Six Ways From Sunday (Southern Scrimmage #1), Mercy Celeste
Publisher: MJC Press
Genre: Gay Romance
Tags: Contemporary, Psychological, Angst, Sport, Military
Length: 227 Pages
Reviewer: Kazza K
Great story, great characters, sex, angst, I loved Six Ways From Sunday.
The official blurb for Six Ways From Sunday does a good job of describing this e-book. It isn’t long but I really lived every moment given me. The book is very focused on the two MC’s, Bowen Murphy and Dylan Sunday, from when they’ve finished school and about to move on to the next phase in their lives.
Bo and Dylan are best friends. They live next door to one another. Bo has always thought that he and Dylan would be going to college together, continuing to play football together. It’s what they have always done. But Dylan can’t, his father died leaving Dylan and his mother in a tight financial position. He doesn’t get a football or academic scholarship, so there will be no Bo and Dylan going to college together –
All the way back to pee wee league it had been the same. Bo, the big chunky boy who didn’t talk much, but no one pushed him down. No one pushed Dylan down either. They’d have Bo to deal with. Bo and Dylan. Dylan and Bo. They were a team. A unit. Where one went, the other wasn’t far behind. Except now, Dylan had to stand on his own.
Bo didn’t know quite how hard things were for Dylan and his mother, but now the impact hits home. Dylan’s mum is selling her possessions and the house next door to Bo’s family home and Dylan has enlisted, much to Bo’s shock. Dylan’s father and grandfather have both served and now Dylan knows it is his turn –
“Football is your dream, Bowen. My talents lie elsewhere.”
If he wanted a safe computer job, he would have a different branch of the military. He was born to be a Marine like his father, and his grandfather before him. He was born to serve the way they had.
But before Bo and Dylan leave on their respective paths they let each other know how they feel about one another. And it is more than just friends. Both eighteen year olds are gay and there is a strong attraction and affection –
“Why didn’t you ever tell me?” The words were an imitation of his from earlier, but different. Softer, full of wonder and regret. Bo had no answer besides the obvious. “Why didn’t you?”
It is a time of firsts as the two young men discover each others bodies and feelings. But it is a bittersweet union –
“You’re beautiful. Did you know?”
The one to what? Take his virginity? Fuck him hard and send him off to Afghanistan with happy memories? Because Bo didn’t want just one time. He wanted a lifetime. He’d known as much in tenth grade. But Dylan had never even looked at him. Not like he did now.
Dylan threw is head back and gasped as Bo pulled out. He looked so…what? beautiful? Well fucked? Lying on the floor, his skin flushed and sweaty, his eyes glazed and languid…. Yeah, the most beautiful thing he’d ever seen. Dylan was beautiful after fucking. Too damned beautiful.
And Dylan’s mother discovers them in bed together, and is somewhat shocked. But she deals with it wondering how long the boys have been together. She also wants to know if Bo cares for her son –
Yes, Mom, he loves me. Maybe it’s just stupid high school stuff, maybe it won’t last, but this is what it is. I’m gay. And if Bowen Murphy was female I’d have put a ring on his finger before I left him. But I can’t because this is Florida, and they might not let him play football. His parent’s don’t know. No one knows just the three of us. …
I love him. And I love you. And if anything happens to me I don’t want him left out. He’s family, Mom, and I love you both.
After getting to know one another Bo and Dylan part for over six years with limited contact, other than some email and Skype when possible. But never face to face. Then, when Bo is at the Super Dome for the Super Bowl, Dylan is there with two other Recon Marines. Six years changes you from eighteen to twenty four and both men have come far. Bo, in the NFL and Dylan in the Marines –
“How long are you here for? Please don’t say you’re leaving after the game.”
“I have a week and then I have to report back.”
So both men make the most of the week that Dylan has back home. Re establishing their connection and then some –
“God damn, that is probably the sexiest tattoo I’ve ever seen.” Teeth scraped the bulldog tat on his shoulder. Bo moaned and bit into him….
“Worship the ink later. Make me come, now.”
“Fuck me, Mr MVP, show me what you got.” Dylan wanted everything he’d missed in the last six years and he wanted it now.
Both men reconnect in the week they have when Dylan is stateside and, as men this time around, they fall in love. They have always loved each other, but now they are in love with one another.
There is a lot of intensity in the book from here, Dylan has to go back and Bo doesn’t want him to leave, much like their parting when they were eighteen. This time Dylan says when he comes back it’s for good, his eight years are up –
That’s how long they had. Eighteen months and fifteen days. He’d been counting down since the practice field that morning. He’d keep counting. It’s all he could do. Count down until the day Dylan came home to him, for good. He shoved his face into Dylan’s pillow and howled. So god damned unfair. But now he knew. And he’d wait. When Dylan came home, he’d love him six ways from Sunday.
From here I can’t discuss it further because to do so would to ruin the story. And I do not want to do that.
I loved both Bo and Dylan. I found their chemistry to be palpable – long hair, and the reasons, meaningful tattoos, Fred and Barney, Scooby and Shaggy, Ken and GI Joe. All of it. I enjoyed the combination of a jock and a Marine. It worked really well. I loved the friends to first- time lovers, to men in love. The chemistry and the story helped with the fact that I would have loved more length to Six Ways From Sunday. I would have loved to have followed both men, I understand why this didn’t happen. Having said that, it has depth and it had me blubbering like a baby. There are some timely issues touched on – being gay in professional sport, in the services included – but the book isn’t about those things, they just happen to be a part of the story. There is a fair bit of sex in the book and in true Mercy Celeste style it is HOT. No complaints from me. There is also an epilogue which was very much needed.
If you like friends-to-lovers, angst, some football, and a military man, then I recommend the very well named Six Ways From Sunday. 5 tear-filled stars from me.