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The End Zone  By  cover art

The End Zone

By: Riley Hart
Narrated by: Benjamin Charles,Iggy Toma
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Publisher's Summary

Jeremy

Seeing my best friend West happy with his fiancé opened my eyes to things I’ve been missing in my own marriage. My divorce, which was amicable, followed. Strangely, at West’s wedding, I find myself confiding in Darren, the straight, confirmed bachelor and star quarterback of the Atlanta Lightning. Darren is a full-steam-ahead kind of guy, and one talk leads to hanging out, swapping phone numbers, and pranking West and Anson while they’re on their honeymoon. When I head back to California, I expect our chats to end, but I couldn’t be more wrong.

Darren

I still can’t say how it happened, how a random decision to strike up a conversation with Jeremy turned into...whatever this is. All I know is, months later, my days aren’t complete until we tell each other good night. Whether it’s on our calls or when he flies to Atlanta, we talk about everything, lying awake together half the night. Jeremy’s got me feeling...different. If it was just my newly discovered bisexuality, that’d be one thing. I’m not one to stress about being into a man for the first time. It’s the other stuff, the way he makes my pulse race and my heart swell, that’s throwing me for a loop.

I didn’t think I was made for relationships; I thought something inside me was broken, but I want it all with him. Except, it feels like as soon as we make it past one obstacle, there’s an even bigger one waiting for us. We just have to keep our heads in the game and our eyes on the prize to make it to the end zone, before one last tackle takes us down for good.

©2021 Riley Hart (P)2021 Riley Hart

What listeners say about The End Zone

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This series!!! 😍😍😍

Riley has done it again, maybe even better than End game, which feels like blasphemy. Had I love a story where they never break up but find a way to face all the drama and insecurities together. This book hits all the high notes possible in a MM sports romance.

6 people found this helpful

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Ups and downs

This is a review just on the narration.
I love Iggy and usually listen to most of his MM work. He was great as Jeremy and I gave him a solid 5/5.

I was glad to see Darren narrated by a Black man (and not Michael Dean!). I liked when he was speaking as Darren but the other voices felt flat and I sometimes couldn't tell who was supposed to be talking. I gave him a 3/5. I definitely think he has potential narrating MM books!

4 people found this helpful

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nice

A slight spin on the current pro athlete M/M romance, being a follow on coming out. The primary & secondary characters are good hearted people who are pleasant to spend time with, making it worth the credit.

The external conflict deals with pro athletes coming out, but mostly elides any intersectionality with racism. Instead of Darren being presented as expert in navigating racial bigotry, & Jeremy of sexual bigotry, white Jeremy is the one who most lectures about bigotry, which is a choice, and it’s rather one-note. Darren’s mom gives him a good talking to, but this book only glances slightly at racism to focus all the attention on sexuality. I thought that was weird. YMMV.

The one note: the “why do people care at all?” isn’t handled wrongly, as such, it just isn’t given any nuance, beyond that sentiment, which I think is odd for this experienced author. Sure, who you love shouldn’t affect work contracts, but who you love *is* important to your community. That importance to community is highlighted in the plot, in the LGBTQ center and more, so it’s there, but all the angst is surface level sloganeering.It’s not that the book is bad, it’s that it could be much better in the end zone and it kind of stalls out. The relationship arc intensifies, but the social justice arc is mostly repeats.

Which makes it a lower angst romance so if you just want the better feels and hot men, dive into it.

Steam: Medium-high. M/M action on page, in detail, all positive. Good consent. The guys have lots of fun, often enough after they get going that it’s a book for people who like the physicality.

Narration: I enjoyed both narrators & thought they both added value.

2 people found this helpful

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WOW!!! Don’t miss out on this book…

This book is great start to finish. All the feels too. The love and connection Darren and Jeremy shared poured off the pages. The narration was out of this world! I love Iggy Toma but for the love of all that is holy, I could listen to Benjamin Charles all day🔥🔥🔥…I have a new favorite narrator! They both brought the book to life in the best way. I’ve listened to it twice already…

1 person found this helpful

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This was great

A low-key bisexual awakening story I can relate to. I love stories in which a foundation of friendship is built before growing into more.

Oh! and both narrators are chef's kiss.

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Great story but

I loved this story but I wished a waited a bit to listen to it after finishing the 1st book. There were to many thing's that sounded like the 1st book. I love Iggy Toma so much and when 2 different characters use the same sayings you picture the 1st character talking from book 1. I listened to book 1 in one day because it was that good. 2 days for this one because I stayed up the night before on book 1 lol. Benjamin was good as well but he isn't as good and making his voice change between characters. I highly recommend All books from Riley Hart.

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Awhhhh!!!!!

So Lovey Dovey I have a tooth ach!

Loved it.

All the feels for this couple.

I loved Daren's voice. Mommy, that timber in his voice was felt. Amazing Naration.

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angel and troublemaker for life

these 2 are just friendship goals! they start as friends who just get each other and egg each other on and slowly develop feelings for each other in the best sweetest way possible. Darren is one of those people once he's in he's in no matter what even if doesn't get why and love that about him, Jeremy is his perfect counter balance just going with the flow and encouraging him to be him. Great story will definitely be a re listen.

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Great second book! Hope there are more!

I really enjoyed the narration of the Darren character and his discovery of an identity as demi-romantic. I appreciate authors who bring to life characters who work together so well in embracing their imperfections. This couple was distinct from the first book in a way that felt genuine rather than formulaic.

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The End Zone

I wanted to reread the two books in the series, but didn’t have time to read and decided to listen to them. I don’t like dual narration. There’s no consistency in voices of characters and I need that for my books. This is the first time I’ve listened to Benjamin Charles and I thought his voice was great for Daren. I didn’t think he had range for other characters and all of them sounded the same. I only bought this because of the sale and never had intentions to do so. I won’t listen to it again probably. Next time I’ll just read the book and that I definitely recommend because it’s just as terrific as the first one.

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  • HMM
  • 10-22-22

Carbon copy of book 1.

Do not read this novel right after series 1. It is exactly the same, except the protagonists are absolutely shallow. Darren plays football, is a people pleaser with a close bond to his family and no father. He starts a secret relationship because he identified as straight and his close friends wonder about his behavior. He texts constantly with Jeremy and they use nicknames.
There was one difference with book 1: Darren was the one always making jokes about how good he was at sex.

It was really hard to trick myself into thinking these were other people. And now imagine those two characters often meeting up with their copy's from the first book. It made the confusion complete.

Narration was alright.

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  • Hollypolly
  • 08-18-22

Enjoyable Listening

An enjoyable low angst love story, not much depth to, but a great summer
read/listen while soaking up the sun. I like joint POV books and enjoyed the performers I thought they did a really good job.

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  • Sidra
  • 01-14-22

Great story and a heartfelt performance

I won a copy of this audiobook while I was reading the e-book.

Overall, I thought this was an enjoyable audiobook. I liked the story (it’s book 2 in a series, but can work as a standalone, I think.)

I liked the main characters a lot. Even if you aren’t into sports (I am, but know very little about football), it’s easy to understand their respective motivations and struggles. I thought the plot moved along too. The book alternates between the main characters’ points of view and the audiobook has two different voice actors for that reason. They have very different voices so it’s always clear whose POV the listener is getting.

The voice for one of the characters was different to what I’d imagined, so it took a couple of chapters to get used to that. There’s nothing wrong with it - the actor is excellent and once I’d acclimatised, I was swept along by the story. It’s a very satisfying listen.

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  • Book addict
  • 09-05-21

Good book

I enjoyed this, but not as much as the first book in the series. I liked the characters and the plot, but it didn’t drag me in emotionally as much as it could. Still good, though! The narrators were good, but although Benjamin Charles has a lovely voice when speaking as his character, he needs to work on his voices when other characters are speaking as it was difficult to tell who was speaking which also meant I didn’t get as engaged in the book as I could have. Looking forward to more books in this series as the quality is a step above Riley Hart’s previous work, and above many others in this genre.

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  • Wide Eyes, Big Ears!
  • 08-24-22

Tender romance, absorbing plot!

Darren is straight but was super supportive when his Atlanta Lightning teammate and best friend found love and came out a few years ago. Darren has always enjoyed sex but he’s never found love. Jeremy had found love but his long-distance marriage has fizzled and ended amicably. Previously acquaintances, at the wedding of their best friends, Darren and Jeremy begin a friendship that slowly turns into love. This was a very tender love story. Darren had to process his romantic feelings for another man, although he seemed to cope with the physical stuff pretty easily. Jeremy was cautious about falling for a straight guy, knowing he could easily get his heart hurt. It’s hard not to compare to The Endgame which had more snark, humour and sport play and I missed some of that. The plot was absorbing and I loved Darren and Jeremy but the tone wasn’t as playful. There were more deep and meaningful ‘defining the relationship’ talks this time around and Darren didn’t seem as fun or cocky as he appeared in the first book - being set a few years later, maybe he’d just grown up a bit more. I love when Riley writes African-American characters and props for choosing the excellent Benjamin Charles to perform Darren on the audiobook. Benjamin and Iggy Toma (as Jeremy) were both great.