Carson Cress is the most invisible man on the Everson University campus. That’s not to say everyone doesn’t see the gorgeous star quarterback destined for the NFL, though. It’s to say that no one sees Carson as anything but the gorgeous star quarterback destined for the NFL. Carson Cress is the young man who fell asleep inside himself, and Carson-The-Jock is the façade he shows to the world because that seems to be all the world is interested in seeing. It’s not until a kiss awakens the Carson who is meant to be that he can become the Carson who is loved for someone other than who he seemed destined to become.
Being courted by the media, adored by the sycophants, catered to by the awe struck who hope for nothing more than a little bit of Carson’s cachet to trickle down to them, underestimated in his intellect, and living a life that’s been expected of him, a life he’s been groomed for rather than the life he expects to live for himself, hasn’t accustomed Carson to hearing the word “no” very often…if ever. The one sure thing this semi-charmed kind of life has prepared him for, though, is to take risks because taking risks means being in charge, although sometimes those risks aren’t for the better but the worse.
Carson Cress is a force with which to be reckoned, in his own subdued way. He is a fury like a force of nature when he homes in on what it is he truly desires; he is the calm in the eye of the storm; he is the passionate storm in the eye of his beholder, Vincent Wade, the one who dared to tell Carson “no”, the one who dared to challenge Carson to wake up and live rather than merely to exist, the one who is overwhelmed by the intensity with which Carson Cress wants and needs, the one who is loved breathtakingly when Carson refuses to take that “no” for an answer. Vince is the one who touches Carson and makes him feel—everything, everywhere, in every way—for the first time in his life.
Vince is the dreamer who dreams of things bigger than himself. But he is also the young man who has a difficult time dreaming of and believing in a reality in which the kind of love Carson shows him is a kind of love on which he can build a future, because it’s the kind of love that, once you’ve experienced it, you know you’ll never be able to live without. It is a defining kind of love that changes the rules, the kind of love that makes you want things you never imagined wanting before, the kind of love that makes you more because it’s the kind of love that makes you whole.
Steamroller is a gorgeous story about not letting life happen to you but reaching out and grabbing hold if what it is that will make your life happen for you.
It is a story told in Vincent Wade’s voice, but that voice is the architect of Carson Cress, it is the voice that allows the reader to see Carson for who he is when Carson isn’t so sure himself. Vince becomes the compass by which Carson sets his course, especially when the course of the journey changes, a journey that seems guaranteed a long and passionate life. This is a consummate romance, the sort of love about which Shakespeare wrote when he said, “Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs.” And when the smoke clears, it’s a fire that burns hot and bright and leaves something new for the two men in its wake.
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