Title: Double Full
Author: Kindle Alexander
Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Sports, Series (The Nice Guy Series)
Publisher:The Kindle Alexander Collection
Rating: 4.75 Puppy Dog Kisses
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Blurb: Up and coming football hero, Colton Michaels, makes a Hail Mary pass one night in the college locker room that results in the hottest, sexiest five days of his young life. However, interference after the play has him hiding his past and burying his future in the bottom of a bottle. While Colt seems to have it all, looks can be deceiving, especially when you’re trapped so far in a closet that you can’t see your way out. When ten years of living his expected fast-lane lifestyle lands him engaged to his manipulative Russian supermodel girlfriend, he decides it’s time to call a new play.
Jace Montgomery single-handily built the largest all-star cheerleading gym in the world, driven by a need to forget a life-altering encounter with a handsome quarterback a decade ago. His reputation as an excellent coach, hard-nosed business man, and savvy entrepreneur earned him respect in the sometimes catty world of competitive cheerleading. When Jace learns of his ex-lover’s plans to marry, his heart executes a barrel roll and his carefully-placed resolve tumbles down without a mat to absorb the shock. Can his island escape help him to finally let go of the past and move his life forward?
I’m willing to spend the rest of my life showing you how much you mean to me. I’ll work every single day to be the man you deserve, but let me make love to you tonight. Let me know what it’s like to feel you again. Please.
I always say that the hardest part about writing a good review is to share your thoughts without revealing too much of the story! And every time I do one of these reviews, I always swear it will be my last–only then I read something like Double Full and I change my mind again. 🙂
Man, oh man, at the beginning of this story, Colt a hot mess. He’s young. He has a once-in-a-lifetime shot at a career in the NFL–something that a lot of football players dream of achieving but will never even come close to scoring. He has good reasons for hiding his feelings for Jace–everything he’s ever been taught in his life in the ‘football culture’ tells him that being gay is the worst possible thing. No wonder he is confused about what he wants. Yet he goes at what he wants with the determination of a wrecking ball, so there is little wonder that he makes a shambles out of everything around him.
It is no shock to me, then, that being an openly gay football player is not on Colt’s radar. That being considered a ‘faggot’ is the biggest insult on the planet–and that it threatens Colt on all levels: emotionally, physically, financially. Events play out in such a fashion that Colt has no choice but to severe ties with Jace in order to protect Jace as well as himself. I can’t think of any young man who would have acted differently under the circumstances.
I’m not sure how Colt could function all those years as an alcoholic and still perform at an athletic level good enough to continue to be an asset to the team! Still, it happens, and it’s the miracle of young livers that he doesn’t trash his body on his way to finding himself. Because he isn’t paying attention, he lets his life turn into a true disaster–one of the parts I like best about the story is that he cleans up his act well in advance of his seeking Jace out again. The level of self-destructiveness he displays is a measure of how bad he feels about the circumstances that drove him to deny Jace. It is extremely believable–I was struck by the use of the word ‘cancer’ to describe the emotions eating away at Colt. So many closeted men experience that degree of self-loathing. It’s a wonder Colt didn’t implode before he had his turning point.
Initially, my reaction to the degree to which young Colt was obsessed with Jace sent all my stalker alarms shrieking. Well, that’s a personal trigger on my part, but I did find myself shouting at Jace, “You know nothing about him! He knows everything about you! You’re alone in a beach house with him! What are you thinking??” It’s obvious, however, that he is thinking how much he wants Colt in his bed again! 🙂 Well, given the steam that poured out of their opening sequence together in the locker room, I’d have to side with Jace on this one!
As the story unfolds, however, it becomes apparent that this need to know everything possible about Jace is part of Colt’s personality, and one of the ways he managed to hang on during the years he denied himself any contact with Jace. It is also nearly his undoing, as this habit of keeping tabs on Jace provides his coked-out girlfriend, looking hard for a reason to hang onto her meal ticket, a means of blackmailing him into doing what she wants.
She didn’t reckon on what effect this threat to Jace would have on Colt–and it sets into motion a whole series of events that keep you on the edge of your seat while you race from one action-packed scene to another. Remember the wrecking ball that is Colt? When Colt finally gets his act together, the same pit bull mentality that makes him such a great football player comes to the forefront as he is determined to put Jace back into his life for real this time. It takes a master storyteller to make us like Colt at this point in his life, but we know how much he is hurting and we’re rooting for him to make this work!
Poor Jace. Really, these boys. You just want to shake them sometimes. Jace is just as bad as Colt in some ways, mooning over his lost love. He has, however, gotten on with his life, making a name and a profession for himself. He’s never forgotten Colt and the scenes where he is faced with Colt’s disintegration are heartbreaking. The man he loved wasn’t the man Colt had become. A stark sentence that sums up Jace’s desire to put that part of his life behind him–and yet he can’t stop thinking of Colt. So when Colt shows up in his life again, how can you blame him for falling back into bed with Colt once more? I was delighted to see his second thoughts, however, and his refusal to accept what Colt was offering–more hiding of their relationship until his NFL career was over. Ten years have passed and neither are boys any more. Jace’s decision to walk was a heroic one.
So naturally, I was fully prepared for something bad to happen that would knock some sense into these guys. 🙂
Only I was not prepared for what happened next! Their world gets turned upside down in every way imaginable. May I say here for the record how much I adored Knox Sr. and Son? What wonderful secondary characters! Alexander has me hoping here that there will be a story for Mitch Knox because if ever anyone had “Nice Guy” written all over him, he did! Plus, I have this whole competence kink and he is *very* good at his job! And Dr. Knox! Oh my! The efforts he went to on the behalf of Jace and Colt–let me tell you, at one point I teared up and I don’t usually do that! He is just the kind of humanitarian doctor that I can identify with. No wonder he raised such a great son!
I had some minor moments that momentarily threw me out of the story–when Jace returns after his harrowing events, the conversation with staffer who kids him on his suntan and his ‘afterglow’ seemed out of place for someone just back from a harrowing experience. There were a couple of minor editing issues as well (though in all fairness, I know *exactly* how hard it is to spot these things, no matter how many eyes are on the document. They didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story one iota).
All in all, if you’re looking for some hot action, both in and out of the bedroom, combined with unexpected twists and emotional drama drama racing their way toward the goal posts for a touchdown, then Team Kindle Alexander and Double Full is for you! No wonder Double Full is #1 on Amazon with over 65 glowing reviews! Even the ending, while satisfying, leaves you wondering about what is next to come. 🙂
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