• The Endgame

  • By: Riley Hart
  • Narrated by: Iggy Toma
  • Length: 10 hrs and 50 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (671 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Weston

When I left home, I swore I'd never hide anything about myself again. From college, to law school, to the United States Senate representing California, I've done it all as an out gay man. So, when I'm in DC and see a beautiful guy at the hotel bar, I don't hesitate to proposition him...right before he runs out on me, leaving his sunglasses behind like my very own Cinderfella.

Anson

I've always known I'm gay, but never acted on it. Pretending isn't easy, but it means I can keep playing football. No one has ever guessed my secret until the gorgeous man at a bar in DC. At least he doesn't know who I am - the best tight end in the NFL, playing for the Atlanta Lightning. Though my identity doesn't stay a secret from him for long.

Between texts and late-night phone calls, we get to know each other. West's the only person who knows all the parts of me, just like I know his. When he asks for one night together so he can show me what it's like to be with a man, I can't say no. But once isn't enough, and we keep sneaking around together - brief encounters, in California, Georgia, or DC, filled with passionate touches and whispered truths.

I never thought I'd have love. West never thought he'd want it. Now we're all in with each other, but he still has time left in his Senate term. I have contract obligations to fulfill, and I'm closeted. We don't even live in the same state. The odds are stacked against us, but if there's one thing I know, it's how to win. He's the endgame in the biggest challenge of my life, the one I'm banking my future happiness on. 

©2021 Riley Hart (P)2021 Riley Hart

What listeners say about The Endgame

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    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorites this year

I don't usually buy an audiobook when I've already read the kindle version of a novel, and even less often do I actually listen to it when I do, but The Endgame was simply one of my favorite books this year and I HAD to have it. And I wasn't disappointed--I mean, I knew I wouldn't be, since I know and like Iggy Toma and, as I already said, I was a HUGE fan of the novel.

I'm a sucker for a good coming-out book, but good examples of that are few and far between. Too often they are written by people who have no idea what it's like to come out or even to be gay in the first place. "I never even knew I liked guys until I met you!" is a sentence that virtually nobody has ever uttered in the history of the world, and yet somehow it's one of the most common refrains you'll hear in books about "coming out," quotation marks intended. So imagine my delight when not one, but THREE excellent books about coming out were released at the same time (this one, "Concealed Hearts" by Nicky James, and "The Jock" by Tal Bauer). I'll also pick up the other two when and if they're released on audio.

This book focuses on the relationship between a closeted gay American football player, Anson, and a very non-closeted US senator, Weston. A senator, you say? Well yes, but the author really, really doesn't focus on that part. Don't worry that the story is going to get bogged down with politics. Actually, making West a senator is one of the very few missteps the book makes, because it's mentioned so seldom and has so little effect on the plot. But no matter, this is Anson's book, and Hart knocks it out of the park with him (yes, I'm aware that's a baseball metaphor, not football). Loyal, brave, and true, Anson embodies everything positive about masculinity. Hart also appears to actually like sports and jocks, since unlike a lot of books which center around athletes, she doesn't treat them with utter contempt. West is also a good character, simply for the fact that he never pushes Anson into coming out before he's ready, something that a deserving partner would never, ever do. Secondary characters include Anson's brother Elias, his best friend and teammate Darren, Darren's sister Mia, and others, and they're all their own fully fleshed-out characters with personalities and backstories.

Iggy Toma is a fantastic narrator, but that's pretty much a given; he's very consistent. He has a pleasant cadence, he sounds appropriately masculine, and, importantly for a romance novel, he doesn't rush and get awkwardly breathless during sex scenes unlike a few overused narrators in this genre. I'll easily give him five stars for his performance, though I have to confess I'm slightly disappointed that this wasn't a dual narration, since Anson and Weston are such different people and Toma only really has one character voice, though it's a good one.

Anyway, this one is highly recommended, and comes during a m/m drought, so it's even more of a blessing. I haven't always been a fan of Riley Hart but this one is a homerun, er, I mean a touchdown.

18 people found this helpful

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Interesting Characters - Narration didn't sell it

Very interesting characters and character development. It is a slow moving, but seemingly truthful, story of coming out and all the angst, mental support and love that it takes to get to one's truth. All of that alone should have been a solid 4 star book but as much as I have enjoyed Iggy Toma as a dual narrator on other books, he just didn't carry this narration enough to actually sell the emotional depth that needed to accompany this material. I think he took away from the experience - not that he was bad, he wasn't, the book just would have been better served with a different reader. I feel a little cheated and that I should have enjoyed the book more.

8 people found this helpful

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Great story

Wow!!
Iggy Toma is OUTSTANDING!!
He's becoming my Favorite MM narrator.
Great story of coming out.
so many feels, I stayed up all night listening.
Really didn't want it to end.
HEA, thank goodness.
The Football player and the Congressman 🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥
It's just SO worth the credit and your time to listen....

6 people found this helpful

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Epic effort, a pleasant story to spend hours listening to

I’m not usually a fan of slow burn romance but the pace and escalation of The Endgame was spot on. Just enough to move forward without stagnating, while being realistically slow for a coming out as a pro story, evolving over months.

I was a little thrown by the motorcycle scenes because I understood that most pro athletes’ contracts forbid motorcycles, but that’s a minor quibble. The rest of the elements arced and came together really well. And while it would be nice not to need press conferences for athletes coming out, this went over well enough to be a joyful story. The secondary characters really step up, so the emotional trauma is as minimized as it can be.

Steam: Hot. Slow burn doesn’t mean no contact. Anson & Weston take things slowly, but readers get to see every step, detailed on page, often. It’s delicious. A nice balance of private and public scenes, with no closed doors.

Narration: It’s Iggy Toma, who is excellent for a tremendous 45+ chapters.

4 people found this helpful

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Narration perfection 💕💕💕

So happy to hear Iggy Toma again and with one of the best mm authors out there. RH rights a story you just want to be in. The characters are believable as are their situations. Anson is so far in the closet I worried he wasn’t coming out! His struggle is difficult especially with a football career. I loved how patient the senator was with him. Don’t miss this great story and narration!!!

4 people found this helpful

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wow!

What a memorable and moving love story! The character development was outstanding, the storyline original and compelling. The depth of compassion and understanding of what its like to.live in this world being gay and the courage it takes to come out was told with such clarity and empathy that at times it was breathtaking. Iggy Toma is the gold standard for narration. if he is available why would anyone choose another. He is perfection! I am now looking for books with his narration first. if he's the narrator I'll always choose his books first. I have listened to others that I couldn't finish because the narration was too dramatic and over the top. Iggy brings depth of emotion. passion, and can handle as many characters as there are in the story. This story will live in my heart for a long time. I binged this book and literally had to dig out my.earbuds so I could carry the 'book' everywhere I went. Thank you Riley Hart and thank you Iggy Toma! I wish you both continued success and accolades and a long thriving career!

3 people found this helpful

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Strength, passion and love, this book has it all!

You take a heartbreaking journey with two men who start believing they are worthy and deserving of love no matter what it costs them. You can feel their pain, it makes you want to take on the world.

Perfect performance.

Why can’t they make movies like this?

3 people found this helpful

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  • BK
  • 05-08-21

AMAZING!!!!

Incredible story- best I’ve read since Ella James’ Adore series. Iggy Toma is by LEAGUES my favorite narrator. His voice is incredible and his style makes even sub-par books enjoyable. 5+ stars!!

3 people found this helpful

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Anxious and Tedious

The treatment of the subject matter was anxious about embracing oneself, out of the closet and took up far too many pages to reach the end and thus tedious. About half way through the book, all I could think about was “get a life” or “have some pride”. Once I stopped caring about rich and influential characters having their crisis of identity the book became a slog.

2 people found this helpful

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Loved Anson and West

I loved everything about this story! The only thing is that I wish there was a dual narration. I love Iggy Toma but there was no difference in the voices of the characters.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Ronald Betts
  • 05-14-21

A sad state of affairs

Just when you think that people are more caring you find there are more biggots about. A sad but true and here's a story of a man who hides his life and in the end finds his happy ever after. ❤

3 people found this helpful

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  • Bomtjikke
  • 05-10-21

Amazing

I really wish that this book didn’t end. Such a beautiful story. Riley Hart to me means amazingly well written stories with all the feels.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Lois
  • 04-28-22

Brilliant

I loved this story so much, I fell in love with Anson and West, they were perfect together, narration was perfect too, it brought the story to life.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 03-29-22

wow!! loved it!

the narrator did a wonderful job! loved the story! nothing was missing! hope next book to be as lolevy :)

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  • Anni
  • 01-07-22

great book

over all , is it a great story line. i like west soo much. thank you.

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  • Jessica Scott
  • 10-06-21

Cute story

Fuck the world for making so many people feel like they should hide or give up their happiness. I hope that changes so that no one has to feel like Anson did.

As for the story, I liked it, and it was super cute when they were together; it was fun, sexy, and entertaining, but I wish the author spent more time building their relationship and feelings than spending 15+ chapters talking about the same issue, so that way we could understand how Anson was able to make the step he needed after so many years of fear.

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  • Book addict
  • 09-05-21

Enjoyable book

I enjoyed this book the narrator was good. The characters had depth to them and I was engaged with the plot. It’s much better than other Riley Hart books, and other books in this genre, I’ve listened to. Definitely worth a listen!

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  • H. Spanarella
  • 07-07-21

Loved it!!

I absolutely loved this book when I read it, so I knew this was going to be a must listen audio as well! Iggy Toma did a wonderful job with Weston and Anson’s story. Once I settled into the audio I was drawn back into their story and I didn’t want it to end! Iggy really brought out the emotional impacts of this story for me. More so than when I initially read it. Anson and West put me through a rollercoaster of emotions in the best of ways! I felt so connected to these characters from the first chapter, first meeting, and through all the other firsts they shared together. I was so invested in their story I didn’t want to step away! I just HAD to know how it was going to unfold. My heart hurt for Anson at points as he struggled in his feelings for West, I just wanted to give him a huge hug. I love how their friendship developed and how much it changed each man. It was great seeing West’s walls came tumbling down the more his friendship built with Anson. I loved their texts, stolen moments and holy hotness those sexy times!! They had some amazing people in their lives that helped hook me into their world. This was a wonderful story and it packed a wonderfully emotional punch!

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  • BevS
  • 07-03-21

Decent narration, great story

Well narrated by Iggy Toma, whom I have to say, I haven't enjoyed in quite some time...in fact I think the last decent audios *I* heard from him were Carry the Ocean and Shelter the Sea. He has his place [several places in fact] on my 'Awesome Audio Narration' bookshelf with a shedload of Heidi Cullinan stories including the two mentioned above, Love Lessons and Nowhere Ranch, but I did recently return Bat Boy by Christina Lee to Audible cos he sounds much too old now to 'play' a teenager...which seems to be a common problem with narrators nowadays. I still love this story, so 5 stars it remains.

***Book Review ***

My first Riley Hart read in quite some time. it was definitely worth it!! 4.5 stars.

I really liked both MC's, and the secondary characters were great too...excluding West's parents of course. A story full of feels, and yes I admit there were a few tears. You couldn't have found two more caring and committed guys than Anson and West. Why the hell should Anson have to bury himself so deeply in that damned Narnian wardrobe, and forget about living his life out and proud...

Everyone deserves someone to love...period!! Maybe we're in Cloud Cuckoo land hoping that the actual scenario in the story could ever happen; after all, look what happened to Michael Sam when he came out in the NFL back in 2014 [he was treated like a leper is what!!], and it would be exactly the same in our Football Leagues over here in the UK...both the authorities AND especially the fans still seem to live in the Dark Ages, and God knows, they act like cavemen at the best of times. I despair of anything ever changing, and that's why most footballers sadly have to 'come out' after they've retired.

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  • Marty may
  • 06-22-21

Purely exceptional real love story 💕💕

Perfect, beautiful, love. The best thing about this book was that it was real and things weren’t sugar coated! The characters and their arch was brilliant. There was nothing I didn’t like about this book! First I’ve read from this author - I’m now off to plunder their back catalogue 😘