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Rupert Smythe is fond of many things. Callum Morrison isn’t one of them.
Rupert is a quiet, thoughtful business man and, sadly, a total wimp. Maybe not the ideal candidate to run a professional hockey team, but he signed on to do it anyway. As his life has reminded him on an almost daily basis since, this isn’t the most brilliant idea he’s ever had. And that was before Callum showed up.
Being in the spotlight is just part of being a professional athlete, but Callum needs a break. He arrives in Moncton unannounced, determined to help grow the team he just bought, and under the assumption he’d be welcome. Possibly he should have tried to make a better first impression.
Callum figures he can push through the rest of the summer, never expecting two kids, a host of friends, and his growing feelings for Rupert to derail everything he has ever believed about what he wanted, and what he could have.
(Book 2 of Mike and Alexei’s story is here: http://openskyebookreviews.com/checking-it-twice-by-samantha-wayland/
This was previously reviewed here: http://kimichanexperience.com/home-and-away-by-samantha-wayland/)
Rupert is a co-owner of a hockey team, but deathly afraid of hockey players. He is forced to work with them on a daily basis and manages well enough until Callum, the brother of the other co-owner bardges his way into his life when Garrick (the brother) is called away.
Callum is an in-the-closet hockey player and gruff on a good day, insufferable on his worst.
When Rupert’s little brother goes missing and is subsequently found, Callum rushes in to help Rupert collect him and then get him set up in his new home.
Callum comes from a large family and is great with kids, Rupert is an only child and raised by nannies. Together they make a great team helping poor Oliver acclimate to his new life. While doing so, what started as enemies morphs slowly into lovers.
Callum has never had a boyfriend, only hook-ups, he can’t come out because he fears there is no room for a gay hockey player in the NHL.
Rupert knows his time with Callum is on borrowed time but can’t help falling in love one day at a time with the gentle giant.
This book is so rich and full of emotion. I fell in love! There are so many layers. Callum is essentially a virgin – it’s been four years since he’s been intimate with anyone (for a specific reason) and never has he had more than a hook-up in a bar.
Rupert is growing through his own painful past experiences with large men and has no experience being a father.
Oliver is a four year old who was essentially abandoned by his uncaring mother and spends the first several weeks mute.
Christian is a boy Callum and Rupert meet through a Scout service skate lesson. He’s twelve, believes he’s gay and is the only son of a very homophobic drunk.
From Samantha’s previous book, … Net (see review on this site), Alexi and … show Callum how safe it can be to be gay and a hockey player.
There are some very obvious plot holes and some things that you just have to suspend your disbelief – but the slowly building love story and the heart warming relationships that develop between Oliver, Callum, Rupert and Christian are amazing.
The dialog is witty, Samantha does an excellent job of showing and not telling and the secondary characters are just as rich and well developed as the primary characters.
I cannot recommend this highly enough, even to those of us non-hockey fans.
Though it is a standalone, I highly recommend reading Crashing the Net first because it adds a bit to the back story and it’s a really good book! (Reviewed on this site previously.)
6 of 5 stars
Copy Purchased for Review