Angels of Mercy – Volume One: Elliot

His Summer of Love

by SA Collins

Elliot - S.A. Collins - Angels of Mercy
Editions:ePub - First Edition: $ 3.99
ISBN: 0692399739
Kindle - First Edition: $ 3.99
ISBN: 0692399739
Paperback - First Edition: $ 14.99
ISBN: 978-0692399736
Size: 6.00 x 9.00 in
Pages: 544

On the cusp of his senior year at Mercy High, Elliot Donahey, an out but terminally shy gay young man who keeps to the shadows – never wanting to be seen or noticed – suddenly finds himself in the arms of the highest profile jock on campus, local star quarterback, Marco Sforza. Their lives, and those closest to them will never be the same.

Set against the backdrop of competitive sports, this character study work (the first in a series) deep dives into the lives of these young men who each must "play the game" so Marco can play the game he loves. They are just trying to find some small slice of happiness to call their own amidst their hellish final year of high school.

This book is on:
  • 2 To Be Read lists
  • 2 Read lists

Oh yeah, I should probably fess up here – not like you had to work hard at it, I’m sure: I’m gay. Get over it. I have. Not like it means much – cue the static loudspeaker announcement: Whoop! Whoop! Virgin alert on the sales floor ladies and gentlemen. I mean, it’s not like there’d been any takers. I once thought maybe my best friend, Stephen Lowry, who’d been my best buddy since my elementary days would entertain being my first boyfriend. But after 2.67 milliseconds of deep consideration by said pre-pubescent boy, probably due in part to any lasting loyalty Stevie had for me as a friend, he said no. We don’t talk much now, if ever. But the boy in front of me here at the Q, this boy, I always dreamed would be in front of me.


Marco Sforza, the star quarterback of my high school varsity football team, the Mercy High Avenging Angels, was standing at the counter with a look of trepidation and awe as he gawked in enraptured glazed wonder at the backlit menu above me. I was silently thankful that my long straight raven bangs (homo-aesthetically bleached with white tips along the fringe, thank you very much), fell across half of my face, so I only had to concentrate on keeping one of my silver blue ice-like eyes schooled, thereby keeping my faux teenage non-committal cool intact.

Yeah, here’s the deal – I’m not very good at getting my body to do what my brain thinks is a good idea. So instead, I mumbled the first thing that popped into my head.

“Wow … fucking sex-on-a-stick Marco.”

My eyes widened to where I thought they’d pop from their sockets as I felt my face flush eight shades of red because I realized I didn’t just think that – my fucking mouth got ahead of me again and it just spilled out.

Way to go fuck yourself, douche bag! Fuck, I was a dip-shit moron. Seriously, my own worst fucking enemy!

This seemed to bring him out of his mesmerized stupor from the offerings glowing above. That husky baritone voice went straight to my dangly bits when, at last, the heavens parted, the glow from that perpetual halo that surrounded his head glowed brightly, and he spoke.

“Hey, uh, Elliot, right? We go to the same school?”

I mean, could more golden and breathtakingly brilliant words ever be spoken? He was such a fucking genius. I nearly fainted – found I had to grip the counter a bit harder than I thought just to keep my legs from giving out underneath me. I know, I know – googley-eyed teenage girl, much?

Reviews:Samjo on Rainbow Gold Reviews wrote:

Elliot is a senior at Mercy High. He has learned over time that it’s easier to hide in the shadows than deal with the bullies. When not at school, he is busy working at his family’s restaurant.

One afternoon, Elliott is taken by surprise when the door to the restaurant dings and in walks Marco, the guy he has crushed on for years. When Marco admits that he is there to see him and that he wants Elliot to go out with him, he knows it has to be a joke. Why else would the star quarterback try this.

Marco is determined to convince Elliott that this is real. When Elliot decides to give Marco a chance, their love story unfolds.

They are sweet, loving and devoted to one another. However, being gay and sports don’t mix real well. Therefore, they decide that they need to hide their relationship till football season is over. This isn’t a simple task. Can two people from two different worlds come together without any fall out? Is their love strong enough to survive?

I really enjoyed Angels of Mercy: Volume One. I like that it was a longer novel. It wasn’t rushed nor did it feel like it was dragging on. I loved seeing these two boys’ relationship grow. Elliot accepted he is gay a long time ago, but it wasn’t until Marco that he was able to open his eyes to see how truly beautiful he is. I loved how Elliot is Marco’s world. Marco would walk through fire to keep what they have. This does end in a cliffhanger like we are warned in the synopsis. Good news is book 2 is already out, so like me you can continue on without pause.

If you like a mm love story that centers around football and has real life obstacles to conquer then Angels of Mercy by SA Collins is a must read.

Jayne Lockwood on Goodreads wrote:

I won't bore you with a precis of the book. That is what the blurb is for, and every author sweats blood trying to get it right. So read that instead.

What I will say is that you won't forget Elliot in a hurry. He's the snarky gay high school kid, fiercely intelligent and articulate, who falls for the school jock, delectable Marco Sforza, but anyone expecting a full-on cute gay romance might as well give up here. This is a minutely detailed character study of a young man who isn't afraid to own his sexuality, but watches how everyone else acts with a gimlet eye, peering alluringly out of his Gothic bangs. At first his voice seems to be that of a man much older than he. Among the totally convincing teen speak are some acerbic observations about how gay men are treated in America, and by their own families. But think about it. The concept of the articulate teenager shouldn't be totally alien - Catcher In The Rye anyone?

I'm not suggesting Elliot is in anyway like Holden Caulfield. He is an engaging, funny, sensitive boy that I challenge you not to want to hug IMMEDIATELY. The author's writing is deceptively easy to read, with a literary, lyrical style. His depictions of small-town American life and school are timeless. Ditch the modern day technology and it could have been written in any decade. It oozes Americana without being twee, and charts the highly-charged relationship between Elliot and his border-line obsessed boyfriend with deft affection and accuracy.

The book also possesses other engaging characters, more than cyphers, who add colour and relief when the Elliot/Marco story needs to be balanced out. I loved Elliot's sympathetic but mystified mom and Marco's group of hangers-on. The dialogue is witty and totally convincing.

And now the elephant in the room - the CLIFFHANGER - I say stop bitching about it. If you've read all the way through this chunky read, it means you've already committed to finding out more about Marco and Elliot. By then, they will have wedged themselves firmly in your consciousness. Have faith and stick with it. This author knows his stuff, and I have every confidence that his next book will be just as vivid and stimulating as this one.

While each book in this series ends on a cliff hanger, the next book in the series quickly moves to answer those questions posed at the end of the previous book. Volumes 1, 2 and a companion novel to Volume 2 (Phoenix in the Fire) is out now. In March 2017 I will be releasing a prequel book set (Angels of Mercy - Diary of a Quarterback Part 1: King of Imperfections, and Angels of Mercy - Diary of a Quarterback Part 2: Prince of Mistakes) which forms the backstory between the two main protagonists of the series. Volume Three will be released at the end of 2017 which will complete the entire Angels of Mercy series as I originally envisioned it.

About the Author

SA "Baz" Collins hails from the San Francisco Bay Area where he lives with his husband, their daughter and wonder of all wonders, a whirlwind of a granddaughter. A classically trained singer/actor (under a different name), Mr. Collins knows a good yarn when he sees it.

Mr. Collins specializes in character study work. It is more important for him as an author that the reader comes away with a greater understanding of the characters, and the reasons they make the decisions they do, rather than the situations they are in. It is this deep dive into their manners, their experiences and how they process the world around them that make up the body of Mr. Collins' work.

This is Mr. Collins foray into writing but, as with all his creative endeavors, he leaps right in and figures it out as he goes along. It's been a winning combination thus far so why break a working formula?

Baz also runs the popular WrotePodcast with Vance Bastian and roving reviewer Jayne Lockwood. Released weekly on Friday, it is available iTunes, GooglePlay, Stitcher, Soundcloud and other points of distribution across the net.

Leave a Comment