Author: Ashlyn Kane, Morgan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Gabe Martin has a simple life plan: get into the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t include being the first out hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But things change.
Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite—careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport is impressive, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. And Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.
Before Gabe can figure out how to deal, a tabloid throws him out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, his game suffers.
Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate.
He can’t be blamed for forgetting that nothing stays secret forever.
I hedged on reading Winging It. On one hand, Ashlyn Kane is the author of one of my favorite M/M Romance books of all time. I am also peripherally a hockey fan (as much as a native Texan can be, anyway), but I wasn’t sure I would enjoy an entire long novel about the sport. On the other hand, I did absolutely adore another hockey based series (Hat Trick by Jeff Adams), so in the end I gave it a shot.
Dante and Gabe make an interesting pair. Gabe is a certified veteran. Dante is new to the league, but not a rookie any longer. They are on a fictional team the Quebec Nordiques. Unique in the fact that they are owned by a woman and their head coach is also a woman. So they are already a little more on the liberal side.
There are two main storylines in Winging It. First is the love story between Gabe and Dante. The second is the public versus private lives of highly visible athletes. While neither storyline had my heartstrings tugging, they were well thought out and entertaining enough to keep my interest, despite the novel’s length.
There is quite a bit of game-time action in this story. However, it is told in such a way, that you can understand and appreciate it whatever you comfort level with the sport. Some of it is even downright exciting. Every scene, however, moves the story forward.
Dante and Gabe deal with homophobia from many sources, fans, teammates, rivals, and family. However, more so they have the unwavering support of their teammates and management. We see how, even for the most professional of figures, fans and paparazzi opinion can sting. We also see how professionals can overcome these distractions with the right support.
We got to watch as Gabe came to terms with being out and then as the relationship grew. We dealt with the normal insecurities of someone not used to a relationship. Winging It is told exclusively from Gabe’s point of view. As such, we don’t get insight into Dante’s thought process. However, growing to love him through Gabe’s eyes was a beautiful ride.
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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