Genre: MM Contemporary Romance, Explicit
Title: Winging It
Author: Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James
Release Date: 20 February 2015
Gabe Martin has a simple life plan: get into the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t include being the first out hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But things change.
Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite—careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport is impressive, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. And Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.
Before Gabe can figure out how to deal, a tabloid throws him out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, his game suffers.
Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate.
He can’t be blamed for forgetting that nothing stays secret forever.
What I Liked:
Of all the hockey romances that I have read (and that number has jumped from 0 to over 20 in less than a year!), this one probably has the best real life NHL references. This book was published 1.5year ago, though, so sadly some of those references are out of date, but I still really appreciate the attention to detail. You can really tell that this book was written by authors who really know and love hockey.
Gabe seemed very real to me as gay professional athlete who is both in nd out of the closet. He knows who he is, is comfortable in his sexuality, and his family/closest friends know, but he isn’t out to the public. I’m sure that this is the reality for many LGBT professional athletes/public figures. I can only hope that when more of them start to come out, they are not treated like a scandal.
Dante was great too. I love bisexual characters. Not everyone in same-sex relationships are gay, and this is important to depict in book/movies/tv! I also love the acknowledgement that men who like aren’t all gay/bi. I mean, Dante does end up being bisexual, but there are, in fact, straight men who like to be rimmed/pegged/fingered/etc! Just saying…
What I Didn’t:
Communication is key! I totally understand where Gabe is coming from, but his lack of communication/relationship skills get SUPER annoying at point. Also, Dante and Gabe getting together was a little bit too easy. Dante’s sexual identity crisis seemed very short. I wish that we had gotten to see into his head instead of only seeing Gabe’s thoughts and feelings.
This book is great! Gabe and Dante have great chemistry and I liked both of them a lot, even if Gabe’s communication issues sometimes made me want to tear my hair out. The supporting characters were also a lot of fun, and I loved all of their crazy hockey knicknames. The NHL references were probably the best I’ve read in a hockey romance, even if over a year later some of them are definitely out of date. This book also has a handy guide of fun NHL facts and a hockey glossary. I would definitely recommend this book. This was one of the first hockey romances I read. I loved it then, and I appreciate it even more now that I’m a huge hockey fan!
My Rating: 4.5/5