Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 stars
Received from Publisher
Blurb: Gabe Martin has a simple life plan: get into the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t include being the first out hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But things change.
Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite—careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport is impressive, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. And Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.
Before Gabe can figure out how to deal, a tabloid throws him out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, his game suffers.
Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate.
He can’t be blamed for forgetting that nothing stays secret forever.
Review: Hockey lovin’ m/m romance readers rejoice! This is the one you’ve been waiting for. Super sexy and funny with LOTS of on page action. Both on the ice and between the guys. This was a pretty realistic but hopeful tale of what could and should happen one day in the NHL if a real life Gabe and Dante connect like these guys do. The chemistry between the MCs was so good. They’re friends and then lovers. The characters gave tons of fun banter throughout the book. Primary and secondary characters. I loved everyone and this story.
Gabe has a crush on a fellow player, Dante. That’s a bigger deal than it might seem since he’s a professional hockey player in the closet and his crush is a straight teammate of his. Gabe knows he needs to get over it but you can’t help like Dante. Gabe is considered a veteran in the NHL. He knows his job is to win and help the new guys find their place. Not pine away over his good friend. A knock on his hotel door one night changes everything. Gabe gets the chance he wanted but it comes with a whole lot of complications.
First off. I adored the characters in this book. Dante is the life of the party. The wild man who is always shocking and entertaining. He’s also a really good guy. Super sexy with an ass Gabe dreams about. I don’t know who wouldn’t love the guy. Gabe is more down to Earth. The story is told from his POV. Hockey is important all of the players lives but he seems to take more seriously than most. I don’t think he ever thought he’d get to have a love affair and play hockey. He had always assumed it was one or the other so Hockey is everything. Secret hook ups whenever he could. Gabe was totally unprepared to be outed by his ex. The way his teammates handled it was great. Things are pushed a bit further into the realm of the unknown when Dante tells Gabe to just screw him already. Then what Gabe thinks will be a weird “morning after” thing turns into to something complicated but beautiful. I really enjoyed reading this story. I liked that Dante never wavers in his feelings for Gabe. You’d think he’d be the one freaked out but he’s so at ease with himself he does what feels right to him. Gabe hasn’t ever had anything close to a relationship so he sort of stumbles his way through it. With the added pressure of public media watching his every move and not letting his teammates down on the ice.
There was so much hockey in this book. On and off the ice there was team unity. Politics. PR reps. Hard hits and some bigotry. It was pretty cool that the coach was a woman. She was so bad ass but loyal and supportive to her boys. This book pushes the norms for sure and for me it worked. This story was a lot of fun. Great characters. Steamy romance. I highly recommend it if you like any type of sports books. AND if you like m/m and hockey it’s a must read IMO!