Book Reviews

FAST Balls (Balls to the Wall 4) by Tara Lain at Dreamspinner Press

Genre Gay / Contemporary / Firefighters / Erotic Romance
Reviewed by Lena Grey on 12-July-2017

Book Blurb

Can two men with skewed self-images see their true reflections in each other’s eyes?


Jerry Wallender—firefighter, surfer, and occasional nude model—knows he’s no rocket scientist. So why does he keep choosing intellectual guys who make him feel dumber? He worked his buns off to overcome his reading disability and pass the firefighter’s test, and he loves everything about the job. Well, except for Mick Cassidy, the big, blond, hunky homophobe who harasses Jerry for being gay. But Jerry is smart enough to realize it’s not hate driving Mick, but the pain of a very unhappy upbringing.


Mick Cassidy, Firefighter Assist and Search Team, fights fires, but he can’t fight his attraction to the kindest, most generous—and sexiest—guy he’s ever met. Does that make him gay? If it does, he just might get himself killed by his gay-hating preacher father—and take Jerry down with him.



First Edition published by Etopia Press, 2013.

Book Review

One very important point in life is not to burn bridges between yourself and other people. You never know when circumstances might change and you end up relating to that person again in a completely different way. Jerry Wallender, of Tara Lain's book entitled 'F.A.S.T. Balls', finds himself in such a situation when Mick Cassidy, who has harassed Jerry mercilessly because he's gay, suddenly begins to be nice to him.

Jerry is one of the sweetest characters from this series. He's got the biggest heart around; everyone loves him. He is kind, generous, and brave. Jerry is an excellent firefighter and a fantastic surfer. Jerry also has a beautiful body which his friend, Rodney, loves to paint. It made me angry when his boyfriend, Bill, left him brokenhearted, ending their relationship with a text message. As sad as it is that breakup opens a very unexpected door in which Mick Cassidy, of all people, is standing. When Mick tries to comfort him about his situation with Bill, Jerry doesn't hold on to all the nasty, bigoted things Mick had said to him in the past. He gives Mick a chance to change. In fact, he encourages and helps him sort out the mammoth confusion in his head, brought on by a lifetime of brainwashing by his father.

Remembering all the times Mick threw derogatory comments at Jerry and his friends, made it difficult for me to like Mick, much less believe that he wanted to change. But as the story progressed, I began to understand his way of thinking and started to feel sorry for him. Mick was raised in a religious community which taught hate instead of God's love. His father is an awful, cruel, power hungry man who brainwashes Mick into believing that homosexuals are a vile, sinful group of people who should be eliminated. It's not until he gets out in the real world, that Mick sees that what his community taught is contradictory to the way things actually are. Jerry is the first gay man Mick has ever known and, for all intents and purposes, is a model human being. Mick can't imagine how Jerry, in any sense, could be seen as evil. Suspecting that his desire for other men could mean that he may be gay himself, Mick goes to the only source that he trusts and asks Jerry to help him figure out if he is gay by experiencing gay sex. His pleasure and relief quickly confirm that he is, indeed, a homosexual himself.

This book was more serious than the others, in that it dealt with a very difficult subject: homophobia and bigotry. Mick's journey out of the darkness of hate and into the light of self-discovery wasn't easy, but Tara, with her compassion and straightforwardness, took Mick and placed him in Jerry's competent hands which makes his transition from bully to ally utterly endearing. Thank you, Tara, for sharing with us this strong, beautiful story of redemption and love.





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

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Novella, 153 pages/47987 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 12-July-2017
Price $4.99 ebook
Buy Link