Rating: 4.75 stars out of 5
If only Sander had as much faith in his ability as the Cougar coaching staff does. Outwardly, he’s cocksure, borderline bitter, and slightly sarcastic. All that strut and sass hides a wounded soul though. Working to hide a brutal past filled with humiliation, abuse, and a family member who still haunts him, Sander has never found the kind of comfort and understanding he so desperately needs. Until he meets Mateo Castillo, a minor league baseball player for the nearby Elmira Egrets. Mateo and Sander click instantly, and a budding friendship develops between the two athletes.
Mateo then introduces Sander to his boyfriend, Noah Coombs, an aspiring manga comic creator. The three men find themselves bonding strongly, and that slowly gives way to sexual attraction. Eventually, Mateo and Noah invite Sander into their relationship. The path to happiness isn’t going to be easy for Sander as he faces criticism from his friends, teammates, and the press for his choices. The brash young star can handle all that, it’s when his abuser shows up in Cayuga that Sander fears not only for his own safety, but for the lives of the two men he has grown to love. Will Sander’s past tear him away from Mateo and Noah, or will he be able to leave the darkness behind?
Sander Marsh is hiding a secret. From his team, from everyone except his sister and niece who share it. It haunts his every waking minute, and causes anxiety attacks when he doesn’t depress the memories of his past childhood. To say he’s not dealing well is an understatement. Plus he must concentrate on his career with the AHL hockey team, the Cayuga Cougars and it’s team Coach which hates him because of his prior relationship with his husband and team hockey star. What a load to carry.
I normally don’t go out of my way to read M/M/M stories because that’s just not my choice in coupling but when an author does a terrific and moving job in not only bringing the three men together in a realistic way but also in a manner that makes us want to see all of them in a loving, supportive, and yes, hot threesome. V.L. Vocey does that here with Sander, Mateo, and Noah, all of whom are so very different men.
One is a hockey player, one a baseball player and another a manga artist. And yet all three fill the empty holes in each others hearts and lives and the author makes us see and feel that.
As with all the other stories, the novel is almost divided into two sections, the hockey side and the romantic one. On the hockey side, you see Sander and his Coach still embroiled in their constant “verbal war of aggression” that’s wearing Sander down to the point that he’s even mentioned it to Dan Arou, his teammate and the Coach’s husband. We know the Coach’s demon’s (Coach’s Challenge) are driving him to act this way but Sander doesn’t, he only knows he’s the target. From the hockey side to the personal which intersects over a dinner of “champions” where he meets Mateo, a baseball player with a boyfriend named Noah.
Noah is a wounded soul, artistic, unable to function outside their apartment due to his past, he “gets” a part of Sander that the others don’t see just as Sander understands the parts of Mateo that Noah never will. While it’s not quite instant love, it is instant attraction, then friendship, which morphs into much deeper feelings. That way in which it happens and the circumstances and intensity does promote a sort of believability for the characters and storyline that let me connect with it all immediately.
It should be mentioned that if you have issues with violence, past mentions of child abuse, mentions of rape, this might not be the book for you. There is graphic violence at the end. If that is your trigger, just be aware that it occurs.
I wish I could say that elements of this story just didn’t happen but that would be untrue. You can open up a paper or listen to the news and find so many instances of people who should never have been paroled. Chalk this one up to one more.
I love this series and highly recommend Overtime (Cayuga Cougars #4) by V.L. Locey as it takes it place. Now to wait for the next one to release.
Cover art: Reverie Formatting and Design. For me this cover is a fail. If the purpose of a cover is to draw a purpose in, to inform and attract, this fails on every level. The design is murky and hard to see, the figure barely visible in the background. While that might figure into the storyline, that’s not the primary purpose of the cover. It is in keeping with the tone and branding of the series covers however. That’s about all I can say here.
ebook, 148 pages
Expected publication: June 13th 2018 by Self-Published
Original TitleOvertime (Cayuga Cougars #4)
SeriesCayuga Cougars #4
Cayuga Cougar Series: