The Locker Room by Amy Lane was one of the first novels I began reading during my research on m/m and m/m/m fiction. Since I decided to write a book detailing a gay romance, which is quite the departure from my more political dystopian novel Moral Authority, I naturally turned to some popular books in the genre. The Locker Room was one such book that ranked high among the Goodreads groups I belong to, so I gave it a try. I’m glad I did.
I really enjoyed this book. It chronicles a journey of true love between two characters who capture each other’s hearts as well as the reader’s.
At the very beginning, we meet Xander Karcek at fourteen, hungry and pretty much homeless, playing basketball, the only thing in his life that comforts him. At least until he meets Christian Edwards, a lanky boy whose love for the game rivals his own. The two play a game of basketball and by the time it’s over, both boys have developed a strong friendship that swiftly becomes love.
Over the next few years, through high school, college, and their professional lives, Xander and Chris’ love only grows more powerful, becoming a full fledged adult relationship with childhood adoration at its very core. That childlike center to their romance adds an innocence and sweetness to the duo that helps pull the reader, and the characters, through the tough obstacles ahead.
The obstacles seem insurmountable–being gay and in love but trying to keep their private life out of the celebrity spotlight of professional basketball. Along the way, they make mistakes and navigate through some turbulent waters, but they do so–together–even when those obstacles would destroy couples with less commitment than these two demonstrate. Even when they face separation, they are always together in their hearts and souls, the place where true love resides.
With this book, Amy Lane has earned a fan.