Review: False Start by Sloan Johnson (Wilmington Breakers #2)

Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Signal Boost Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

False Start is the second novel in the M/M football romance series Wilmington Breakers and while the series starter was a second-chance romance between exes, book two was about taking that first chance between estranged best friends who've been fighting their attraction to one another for far too long. The first six chapters of the book overlap with the events in book one, and then it overlaps again during one more chapter later in the novel, but the focus here is on Wilmington Breakers head trainer Nixon Cross and retired Birmingham Bengals football player Lincoln Sims. Linc may finally be out of the closet, but there's always only been one man he's truly wanted to be with. However, their friendship went south after Nix felt rejected and stopped returning Linc's calls and messages. Three years of radio silence ends when Nix reaches out to ask Linc for help regarding a player's dilemma with coming out publicly. When Nix and Linc see each other again, the feelings are still very much there, but is either man ready to take a chance at a more and committed relationship when Nix still hates being public and Linc's son isn't too thrilled by the developments of his dad and best friend turned boyfriend's reconnection?

I liked Down by Contact, but there was something special about False Start. Maybe it had to do with the main characters being older and more mature--both Linc and Nix were forty-three--and that there wasn't much in terms of anger that had them not speaking for three years but more of a melancholy feeling. Maybe it was because of the side story involving one of Linc's closest friends, Patrick--who I don't recall had a last name mentioned in the book--brought tears to my eyes at more than one point in the novel. Maybe it had something to do with there not being this easy path to happily-ever-after and that the main characters were being true to who they were while also slowly but surely transitioning into two men who were in love and were willing to take a shot at being together. Maybe it was connected to the fact that this tale of taking chances didn't take the same well-worn path other tales have taken, enabling it to be a stand out in all the best possible ways. There are a myriad of reasons why this second in a series appealed to me as much as it did, but at the end of the day, it was mostly because it had a great deal of heart and never pandered to my emotions. False Start was a true five-starred winner of a read. ♥

Date Read: 15 May 2017

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