High Line

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Title and Link: High Line
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher URL: http://www. samhainpublishing.com
Genre: Contemporary GLBT (M/M)
Length: novel (167 pages)
Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The Love of Sports Series: Book 2

THE BLURB

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?

THE REVIEW

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

39 thoughts on “High Line

  1. T.A.Chase

    Wow…thanks so much, Wave. I’m overwhelmed at the review and thrilled that you enjoyed High Line so much.

    I’ll admit it would have been easy to take the ‘fairy tale ending’ route, but we both know that it more than wouldn’t have happened, so I chose the realistic one.

    Oh as for Rich, Garrett’s ex, I’m planning on giving him his own story, so don’t hate him too much. He’s just lost and he’s going to hit rock bottom before too long. :)

    Thanks again for a great review. I appreciate it and everything else you do. :)

  2. Tam

    Well, I’m soooo not a car girl, but I don’t care. :-) Loved the first one and can’t wait for this one. Glad to see you gave it such high marks. Definitely on my TBB list and soon.

  3. Tam

    Okay, I know people (like me) are always curious why an author deleted their comment. Ummm, because at 7 in the morning my clicker finger spazzed and I doubled posted. There, nothing nefarious. :-)

  4. jessewave

    Hi TA
    It was my pleasure to write this review. This is my opinion of the book and I hope other readers agree that this is an exceptional story which blends sports with a love story. I stated my bias upfront so people can read my review with the understanding that I love sports.

    So I shouldn’t hate Rich too much? Hmmm… I’ll wait and see – he was really a scumbag in addition to being a dirt bag. *g* How much further can he go????

    You’re welcome. I can only speak my truth.

  5. jessewave

    Tam
    I knew it was you. My handy dandy email tells me who deleted comments *g* I figured that you had posted twice – quite a few people do.

  6. T.A.Chase

    I have two books to start redeem Rich before he gets his story, so hopefully I do a good job in making you want to see him have a happy ending in his life.

    He is a dirt bag in High Line, no doubt about it. lol

    Thanks, Tam. I hope you enjoy High Line as much as you enjoyed Out of Bounds.

  7. Lily

    Great review, thanks Wave. Loved the first book, as well as all of the other books I’ve read by TA.

    Looking forward to Feb 17 :)

  8. jessewave

    TA
    You have your work cut out to redeem that dirt bag. But I’ll wait and see. *g* I guess anyone can be redeemed even a scumbag like Rich. :) Can you tell I’m not in love with him? Well at least I am not hoping that he rots in you know where :DDD All I will say is that you’re a very talented author and it might take all of that talent for Rich to be shiny, bright and sparkling and for me to love him!!! :)

  9. jessewave

    Lily
    Thank you! Where have you been? I missed you.

    I think TA has a winner here and I can’t wait for you to tell me if you liked it as much as I did.

  10. T.A.Chase

    Lily,

    Thanks. Hearing that you loved my other books makes my day. :)

    Wave,

    I hope I can redeem Rich. We’ll have to see. If I can’t, then I guess my baseball player is just going to have to find a different guy. ;)

  11. jessewave

    TA
    You’re going to put Rich together with MY baseball player? DAMN!! Well you know your business best and I’ll try to keep an open mind. Please remember that baseball is my favourite sport :DDD

  12. Aunt Lynn

    Wonderful review Wave, as usual. I’m into sports stories as well, and liked Out of Bounds very much. I’m going off to purchase now.

  13. Emeraldjaguar

    TA is an autobuy for me, polished jewels or no *g*.

    I still love the awesomeness that is Angel, and think he never made a book quite as magical as that one, but he does try. Dragons is another favorite that almost got shit canned because it started so darn slow.

    Got very much better and landed on the keeper shelf at the end.

  14. jessewave

    Emmy
    Angel’s Evolution is next on my list. Please note that I said “so far” High line is the best book I have read by this author.

    Here Be Dragons was slow at first and I’m thinking of re-reading it now, a year later, to post a review on the blog in time for his follow-up story Dreaming of Dragons

    You don’t want to polish his jewels? I think he would let you.

  15. T.A.Chase

    Aunt Lynn,

    Thank you for adding High Line to your shopping list. :)

    Emmy,

    Angel is by far my favorite character. And thank you for the wonderful words about that story. Sorry Dragons started out so slow, but I guess I redeemed myself in the end, right? lol

    Wave,

    I’ll remember that baseball is your favorite sport and do my best to represent it well. I’ll give you a little hint..Rich meets your baseball player in rehab.

    Hmmm…as to polishing my jewels…you’ll have to duke it out with my SO. :)

  16. Shawn Lane

    Okay, okay. You’ve convinced me. Out of Bounds has been on my to buy list for a while so I will definitely get both. Even though I really, really don’t need to read more (I like sports books too)

  17. jessewave

    TA
    I’m so glad you have a sense of humour about the fact that we’re talking about your jewels at the same time as we’re praising your writing. That’s what I love about the regulars on this blog … they don’t even stop to draw a breath before they segue into the next incendiary topic.

    Emmy recommended that I read “Angel” so it’s my next TA book. I usually take her advice about books because our tastes in reading material are similar, although I don’t think she’s into sports the way I am.

    Looking forward to my baseball hero to emerge from rehab.

    I’m back to reading a fabulous baseball M/M book (doesn’t have a lot of sex but that doesn’t matter) written by Peter Lefcourt in 1992 called The Dreyfus Affair. It’s side splitting funny and the writing is exquisite. I can’t wait to see how it ends. If you like baseball stories I highly recommend this book.

  18. Emeraldjaguar

    Sorry Dragons started out so slow, but I guess I redeemed myself in the end, right?

    I hated it at the time, but I think it was a good way to get to know the characters without smexing getting in the way. By the end, I loved George and Mordred as much as Kael and Hugh.

    It’s horrid of you to make me wait OVER TWO YEARS for more of that group. *sniffles*

  19. Emeraldjaguar

    I don’t think she’s into sports the way I am.

    Hey now. I like wood and balls as much as you do, Wave.

  20. jessewave

    Okay, okay. You’ve convinced me. Out of Bounds has been on my to buy list for a while so I will definitely get both

    Shawn
    I really think you’ll like BOTH books. Personally I loved them both, although High Line a little more. OOB is also reviewed on the blog if you want to check it out.

  21. T.A.Chase

    Emmy,

    I’m so sorry that I made you wait. It just took that long for George and Mordred to talk to me. I tell you, I thought Mordred would be all about telling me about his sex life with George, but no. The moment I sat down to write their story, he clammed up on me. Silly elf.

    Wave,

    I’ll have to check out The Dreyfus Affair. It sounds like a book I’d enjoy.

    Wood and balls, polishing my jewels. Boy, you ladies are getting personal…lol. :)

  22. jessewave

    TA
    If you check the comments you’ll see that wasn’t me. I have been brought up to be a lady and I don’t make personal comments, ahem.

  23. jessewave

    We were Emerald Jaguar, we were. Why do people have such different impressions about jewels? We wear them. Bat and balls – I love baseball. Men!!! Durty minds. Gurls – don’t talk dirty :DDD

  24. Kris

    Look at what happens when I sleep. The whole blog degenerates.

    Tsk, tsk, girls. Objectifying men is sooo… unladylike.

  25. jessewave

    Kris
    If you look at my previous comment, you’ll see it’s a matter of interpretation.
    I think you’ll really like High Line. I re-read parts of it already.

  26. Kris

    *getting serious* I liked ‘Out of Bounds’ and will definitely be buying this book. Oh, who am I kidding I would be buying it anyway cos it has T A’s name on it. I’m such a geeky fangirl of his work.

    It’s prob’ly no surprise then that I’m also really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really, REALLY looking forward to ‘Dreaming of Dragons’. I can’t wait to read more George and Mordred.

    Wave, I’m with Emmy. Move ‘Angel’s Evolution’ up on your TBR – it is a fabulous story.

  27. jessewave

    Kris
    Next week. I have a number of reviews that I have to complete this week but I’ve scheduled it for next week to see what all the fuss is about. I mean, how good can it be? :)

    Tomorrow when T.A’s interview is uploaded you’ll find out where “Dreaming” is on his schedule. He has a lot of new books on the horizon in the next few months.

  28. Kristie~

    Is it Tuesday yet??? I can not wait for this book to come out. TA is a autobuy for me. Congrats on a great review TA.

  29. Aunt Lynn

    So, I just finished High Line and I lurved it. I re-read Out of Bounds on Monday in prep for buying HL on Tuesday, and I can say with certainty that I lurved it better. Much more story to it, more character development all around. I, too, liked that there was no smexxin until late in; my single complaint of OfB was the smexxin/story ratio (too much smexxin to not enough story). One thing about HL: I didn’t realize that it begins a year and some before OfB, so I was thrown when Kasey has that first press conference several chapters in. Once I got aligned, though, I was fine, and it’s a “5 out of 5″ for me, too. Great job, TA!

  30. jessewave

    Kristie
    I’m sure that the book will come up to your expectations.

    Lynn
    So what you’re saying is that my review was right on the money? *g*

  31. Aunt Lynn

    Yes, absolutely, positively right on the money. I agree with every, single word you said. You are the review goddess. I bow to your reviewiness. *g*

  32. T.A.Chase

    Thanks, Lynn.

    I’m excited that you gave HL 5 out of 5 stars as well. :)

    Sorry about that time shift thing. I’ll try to make it clearer next time I do something like that.

    The next sports book, I think, will have the same no smexxing until later in the book. It’s going to take a while for the guys in that story to really hook up.

    Thanks again and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

    Oh and Wave is the review goddess.

  33. jessewave

    The review goddess? Please!! I may have to ask Zeus for my place on Olympus with a suitable goddess name.:DDD

    TA
    Next week I have scheduled Angel and I’ll send you the link when it’s posted.

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