They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?
Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.
Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.
Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.
A while back everyone was raving about Heated Rivalry, book 2 in this series. I finally bought it and I was so glad I did. So when this one came up to be reviewed I was all over it.
Same author. Same theme (hockey). TOTALLY different stories. I loved it.
We met Ryan very briefly in book 2. Enough to know that he gets traded every year and he hates flying. Those things haven’t changed and this time his new team is in Toronto.
On the ice, Ryan is “the enforcer”. His job is technically to defend the other players, but really it is to fight someone on the other team. And he hates it. In reality, he is this anxiety ridden teddy bear who thinks he isn’t worthy of anything. Ugh, he broke my heart.
Many times when there is a character like this who is self deprecating, you kind of want to slap them. How can they not see that they are hot, or talented, or loved or a great person? But not Ryan. I felt his despair and how little he thought of himself. I just wanted to cuddle him and pet him. He broke my heart. He didn’t even hide that he was gay. It’s just that no one seemed to care.
And Fabian, musician who hates hockey- for good reason. I wanted to not like him. But it was impossible. He was so likable! Unapologetically fem without being over the top or throwing it in your face. He was just comfortable with who he was and didn’t care if you didn’t like it. So the total opposite of Ryan.
Watching Fabian really take care of Ryan was just so swoony. Teaching him that sex can be fun. That it is ok to laugh. That it is about only the two of them together and no one else.
There are definitely some laughs- Fabian’s friends are hilarious. And I really loved Ryan finally connecting with a team member and becoming friends with him. This guy needed all the love he could get.
We get a well placed cameo of Ilya (book 2) as well as Ilya and Shane.
After reading these two books, I cannot wait to go back and read book 1. Because even though they are very loosely interconnected, all are stand alones.
4.5 Pieces of Candy
So, I read this for an entirely different reason than Erin. I had not read any of the previous series. In fact, I don’t read hockey books, because as much as I am a sports fan, hockey has never been one of those sports. However, not only did I enjoy the entire book, but I even enjoyed the hockey bits.
Fabian and Ryan were just perfect together. I loved that they had known each other as teenager, and appreciated each other as people before they were separated. Otherwise, the likelihood that they would have been able to connect as adults was pretty slim.
Watching Ryan transition into the man that he wanted to become was great. He wanted to have friends, wanted to connect, and wanted to feel better about himself. He never wanted to be the enforcer. He was a gentle soul, who wanted to enjoy his time playing professional hockey, as much as he did when he played with the kids.
Fabian was a perfect complement to Ryan, and Ryan a perfect complement to Fabian. They just worked really well.
I will absolutely read more of this author’s works, and want to go back and read the first book in the series.
4.5 Pieces of Candy