Rating: 5 stars out of 5
An incredibly interesting, exciting, hot and sexy story featuring two goalies—both playing for the same team. Competition? Yes, loads. Sexual attraction? Just as much. From the moment I picked this up and started to read, I couldn’t put it down. The excitement and tension surrounding not only the relationship between the goalies, but also the hockey games and potential to go all the way to the Stanley Cup, kept me riveted.
Both MCs are men of color in a traditionally white player’s sport. Not that pro sports isn’t changing, but for now it’s best to keep their sexuality to themselves. Both men show support for young persons of color to pursue their dreams in professional sports, with a special emphasis on their support for hockey.
Ryu Mori grew up with Japanese traditions as the son of a surgeon—his mother—and a skating coach—his father, who is also a former Olympic Medalist figure skater. From the moment he first tried hockey, he knew it would be his life. And though his parents didn’t actively encourage him in the sport, they did encourage him to be perfect at whatever he does. Emmitt Armstrong grew up as the son of a former pro football player who wanted him to follow in his footsteps and never acknowledged his preferred professional career in hockey. His only interest is football—for himself and for Emmitt. Divorced, both parents now live in different states, and Emmitt chose to live in the Chicago area with his mother, who supports his career wholeheartedly, cheering him on every chance she gets. But without his father’s approval… Let’s just say that one good word from that man would work wonders for Emmitt’s pride.
The two goalies are set against each other to compete for starting position when Emmitt is traded into the NHL Atlanta Venom team from the Marauder’s AHL team. Emmitt wants the starting spot, so from the moment he meets the stoic, quiet, focused Ryu Mori, he dislikes him and actively tries to get the starter position away from him. But opposites attract, and it becomes evident they want each other, so when the chance arises, they decide to give in to sexual attraction but go no further. Like that’s going to work, right? Of course, they become more than just sex buddies, and when the managers decide to use them in tandem during the course of the season, they allow their relationship to grow.
And then playoffs start and they are once again pitted against each other and the relationship suffers. This story is so exciting. I don’t want to give anything else away. The guys are amazing. The secondary characters are fantastic. The sport is awesome and the excitement the authors build is downright stressful. I highly recommend this story and the first, Off the Ice. Thank goodness, there will be one more in the series. I can’t wait. Oh, and by the way, though second in the series, this can easily be read as a stand-alone.
The bright cover features a goalie looking toward the opposing team. It’s uniquely done with a watercolor effect and definitely attracts attention and invites readers in.
Expected publication: September 30th 2019 by Carina Press
ISBN 1488053804 (ISBN13: 9781488053801)
Edition Language English
Series Hat Trick #2
Characters Ryu Mori, Emmitt Armstrong
setting Atlanta, Georgia (United States)