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The Second Half: A Gay American Football Story by Scott D. Pomfret

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The Second Half: A Gay American Football Story by Scott D. Pomfret

Book Info

About the Author
Scott D. Pomfret is author of the novels
The Second Half (Lethe Press June 2016),
Only Say the Word (Ninestar Press May 16, 2016),
The Hunger Man (NinestarPress June 2016), and the recently released collection of short Stories You Are the One (Ninestar Press April 4, 2016).  
Past published works include
Since My Last Confession: A Gay Catholic Memoir (Arcade 2008), the Romentics-brand gay romance novels (LooseID Press), the Q Guide to Wine and Cocktails,
and dozens of short stories published in, among other venues, Post Road, New Orleans Review, Fiction International, and Fourteen Hills. 

Scott is lucky to be able to write from his tiny Boston apartment and even tinier Provincetown beach shack, which he shares with his partner of fifteen years, Scott Whittier.
Publication Date
June 12, 2016
1590215222 (ISBN13: 9781590215227)
Division I college football coach Peyton Stone has a secret. It’s not so much that he’s gay. It’s that he’s fallen in love with his older Iraq-War-vet-turned-starting-QB Brady Winter. Willing to deny himself for the sake of the Golden Eagles football team, Peyton focuses helping his team score touchdowns, but when he discovers the attraction is mutual, he jumps in with both feet.
For each, the stakes are high: bowls, limelight, press, and the NFL. But Peyton and Brady find time during the season to carve out their own private and sexy refuge. Only jealous whispers force the head coach to see what he didn’t want to see and he tears the two apart. It’s only when Brady’s war injuries threaten his health that Peyton reluctantly returns to the team -- under cover! The two concoct a plan to pass off Peyton as Brady at the bowl game, thereby preserving Brady’s health and perhaps earning a national championship. Will anyone notice the difference? Does anyone really want to? Most of all, can the pair’s sense of honor outlast the deception?

Editor review

1 review
The Second Half Reviewed by Christopher Stone
(Updated: June 30, 2016)
Scott D. Pomfret is much too talented to spend his time developing gay clichés into novels, and yet that is exactly what he has done in The Second Half, one more entry into the overcrowded canon of gay coaches and/or nerdy students in love with the quarterback. 
That’s why I’m giving Pomfret’s athletic outing only three stars, overall. Was I rating plot, storytelling skills, and a masterful character development separately, then I would hang five stars around the author’s well-deserving neck. Pomfret’s’s characters are a multidimensional, complex, quirky, and fully realized; more the pity they are unfolding a gay tale as old as LGBTQ publishing. 
Here we go: Peyton Stone is the closeted, troubled young Division 1 football coach at Ohio Southern University. Peyton’s young life is a study in regrets: He laments being raised without a father and by a crazy, opinionated, possessive mother. He agonizes over his inability to come to terms with his sexual orientation, and he sorely regrets blowing off the opportunity to become a professional football player. 
As for his lost opportunity to go pro, Peyton simply lacked the killer instinct that separates the college players from the pigskin professionals. According to Peyton’s former college coach that killer instinct amounts to “wanting something so much that you would rather die than go without it.”
And then there is Brady Winter, a former combat marine, now the boy-who-has-everything quarterback Peyton coaches, and with whom he is enamored. The handsome, sexy, charismatic Brady is the guy every other guy wants to be, and the stud every woman wants to be “under.”
But for all the blessings life has bestowed upon Brady Winter, being the son of one, Lieutenant Colonel Norman Winter, Retired, is not really one of them. Colonel Winter is old-school military, with conservative beliefs belonging more to the John Wayne generation than to his own. His expectations for his son amount to unreasonably high hopes.
And Brady’s father has an uncanny knack of making people feel as if they have owe him. That was Peyton’s take away when, two years ago, in recruiting Brady, he submitted to an inquisition by the Colonel. The retired Colonel grilled Peyton like a cheese sandwich on defensive philosophy. Before their meeting ended, the youthful coach had promised Colonel Winter, “I’ll take care of Peyton, sir. You can be sure of that.”
But Peyton’s vow of protection had included sexually seducing the youth, but that is exactly what he desires.
Peyton may have lacked the killer instinct for going pro, but he has it in spades as regards his lust for Brady Winter. 
Fate lends a hand. As it happens, Brady is the one who makes romantic overtures in Peyton’s direction. 
Or does he? The smitten, closeted coach is unsure whether Brady’s flirting is real, or simply the products of his overactive imagination working in tandem with his intense desire for the quarterback.  
There is so very much about which Peyton Stone is uncertain. It does not help that he is a loner; one in short supply of self- awareness. 
Peyton keeps to himself because he is terrified that if he allowed anyone to know him well, his sexual orientation would become public knowledge, and he would come undone. Perhaps Peyton’s aloofness is why Head Coach Hackett, a loud-mouthed macho pig of a man, has never liked him. 
Among the things Peyton dislikes is Preacher, the nickname given to him by the team after he assumed a quasi-religious, born again persona in order to avoid their bull sessions with the other coaches about what it is like to bang the team’s cheerleaders. 
So we arrive at a point that dozens of gay novels have reached before The Second Half: Young coach is crushing big time on the football hero, but so very many problems stand in the path of true love’s way. Still this shopworn setup shines because of Pomfret’s is masterful way with character development. 
The author’s best work in The Second Half unfolds in the book’s second half, after plot and players are fully established, and he carries us back to Brady’s bloody tour of duty in Iraq. What we learn explains the patina of aloofness, sadness, and mystery that dogs the happy-go-lucky quarterback when the game ends and he leaves the field.
At one point, Coach Peyton Stone is poised for a second chance at a professional playing career. But even before he tries out, someone spreads gay rumors about him, possibly putting the kibosh on a pro career redo. That someone is a jealous, treacherous queen – one who has been masquerading as a confidant and friend. 
If you are interested in reading yet another young coach loves his beautiful quarterback saga, then you could do a lot worse than The Second Half; but, all things considered, you can’t do much better.

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