Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Genre: contemporary romance
Reviewed by: Alisa
What to expect: A sweet and low angst story about two guys having their first relationship with another man.
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.
I loved this exciting and sweet story of two hockey players falling in love. We met Riley and Ethan in the first book in this series as they were teammates of Lane’s. This story picks up at the start of the next season as the two men end up being roommates. They’re very different personalities but they’re both pretty easy going and their burgeoning friendship is an easy one. With time, they realize they’re attracted to each other and their friendship turns to something much more serious.
I enjoyed the first book in this series but this one I just loved. It exceeded all my expectations (which were high). The romance in this was so sweet. Riley and Ethan were such charming and likable guys. Neither had been in a relationship with a guy before and watching them as they discover they are attracted to each other was adorable. There was no angst, just them feeling their way through things. It was nice to read a romance book where the characters just talk about things rather than creating unnecessary drama. And on a different note, their sexual relationship is smoking hot. Their whole “first time with a guy” is at first sweet but turns to “omg I need a cold shower” in an instant.
In addition to their budding romance both guys have some other life issues going on. I especially liked the path the author took with Ethan. Usually books with athletes have them be these fantastic players whose lives are devoted to their sport. Ethan was a completely different character. He liked the sport but made a lot of decisions that caused him to not play as well as he should and that entire dynamic was looked at in a serious way.
Anyone who knows me knows I’m a big fan of hockey. I love that the author does a great job of including just enough hockey details to make us fans happy but it’s not overly detailed to the point where it would be confusing for those who know nothing about the game.
This was narrated by Scott R. Smith. There’s something about the cadence of his voice that throws me off when I start listening to his books. It takes me a chapter or two to get back in the swing of it. Once I do I end up enjoying his narration. He did a good job on both of the MC’s voices and I enjoyed Ethan’s New Yorker accent (although I do not know if it was accurate or not). I love listening to this series on audio because the game scenes are like listening to a game on the radio (well, on my phone app I guess).
I have no complaints about this book. I thought it was perfect. It was well written, there is an interesting plot, it is sweet, romantic and sexy. This is the second book in a series but can be read as a stand alone. A definite recommend from me.
What you might not like: I don’t think it’s bogged down with hockey game details but then I’m a big hockey fan. It might be too much for readers with no hockey knowledge (although I don’t think it will be).
What you are going to love: It’s about hockey. What’s not to love? Plus it’s both sweet and smoking hot.
Alisa runs the audio review column, Alisa Listens, at Binge on Books. She loves getting stuff done while she reads which makes audio perfect for her!
You can connect with Alisa on Twitter: @bookgirl0702