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?
Can a man be Catholic and gay and still true to himself and his lover?
Colm Flaherty sets out to do it. Rejoining the Church after long estrangement, Colm discovers a gift for speaking at Mass that puts wounded people at peace. Miracles and visions abound. Colm is hailed as a “gay saint.”
But even as Colm brings peace to the parish, gritty Boston grows uglier: The Commonwealth is rocked by violent political division over gay marriage, his relationship with his older atheist boyfriend is undermined by devotion to a Church that devalues their love, the archbishop wants to sell the Franciscan chapel to the highest bidder, and there’s an abused former altar boy out there who has determined that he can win redemption by assassinating Colm in the midst of Mass.
After Colm is shot in the pews, all Boston’s tensions comes to a boil, and extremists of every kind clash. His would-be assassin escapes, the archbishop and mayor only contribute to the culture wars, and Colm’s ex-boyfriend is torn between his grieving for his catastrophically injured lover and his commitment to gay liberation. When would-be assassin makes an attempt to finish Colm off, only a single disgraced priest has any chance of preserving Colm’s life.