Scott is struggling. Grieving the loss of his brother, carrying the weight of his father’s expectations, and getting his ass kicked in the rink, he’s in a downward spiral. He needs a solution and fast, but when his steroid use is exposed, he’s close to losing his place at Owatonna and more importantly, on the Eagles Hockey team. Thrown out of his house, with nowhere to go and no future in sight, he only has one choice; agree to mandatory counseling, random drug tests, and get his act together. Only then will he have a chance at normal. Meeting Hayne, a senior connected to the world through his art, is a shock to the system. Moving in with him is his only option, but falling for the shy artist leaves Scott in an impossible situation, and one he can’t escape.
Hayne has always been that quiet, creative kid who sat in the back of class drawing instead of listening to the teacher. A talented artist, the shy and sensitive young man is struggling with the loss of his childhood friend. Seeing his sadness reflected in his usually colorful paintings, he decides to attend grief counseling and meets Scott, a lost soul in desperate need of light and color in his life. Taking in a homeless hockey player certainly was never part of his carefully orchestrated ten-year plan. But now that Scott is in his life, he’s discovering the joy of this man’s loving smile and tender touch is one of the most beautiful palettes on earth.
I loved book one SO MUCH! I love this spin off as a concept. I love the adjustment to YA/NA as far as theme and topics and steam. I love all of it.
Except … this mostly didn’t work for me.
I’m a fan. I’m following the stories including the supplementals and sometimes I was confused about what happened. I think a bit more surrounding the steroid crisis itself would have helped. Then I really wanted to see more of Scott’s recovery rather than hearing about it off page. I also didn’t buy the family turn around – it didn’t feel authentic and though I can totally get behind shiny happy HEAs – it didn’t resonate. These authors aren’t shy about giving us angst and drama – so own it! Let his family continue to be as they are – maybe give us some glimmers of hope? But it felt too cleanly tied up given the amount of fuckery they’d engaged in for the last 4 or so years.
I super loved Hayne’s family and I somehow wanted to know more about them at the beginning. I was having a hell of a time picturing him until the family came to town and gave me a more solid picture.
The evil roommates. I think we needed to either make this more of the story’s central theme or get rid of them. They were a distraction and OTT. (I hope they were OTT – sheesh!) I really wanted Craig to get a lot more smack down then he got as it is. What a Douche Bag!
Finally – I don’t know where these boys are going. I love that Ten et al are able to help them out – but I kinda wanted them to have a more concrete plan of their own.
As it stands we have this sort of mix of “reality” like situation meets total fairy land and it was conflicted and hard to follow at times.
I’m not sure how much of this comes from the 2 authors collaborative efforts or just because the story itself lacked cohesion but I felt it here more than in their other works together.
I’m still a fan and I still can’t wait for Benoit but I was disappointed.
2.75 rounded to 3 stars