It’s been six years since Jay Ruttman, striker for the West Hams, proposed — publicly, foolishly, romantically, and wholeheartedly — to Sebastian Saunders, front man for the world famous band, The Drops. Six years since Seb agreed, and the resulting kiss was plastered over every magazine, newspaper, and tabloid. And now, finally, after six long years … same-sex marriage is legal in the UK and Seb and Jay are determined to have their happily ever after.
Adding to their good news, Ann, Jay’s best friend and high school girlfriend, had agreed to be a surrogate for them and now, after expensive treatments, stress, and two heartbreaking attempts … she is finally pregnant. Jay and Seb are going to be fathers!
However, when Jay’s agent calls him into a meeting, he never expects to be called on for the national team … until he is. But what should be yet another moment of joy turns sour as he’s told, flat-out, that he can only join the National team if he doesn’t marry Seb. At least, not yet. Not until after the Cup in Brazil, because not every country is so open-minded as to be welcoming to an out and proud player. For Jay, who has sacrificed so much to be with Seb, who came out publicly, who nearly lost his his career before it started when a homophobic player went for his knee, who loves Seb with all his heart … he faces choosing between his career and the man he loves.
Extra Time is not a stand-alone story. It’s more an enchanting epilogue to the District Line series, which is a heart-breaking and heart-warming story about two young men from opposite sides of the tracks, with completely opposing personalities, coming together to find strength in one another. Jay makes Seb want to be a better person, and for Seb, Jay will be every inch the hero his boyfriend thinks he is.
This story gives us a chance to revisit Seb and Jay now that they’re in their 30s, having had success and happiness and love. Watching Jay struggle to make the choice to delay the wedding — a year, it’s only a year or so –is painful. After all, Seb went to New York, didn’t he? So why shouldn’t Jay for once take a chance on his dream to play for the National team? He’s getting older. He won’t be playing at a competitive level for much longer, and this is probably his last chance.
His conversation with Seb is heartbreaking because he knows, Seb knows, we know, that if Seb said me or the game, Jay would choose Seb in a heartbeat. And for Seb, to know that, to know that he could keep Jay with him, that Jay would probably forgive him for it, and yet … it’s Jay’s dream. To see everything that had, previously, been shining with a radiant glow start to grow dim and tarnished, to see every star Seb ever wished on slowly start to fall from the sky …
If you haven’t read the original trilogy, you’ll miss the impact of those blows. You’ll miss feeling the honest joy when things go right, or the personal pleasure I had in seeing how Seb and Jay had grown into themselves without losing themselves. What can I say? I love this series, and I loved this glimpse back into their lives. If you enjoyed the District Line books, you’ll enjoy this.