What happens when the No. 1 college hockey star in the country falls in love—with a man? Nick Johnson, a top prospect for a pro hockey team, has a secret: he’s gay. Tired of living in the closet for the sport he loves, he sees no way out.
Jacob Meyer’s string of bad boyfriends left him cynical about love. Instead, he focuses on his studies as a third-year law student. With a new job waiting for him, he’s eager to graduate and move on.
On a school-sponsored trip, Nick and Jacob meet in a most unexpected way. When Nick tells Jacob his secret, they decide to hang out, just as friends. But their attraction is too strong to ignore, and they soon begin dating.
Since Nick is a big man on campus, it doesn’t take long for people to notice his attachment to Jacob. All hell breaks loose when the relationship gets out. As the national media descends, university officials try to figure out how to solve their “problem.” Their efforts divide Nick’s team, inflame fans, and put Nick and Jacob’s futures in jeopardy. Will the men be able to survive a plot to destroy them without derailing both their careers?
Nice Catching You is an out-for-you romance featuring a lot of love, exciting hockey, and a beautiful holiday. There’s also plenty of steam and a very happy ending.
Publisher: Wainscott Press
Release Date: 10/30/2020
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Length: 84,000 words
Genre: Romance, Gay Holiday Romance, Contemporary Gay Romance, Holiday Romance
Our new book, Nice Catching You: A Holiday Love Story, is a sweet romance about a Nick Johnson, a college hockey star who is gay but closeted. Since he is the top-ranked college hockey player in the country, professional hockey teams are eager to sign him to play. Nick is desperate to come out and find a genuine relationship with a man, but he doesn’t see how that can happen.
One day, Nick meets Jacob, a law student at the same university Nick attends. They connect immediately, and it doesn’t take long for word to get out about their relationship. As the media descends on their school, university officials panic, and chaos ensues. Some people claim Nick’s potential as a professional player has been destroyed, while others say his coming out has nothing to do with playing hockey. Both Nick and Jacob’s careers seem to be in jeopardy as they make their way through the developing drama.
We’re both big hockey fans, and while we were writing Nice Catching You, we got curious about how people might really feel about such a situation. We created a survey and invited thirty people we know in various ways to participate. None of them knew the survey was connected to a book we were writing.
Twenty-four people took the survey, which was set up online. The survey was not scientific, but we did our best to cover the topic. The responses were anonymous, so we have no idea who took part or what any of them said.
Here are the results from some of the questions.
1. For baseline purposes, are you LGBTQ+?
a. Yes: 7/24
b. No: 16/24
c. Prefer not to say: 1/24
2. Do you have the general impression that homophobia is a significant problem in college sports?
Not Sure: 4/24
4. How many openly gay hockey players do you think currently play at the top professional level?
10 or more: 3/24
[Authors’ note: there are, in fact, none]
5. Do you think there would be much media attention if a national collegiate sports star came out?
a. Yes: 9/24
b. No: 5/24
c. Not Sure: 10/24
6. Do you think there would be much media attention if a professional sports star came out?
a. Yes: 20/24
b. No: 1/24
c. Not Sure: 3/24
7. If a top prospect for professional sports came out, do you think he or she would possibly be putting a sports career at risk?
a. Yes: 16/24
b. No: 3/24
c. Not Sure: 5/24
8. What do you think the general public opinion would be of a top collegiate or pro sports player came out?
a. Favorable: 9/24
b. Unfavorable: 12/24
c. Not Sure: 3/24
What do the results tell us? This isn’t a professional survey, and we are not professional pollsters, so we can’t say much. Certainly, most people believe homophobia is a problem in college and pro sports and that a top prospect for a professional team could be putting their potential career at risk by coming out. A high number of those responding agree that either a nationally known college athlete or pro athlete coming out would get a lot of media attention. There is less agreement on what general public opinion would be if a player came out.
One thing is sure—the kind of plot we have in our book would be believable based on the poll results. We hope you’ll read Nice Catching You and let us know what you think about Nick and Jacob’s story.
Sunday, December 4
I haven’t been on many buses, but I was starting to think I might die on this one. The snow began falling before we left Whiteface Mountain early in the afternoon, not unusual for one of the top ski resorts in the Northeast. We were due in Syracuse before six, and I hoped the weather didn’t delay us much. The last week of classes would start the next day, and I had work to do.
The snow was coming down hard, and by the time we reached I-87, I could see very little out the window. Many of the cars had pulled over to the side, and others were creeping along with their hazards flashing. Our bus joined the traffic and immediately began slipping all over the road.
With fifty-odd college students on the trip, there had been a lot of noise when we left the resort, but nerves had soon taken over, and people were mostly quiet now. I sat alone, three rows from the back of the bus, trying to read a case for Federal Courts. With only one more semester of law school to go, I needed to do well. A big firm in Boston offered me a job right before Thanksgiving, contingent on my maintaining a 3.8 GPA. Pulling a C in Fed Courts would bringme slightly under the requirement. Although I had high hopes for a job in DC, I couldn’t risk losing the Boston offer.
Between the bus sliding in the snow and the constant chatter from the guys in the seat behind me, I couldn’t concentrate at all. They were hockey players, and they kept up a conversation about the game, other players, cars, and whatever else dumb undergrad jocks talk about. They were the only people behind me except for their friend, who was passed out on a seat in the back.
Whoa! The rear end of the bus lurched violently into the left lane. I tried to grab something to hold onto, but I was already airborne by the time I dropped the heavy casebook. Hands grabbed my shoulders but didn’t slow my momentum. Dreading the impact with the seat across the aisle, I screwed my eyes shut and held my breath. All at once, something stopped, rather, someone stopped me, and that someone had brawny arms and a hard body. He’d caught me in midair.
“You all right?”
“What?” On my back in the man’s arms, facing the top of the bus, I couldn’t see much. I turned my head, trying to find out who had hold of me.
I craned my neck in the other direction just as he leaned over, and it was—shit!—one of the hockey guys who’d been sitting behind me. I’d seen him over the weekend with his buddies, at least one of whom had laughed at me the whole time. Now they’d laugh even harder, and I’d be known as the skinny little runt who couldn’t even stay in his seat—the twit who had to be rescued by a real man.
Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood met in law school and were married in 2017. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh enjoy travel, friends, and advocating for causes dear to their hearts. Ryan also loves to swim, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. The romance they were so lucky to find with each other inspires their stories about love between out and proud men.
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