Currently having a run of bad luck in books.... Luckily, not with [b:Winging It|24656282|Winging It|Ashlyn Kane|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1422015344s/24656282.jpg|44270191]. This was so good
. To think that I read the sample and wasn't hooked. To think that I almost gave up once Gabe was going to have sex with some random friend (which ends before it even starts because he was cock-blocked, thankfully. Just because I don't like to read sex scenes involving one of the MC and some random guy that isn't the other MC).
This story is about hockey, with a sweet romance on it. I get that some readers are not happy about it, since they probably want a romance with hockey as setting. I can only be grateful to the authors that they did their research and really went to and thru the games, and practice and after-parties and all that involves the sport. I like hockey although I am no expert. But I was into the games and I was excited when the guys had one game in Anaheim, since there is where I attended my first hockey play (and besides, Gabe and Dante take the opportunity to visit Disneyland, so double yay).
The book has the perfect length to get to know the characters well enough (although I still wanted a few more pages, but anyway). It was hard at first knowing who was who, there are a lot of nicknames and foreign last names, and there is even a moment where Gabe was with Baller in his room and on the next sentence it was Dante (note: Dante is Baller). So yeah, the switch of names, without a warning, left me like huh?, a couple of times.
There are a couple of good female characters, like Trish and the Coach. I love that, that the Coach was a woman. Who said women don't understand anything about sports? I call it BS.
The romance was really sweet, without being saccharine at all. So Gabe is not out, until his stupid ex outs him and of course there is a bit of homophobia, even inside the locker. Nothing too difficult, and eventually the bigot one regrets his actions and is an ally to Gabe and then, to the couple. The press and audience are another thing. Still, Dante supports him 100% and eventually, he can't stop thinking about Gabe and they become lovers. I am a bit disappointed that the story was told from Gabe's POV, I would have loved to know Dante's thoughts about them and how he realized he has other feelings for Gabe and if he had any struggles -which I don't think he did. He was pretty straightforward and honest and confident-. As it was, their relationship progressed normally and without much complications, taking aside a couple of times where Gabe had his doubts about whether Dante was serious about them and if he wouldn't have second thoughts or be bored after some time.
I would have liked if Gabe had a bit more self-confidence, but since he was forcefully outed and had never had a relationship before, I get it. Dante, being just 20-21, is more mature than Gabe (who is 25) and speaks his mind, leaving out all the BS and insecurities, thank Heavens! He takes charge of pretty much everything: the first move to sleep together, the moving out together, the ring, the confession... gawd, Gabe was so clueless; he needed constant instructions and reassurance. I loved to read how they went from friends to lovers and from lovers to having a strong, steady relationship. No complications there; just two guys banging each other, then having the support of their teammates, then facing together the pressure of fans and questions of the press, then living together and having a cat together (how cute!). Their steamy times were very hot and not many, which made me appreciate the few we have even more <3<br/>
The thing about trade was a bit depressing, but hey, it is sport and even in football is the same thing. I finally understand now what the A
means (alternate captain). And the author suggests at the end of the book (which, sadly, ends around 92-93%) to watch the video of Mike Cammalleri, which unfortunately I couldn't find :( Now I want more (mm) romances with hockey players <3<br/>
Lovely and realistic, I am very satisfied with this cute, hot romance.