Into The Team; by Rob Damon—Blog Tour
A Different Kind of Love Story.
Todd, the main character in the novel, has a lot of drive, is optimistic, and chases his dream of becoming a professional footballer with complete focus. Those are admirable qualities, and everyone is inspired by stories of personal achievement.
Into The Team blurs the lines between gay/straight, romance/bromance. And so the idea of a football team, where players must bond with each other, is perfect. Into The Team shows that when men hang up their aggression and turn on their affections, great things can be achieved.
Of course, achieving a dream cannot come without a price, and within the story there are tests the main character must face. How far would he go to not just achieve his dream, but also to maintain it?
The novel takes male bonding to an extreme, and the idea of bromance is pushed further to create something more like romance.
Are the characters in this story gay? Should any of us really care? Love can grow between any two people, male or female, gay or straight.
To honor his father, young footballer Todd Mackerson commits to his goal of playing for a professional team. When, at the age of 20, he is offered a place to train with one of England’s biggest clubs, he leaves home convinced his dream is within reach.
Being warned by his new team mates of the tough rules and hard training routines, Todd is undeterred. But when he discovers that the player’s way of bonding borders on the sexual, and that he must learn to accept the erotic affections that connect the team together, he wonders how far he can go for his dream.
But, after experiencing the care and attention men can give to each other, Todd feels awakened. Learning that each player has a special “partner” on the team, who they play and bond with as intimately as lovers, Todd becomes fascinated with the idea.
And when he develops feelings for one player in particular, he discovers how a stronger kind of romance – that between two men – can be pure and powerful enough to bring magic and success on the pitch.
Publisher: CoolDudes Publishing
Releases Date: September 15, 2015
Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
… The locker room was quiet. It was nearly four PM and the rest of the first team had left after lunch. It felt good to be alone with Kieran, and Todd grew more confident about the guy becoming his partner.
But he was uncertain about what to do. Although he’d suggested the sauna, he wondered if Kieran took that to mean they were going to have some hand contact with each other. Perhaps he’d been through a similar experience with Jason or one of the other players when he first came to the club, and was now taking it for granted they were going to get intimate.
While they stripped out of their gear, they talked about Todd’s parents. He mentioned his father had passed away.
“I’m sorry to hear that.” Kieran stopped half way through taking off his running pants.
“It happened years ago.” Todd smiled, hoping to ease Kieran.
Although it was a moment of sorrow for him, and he detected a pensive slant in Kieran’s voice, he felt positive about the knowledge he’d shared.
Once out of their underwear Todd placed a hand on Kieran’s neck and gave a delicate rub. “Let’s shower before the sauna.”
“You always need a shower after the session.” Kieran laughed. “Get all that sweat off you before you sweat some more.” He rubbed Todd’s back as they walked into the shower room.
Would he need to soap Kieran like he saw Josh doing for Leo? Todd headed to the wall and decided to just wash himself. He needed to get this right, and making a move too soon could blow it.
Kieran showered next to him and they talked some more about what music they liked. Kieran liked the Irish bands like Coldplay and U2. Todd agreed, and added Ash to the list.
“What about American rock?” Kieran asked.
Todd soaped up his legs and tried to remember if he’d heard any recently. Music wasn’t his main interest but he tried to keep up to date. “I like that song which has a bloke screaming about money or something.” He frowned. “The video has him ransacking his bedroom, looking under floorboards and shit.”
Kieran stopped washing and glanced at him with a lost expression.
“You mean ‘No Cash No Hash’?” he asked. “Yeah, the video has him running around his bedroom searching through draws and coat pockets.”
Todd laughed. That was it. The bloke loses it at the end of the video and leaps from his tenth floor flat. “NO CASH NO HASH!” he screamed.
“GONNA SPLASH MY MASH!” Kieran continued. “I AIN’T SEEN NO GREEN! NO HASH NO CASH!” Kieran beamed while Todd laughed.
Seeing Kieran’s eyes, bright and adoring, Todd felt suddenly out of place. Kieran was four years older and yet he seemed like a younger guy. He was the same height as Todd, but his body was slimmer, more athletic than Todd’s tougher frame. He wondered if this meant he had to take the lead in this budding pair process.
“I think we should spend more time training.” Kieran smiled. “We’ll both get each other hot for the game in two weeks and show the boss we’ve got something going.”
The positive tone in his voice lifted Todd’s stomach.
“Yeah, we should.”
His head filled with the two of them on the pitch for the charity game, passing the ball to each other as they ran to the opposite end, dodging every challenge. It could be just like that time when he’d gone to the tournament with his father and met that kid with whom he’d played so well.
“Tomorrow, yeah?” Kieran said. “We can work on our defense. If you can show the boss you’ve got good tackling skills, he’ll probably play you for longer.”
Todd liked that. It sounded like Kieran had been thinking about where his skills needed work.
As Kieran stuck his head under the jet, Todd took a deep breath. Looking down, he noticed his cock had swollen a touch. Although still limp, it had reached the pre stimulation stage, where it felt heavier and appeared bigger than usual. Casting his eyes to Kieran’s, he could see a slight increase in his cock too.
Heading to the sauna they grabbed a towel each. The sauna was a long room with the door at one end. Todd went in first and headed to the far corner. Even though the locker room was empty, and he had no worries about being disturbed, he felt it best to go to the furthest point away from the glass door.
He spread the towel on the bench and sat down. Kieran sat at an angle to him.
“Everyone’s glad you’re on the team,” he said. “We’ve been in need of a new pair of feet for years.”
Todd wondered if that piece of small talk was a sign of Kieran’s uncertainty. “Thanks.”
“I’m glad we talked at Sean’s party,” Kieran went on. “I didn’t get a chance to talk to you last week or the week before.” Looking over Todd’s body his face grew serious. “You should try to lose some weight.” His eyes widened. “Not that you’ve got any fat on you, I just mean that you should try to lose some of the muscle.”
“This is my natural shape. I’ve trained for years on the pitch, done loads of sprinting, and I’ve always been this weight.”
“Try to eat less protein and more carbs…I mean, I think you look good as you are but most players have an athletic build.” He shook his head and looked downcast. “Sorry man, I’m not having a go.”
Todd cast his eyes over Kieran’s body. “You’ve got a good build,” he said. “Do you lift weights?”
“I keep that to a minimum. I think the less weight you carry around the field, the more stamina you have and the better you are at using your body.”
About the Author:
A bachelor of science (Computing), Rob worked as a software developer for over 15 years before turning his full time attention to learning the craft of writing. His love of science drew him into science fiction, but his love of man drew him to the MM genre. With his strategy of thinking differently, he aims to bring something to the market that pushes the boundaries.
Rob was born and raised in Manchester, England. Spent seven years living in London, but now lives back in his home city. Interests include: reading, film, weight training, and learning all he can about people – what makes them tick, what motivates them.
Into the Team is his first published novel.
Where to find Rob: