The hometown hockey hero and his best friend’s brother…
Hockey is in my blood. I learned to skate before I learned how to ride a bike. I’ve been on a wild ride, playing at the highest level for some of the biggest and best teams in the league. But now it’s over, and I’m not sure what to do with myself.
So I’m going home to Elmwood.
But I’ll tell you what I’m not gonna do—I’m not going to coach my buddy’s junior hockey league. No chance. I don’t know how to deal with kids, and besides, the other coach—who happens to be my best friend’s brother—hates me. With reason.
That may be old news, yet something tells me we’re going to have to deal with the past.
And that’s almost as scary as coaching teens.
No, I don’t hate Vinnie, but he drives me nuts.
He’s cocky, goofy, selfish, and yeah…after all these years, I’m still attracted to him. But I’m a responsible adult now. I run my family’s business, and with the help of my ex, I’ve made Elmwood Diner into a New England institution.
So maybe my life isn’t particularly exciting at the moment, and maybe Vinnie isn’t the worst. Nonetheless, I have no desire to rekindle a friendship with the hockey hero who no doubt will be on the first flight out of town the second he gets bored or gets a better offer.
And I’m not coaching with him. No way.
I can’t believe I’m doing this again.
You, Again is an MM bisexual, best friend’s brother, frenemies to lovers romance featuring old friends, a new quest, and a little hockey HEA!
We sipped our coffee in silence, lost in our own thoughts.
“Are you staying with your dad?”
“No,” Vinnie replied. “He’s in London for the summer, so I suppose I could have, but I bought the Asburys’ old place. It’s private and it’s in good condition.”
The Asbury estate was more like a log cabin on steroids than a basic house. It was situated at the very edge of town, accessible via a winding dirt road, and surrounded by woods. The perfect spot for someone who needed a little privacy. But it was a lot of house for one person.
I didn’t say that, though. I went with, “I heard the Collinses redid the kitchen and bathrooms before they moved to Burlington last September.”
“Yeah, they did some nice work. You should come by and see it.”
Like that was ever gonna happen, I mused sarcastically.
I cocked my head. “How long are you staying?”
“Through the summer…I think.”
“Then you should coach for Ronnie.”
Vinnie widened his eyes comically. “You think I should do it. Why?”
“Ronnie could use a break. If that’s you…so be it,” I said flatly.
He furrowed his brow hard enough to give himself a headache. “Now I’m really suspicious.”
“Don’t be. It’s a simple proposition.”
I sipped my coffee thoughtfully before setting the mug on the counter, my gaze locked on his. The ensuing stare-down was epic. Standing gave me a bit of an advantage, but Vinnie’d had years of practice intimidating opponents on the ice.
I finally looked away and leaned against the counter, arms crossed. “But…I think you’ll walk away when it gets tough or when you get a better offer, or when you just get bored of this place. Like you always do.”
“Ouch. That’s gonna leave a mark.”
“I’m not being a dick. I’m being honest. Your life isn’t here…Ronnie’s is. You can walk away whenever you want and not lose a thing. It’s a little different for the rest of us,” I continued conversationally.
“And this is the part where you’re not being a dick?”
“Trust me, it is,” I huffed.
This is a nice, cozy, friends/enemies to lovers small town story. They kind you wish you were under a blanket in your favorite chair with tea or hot chocolate. And cookies.
Pro hockey player Vinnie is hanging up his skates. Not really going out on top, but definitely not at the bottom. With no real friends and definitely no family in Washington state, he heads home to New England and his small town of Elmwood. There are his best friend, his best friend’s brother and their mother. All of whom he considers family. Except the brother isn’t happy to see him and Vinnie has no idea why.
Nolan has crushed on Vinnie pretty much since he figured out he was gay. He was the third wheel in the friendship trio, but he was always welcome. He’s also back in Elmwood after giving up a career to take over the family diner after his father died unexpectedly. He isn’t happy Vinnie is back. Or that they are working together to coach hockey at his brother’s rink.
Vinnie is that happy go lucky guy who just wants to be friends with everyone. Even after growing up with a father who treated him as an afterthought on a good day, Vin always looks for the silver lining.
Nolan isn’t bitter, really, about giving up on his career. Especially since he redid the diner and make it into a restaurant with a wait list. He adores his mother, his brother and his niece. Vin, he hates but secretly still wants.
Being forced together as coaches plus Vin’s affable charm slowly break down Nolan’s walls. AND Vin actually get him to tell him why he is so mad at him. And honestly, it was with pretty good reason. But they clear the air and keep whatever is going on between them on the down low. Because that always works.
I absolutely adored Nolan’s niece. Precocious, a book worm and a wicked slapshot on the ice, I loved the scene’s with her in it.
The story was a bit cookie cutter, but the characters really made the book so enjoyable. I’m looking forward to the next book who I hope is this guy and that guy. LOL
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Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. She loves wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and her fabulous pup, George.
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