Division I college football coach Peyton Stone has a secret. It’s not so much that he’s gay. It’s that he’s fallen in love with his older Iraq-War-vet-turned-starting-QB Brady Winter. Willing to deny himself for the sake of the Golden Eagles football team, Peyton focuses helping his team score touchdowns, but when he discovers the attraction is mutual, he jumps in with both feet.
For each, the stakes are high: bowls, limelight, press, and the NFL. But Peyton and Brady find time during the season to carve out their own private and sexy refuge. Only jealous whispers force the head coach to see what he didn’t want to see and he tears the two apart. It’s only when Brady’s war injuries threaten his health that Peyton reluctantly returns to the team — under cover! The two concoct a plan to pass off Peyton as Brady at the bowl game, thereby preserving Brady’s health and perhaps earning a national championship. Will anyone notice the difference? Does anyone really want to? Most of all, can the pair’s sense of honor outlast the deception?
This story was really interesting however there were parts that took away from my enjoyment. I liked the premise of the story. I enjoyed Peyton figuring out who he is and growing as a person to where not only is he comfortable with himself, he’s just about ready to live openly with Brady. Though he wasn’t without fault, he was fascinating to watch. I liked Brady. He overcame a whole lot of obstacles to get him to even the start of the story let alone getting to the point of being open and honest with Peyton. I also liked how Bobby became an ally towards the end. He became on of their biggest supporters and I liked they had someone on their side.
Peyton and Brady’s romance was very sweet for being illicit and their false starts and break up getting in the way. I enjoyed the way Peyton wanted to be Brady’s hero along the way. It was sweet and showed a little more into his personality. Brady wound up being far more than I expected and I liked that surprise aspect of him. These two together was wonderful and I’d love to see how they handle long term. Will Peyton and Brady live out and proud or will they be in the close in their future careers? What will their future careers be, based on how the story ends? Those are a few of the questions I would love to see answered in a sequel.
However there were a handful of things that took away from my enjoyment of the story. Coach Hackett was a horrible person and I couldn’t stand him., full stop. I had no understanding on how he hadn’t been kicked out of his job with how he treated people and how he acted. Two characters confused me as to why they were there. Brian and Tariz served a minor purpose. However both of their storylines weren’t really fleshed out. Their scenes just confused me and didn’t further the plot for me. There were a handful of other times where a scene or addition to a scene made no sense why they were there.
The ending was a sweet happy for now and I do want to see more of Peyton and Brady. I want to see how they handle the future.
Three and a half
Molly: What music, if any do you listen to when you write?
Scott: I listen exclusively to jazz music when I write, but it must be a certain kind of jazz. No crazy Coltrane riffs, but rather classic jazz without lyrics (think Miles Davis Kind of Blue) or jazz with French or Spanish lyrics (Carla Bruni, for example).
Molly: Are you a full time writer, or part time writer?
Scott: Part-time. I have a day job as a lawyer.
Molly: Do you hope to one day be a full time writer?
Scott: I do hope to be a full-time writer, at which point I would branch out from fiction to history. But got to find a way to pay those bills – maybe by moving overseas to a place where living costs are cheaper.
Molly: Do you have a word count per day you try to hit?
Scott: No word count, but I write – or at least sit at my desk two hours a day. If it’s a morning I go to the gym, I do it at night. If not, I do it 530-730am. As you can imagine, coffee is important to me.
Molly: When you finish writing a book, how long before you begin writing the next one?
Scott: I am always writing several books simultaneously, until one predominates and then I turn to it full time. That said, I like to write short stories as well, so sometimes I refresh the creative juices by turning to them instead!
Scott D. Pomfret is author of the forthcoming novels The Second Half: A Gay American Football Novel (Lethe Press June 18 2016), Only Say the Word (Ninestar Press May 16, 2016), The Hunger Man (Ninestar Press June 2 2016), and the recently released collection of short stories You Are the One (Ninestar Press April 2016). Past published works include Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir (Arcade 2008), the Romentics-brand gay romance novels (LooseID Press), the Q Guide to Wine and Cocktails, and dozens of short stories published in, among other venues, Post Road,New Orleans Review, Fiction International, and Fourteen Hills. Scott is lucky to be able to write from his tiny Boston apartment and even tinier Provincetown beach shack, which he shares with his partner of fifteen years, Scott Whittier.
For the entire month of June, all comments will be one entry into a paperback giveaway. One lucky winner will receive a paperback copy of both Unstable Stud by Ariel Tachna andForgive and Forget by Charlie Cochet. Contest is open to everyone, each comment is one entry, contest ends June 30 11:59PM. Winner must provide their mailing address within one week of contest close or a new winner will be selected.