The injured hockey player and the grumpy chef…
My time playing pro hockey will be up soon. I can feel it. And I’ve heard the rumors: he’s too old, he’s had too many injuries, he’s lost his edge. I don’t want to admit it, but they could be right. Next season might be my last.
Or this season. Because of course, this is when the universe decides I need another concussion. It’s a doozy too—the kind that’s going to keep me off skates for a while.
Which is how I end up in a small New England town in the middle of nowhere Vermont, eating every meal at a diner where a grumpy chef from Quebec makes haute cuisine…and burgers. Jean-Claude is funny and charming and—
Okay, I have a crush on a gay man.
This is a new one.
Confused straight men are entertaining. But Riley is…fascinating, sexy, and curiously vulnerable. His injury has rocked his confidence a bit, so perhaps he’s in need of a friend. Any friend. Even moi.
I’m an unlikely choice, but maybe he just likes my tuna salad.
No…I think it’s me.
And though I’m happy to help him explore his bisexual curious side, I have career concerns of my own. See, the things I love most about Elmwood seem shaky and uncertain, but not Riley. He’s solid and genuine. Suddenly, this temporary secret liaison feels more real than anything in my life.
I need more than this season. I want it all. With Riley.
Next Season is an MM bisexual-awakening romance featuring a grumpy chef, an injured hockey player, and a big HEA in a small town where anything can happen.
We are back in Elmwood, but a few years have passed. I like that. I mean, I am all for suspending reality (I mean, don’t go crazy) but when almost no time has passed before the next couple meet and fall in love it’s just too quick. I like seeing the time progression.
This time it is a current player who is flirting with retirement when he takes a hard hit on the ice leaving him with a pretty severe concussion and a nice head wound. Riley needs to recover, quietly, so his friend and former teammate offers the house his husband owns and was planning on selling to recuperate.
If you read book one, you HAD to be intrigued with Jean-Claude and want more of his story. Well we get it over the course of the book as he and Reilly get to know each other. I liked that Reilly had no inkling of liking men or being bi before this. So it took him by surprise, but he also wasn’t icked out about it. He had moments of “is this too gay?” but they are very quickly brushed aside.
While Reilly slowly recovers and Jean-Claude accepts that this is a short term thing, they really develop a close relationship. I loved that they were supposedly on the down low (hahahahaha, small towns) but had no problem hanging out in public. I hate when it’s a secret and they act like they hate each other in public.
Jean-Claude’s back story is a bit angsty, but not too bad. It definitely helps explain why he is a bit grumpy and gruff. On the outside. Really he is a big teddy bear. Another thing I liked. He wasn’t what many would think of as a “gay, French Canadian chef”. That is to say, he was no twink. In fact, he was slightly bigger than Reilly the pro hockey player.
Overall it was a sweet story and I really liked these guys together. I don’t feel like either one sacrificed anything for their relationship. They just made each other stronger.
There are other gay men in Elmwood and I want their stories next please!
4 pieces of eye candy