Series Review The District Line by CF White
The District Line: Blurbs
Kick Off (The District Line #1)
What happens when opposite sides of the track collide?
East Londoner Jay Ruttman has only ever wanted one thing― to be a professional footballer. But after a disastrous brawl on the pitch gets him released from his pro-Academy, he has to follow plan B and enrolls as university Sports Scholar. Head down, train hard and get scouted is his motto. Until he crashes into the man who might just shoot his dreams out of the park.
Kensington elite Sebastian (Seb) Saunders has only ever wanted one thing―to be a rock star. But his father has other plans for him, including taking the helm of his multimillion-pound new business venture across the pond. Live it up, chase the dream and rock out for as long as he can is his mantra. Until he crashes into the man who might just rock his world off its scale.
Jay and Seb live at opposite ends of London’s District Line, separated by wealth, status, family traditions and their own lifelong dreams. This startling and gritty contemporary romance series sees them both having to overcome barriers, face fears and beat rejection to fight for the love they need to achieve it all.
Break Through (The District Line #2)
Should falling in love really get in the way of your lifelong dreams?
Sebastian Saunders is 3000 miles away from home. Working for his father’s expanded business in New York, he's left behind the music career he craved, the friends he relied upon and possibly the love of his life. In a city that never sleeps, how can the nights cure a broken heart?
Jay Ruttman is in London, throwing himself harder into football and his quest to make it on the professional playing field. Locking himself back in the closet, how can he ever open the door, and his heart, again?
A chance encounter in New York where Jay and Seb rekindle their lost romance sets them both on a path to self-discovery and coming to terms with their past, their present and their future.
This is the second part of the District Line serial, where half-time oranges are swapped for the Big Apple.
Come Back (The District Line #3)
The bigger you become, the harder you fall.
Sebastian Saunders is a rising rock star. Jay Ruttman is a Premier League football player. Their year-long relationship is hot commodity. Hounded by the press and fans alike, the lovers struggle to keep their private lives private.
Flying high in the charts and having Jay by his side, Seb is finally living his dream. But Jay’s new, promising career is threatened when a horrific injury on the pitch has him side lined—not only in the game but also in his relationship with Seb. Jay’s crippling self-destruction spirals out of control, tearing them apart. To move forward, both men must learn to leave their past behind—not so easy when it keeps coming back to haunt them.
Can their hard-fought relationship survive the ultimate test?
This is the concluding part to the District Line series where the full-time whistle could signal an end to their turbulent journey… or is it just the beginning?
Kick Off (District Line Series Book 1)
What happens when a rich bad boy hell bent on rebelling against his father falls for a closeted footballer who lives on the opposite side of the tracks?
Jay has known for some time that he fancies men but both his pursuit of the big leagues and his fear of destroying his family have kept him firmly in the closet. When a past event nearly ruins his chances of playing in the professional league he denies who he is and shuts the door for good on the idea of being an out and proud gay man or so he thinks until he meets Sebastian. Seb has one goal in life, to escape the financial chains his father has placed on him by making it big in the music industry. Despite playing gig after gig, he and his band mates can’t seem to catch a break. Now with the deadline looming on his music career and the promised job in his father’s corporate empire breathing down his neck, the last thing he wants or needs is to fall for somebody. But Jay isn’t just anybody, he’s kind and honest and all the things Seb thought he never could have or deserved. Will the closet continue to keep Jay hostage or will Seb be the catalyst that will help Jay break free? Can Seb somehow manage to avoid the path his father has chosen for him and make his mark in the music world which means he can stay with Jay who has come to mean so much to him? Now, if only the two of them have enough time to figure it all out.
C.F. White begins the District Line trilogy that will trace the path of two very different young men and the obstacles they must overcome in order to be with each other. In this first novel, Kick Off, we see Jay on the cusp of so many things—coming out, a first love, and his first heartbreak. Jay is terrified to step up and admit he’s gay to his family or fellow teammates. As he sees it, everyone knows there aren’t any out and proud footballers in England or anywhere else for that matter so Jay stays hidden and lonely. But Seb is so alluring. He is the antithesis of Jay, confident, out and proud, and seemingly badass. And yet all that hides a wounded and very hurting man who is desperate to just play the music he loves and walk away from his arrogant bastard of a father. But Daddy holds all the purse strings as well as all the band’s music equipment and he also plants the ticking timebomb that is going to change Seb’s life forever. When it all comes crashing down and Seb has no time left, the last person he ever meant to hurt was Jay. But wishes are not reality and it’s not looking like Jay and Seb are going to get their happy ever after.
This novel was incredibly honest—never skirting around the fact that Jay had to come to terms with his sexuality in his own time and, despite falling for Seb, fear is still a key motivator in Jay’s life. It will prevent him from really embracing what he wants and Seb’s father and his demands will do the rest. Poor Seb—he is trapped in a world that he hates but cannot escape. He has been used by those he once trusted and is more cynical than one his age should ever be but Jay manages to break through the wall Seb has constructed around himself and in a short time these two men catch a glimpse of how wonderful life could be if they could shut out the world for just a while. This is not a novel that ties things up neatly—there are a lot of serious questions at the end of this book and I can’t wait to dive into the next in this series. Jay and Seb are meant to be together but the world is determined to keep them apart—now we will all have to wait and see if love really can conquer all.
Break Through (District Line Series Book 2)
Oh how very lovely to see Seb and Jay finally get the love they deserve. From the start of this novel it was totally imaginable that these two were destined to fail. With Seb shipped off to New York to fulfill the contract he made with his bastard of a father and Jay finally landing a chance at the big leagues back in London, fate was destined to keep these two apart. While Jay had his best gal pal, Anna, and his brother, Bryan, to help him through the lonely days, poor Seb is saddled with his ex, Stephen. I really hated Stephen by the end of this novel and was overjoyed to see Seb finally break free of the guy’s hold over him. Honestly the hardest part of this book was the first third where Seb and Jay chose very different ways to cope with the fact that they were apart and not even communicating with each other but still so in love. From a drunken mistake of a one night stand to the machinations of stalker Stephen it was amazing Seb survived and as nightly drinking was his habit it’s no wonder he was on the edge when a miraculous break brought Jay to New York and right back into his arms.
But…Jay was still very much in the closet and even the idea of telling his parents was terrifying, much less making the decision of spilling it to his teammates and the public. Just a few people on the team knew about his sexuality and they were constantly harping at Jay to keep it under wraps and he listened—until he no longer could. He had choices to make and when Seb decided to walk away from everything his father had to offer including considerable wealth and prestige in the corporate world, Jay knew what he had to do. But knowing a thing and doing it are very different.
I love Jay—his fears, his loyalty to Seb, his desire to see the relationship move to the next stage and his commitment to his sport all made him into a working class hero that tugged at my heart. I was devastated when Seb had his drunken encounter and terrified that he would fall into old, destructive patterns with Stephen and lose Jays for good. But Seb drew on the inner strength we all knew he had and came back strong, determined to be honest and open with Jay, no matter how vulnerable that left him.
I am really enjoying the District Line series by C.F. White and this installment, Break Through, was even better than the first book of the trilogy. I cannot wait to sink my teeth into the last one and find out if Jay and Seb can hold on to the love that both crave so greatly and seem to have found in each other.
Come Back (District Line Book 3)
Holy Smokes! This third novel in the District Line trilogy ripped out my heart, stomped on it and then made it all better—what an emotional roller coaster ride this one was! After reveling in the joy of being together and Seb returning to London to move in with Jay, both men begin the herculean task of Jay being out but not really being proud or seen or…well, happy. Still paranoid and being told by the football club to keep his boyfriend out of the press, Jay tries his best to walk the tightrope that has become his personal life. Seb goes along with the media blackout about their relationship but has the occasional slip—one such slip proves to be disastrous for Jay at his next match. After losing it on the playing field, Jay is red carded and must sit out the next three matches which puts him in hot water with the team management. From there it’s a downward spiral that ends with a catastrophic injury and Jay recovering at home, depressed, angry and doubting everything he thought about his and Seb’s life together.
Meanwhile Seb’s career is rocketing to the top and he must balance pushing the band toward success with trying to care for Jay—something that he has never really done before as he is usually the one being cared for. Their relationship begins to crumble—they drift further and further apart and then the past comes back to haunt both of them and it looks like the end is on the horizon for this match made in heaven.
Honestly the miscommunication or lack thereof between these two made me want to shake them both on more than one occasion. Both guys had every right to be stressed but instead of leaning into one another they shut each other out, thinking that would be less stressful for the other. Instead it tore them apart to the point where both of them were considering ending it all at one time or another. Two things had to happen or Seb and Jay were going to go down in flames. First, Seb had to stop pursuing success long enough to realize what he had already accomplished and remember that he was in a band and not a dictator and second, Jay had to come to terms with the fact that he was gay and in a relationship—either he was proud of Seb and what they had or he was accepting the fact that in order to play football he had to remain in the closet essentially and hide his boyfriend there as well. Most importantly Seb and Jay had to trust each other and let go of a past that held them both hostage emotionally.
This novel was so intense—I literally could not put it down. My heart was in my throat for over seventy percent of the book and I was completely drawn into the story C.F. White had created. I can’t believe this trilogy is finished—I will really miss Jay and Seb, their friends and family. I loved the ending of this novel—it was just perfect. This was such an incredible journey to watch—the changes that happened both to Seb and Jay were so needed but painful to watch. However, change is necessary in order to really achieve happiness and if two people deserved to be happy it was Jay and Seb. Watching their lives nearly crumble in this last book was not easy but the payout in the end was so very sweet.
The District Line Trilogy is a marvelous series that follows two men from their first kiss to their happy ever after. It is fraught with pitfalls and angst, real life problems and hard choices but this journey is so worth the taking. I highly recommend this series to you—I hope you love it as much as I do.
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