The Love of Sports Series: Book 2
Will giving him the green flag lead to love…or heartache?
CJ Lamont is at the top of the racing world but his winning record is based on a carefully constructed lie. His world falls apart when his ex-wife reveals the truth. As he hits rock bottom, rescue comes from an unexpected source—Garrett Johnson, Hollywood’s hottest leading man.
Garrett’s acting career is taking off, bringing him accolades he’d never imagined. Good friends and family keep his days hopping, but watching his twin brother fall in love exposes the emptiness in Garrett’s life created by the betrayal of his ex-lover.
Garrett offers CJ a place to heal and a shoulder to lean on, telling himself it’s only to keep CJ from taking a more destructive path. But as time passes, the two men grow closer and CJ realizes he has a decision to make—whether to rebuild his fictitious life, or admit to loving a man who shines brighter than the Hollywood stars.
Will he reach for the stars or sink back into his old life?
Upfront, I must confess I love sports and love to read books about sports. However that has absolutely nothing to do with my rating of High Line. Can you enjoy this story if you don’t like sports? Yes you can, most definitely. It is above all a romance, and the emotions of the characters are evident as they try to navigate two high profile careers and figure out how to keep them afloat without jeopardizing something that’s just as important – their love for each other.
C.J. Lamont met Garrett Johnson when he was assigned by his racing team to teach him about stock car racing for a new film he was making. He was immediately attracted to Garrett and even though he was in the closet but hiding in plain sight he was also married and could not let his guard down. He knew that stock car racing was notorious for being one of the worst major league sports in terms of homophobia and he could not afford a scandal that had the potential to wreck his career. He and Garrett worked together for a month while both men tried to control their burgeoning feelings for each other – Garrett, because he suspected what CJ was going through and didn’t want to make his life any tougher, and CJ who had no other choice.
One year later they meet again. CJ had suffered the worst reversal of fortune after his soon-to-be ex wife “outs” him on national television, his team fired him and he can’t get another ride because other teams did not want a gay race car driver. He’s drinking heavily and on his way to becoming an alcoholic when Garrett finds him in a bar just as he’s about to make the worst mistake of his life so far …he had truly sunk to his lowest level.
Garrett had not been faring much better in his personal life although his professional life could not be better. His ex live-in boyfriend Rich, who was a total dirt bag, was now an alcoholic and drug addict and Garrett had thrown him out of his house in disgust. Because Garrett felt guilty for not detecting Rich’s problem before it became life threatening, he offered CJ a place to stay and dry out when he saw how much he had changed for the worse since last they met. This new beginning puts CJ on the road to becoming the man he was always meant to be.
There were a number of things I loved about this book, starting with the length of time it took for CJ and Garrett to move into the bedroom. OK I do love to read books that begin and end with sex but this one actually had a story. Quelle surprise!! Halfway through the book ….. no smexxin, and I’m loving it because there is a real plot. Their romance, (and that’s what it was – a romance) was sweet, however there were several bumps along the way. They both had to do some soul searching, interspersed with lots of angst, and resolve outstanding personal issues while they worked on their relationship. So it took a while before CJ got his cherry popped but once that first hurdle was breached you couldn’t keep them out of the bed. I really loved the emotion between this pair as they made love, in addition to the gritty sex which was some of the hottest and most sensuous smexxin I have read in a while.
There is a lot more to this complex story, including dealing with unresolved family matters, trying to find your place in the world, as well as an introduction to the world of competitive stock car racing on the NASCAR circuit. I also liked the fact that Kacey, Garrett’s twin, and his partner Gram made themselves at home in the book and it was interesting to see how their relationship had progressed since Out of Bounds, Kacey’s story. Can you read High Line and enjoy it as a standalone book? Yes you can, but it would be far better to read Out of Bounds first where Garrett was introduced and I would urge the reader to get both books for the full experience. In High Line the author gives us three dimensional characters with whom we can fall in love and who we can cheer for.
This author compliments his readers by treating them as intelligent people (which is somewhat rare in this business) and by not offering a formulaic, fairy tale ending but a realistic one. He didn’t downplay the difficulties facing CJ in continuing his career with NASCAR, and his solution to the dilemma of a gay professional stock car driver was one that made a great deal of sense. T.A. Chase did his research and it shows. .. the cars in the book were to die for!! He also didn’t minimize the discrimination faced by professional athletes on most circuits.
Bottom Line – So far, the best book I have read by this author. T.A. Chase has really grown in terms of the emotional content of his books and the evolution of his characters. Great job on High Line TA.
Buy this book.
High Line is available from Samhain Publishing on February 17