Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5
Augie, as his friends and teammates call the unassuming young goaltender, is on the fast track to the pros. The starting goalie for the Cayuga Cougars, he has a year or two in Cayuga to hone his skills and all his career dreams will have come true. Pity his personal life isn’t riding the same high. He’s the only one among his group of friends without that special someone to call his own.
Until he meets Salvatore Castenada at a lakeside party. The attraction is white-hot and more than a little wonderfully overwhelming for the romantically inexperienced goalie. August quickly discovers that Sal is everything he’s dreamed of in a man: mature, settled, sinfully handsome, and filled with gentle humor. Sal is also HIV positive.
Will Sal’s revelation about his status end this budding relationship before it can even begin? Or will the two men be able to handle the challenges life—and a championship run for the Cougars—throws at them?
The second in the Cayuga Cougars series, Open Net is a marvelous joining of hockey and romance by V.L. Locey. This author is amazing at this love/hockey combo because of her in depth knowledge and love for the game which flows through her narrative like a hockey puck on ice. Here the hockey player who falls in love is a goalie, that special quirky teammate on ice that every team has. He’s past oddball, having some indefinable character element that all great and even not so great goalies must have. And Locey captures that in the persona of Augie, aka August Miles. How I love Augie. I see him so clearly even now, adopted late in life elderly parents, raised out in the middle of nowhere in Manitoba, hockey is his life. It’s his only thing until he meets Salvatore “Sal”Castenada and realizes Sal is everything.
Except Sal is also HIV positive. It’s a defining moment in both men’s lives. Sal is older, hurt by one moment in life when he was a trusting innocent and is now paying the price. He has been also hurt when he’s tried to date and start a romance again only to find out that his HIV status is a barrier few will cross.
Locey accurately details life with HIV as well what it means to date someone who’s HIV positive. She does so while maintaining a heartwarming, loving relationship between Augie and Sal. And she deals realistically with the reactions of those of the people around them as well, both for and against.
And while Augie and Sal are working on their relationship, Augie is also working within his team to become the best goalie he can be. I love the action in the ring, the playing time! Its fast, fierce and as much of the story as the romance! Combine both and you have one outstanding novel and a great series!
Love romance? Hockey players in love? Grab up this story and the others too. You can’t go wrong with the Cayuga Cougars and their partners…on and off the ice. I highly recommend them.
Cover art by Riverie Design and Formatting: love it. Great job.
book, 200 pages
Published August 16th 2017 by V.L. Locey
Original TitleOpen Net — Cayuga Cougars #2
SeriesCayuga Cougars #2