Author: Michele M. Rakes
Length: 413 Pages
Genre: LGBTTQ, Multicultural, Contemporary
Cover Artist: Valerie Tibbs
GMR 5 STAR REVIEW!!!
When Jackson McCoy suffers a gay bashing at the hands of his team mates after winning the national championship, he finds himself traded to the Highlanders. Spring training brings out Jackson’s competitive nature, eliciting the aggression of his new team’s cornerback, Irus Beaumont.
In practice, Irus hurts Jackson badly. The injury places Jackson on the reserve roster. Jacks has plenty of time to contemplate his life, career, and his attraction to the sexy cornerback. Off to Orlando for the best rehab where guilt inspires Irus to call him every evening, Jackson can’t stop thinking about Irus, or what the season holds for his team.
The Highlanders cornerback, Irus Beaumont has a huge problem with his enemy, Jackson McCoy the Pirates wide out. His problems with Jackson is part jealousy of his talent but also his huge attraction to the football player.
Jackson McCoy has endured gay bashing from his team mates after winning the national championship and finds himself traded to the Highlanders. Jackson finds himself very competitive in the new team with the hot cornerback, Irus Beaumont. In practice Irus hurts Jackson badly and he's forced to leave for Orlando for rehab. Irus guilt forces him to call Jackson every night and the guys can't stop thinking of each other.
When Jackson returns home from rehab, the guys don't want to come out just yet and Jackson wants desperately to protect Irus from the severe gay bashing that occurs in the football league. They begin their lives on a journey together that will take them on unbelievable highs and some complicated obstacles that they need to work together on. I enjoyed this story very much as it had dealing with ones sexuality and how with the help of the other partner he was able to deal with coming out. It was so beautifully written with brilliant characters. I recommend this novel highly!!!
The sun shines brilliantly for a spring day in the Pacific Northwest. The warmth is surprising but welcome. The natural grass sparkles as bright and beautiful as a well-manicured golf course. The field’s just waiting to be torn up by a bunch of football-playing foster kids. I’m a little nervous. Not sure what to expect since I’ve never done one of these events. Coach Daily said I’d have a lot of fun, and the kids are great. So here I am. “Irus, my man! How you been?” A portly black man named Walter advances on me, his cultured Southern accent out of place in the northwestern environment. “Not too bad,” I say. “Tough watchin’ those Pirates steal that championship, eh?” Smooth. Dig where it hurts, Walt. Yeah, we all know Walter Park. He’s been around football for a lot of years. No one takes offense at his blunt remarks. The man tells it like it is and sometimes brutally. Today he’s being kind. Sort of. “Well, you know how it is, shit continues to happen,” I say. “We’ll get ’em next season.” Walter is a big former defensive lineman. When I say he’s big, I mean he’s gotten larger than when he was playing. I make the mistake of offering to shake the man’s hand. Two sweaty slabs of meat engulf my lone hand. He pumps wildly and leaves me feeling like I’ve got rhino cum all over my palm. When he’s not looking, I swipe my hands down the side of my sweatpants. “Well, we got some great kids for you to work with, Irus. A great bunch of boys.” “That’s cool.” “I’m gonna hook you up with one of the organizers of the event. He’s a wide receiver. Give a defense/offense kind of perspective. Just teach the kids some fundamentals. How to hold the ball, a little pass and catch, nothing too in-depth. Mostly, we need you guys to be role models. Help inspire these kids. Lift them up. Some come from sketchy backgrounds.” Walter gives me a look, like I’d understand, but my home was never sketchy. The neighborhood maybe, but not the home. A rock-solid foundation. Not traditional, though. Two parents who still love and cheer me on but had nothing to do with the raising of me. My Auntie Linda and Uncle Clyde
raised me. He’s a high school football coach, and she’s an English teacher. The summers were spent with my Auntie Beulah in the city. She got me out of the dusty suburbs and introduced me to a whole new way of thinking. Beulah’s the reason I don’t judge people. Well, I try not to judge people. I certainly don’t blame my parents for giving me up. They gave me to Linda and Clyde, who wanted kids but couldn’t have any of their own. Auntie Linda said it was God making everything right. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by a loving family. “I’m just waiting for your receiver to show up. Then I’ll take you to your kids.” Walter peers around, looking for someone. I follow his glance, not sure who I should be on the lookout for, when I see Jackson McCoy. Lord, why do you always have to test me here? Damn, McCoy looks fine. Blond hair reflects the sunlight. The strands lift lightly in the breeze. He’s laughing, joking around with some people from the charity organization. He’s always laughing. I see him on the sidelines all the time. A smile. A laugh. Even when they’re down on points. My gaze wanders to his ass, snug in faded, torn blue jeans. Tattoos peek out of short sleeves and muscles stretch the thin fabric of his T-shirt. Butterflies hatch in my stomach. No, this isn’t good. Not here in front of all these kids. Jesus, he makes me antsy. When I’m antsy, I get angry and stubborn. Auntie Linda says so all the time. Jackson McCoy turns my way. Big aviator glasses hide his eyes, but bruises form halos behind them, and his nose looks broke. He looks like he’s been playing against the defensive line and someone’s earholed him. With a nod to the guy next to him, he makes his way over to me and Walter. “Hey, Walt,” he calls. “Jackson, my boy, glad to have you back. You know Irus Beaumont? It’s his first time here. I was hoping you’d help him out with the kids. You know their trust issues.” “Hey, Iris, how you doing?” My reflection plays in his mirrored aviators. “It’s I-rus. Rus. Man, do you have a problem?” A shining grin breaks his face. I feel awash in it, and it pisses me off. “Come on, boys. Let’s work together all nice like, okay?” Walter gives me a stern look like it’s all my fault this guy continues to antagonize me. He double-checks me, waiting for a response, before he feels comfortable turning away. I get the feeling he’s in a hurry. “Sure, Walter. I’ll play nice.” The words nearly stick in my throat. “Good, good. All right now, boys, I gotta run and hook up some more players. Jackson, you know your group. Show Irus here the ropes. Bye, y’all.” Walter takes off at a good clip for a fat man, his dark skin sweating in the sunlight, absorbing all the heat. Jackson begins to walk in the opposite direction, and I rush to catch up, getting a nice shot of his ass once more. I resist the urge to smack his ass. Instead, I drop a bit of a shoulder into him to check him up. Just like I do on the field. He takes the impact and rolls with it, not taken off his feet. It was just a baby hit. Just saying hello. His lack of reaction irks me a little.
Michele Micheal Rakes lives in a small town in the shadow of a big mountain. She works as a surgical technologist assisting in the removal of tonsils and testicles. She has three grown children, two psychotic Egyptian Mau’s, a husband with hair down to his ass, two Harley’s, and a ferret named Teeny Tiny Ferret Feet (husband insists her name Little Feet, we all know he’s wrong). Links to reach Michele Rakes: