Rookie forward Isaac Rivera is still finding his footing in the big leagues where he’s no longer the best player on the roster. It’s a whole new world, especially now that several of his hockey idols have become teammates. Friends, even.
There’s one who’s more than a hockey idol, though… and he might end up being more than a friend.
Julien Landry is a powerhouse on the ice. In eight years, he’s become one of the league’s top defensemen and the heartthrob everyone wants to bed. But fallout from a painful mistake as a rookie, followed by years of rough-and-tumble hookups, have him itching for something more.
When a connection sparks between him and Isaac, he discovers what he’s been missing: someone he can trust with his body and his heart. As long as Isaac and Julien keep the heat between them off the ice, what could go wrong?
But Julien’s past is never far behind him, and when it comes crashing in, he might lose everything—his career, his friends, and the first person he’s ever really loved.
CW: discussions of past abuse and sexual assault
I’ve always been a fan of LA Witt. And I’ve enjoyed Anna Zabo’s books. So match made in heaven, right?
Well…yes, mostly. Let’s dig.
LA Witt has been known to have increasingly long books. And that’s fine. Sometimes a story needs 100 pages to be told. And sometimes it needs 400 pages. And while this one clocks in at over 500 pages, it really didn’t have to.
There is A LOT of hockey in this book. “But, Erin, of course there is! Both main characters are hockey players!” True, true. But there are descriptions that go pages about plays, what happened during the game, where the puck went, etc. Play by plays of a fictional game that I really don’t think added anything to the story.
What I can see is the passion both authors have for the game. And I commend that. But I just wish there wasn’t so much of the game play that had my eyes glazing over a bit. Admittedly, I am not really a hockey fan. But I have read plenty of books featuring hockey. And I’ve enjoyed them. But I also wasn’t immersed in hockey.
Ok, moving on.
Beyond the above, I kind of loved the whole dynamic going on. The seasoned players kind of taking the rookie under their wings. Also Julien has different reasons for doing that. And his friends know he has different reasons, but they are cool with it.
Isaac is totally star struck and trying not to be. He had posters of Julien on his bedroom walls. Now he is not only playing on the same team as him, but apparently they are friends? Until Julien passes him his address.
Although unrealistic, I loved that being gay in hockey wasn’t a huge plot point. People knew Julien was gay (or bi? sorry, can’t remember) and it was no big deal. No big announcements really. They kept their relationship on the down low, not because they were two men, but because they were two men on the same team and one was a rookie.
There’s also a subplot involving Julien and another player who used to be on his team but now plays for someone else. That definitely added a lot to the story and to who Julien is.
As always, the sex scenes were off the chart hot and very unexpected.
I definitely want to read book 2. I can guess who it is about and I need to see that. But maybe a little less play by play.
4 pieces of eye candy