After last season’s heartbreaking loss to his hockey team’s archrival, Jacksonville Sea Storm goalie Riley Hunter is ready to let go of the past and focus on a winning season. His new roommate, Ethan Kennedy, is a loud New Yorker with a passion for social justice that matches his role as the team’s enforcer. The quieter Riley is attracted to Ethan and has no idea what to do about it.
Ethan has no hesitations. As fearless as his position demands, he rushes into things without much thought for the consequences.Though they eventually warm to their passionate new bond, it doesn’t come without complications. While trying to financially help Ethan, Riley must hide his family’s wealth so as not to hurt Ethan’s immense pride. For their relationship to work, Ethan will need to learn when to keep the gloves on and let someone help him—and Riley will have to learn it’s okay to let someone past his defenses.
(Book reviewed here previously)
We met Riley and Kennedy in book one – Riley is sort of ambiguous when it comes to his sexuality and Kennedy identifies as straight. They end up rooming together when Kennedy has trouble finding a place to land and Riley likes having a roommate.
They end up becoming really good friends but Riley isn’t sure there might not be some underlying other… to their relationship.
One night things get … interesting… and Kennedy isn’t willing to let it lie. He confronts Riley about what’s between them and this starts their mutual exploration into a relationship beyond friendship.
Avon Gale recently told us on FaceBook that she’s gonna devote even more time to writing – THANK GOD! I think she’s amazingly gifted. Humor is – hands down- the hardest thing to communicate in writing and she EXCELS at it.
“Riley gave him the keys, and Ethan came back with some beer,
a piping hot pizza, laundry detergent, and fabric softener—something
Riley didn’t know about until he moved into his first apartment, because
he’d had to look up how to do laundry on the Internet.
They ate pizza, did their laundry, played Grand Theft Auto, and
watched hockey. Sometimes Riley looked over and caught Ethan
watching him, and vice versa. They both pretended not to notice. It was
clear, unspoken guy language that meant “If we don’t talk about it, it
“Yeah. I mean, come on. This is a sport played by a bunch of guys
who hang around each other and compete all the time. You tell me you
don’t think sex gets mixed up with that, and I’ll make you talk to Lane
about feelings again.”
“How’s being gay going?” Lane asked him at one point, and Zoe
immediately lectured him about ignoring the existence of bisexuals.
Lane listened like a hockey player getting a lecture from his coach and
then turned back to Riley and said, “So?”
Zoe sighed. “This is when I don’t miss you.”
What I loved was that these boys were up front and honest right from the start – no hand wringing and wondering. It felt so authentic. They talked like men/boys and acted like men/boys and as a result the story just felt so natural and plausible. Even though it’s essentially a double GFY which – in theory – is like the storybook unicorn.
There are a lot of feels in this book too – and super hot smexy times – it pretty much has it all!
Of course we get to see more of Lane – who is my personal favorite character – maybe of all time (there are a couple others who rival with him but he’s up there) and we get to see all that sweaty hockey action, as well.
Another proof of a gifted writer (and storyteller) is that someone like me – a non sports person – READS the hockey stuff! And I understood it! Woot!
It can be hard to follow up a great book – sequels get a bad rap – but this absolutely does it’s job and keeps the awesomeness flowing! This is a great follow up to Breakaway – and since that was my all time favorite book of 2015 you know that means something!
I highly recommend this to fans of hockey, sweaty jocks, people with a sense of humor and anyone with more than two brain cells to rub together!
6 of 5 stars
Scott Smith is the narrator from book one and so if you’ve enjoyed book one, you have a fair idea of how his narration is for book two. I enjoyed the fact that he attempted some sort of “New York” accent for Ethan and his family, though I’m not sure exactly which part of New York he’s supposed to be from. His Riley is fairly robotic, which I believe is intentional based on the character. These, by themselves, would be imperfections, but fine if it weren’t for the rest of his narration. He tends to end every sentence on an upswing lilt like every sentence ends with an exclamation mark. He doesn’t modulate his pacing for deep emotion and the humorous parts are done with the same inflection as the touching parts.
While I was absolutely able to listen to this in it’s entirety, it was definitely disappointing, especially since I love this series so very much.
All in all, if you enjoyed the narrator in book one, you will again, and if you didn’t care for him, you probably won’t here either.
3 of 5 stars
4 of 5 stars
Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review