a standard soap structure – Suspicion, Confrontation, Experimentation, Practice (at penile pleasure), Academic Pressure, and Dichotomous Choices (between honesty and self-image) - each ingredient well-spiced and stirred.


Having nicely rung the entertainment bell, Ms. Easton and Ms. Lain conclude by easily whetting our appetites for the next book in the series. Absolutely!




Snide f.n.: Many entries into the literary canon – and no judgment is being made of the lasting endurance of our instant novel – sustain their position by daring to be both cleverly humorous and yet dare to be educational. Here are but three of my favorite examples. * Henry Fielding’s ‘The History of Tom Jones, A Foundling,’ one of early novels in English (1746 to 1749), in which Fielding bravely generates a send-up of contemporary English society; * Rabelais’ 16th Century ‘Gargantua and Pantagruel ’a brilliantly satiric parsing of then current Renaissance learning and Europe styles of that time. Rabelais provided many personal digressions, including one in which he recommends a goose neck as an ideal alternative to toilet paper; and finally, * Robert Short’s ‘The Gospel According to Peanuts’ (1st ed. 1965), a perfect example of parsing popular culture to glean timeless truths.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by the author via GRRT for the purpose of a review.


Additional Information

Format ebook and print
Length Novel, 277 pages
Heat Level
Publication Date 16-February-2021
Price $4.99 ebook, $12.99 paperback
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