Nixon Cross isn’t wired to share his life with anyone. He’d considered a relationship once, but after the one man patient enough to put up with all his quirks shut him down, he committed all of his energy to football and helping his players. Now, one of his players need more help than Nixon can provide and his former flame is the one man who will know what to do.
Retired NAFL player Lincoln Sims had no choice but to stay in the closet; he was a professional athlete at a time when it was impossible to be honest about his sexuality. After retiring, he confessed his secret to his wife and son because he was tired of living a lie. Now, he’s ready to live his life. Nixon Cross is the man he left behind but could never forget.
Can these men find a way to recover from their false start years earlier?
False Start is Book 2 in Sloan Johnson's Wilmington Breakers series, a spin-off of her Homeruns series. I truly think you should read Down by Contact, Book 1 of this series, to truly enjoy it. The two books overlap in parts and I think it would make it more enjoyable if you know both sides of what's going on. And really, reading a Sloan Johnson book is no hardship!
Nixon is the team trainer for the Wilmington Breakers and was introduced in Down by Contact. He's tough and doesn't seem to need anyone in his life. He was raised that your personal life is personal and that any type of affection shouldn't be shown outside of the bedroom. Combine the way he was raised with working in professional sports, and it's understandable why Nixon remains in the closet at his age. There was only one person he's ever wanted a relationship with, his best friend Lincoln. Lincoln is a retired professional football player, who has been asked to speak to the Wilmington Breakers. Lincoln's life has been about football, and nothing has changed now that he's retired. Once Lincoln and Nixon are together again, their attraction to each other is undeniable, but are they ready to have the relationship they've both longed for?
I really liked Lincoln and Nixon! Nixon was a tough trainer on the team that always expected each player to give it their all, but he also had a hidden nurturing part of him. I didn't like that Nixon allowed the way he was raised regarding affection to control his life. It was something that he didn't like about the way he was raised, and instead of changing it, he did the same thing. Lincoln was a great father, friend, and even ex-husband. He was protective of both his son, his friends, and even the football players. Both characters are just really likable!
I enjoy books with older main characters, typically because they seem more settled in their lives. While Nixon and Lincoln are not fighting themselves about being gay, they're still struggling with accepting the rest of the world knowing it. And, I thought the story showed the difference of emotions and experiences between an "older" generation and younger generation regarding being out in the professional world. Even though it's more acceptable in today's world, the older men still struggle with accepting that they can be themselves. Plus, in Lincoln's case, he had an adult son who was a little bit of a jerk about Lincoln being gay and dating Nixon.
This is a great friends to lovers, second chance story but you're not going to get an easy HEA without a little angst in this book! There is another storyline with Lincoln and one of his best friends that was so sad, so don't be surprised if you find yourself crying during it! And, I'm pretty sure I know where the next book is going based on the epilogue of this book, and if so, I will be annoyed by the hypocrisy of that character's behavior in this book!
Rating: 5 stars!!