Anson knows that he is gay. He’s known for years, but he’s also known that he can’t act on it. As an NFL player, football is everything to him and Anson needs to keep himself hidden. He plays the game well enough and no one has ever caught on, but hiding from his family and friends is becoming exhausting. The only one to ever see thorough Anson is the good-looking man he sees one night at a bar.
Weston’s conservative parents never accepted him. He worked hard getting through law school and is now a U.S. senator, like his father, but it will never be enough to win their approval. The tabloids love Weston and follow his nights out with the various men he has on his arm, and Weston has no interest in settling down. When he sees Anson one night, Weston wants him, but Anson rushes off, leaving Weston with only a memory and his sunglasses.
When Weston figures out who Anson is, the men connect through texts and they begin to rely on each other. Anson is terrified that someone will find out, but when Weston offers him one night to show him how it can be with a man, how it can be with him, Anson finds it an offer impossible to refuse. Once isn’t enough and Anson begins sneaking off to see Weston whenever he can. But the men live in different states and are both incredibly busy and coordinating their schedules isn’t easy. Both men want more, but Anson has a lot to figure out if he truly wants Weston to be his endgame.
The Endgame is a nod to Anson’s football career and what he ultimately wants. Hart gets Anson’s angst and emotion as he struggles to be a professional football player and acknowledge that he is gay. He hides from himself and he hides from his family and he hides from his teammates and no one knows the real Anson or what he wants. He’s afraid he will lose his family and he’s afraid he will lose his career if he comes out. Anson’s younger brother had a life-altering childhood accident that Anson blames himself for and his inner turmoil is severe. When he meets West, Anson just wants to reach for him, but his fear is consuming.
West often is seen with a different man, but when he meets Anson, West really wants to go after him. The men start texting and video chatting and, while the physical attraction is fierce, their connection grows beyond that. But the obstacles in their way are great in number and size with Anson’s personal struggles, their career schedules, and West’s problems with his conservative parents who have never accepted him. West is a U.S. senator and while how busy he was came through, the focus on being a senator was a little light for how big a part of his life it is.
Anson has so much to process and come to terms with and I appreciated that it wasn’t easy all of sudden for him after a lifetime of hiding, but the middle of the book got too slow for me as he kept struggling. West nicknames Anson “Bashful” toward the beginning of the book and, at first, it was just used in their text messages. But then West starting using it when they were together, both alone and then with other people, as if it was Anson’s name, and with it being in the book about 80 times, as a personal preference it was too frequent and started to pull me out of the scenes instead of drawing me in.
There is a lot the men struggle through in this book, but they do want to be together and their relationship builds throughout their story. If you enjoy Hart’s books, this story definitely has her style written into it as Anson and West reach for a life together.