Friday, February 24, 2017

Down by Contact by Sloan Johnson

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?

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Book 1
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~  Available with KindleUnlimited  ~

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I am usually not one to read books about sports, but Sloan Johnson convinced me to read baseball in the past so why not football this time? I love Zach and Griff’s story. I don’t care for the reality TV part of the book, just because I am not a big reality TV person. This was a sweet love story, sometimes some things seemed to just be accepted way to easy, but hey, sometimes in life you actually get lucky. There was a little angst but nothing that made you ball your eyes out. I will say though, that I did cry when reading this book, I am just a sap like that. I can’t wait to see who the next book is about, there were a few characters in this book I wouldn’t mind seeing up next. Great start to a new series.

Characters: Well written
Sex: Yes
Religious: No
Would I recommend to others: Yes
More than one book in the series: Yes
Genre: M/M Romance
Would I read more by this author: Yes

Oooh – Sloan Johnson and a new sport! American football is as unfathomable to me as baseball, but the men are still pretty, emotionally needy, and a bit sweaty, so it’s all good. The sport may be new but Zach, the main character, is the brother of Nate in the last Homeruns book. In this story, Zach is unexpectedly reunited with Griffin, the man he loved and lost in college. Zach may have one last chance to own up to his sexuality and his feelings for Griffin, but he also only has one chance to make it in the NFL.

I really loved this story. Themes from the Homeruns books are back as Zach struggles with the pressure to remain closeted as a professional sportsman. There are new ideas here – Griffin works for a company that is filming Zach’s team for a reality show, and I really liked the way the author questions the ethics of manipulating lives in pursuit of reality TV show ratings.

Zach and Griffin are sexy together. I love the second chance element of this romance and the complex history between these two.

Zach’s teammates are wonderful and I’m hoping the new series title means that we’ll see more of these men. As always, Sloan Johnson has written a wonderful sports romance and I think the quality of her writing is getting better with every new book. This is an easy reading pleasure.

Although this is the first in the series, we are, in fact, meeting Tate's twin, Zach. Tate and PJ's story was the focus of Line Drive (Homeruns #6). So the sport may now be football, but the characters feel wonderfully familiar.

I really enjoyed this book. It does an amazing job of making pre-season training exciting. By using the vehicle of a no holds bar behind the scenes TV show to deliver a powerful plot and a really yummy romance.

Griffin left Zach in the belief that he would be better off without him – now he finds he is the cameraman shadow for the man as he prepares for the season. Unbeknown to him, Zach has just revealed to his coach that he is gay, and is tired of living a lie. As the story unfolds we are always a little on edge as to how the news will be released, how it will affect Zach, and whether there can be a second chance for these guys. There is little doubt that they have strong feelings for each other, but can it be enough?

I really enjoyed the story, and the hints as to who may feature in future releases – I am looking forward to it already!

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girl’s life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn’t yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren’t enrolled, you can’t attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It’s a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She’s been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she’s been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.

Connect with Sloan

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Down by Contact (Wilmington Breakers #1) by Sloan Johnson to read and review.

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