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.
How do you review something you just love so dang much?!
This is one of my all time favorite books. Not just for this year but for all time. It hits all the right notes for me and I can’t say enough good about it.
First, the humor. Avon Gale just tickles my funny bone and I laugh out loud over and over with this story. Lane is ADORKABLE and he says all the (right)wrong things. Humor is tough and it takes someone with good timing as well as a good sense of the absurd to make humor work in writing. Avon has it in spades. Her writing is witty and sparkling and Lane is the perfect example of this.
Zoe, is Lane’s BFF and she’s MAGNIFICENT. God I loved this character. She’s sweet, and funny, and bi-sexual, and tatted up and tender… she helps Lane navigate all those “feelings” that people keep having and it’s both really sweet and super funny.
As someone who knows next to nothing about hockey, I can tell you that Avon managed to engage me enough with the sport that I felt like a “fan” for a minute but I never felt lost or overwhelmed.
There’s some great stuff in here: Good hockey, some Canada humor, a bit of parental angst and some hot, hot, HOT virgin sex with an absolute boatload of feels mixed in with tons of laughter.
But – and this is the most important aspect – the romance is soooo sweet. Jared and Lane together are exactly what romances are made of. They’re guys, but they’re sweet and sexy and sometimes they wrestle – so – you know – awesome!
I literally either bookmarked or highlighted something on nearly every dang page. It’s ridiculous how good this book is!
“…The thing is…. Lane, it’s hard to explain this, but it’s not easy being bisexual. I imagine Jared would get it, maybe? He seems not to be too concerned about that kind of thing, which is maybe because he lives in your world of macho boys with amazing abs and endless references to sucking cock.”
“It’s a nice world, when you put it that way,” Lane said dreamily. “No wonder I wanted to be a hockey player.”
“Does anybody have a problem with [Lane] here sucking dick? Like, a real problem? No one’s stupid enough to think he’s gonna make you gay or something. Right? Homophobic people piss me the fuck off, but I can’t fucking play hockey and not say cocksucker. You might as well ask people in NASA not to talk about space.”
So… I’m recommending this book to fans of gay virgins, geeks, hockey, Canadians, humor, May/December romances and sweet love stories.
I’d seriously give this a 7 of 5 stars if I could… it was really, really amazing.
So the problem with being in love with a book and having read it several, several times is that you have the MCs sort of already voiced out in your head. To me Lane has a distinct voice as does Zoe. The others not nearly as much, except for maybe Riley… When I saw this was in audio format I FLIPPED OUT because now I can listen to one of my favs over and over and over right? Welllllllll – it seriously pains me to say this, but I am disappointed. The narrator simply did not get Lane the same way that I interpreted him. He didn’t get his blabbering or his cluelessness or his ability to put his foot in his mouth over and over… and it shows in how he’s voiced. He did a great job with Jared and I LOVED Ryan. They were just right. But Lane … he’s my guy and I had high hopes for him. Then there’s Zoe. To me the narrator absolutely missed the mark with Zoe. He made her a Southern Belle while I think of her more as a Southern Red Neck with an Education and Attitude. It’s hard to explain, but her accent sounded off to me as well.
Now – don’t get me wrong – I listened to and really enjoyed this for the most part and if you’re new to the story, it’ll probably be great – but I was hoping for something a little different. It’s still a wonderful story and well worth listening to.
4 of 5 stars
Overall 4.5 of 5 stars because the book is so dang good.
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review