The Men of Summer trilogy is an ongoing series and the books are intended to be read in order. This review will then naturally reveal plot points and spoilers for the series.
Grant and Declan wanted to become everything to each other shortly after they met. While the chemistry between them is extraordinary, they also connect with each other on every other level. The world of baseball would be accepting of their relationship, but as teammates, they know it is not a great mix. Grant is playing his rookie year and has a lot to prove, and Declan knows he can’t let his focus waiver from the game. But the men find it impossible to resist each other. When Declan gets traded, they think that is the perfect solution and make plans to meet up in the off season. But when Declan gets to his new team, a familiar face is already waiting for him and it’s one he’d rather not see. Thinking he has no choice, Declan abruptly ends things with Grant.
Grant is devastated. He gave everything to Declan—including his virginity and his heart. Grant has to lock down his emotions and move forward to have a stellar rookie year and to make his dream come true of being an advocate for LGBT youth in sports. Time passes and it seems the men may have another chance, but this time Grant knows that he needs to focus on his career and it’s another blow to their hearts.
The men will remain connected throughout the years, and they are never far from each other’s thoughts, until finally it could be time to have their careers and the relationship they both desperately want as their future.
Winning with Him picks up right after the cliffhanger that ended Scoring with Him. It was devastating to see the issues the men had to deal with and the agony they faced at being apart. The relationship between the men is addictive and the longing and the love they have for each other is definitely worth taking the ride on this one.
The book spans five years from both Grant and Declan’s points of view. Declan has to deal with issues of being the child of an alcoholic and he needs to learn boundaries and we see him work toward that. Grant thought he was ready to be all in, but even though his heart was shattered, he was then able to fulfill his dreams of giving back and being a respected ball player and man.
On the surface, it can seem like the guys should have just been together or stayed together from the start, but their stories are well layered and we are able to see the growth both men needed to ultimately have the relationship they wanted. Throughout all of it, the men are on fire together. Between the pining and the longing and then the inevitable combustion, the men sizzle and crackle and ignite the pages with every interaction
There are many secondary characters here and at one point they are shown in a list structure, kind of rattling off where they are, and I wasn’t familiar with all of the characters and it felt oddly placed and broke the flow of the story for me.
The book does end with Grant and Declan in a great place and this could have been their HEA. I definitely could see more of seeing them settling into their relationship and while there is one more book left, I am prepared that things may just get shaken up once again.