Book: Linemates by Van Barrett

Genre: MM Romance, explicit

Title: Linemates

Author: Van Barrett

Release Date: April 2016

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Summary: 

Callan Jones is a bright new hockey star having the time of his life — and the hard-hitting, goal-scoring, trash-talking winger has the whole league riled up in a hissy-fit. Only one thing could ever trip up the invincible youngster: the fact that he likes guys. Good thing he’s managed to keep that secret under wraps …right?

Ever since Tyler Vance lost the Cup by a goal, his team’s been caught in a downward spiral — with him at the helm. The fans gossip that the captain’s heart isn’t in hockey anymore. Who knows? Maybe they’re right.

A shocking trade between two bitter rivals takes the hockey world by storm. Now it’s up to Vance to make sure Jones fits in with his new team. Will the truth about Callan’s trade come out? And will it have the power to change everything?

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IRL: My Personal Adventures in Hockey

I have not always been a hockey fan.  In fact, I’ve actually been a hokey fan for less than a year!  But, I never do things by halves, so when I became a hockey fan, I became a hockey fan.

My journey to the sport actually started with either romance novels or fanfiction, I can’t remember which.  Luckily, this was just a few weeks before the 2015-16 NHL preseason began, so I had time to learn more about the game.  And by more, I mean everything, because I knew nothing.  Hockey isn’t a big sport in Southern California, though it’s popularity is growing all the time thanks to having two good teams.

Despite living near two hockey teams, I chose to cheer for the Chicago Blackhawks.  I was partially influenced by their popularity (so much info/videos/pictures/fanfiction) and their success (3 cups in 6 years!), but the biggest factor was actually that my boyfriend is from Chicago and is a Blackhawks fan.  I figured that it might be nice to have a sports team in common, since we support different baseball teams (at least our teams aren’t rivals!).

But then, somehow, I fell in love with the Pittsburgh Penguins.  I still love the Blackhawks, but the Penguins quickly became my #1 team, even though they weren’t having a great season (lol).  My boyfriend was awesome enough to take me to both a Blackhawks at Kings game AND a Penguins at Ducks games.  My teams lost both games (because of course they did).  But it was still amazing and so much fun.

For non-hockey fans (who probably aren’t reading this, but whatever), the Penguins fired their coach a few games after the game I went to and hired a new one.  They ended up winning the Stanley cup!  And my mom, who is baffled by my choice of hockey team, thinks that I should probably pick out lottery numbers because I’m obviously lucky (I’m really not).

During this, I started ice skating.  I hadn’t been in years, but I loved watching how easy the players made it look.  It’s not easy.  I have good balance, but skating is actually really, really hard.  I bought a pair of skates and started going to my local rinks at least once a week.  I watched many, many YouTube videos on edges and stopping and skating backwards.  It felt amazing to be doing something physical for once, instead of just sitting around the house.

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Me at the rink!

 

I broke my left wrist  on December 19th.  I was turning from skating forwards to backwards and fell.  I got up, got off the ice, and knew pretty much right away that it was broken.  My visit to the doctor the next day confirmed it.

I was back on the ice 5 days later.

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December 24, 5 days after breaking my wrist.
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December 21, January 11, and January 25

 

 

In April, I went to an adult learn-to-play clinic at a local rink.  It was 3 weeks long, and they gave us loaner equipment and beginning instruction.  And I learned that hockey is a LOT harder than just being able to skate!  I had so much fun that I knew this was something I wanted to keep doing.

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Learn to play clinic

 

So…I got my own gear (some new, some used, so expensive!!!) and signed up for the rink’s rookie league.  My team has played 7 games.  We lost the first 6, but yesterday, August 6th we finally won!!!  It felt so amazing!  And I even registered my first point: an assist on the game winning goal!!!

So, this isn’t the type of thing I normally post, but I just thought that I’d share.  One thing I love about books is that they can introduce you to brand new things that you never knew about or didn’t think you’d be interested in.

Without books and reading, I never would have discovered hockey.  I wouldn’t have experienced going to live NHL games or seeing my team win the Stanly Cup, and I definitely wouldn’t be a hockey player!  Once again, reading has opened up my world in a new way and made my life so much better.

I hope that your passion for reading leads you to find other passions as well!

Here’s a list of all the hockey romances that I’ve reviewed on this blog so far: