Title: A Sticky Wicket in Bollywood (International Men of Sports, Book 1)
Author: T.A. Chase & Devon Rhodes
Published: April 8, 2013
Publisher: Totally Bound Publishing
Publisher’s Website: link
Rajan Malik is THE hottest actor in Bollywood and things are only looking up. He, along with his girlfriend and co-star, are the hottest couple both on and off screen, and he couldn’t be more successful. But this isn’t entirely the life he wanted–it’s the life his mother wanted for him. When Ajay Singh, cricket star and Raj’s ex-roommate from university, sees Raj in the paper and reaches out to him, glimpses of a life that could have been immediately wash over them both. Ajay is out and not ashamed of it. But Raj has appearances to keep, and there’s the constant reminders from his mother that he could never be in a relationship with a man and still be successful. Raj believes her, but he knows there’s something missing from his life. Can he find a way to have everything: Ajay AND his career? Or will he need to make a decision about what’s most important and leave the other behind forever?
In an age where we often think it’s “so much easier to be gay” than it was years ago, it’s easy to dismiss the idea that people might still feel pressure to stay in the closet. But those pressures still exist and are very real for many people. In some cases it’s like Raj’s concern of career success. For others (like Ajay’s friend Neel) it’s concerns about family reactions and fallout. But regardless of the reason, we can’t just assume that what has become true for many people is true for everyone. And here we get a very modern story of how three men (I include Neel even though his struggle isn’t a major focus of the story) navigate the reality of being gay, being Indian, and being celebrities. The story is different for each of them, as it’s likely different for every single person who finds themselves in such a situation. The authors approach the topic very sensitively and don’t minimize or overstate any of the issues involved.
Definitely an enjoyable read that really hooked me in. I’m set to continue reading more from this series after finishing this one–and I’m looking forward to it.