Title: Edge of Glory (Fadeaway #2)
Author: John Goode
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: December 22nd 2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Young Adult/New Adult Fiction
Page Count: 309 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 2.5 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
Now in college, Danny faces a whole slew of problems. Can he like guys and still play basketball? Can the guys on his team accept him for who he is? And what about Sam? Is he willing to give up him for the game? Follow Danny through his college years and the choice that will change his life forever.
As much as I loved/hated Going the Distance, I just plain loved Edge of Glory.
Book two of the Fadeaway series covers the college years for Daniel Devin Monroe. He’s still closeted because he’s sure that coming out would ruin his basketball hopes and dreams, and his own fears about being out are still deeply in his head.
When Danny reconnects with Sam though, everything is put to the test.
He took a deep breath. “It’s just you’re so close to fucking perfect it kills me. You’re masculine, cute as hell, in shape and I can’t say that body hurts. You’re athletic, friendly and don’t seem to have an ego at all. If I was describing my perfect guy, he’d end up sounding a lot like you.” I stared at him with my mouth open. “Except you refuse to accept who you are and what you like. It makes everything else useless, because I can’t trust you.”
“No.” He stopped me. “It’s not about you telling people or coming out. It’s about you being able to say you’re gay to yourself. I could give a fuck about what you tell other people, Danny. It’s that you don’t like yourself because you don’t like being gay. I could never be with someone who thinks like that.”
No one had ever said anything like that to me before and it was crippling. Here was this guy, who I had drooled over, saying he would go out with me in a second, if I could just get over being gay. I said the first thing that came to mind. “I might be able to be gay if I had someone like you to be with.”
I absolutely loved the Sam/Danny storyline. Not too sappy, not too perfect, it was just perfectly pitched. You get to experience, along with Danny, the joys of first love…
“I’m a fuck up, I admit that. But I look at you and….” My courage finally gave out. “I like you.”
I looked down at my shoes, unable to meet his gaze. He reached across and lifted my chin, forcing me to look him in the eye. “But you look at me and…?” he asked.
“And I want to be a better person. You make me want to be a better person so I can be with you. I know that sounds stupid but—”
He leaned over and kissed me.
I wisely shut up and kissed him back.
How much being in love at that age encompasses everything.
His lips touched mine and my head swam as if I was drunk. I reached up and pulled him closer.
It was as if everything I’d been missing was suddenly right there in front of me. Because it was; I just hadn’t realized it yet.
And seeing how easily we can fuck things up because of fear or stupidity. With some much-needed life lessons along the way.
“Your problem is that somewhere along the way you became deathly afraid of who you are.” I scowled and he shook his head. “No, not the gay thing, I mean in regards to your body. You’re a freaking giant and you walk around like you’re scared of your own shadow. You never learned to assert yourself because you’ve spent so much time trying to diminish yourself and now, when you need to step up, you have no idea how because you spent too much time acting like a little bitch.”
I loved getting to see Danny spend time with Nate and his dad again. Especially as things left off after Going the Distance on some seriously rocky shores.
“Danny, I don’t know how many times I need to say this. But I’ll keep right on saying it until you believe me. I don’t care who you date, as long as you’re happy. And if you are dating someone, I want to know about it because I’m your dad and we used to be able to talk about anything…” He hesitated then added, “I’d like to have that again, son.”
Though the story has plenty of angst, it does have humor too, which helps to offset what could have been a much darker-in-tone story.
“So, basically you’re just pulling a Danny?” my dad asked out of nowhere when we stopped for gas.
“You’re in your head worrying about things you can’t change, and things that most likely will never happen. You know, pulling a Danny.”
“I don’t do that,” I protested.
My dad calmly made a phone call to someone and put it on speaker. I heard Nate’s voice. “What’s up, Mr. Monroe?”
“If I told you Danny was ‘pulling a Danny’ what would you say he was doing?”
“Um… worrying about crap he can’t do anything about and stressing over things he imagined about something. Is this about his present?”
“I hate you.”
Instead of the story being suffocating or dark, which it could absolutely have been…Goode tempers the dark –
“You don’t get it, Sam! They were going to kick me off the team.”
“And you don’t get it, Danny. You could have changed the subject and called their bluff.”
“It wasn’t a bluff!” I yelled back. “It’s not a fucking bluff, Sam! It’s never been a bluff! Why can’t you get this? I want to play basketball. Basketball is my life and I can’t do that if they kick me off the team.”
“You’re never coming out, are you?”
I said nothing.
- and sometimes more weighty matters…
“I wish I could hate you,” he told me in a soft voice.
I wasn’t sure if he knew I was awake but he had to know I couldn’t answer.
“I really do. It would make things so much easier if I just hated you and moved on.” One finger traced over the top of my hand and gave me chills. “You think basketball is all you are. You think your only value is in that game.”
He leaned forward and I could see the tears in his eyes.
“You’re wrong. All that game is going to do is kill you.”
…with hope and humor. Which makes this, like most of Goode’s books, another winner.
“You want to make a difference? You want to make people change?” Kyle asked me. I nodded. “Then just stand there and refuse to move. Don’t budge, don’t explain, just stand there because you have the right to stand there. The secret to institutions is that they don’t have as much power as people think they do. Their power comes from the fact that people think they have it. It’s not true. Take the illusion away from them.”
I definitely liked that Danny is far less self-loathing in this. Like I said before, yes, the angst is still pretty high in this, but Goode pulls it off pretty seamlessly. So seamlessly you often don’t realize how angsty a section was until you’re out and think back about it.
Because it’s Danny that drives this story. It’s his POV (with a couple of surprise POV appearances by Sam that were really needed and came at the right time), so the reader really gets to be inside his head. Which is sometimes a hard place to be, but when Danny is with Sam…when you get to experience that happiness…THAT is what awesome writing is, folks.
I absolutely love Danny and Sam together, and I cheered for their hard fought HFN which is so sweet to behold.
I can’t wait to see how the story works out in the final book.