Book: On the Brink (In the Zone #0) by Kate Willoughby

Genre: MM Romance, Explicit

Title: On the Brink

Author: Kate Willoughby

Release Date: 28 June 2016

This ARC was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review



Holtzer University junior Hart Griffin won’t let anything interfere with his future as a professional hockey player. No way, no how. He’s the star forward of his college team and a first round NHL draft pick.

One hot night with a male super fan calls into question everything Hart thought he knew about his sexuality and launches him on a soul-searching journey in which nothing is as it seems and his entire world is turned upside down.

What I Liked:

Having not previously read any of the books in this series so far, I must say that I enjoyed this book quite a bit.  I really like that it’s becoming more and more common to find series where the stories are mixed to include MF and MM romances.  All we need now is to throw some FF in there, and I’ll be one happy reader!

Jeremy and Hart were introduced very well here.  You can easily tell why they’re drawn to each other, but they are both facing very different challenges.  Jeremy is comfortable with who he is, but is facing danger and harassment from others.  Hart, on the other hand, is very much in conflict with himself and in accepting that he maybe isn’t straight.  They both help each other to overcome their fears and be happy, even if that happiness might not be exactly what they always imagined it would.

What I Didn’t:

At less than 100 pages, this story is pretty short.  There really isn’t enough time for the characters or their relationship to get fully developed.  It was all a little bit too surface level for me.  I really like long, drawn out, angsty MM sports romances.  I wished that this story had a little bit more heft to it.  Hart, for instance, got over his internalized homophobia issues way too quickly.  If only it was that easy in real life!

Warnings for this book include homophobia (internalized and externalized), a hate crime, and an assault, though the hate crime and assault happen off page.  The story does end in a more HFN rather than HEA, but I’m assuming the HEA is shown later in the series.


This is a prequel to the author’s In the Zone series, which I have not yet read.  This book piqued my interest because I absolutely adore MM hockey romances.  That being said, I really wish that this was a full novel instead of a 95 page novella.  I liked what I got to see of Hart and Jeremy, but I really wish that there had been more time to develop and explore their relationship.  Everything happens very quickly, and Hart gets over his sexual identity crisis a bit too easily.  The rest of the books in this series are MF romances, but I enjoyed this little snippet of the universe enough to continue reading.  Even though these characters are just supporting characters in the other books, I want to see how their relationship changes and grows.  There’s obviously a reason why these two got their own novella!

My Rating: 3.5/5


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