THE LOCKER ROOM by Amy Lane
The Locker Room by Amy Lane
Reviewed by Lisa
From the tender age of five Xander Karcek literally raises himself because of a drug addicted mother and a long forgotten father. By the time Xander turns fourteen he is used to being cold, sleep deprived, and starving, always starving for food and deep down for someone to care whether he lived or died. On one of those nights when he can’t go back to a derelict apartment without getting hassled by his mother’s current lover or stoned mother Xander hangs out at the park. He’s playing basketball with a ball he’s embarrassed to admit he stole and so hungry he’s shaking. It is the night that salvation comes in the form of another fourteen year old boy, Christian Edwards.
Generous of heart and full of spirit Chris has grown up with the love of his family. From a simple game of basketball on a chilly evening their friendship begins. Chris’s family tentatively welcomes the boy he brings home and treats him as another son over time. Xander manages to hide his home life from them until first Chris and then his parents discover just how bad things are. To this day Xander knows that without the love and support of the kind hearted family he’d never have made it to adulthood.
Chris and Xander realize early on that their relationship is something more than best friends though they manage to keep things mostly platonic until they each turn eighteen. Because of their skills, particularly Xander’s, on the basketball court they go to college together, which is a dream come true. It takes a lot of extra work however to keep people from figuring out just how close they are to each other. Xander and Chris reach the pinnacle of success when they are drafted upon graduation to their home team, the Sacramento Kings. As time passes the weight of their lie to the world begins to take its toll. As far as Chris and Xander are concerned they have been married for over a decade, but if the truth comes out their careers would most likely be over. Basketball is everything to both men, they live it and breathe it, yet they know they will never give up on each other, no matter the consequences.
The word that comes to mind after reading The Locker Room is unforgettable. This tender and passionate love story is truly something special. I will admit to not being a fan of basketball and while it does play a very important role in The Locker Room it is not the focus of this plotline. It is the love, the pure love Xander and Chris feel for one another, that is the heart of this incredible story. The main characters’ lives are laid bare, their triumphs, tears, and the will to stick together no matter what. From the moment Xander and Chris meet their lives become intertwined for better or worse. Through successes and tragedies their love remains true. There is no doubt I Joyfully recommend The Locker Room. I’m only sorry that some will miss out on this love story because of the M/M relationship. I may forget the title at some point, but I’ll never forget Xander and Chris.