Book Five in the International Men of Sports
Two men, two very different sports and one rink—sharing ice has never been so hot.
Olivier ‘Big Bang’ St Pierre is back in his hometown while he recovers from being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Hockey’s a contact sport—still, he didn’t count on the locker room being dangerous. As a professional hockey player, he also didn’t count on it being hard to find ice time. But when a rink shuts down unexpectedly in a winter-sport-crazy town, even being a big name won’t help as people scramble for whatever they can get.
The first time Ethan Campbell hears from the local hockey legend he knew as a kid, Olivier manages to insult both his family’s rink and his new sport—curling. So he’s not exactly receptive when Olivier shows up in person to plead his case. He makes a sarcastic offer…and is shocked when Olivier takes him up on it. Ethan’s bad experience with hockey had left him cold. But soon he and Olivier are burning up the ice.
Ethan is tied to his town, job and family, while Olivier will be going back to Chicago to rejoin his team as soon as he’s able. It can’t possibly last…can it?
Olivier is “out” but not necessarily vocal about it as he’s a professional hockey player. He gets injured and returns home to heal. When the normal rink has problems he turns to a smaller, family owned rink to practice. He finds Ethan there, a guy he knew as a kid, and a wall of resentment.
Ethan is too small to play pro hockey, but he’s got mad skills. He turns to curling for an outlet, but is often ridiculed by the hockey players he envies. When Olivier does the same, he hits him with attitude.
But over time the two come to find that they actually have something special to share if they let the other in.
So… Olivier is quite cute and Ethan is sad about not being able to play hockey and they have great sex but where is the relationship and where is it going? I never really felt the connection between these two beyond the physical. I just didn’t “see” their connection.
I thought the Zamboni sex was hot, but it felt awkward that they couple didn’t ever go on dates or even have sex on a bed til the end.
Olivier was a super neat character – an astrophysisist hockey player and I wished we’d had more interactions with him and Ethan as a couple – taking advantage of that uniqueness that seemed to be just something to say rather than a real aspect of his personality.
I didn’t know anything about curling and got to learn something new, so that was nice, but again it felt like everything was just kinda put out there to “be unique” and not something integral to the characters.
The writing and editing were fine but I didn’t really get a great feeling about these guys as a couple and didn’t even understand where they ended up by the end of the book. Are they moving in together? Doing the long distance thing? They just sort of hinted at things in the future which was very unsatisfying.
I’ve enjoyed TA Chase in the past and I’ll definitely given Devon Rhodes another shot, but I was underwhelmed by this effort.
2.5 of 5 stars
(Copy purchased for review)