Rating : 5 stars out of 5
It’s been a rough couple of years for Marek Hafer, roaming hockey protagonist and pugilistic expert. Ending up in Berger Lake, Pennsylvania, on a financially unstable minor league team might just be the ending his wretched career deserves. On the other side of thirty, Marek knows his time on skates is dwindling. His goal now is to spend a few quiet years playing for the Berger Lake Badgers, knock a few helmets together as needed, and then call it quits before his salty personality gets him booted out of hockey permanently.
After a bloody encounter his first night on the ice, the Badgers coach suggests that Marek find a way to lower his violent tendencies before he’s sent packing yet again. That decree leads Marek to knock on the door of his next-door neighbor, Shey Pierson, the owner of Sun Touch Yoga Studio. Shey ticks every box Marek has with his soft blue eyes, flowing golden hair, and long limber legs. The only problem is that Shey is yin to Marek’s yang.
Can a man famed for throwing punches find serenity in the arms of a man known for his tranquil ways?
I just love this portrait of a deeply troubled man who just happened to be a hockey player, a sport that no matter how much he loved it brought out the worst in him. From his anger issues to the expectations of the owners and fans, Marek and the manner in which he played “his” sort of game was the only way he could continue his career in hockey, no matter the level.
And when we start into the story, we see Marek at the lowest level of his career, the ECHL. His actions, anger, and violence that followed him have sent him down the leagues from the NHL to the AHL on down to this his final team and last chance. As well he knows. Why Marek is so mired in his anger, so quick with his fists is something that the author slowly lets us in on. Of course, it all starts with his childhood and a father he idolized lost to violence himself.
But the key to unlocking Marek lies with Shey, the yogi next door who will lead Marek to a path to understanding. I loved Shey and his studio and of course that cat! The calm and beauty of Shey seemed to seep right out of the story and my Kindle itself. How could he not have an affect on Marek.
But it’s Marek and the painfully hurt boy inside that will grip the reader’s heart. The one that never got over his loss, the one that felt tossed away, and abandoned, that’s the one that we come to feel so deeply for. He’s so real, so twisted up inside. And that makes his slow revelations about himself, his history, Shey, and their relationship even more rewarding.
Truly, VL Locey makes us feel the warmth of the sun as it starts to settle over Marek and Shey after a long winter of cold and perhaps deprivation.
This may be one of my favorite books of hers yet.
For me, it has everything. A memorable plot, two characters I can’t get out of my head, and a ending that I’m still smiling about.
Cover Design: Designs By Sloan. I love this cover. That face is stunning and Marek all the way.
Published February 27th 2019
Edition Language English
Series Colors of Love #2