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.
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I’m quite late to reading this book but since I’ve just started with all the romance things quite recently, I have quite a bit of things to catch up with. And reading books like this? A huge bonus.
I LOVED Lane. He is just so awkward, and honest, and seriously lacks ANY brain-to-mouth filter. Which makes it a bit difficult when he says all the wrong things to his teammates when coming to the south of the US to play hockey. Not knowing what to do and how to get the team on his good side, he decides to pick a fight with one of rival players. Since Lane is not a good fighter and the other guy, Jared, is, Lane obviously loses that fight. As well as something else – and apologises to his teammates. Which is good. So he gets a roommate…and a love interest.
He makes friends with the local waitress too, Zoe, who gives him milkshakes and makes fun of his non-filtered comments. I loved how she supported him even when he made inappropriate comments (mostly by mistake and sometimes using ‘locker room talk’, which she is REALLY not fond of).
The other person who makes a lot of difference in Lane’s life is Jared. Despite that fight on the ice (or maybe because of it?) Jared feels attraction towards Lane. Jared is careful however, because of the failed ‘romance’ in the beginning of his career. Yet if they resolve all their difference?
And Lane makes difference in Jared’s life. Bitter man who forgot why he plays hockey, was reminded why he loved it. And this results in one great season for him.
I liked how the situation with their respective parents resolve. Lane is afraid that his parents will disown him, while Jared is still bitter that his parents never went to watch his games. This happens towards the end of the book and OHMYGOD I loved it. I just didn’t expect it to happen like that and it was just amazing…as was the epilogue.