About the Book
When an injury sidelines NFL player Deion McCaskill—maybe permanently—he heads to Miami to stay with an old college teammate and his boyfriend. He packs his tailor-made suits, anxiety about the future, and the bisexuality he’s ignored for years because it didn’t fit with his drive to succeed at football’s most elite levels.
Set designer Carlos Kelly has always known he’s bi, but dating women is easier than making waves with his Puerto Rican/Irish Catholic family. His friends and coworkers from the theater community might be almost entirely on the rainbow spectrum, but Carlos keeps things simple. Except for this heat that keeps flaring between him and the hot football player visiting his best friend.
Two weeks. Two guys who’ve never explored their bisexuality before and don’t plan on coming out, ever. One promise to let each other try out every fantasy they’ve ever had. Zero feelings involved.
At least, that was the plan. . .
The Finer Details
Narrative Arc: Series
Series Detail: Full Hearts, book 2
Series Arc: new relationship
Publication Date: January 25, 2018
Editor: Christina Soule Desir
Cover Artist: Black Jazz Design
Length: Novel, 196 e-book pages
POV: 3rd person
Genre(s): Contemporary, Interracial
Tropes and Tags: athlete, sexual identity awakening, opposites attract, closeted, friends to lovers
Settings & Locales: Miami, Florida
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Advance Review Copy generously provided by the author.
Back Porch Thoughts
Seems I’ve been reading a lot of HEAVY STUFF lately. So, when this book made its timely way across my radar, I couldn’t pass it up.
It was the perfect medicine for these bleak winter months. Almost summery in the lightness and the setting of the nearly always summer Miami.
I LOVED it. Truly and completely.
HeartOn can be read as a standalone because the nature of the romantic interests finding their bliss is entirely separate from the first book in this series. But, c’mon. Read the first book because it’s also pretty fucking amazing. And, if you’re not convinced, there are plenty of sweet little enticing nuggets inside this book that’ll surely lure you back to that first one and will whet your appetite for more.
Both Carlos and Deion are bisexual, and both pretty deeply closeted for reasons. Mainly, probably, because playing it straight is the easiest, the path of least resistance when it comes to family and career. This…resonates. Big Time. I just, y’all. This struck nerves. The good kind that had me nodding my head off in YESSSS THIS!
Their thought processes, the way they’ve managed Life-Of-Bi thus far, the coping mechanisms, the denials, the not having people to talk to, or the words to make it real. Have mercy, that all rang so true. And a few times I thought, Amy Jo, get outta my freakin’ head!
These guys are an absolute delight as they navigate the attraction. They’re tentative, a bit shy, and adorkable little cinnamon rolls figuring out how to Gay Sex. There was this war in me that had me trying to stifle giggles and wanting to give them hugs of encouragement, wanting to shout at them Don’t Forget the Lube.
And, ya know, vacation trysts can be all sorts of steamy. Sometimes expiration dates are good. They help keep things contained. Gives folks a legit out to get back to the normal every day and chalk it up to an experience. Something to remember and cherish fondly.
Oh yeah, when feelings emerge — the kind that Just. Won’t. Go. Away. Well, going back to the Days of Denial is impossible, though not always tidy.
And trying to find all those answers, consider a whole new path in life that impacts everything, career and family, and geography, and all the things — especially when one is a public figure. It was a pressure cooker without too much angst. Okay, some angst. Because how do you face all that without angst?
A two-week vacation should not have angst — unless it’s THIS KIND.
This book is thoughtful and fun. The strength of the friendships. The humor—gah! Plenty of sweet and sassy inside jokes — those intimate little things we get the pleasure to be in on. And getting to check in on Benji and Josh from the first book was all kinds of fun.
I’ve read a goodly number of AJ’s books. One thing I’ve learned is that this author is One-Click Worthy. Mainly because I know that she’s going to explore all corners of the emotional journey she takes her characters on in the most thoughtful ways with a lightness that doesn’t bog down the pace. The characters feel like friends, the kind you’d haul your ass outta bed on a lazy Sunday to meet for brunch or even offer to help move into new digs.
HeartOn was an absolute delight.