Genre: MM Romance, explicit
Author: Avon Gale
Release Date: November 2015
Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He’s put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.
Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
What I Liked:
So, I’m a pretty huge hockey fan. I’m also quite a big fan of gay romance novels. So this book hit just about all of my buttons. I put off reading it for a while because it’s set in the ECHL, which I really don’t know much about, but once I ran out of other gay hockey romances (and fanfiction) to read, I said, “To hell with it!” and started reading. I only wish that I had read this book sooner.
The characters are so great! My favorite was Lane, who is a hilariously awkward human being. The things that come out of his mouth are so random and weird. In other words, he reminds me a lot of myself. I also love the relationship between Lane and Jared, the rookie and the veteran on different teams. Like I said, this book hits ALL of my buttons.
The hockey action is also really good. There are 3 types of sports themed romance novels:
- Sport is mentioned and character plays, but it really has nothing to do with the plot.
- Sport is mentioned so much, it practically crowds out the romance and becomes boring to people who aren’t fans of that sport.
- Sports plays a part in the story, but is balanced by not sports (character interaction/growth and sexy times)
I’m glad to say that this book falls very firmly into category #3. I think the people who will enjoy this book the most will probably be hockey fans, but even knowing nothing about hockey, the love story and characters are strong enough to make it a fun and compelling read.
What I Didn’t:
Hm…This book was pretty amazing, so I don’t really remember any problems that I had with it. I guess all that I can say is that there is some casual sexism (and possibly homophobia?) in the book, but that’s really par for the course if you want a realistic story set in the sports world. Since one of the characters is bisexual, there is also a brief MF sex scene and talk of threesomes, which I’ve seen some others on goodreads complaining about. I didn’t mind it, but I just thought I’d put this as a warning, seeing as others can find it off-putting.
This book was so much more than I expected it to be. It was fun, funny, and sexy, and the author’s loves of hockey comes across very clearly in her writing. I’m sad that I put off reading this for so long, but I’m really happy that there are already 2 more published books in this series for me to read. If you are like me, and love a good MM sports romance, definitely put this one at the top of your list!
My Rating: 4/5 (Greatly enjoyed, starting the next book immediately!)