Our favorite hockey players head to China, well not really, but in a well imagined story, Ten, Jared, Stan, Tate, Ryker, Colorado, Bryan, and Vlad all end up heading to Bejing for the Winter 2022 Olympics.
Thanks to Covid, the NHL players and committee ended up pulling out of this year’s Olympics but in Rivals, all the teams went forward!
The authors mention that the hosting nation is not a one where LBGTQIA+ rights are recognized or welcome . That heavy burden is then worked into the stresses the characters here endure among the obvious ones of Olympic level play, world wide telecast, and the even more… playing against family and teammates who are close friends.
It’s all done realistically and without making any political platform within the story. Honestly so many could have, but they avoided it by using beloved characters as examples of what happens under such conditions, and their ability to go forward with love.
It was great having Colorado use his unique perspective to guide Ten through some worrying moments when Jared, as a Canadian teammate couldn’t help.
It also made me aware, as someone who loves her Caps which is made up of nationalities, how it must feel during international competition to face players who are normally your teammates. And friends.
The hockey was intense and exciting, as I expect from both authors. So amazing. The emotional impact high and lasting. What an incredible group of characters these men are that they remain such long standing favorites! Of mine included.
The ending was lovely and extremely satisfying. But I’m always hoping for more of these couples and series. They are just too wonderful for us to ever say a lasting goodbye.
I’m highly recommending Rivals. Read it and enjoy!
Harrisburg Railers: 15 books
Playing for their country in the Winter Olympics is the highest of all honors, but when family members are pitted as rivals and a dark specter from the past turns up in Beijing, tensions run high, and abruptly, it’s not all about the hockey.
Jared is torn—assistant coach for Team Canada, with Ryker on the team; he bleeds red and white and wears the maple leaf with pride. Only Ten is now a rival, and not only that, but the country they’re all playing in frowns on his marriage and keeps him and Ten apart. Jared wants to win gold for his country and his son, but he’d be so proud if Ten were to win. He’s confused and concerned, but when a face from their past turns up to play, he’s furious.
Being picked for Team USA is one of the things Tennant dreamed of when he was a little boy. All of his other aspirations have come true through hard work, determination, and pure talent. Now he’s about to represent his country in front of the world, and the pressure is starting to build. He’s also just come face-to-face with a hated rival from a dark period in his past. Add in the burden of squaring off against his husband and stepson, and Ten is feeling the pressure to be perfect.
Family becomes rivals—but love always wins.