Tag Archives: canadian setting

Tal delivers on this ice hockey romance with all the feels

Gravity CoverGravity by Tal Bauer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Urm I’m not sure where to begin with this review.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so you better believe it doesn’t follow a traditional rule for how a specific trope should be written.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so expect surprises and an unlikely event which hinges a twist in the plotline.

It’s a Tal Bauer book, so expect a gloriously satisfying romance which might take place in a relatively short space of time but which will very much have you believing the universe conspired to bring these two young men together.

And, as it’s a Tal Bauer book, you’re going to be gasping, cursing his name, and probably reaching for a stiff drink, tissues and a box of chocolates at some point.

With Gravity though, the angst is the lowest I’ve ever read in one of his books. But when the gut punch comes, it’ll still take the wind out of your sails.

Tal gives us two young men, Bryce is 26, Hunter just 22, and a random encounter that should never have happened really given the difference in their playing circumstances.

And because Tal has such a knack for creating visuality in his books, we feel the actions, we sense the emotions, we embrace the consequences of what’s happening on page.

It’s a tough journey being an NHL player, the Stanley Cup playoffs are among the most gruelling in any sport imho and here we’re taken along for all of the punishing journey as the Montreal team strives for glory.

Even if you’re not an ice hockey fan, I guarantee the connection between the two men will have you smiling, sighing and then desperately willing them on to the happy ending they deserve.

For sports fans like me though, there’s plenty of page time given to all the on ice action Tal embeds into the narrative he’s unfolding.

I adored Bryce’s teammates, his coach and the staff, there’s a wonderful secondary character who has an important moment that I won’t spoil but I loved them too.

With the smattering of Québécois French adding to the romantic moments, this book will – like its title – pull you deep into the storytelling and won’t let go until you’re as in love with it as the two protagonists are with each other.

Bravo Tal, you really did write a low angst swoony romance 😉

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Definitely my favourite in the Boston Rebels so far

58867968._SY475_Snowed by R.J. Scott & V.L. Locey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well that was a – very good – surprise and nothing like I was expecting from this duo’s ice hockey series’

The Boston Rebels books so far have all been very different in tone and style while sticking to the sports romance genre. This one veres far more into romantic suspense than sport, even though Kyle is the goalie for the Rebels.

It’s a mostly second chance/forced proximity romance but the suspense element really added to the pacing of the book and I found myself quickly enthralled in what could be responsible for Kyle’s night terrors.

I personally thought the plot reveal to be quite plausible, although it then did head off into slightly dramatic, but not unbelievable, territory which amped up the tension big time in the run up to the last few chapters.

The relationship between Christian and Kyle is so beautifully written, each of them is hiding deep seated hurts, and with Kyle’s additional anxieties and fears, it adds up to a wonderfully poignant reunion.

I absolutely LOVED how it was so clear from that start that neither of them had moved on. There hadn’t been any attempts to “get over” Kyle leaving their tiny Manitoba village to head to the NHL or for Kyle to try and move on from his love for Christian.

Overall this is probably my favourite of the stories in this new interconnected series and I am very much enjoying the different takes RJ & Vicki are going with them.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review

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One of my favourites in this brilliant sports romance series

58811593._SY475_Two-Man Team by Amy Aislin

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is one of my favourites in what’s been a really brilliant series from Amy.

I’m a huge sports romance fan in the first place but I do have a soft spot for ice hockey (even though the real NHL has some serious issues still) guys falling in love and this one’s a real treat.

We get a really gentle and slow build up with a best friends’ brother/small age gap romance coupled with conflicts over coming out, retirement and thoughts on how the public feel they have ownership of players because of their celebrity status.

It’s steaming hot when it kicks off but it takes a wee while to get there because Kris hasn’t really considered his best friend Emery’s younger brother Rory as being anything but a teammate.

Until a drunken kiss (from Rory) at Christmas leads into more a few months later when Rory ends up staying with Kris after breaking his leg falling off a ladder while helping one of the older people who live in his apartment block.

And Rory is just such a sweetheart, he’s vulnerable, at heart he still suffers from the feelings of isolation he encountered when he was bullied at school. Kris, on the other hand, is the personification of inner strength and he’s dealing with all sorts of bad media over an incident he wasn’t even involved in.

The dynamics between the two of them worked well for me, their friendship grows out of that shared childhood experience and as Kris begins to realise his feelings for Rory are more than just that of looking out for his best friend’s younger brother, the tensions amp up.

I’m really hoping we get Emery and Felix’s story because they’ve intrigued me from the off and there’s definitely something brewing with the guy who’s come up out of the AHL to cover for Rory and Darragh who owns the pub that Kris and his teammates gather at.

All in all, another top entry from Amy.

#ARC kindly received from the author via GRR Tours in return for an honest and unbiased review

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