February 15, 2017
There’ve been two great loves in Zach Kendricks’ life. He lost one because of his commitment to the other.
After Griffin walked away because he refused to live his life in the closet, Zach put everything he had into achieving his football dreams. When he was drafted, he began to understand that Griffin had done the best thing for both of them by leaving. But that doesn’t mean he’s ever forgiven his first love.
Now in his second season with the Wilmington Breakers, Zach’s committed to keeping his head down so he can prove his rookie stats weren’t a fluke. He knows his resolve will be tested when he’s selected to participate in Outside the Pocket, a reality show which follows players through training camp. He’s almost convinced himself it won’t be a distraction when Griffin walks into the room. Distraction becomes an understatement when he’s informed he will be spending nearly every waking minute for the next six weeks with the only man he’s allowed to hurt him.
Will Zach’s love of the game be enough to keep him from being downed by contact again?
Down by Contact is the first book in the Wilmington Breakers series. I love Sloan’s Homeruns series and she made the perfect transition from baseball to football. I’m a huge fan of sports romances and second chance romances and this is both! Zach is Nate’s brother from Line Drive. He’s a football player going into his second year and he’s gay, but in the closet. He lost the love of his life in college because he wanted to hide and play the game he loves. Zach never forgot Griffin and when he comes face to face with him years later, he’s forced to face the past. Griffin walked away from Zach because he was tired of hiding who he was and what they meant to each other. He wasn’t planning on seeing Zach again, but now that he’s there he’s going to apologize and hope they can find their way back to each other.
Zach is not happy to see Griffin, but he realizes he needs to make a change in his life. If he wants to be happy, he needs to set himself free. Will Zach finally come out to his team? Will Griffin promise not to run again? I loved this couple. Dare I say they are sweet? Zach is sexy, funny and stubborn and Griffin is smart, handsome and sexy. There isn’t as much heat as some of Sloan’s other books, but the story was poignant, emotional and loving. Can’t wait to see who’s next!
“Relax. It’s just me, we’ve done this before.”
“I know. That’s what scares me.”
I read Sloan’s Homeruns series and love it. And that is where I first met Zach Kendricks as Nate’s twin brother in Line Drive. I was so excited when I found out that he was getting his own book and Sloan was starting a football series.
Zach Kendricks had an amazing rookie season on the Wilmington Breakers and now it was time to get ready for his second season. He was determined to show everyone that his first year was not a fluke. He needs to do this with hard work and no distractions. That was his plan anyway. But with one meeting with his Coach, it was going to be harder said than done. He was going to be one of the key players in a reality show that follows a team from preparing for training camp until the season starts. Like having someone following you around for two months isn’t hard enough, it was going to be his ex-boyfriend from college. The only man he has ever loved. The man that walked away. The only man that has really seen him. He has been hiding his sexuality from his team and his fans but how is he going to hide who he really is when he is going to be all over TV in a few months? And did he even want to?
Zach and Griffin’s past is a complicated one. They were young and both made mistakes. Now, this is their chance to get everything from their past out in the open. To say what they never said and hope to move forward since they will be spending a lot of time together over the next six weeks. They both feel that pull towards each other but just like back in college they have to be careful around each other. It’s not just Zach’s football career on the line anymore, it’s also Griffin’s. He signed a contract to blend into the background of Zach’s life not to be front and center of it. He is really not even suppose to talk to the man he has to film. His job was to get the shots that the network wanted. Can they get through this six weeks without causing shit to hit the fan?
I thought this was a good start to a new series. The transition was perfect from baseball to football with the characters. It was awesome to see Nate again. I loved Zach in Line Drive so to read his story, it was a great ride. I love second chance romances so it made it even better. Griffin was exactly who Zach needed at this time in his life. He was at a crossroads and to have someone by his side to help him navigate at this point was what he needed. As a friend. Lover. Someone in between. But will it be enough to start over and try again? Can they trust that the other isn’t going to walk away when things get rough?
Overall…I felt for both men throughout the book. It sucks when you have to hide who you really are and can’t just be with the one you love. Maybe in a bubble. Well…I want to pop that fucking bubble and see the love! Anyway…this was a great book about second chances, not just in love but in life. There is a serious tone to the book but it’s also funny, and sexy. I am excited about the rest of the series.
“Why do I have a feeling you’re going to do something incredibly stupid?”
“Because you know me,” I teased.
You’re living the dream of being a professional athlete, and I’m proving every day why people make fun of starving artists.
If the gay population at large found out about this gaffe, we’d have our membership cards revoked for sure.