Drafted to play for the Jacksonville Sea Storm, an NHL affiliate, twenty-year-old Lane Courtnall’s future looks bright, apart from the awkwardness he feels as a gay man playing on a minor league hockey team. He's put his foot in his mouth a few times and alienated his teammates. Then, during a rivalry game, Lane throws off his gloves against Jared Shore, enforcer for the Savannah Renegades. It’s a strange way to begin a relationship.
Jared’s been playing minor league hockey for most of his career. He’s bisexual and doesn’t care if anyone knows. But he’s determined to avoid another love affair after the last one left him devastated. Out of nowhere a one-nighter with rookie Lane Courtnall gives him second thoughts. Lane reminds Jared why he loves the game and why love might be worth the risk. In turn, Jared hopes to show Lane how to be comfortable with himself on and off the ice. But they’re at different points in their careers, and both men will have to decide what they value most.
This came highly recommended by a friend, and now I see why. She enjoyed it so much she gifted me a copy (Thank you, thank you, my friend!). What’s not to love? Canadian, check! Hockey, check! Funny, check! Sweet, check! Done! HAH!
Lane, I swear, is just too adorkable for words! Ok, he’s not really a dork but he is so socially awkward, that he just kept putting his foot, or I guess more like feet for him, in his mouth so often that you can’t help but learn to love him for it. I actually started to look forward to what came out of his mouth. I love how he always seemed to start his statements mid-thought. I love how he cared for his friends. I love his innocence. I love the simplicity to his needs. I love his quirky thoughts. I love his team spirit. There’s not an ounce of guile to that boy at all! He seriously makes me giggle every time I think of him.
Jared is obviously the more seasoned of the 2, because of his age and life experiences. I love how Jared is comfortable enough in his own skin, and confident enough to handle things, and Lane, without being arrogant about it all. He did have his insecurities but they all felt so normal.
Lane and Jared together are entertaining to read, that’s for sure. And Lane with his friends felt genuine. And for someone who has adequate knowledge and enjoyment for the sport, some things sound familiar enough and other things were a nice education on the sport.
The pace of the story may have moved a tad slow to my liking, but I realized towards the end that it was necessary. I supposed I needed to see the relationship blossom realistically and the characters to grow naturally. And while I wished there were more pages spent on them actually together in the same space, especially in the middle, it also made sense given the nature of the game. And *whispers* Avon could’ve probably raised the heat a tad more… just a tad… *g*
But Lane, oh Lane, I will not change a single thing about him. Not at all!
Thanks for dropping by!