Author: Mickie B Ashling
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 05/27/2015
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: M/M Romance
Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.
Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.
While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.
Emory Lowe is such a soft and beautiful person from the very beginning of this story that you cannot help but fall for him. Out and proud, his family are his biggest supporters and he has never felt the need to hide who he is or tone down his flamboyance as he has never seen the ugly side of homophobia or had it directed at him. That ugliness arrives on his doorstep as new neighbours move in across the street.
It’s heart-breaking to watch Emory have to discover and acknowledge that such hatred exists.
Thankfully Igor won’t be living across the street from Emory and his family, he is only there to drop his son, Nik, who is an ice hockey player off in his new home. He will then take himself back to Canada but not before trying to threaten his son into submission.
Nik is only 20 years old but his entire life has been planned with military precision by his father since the moment of his birth. His father’s ways and ideas are non-negotiable and if he ever voices his opinion he is quickly met with violence. Living on his own for the first time, able to start making decisions for himself brings a massive change to Nik, and although terrified for his own safety and of those who are around him, he slowly starts to find out who he really is.
Nik isn’t gay. Nik can’t be gay. Nik even thinking he may be gay is enough to get him killed. So why is he so taken with Emory? What is it about his neighbour that makes his pulse beat faster? That makes him smile? For all these facts Nik and Emory fall into a pretty easy relationship but there is always a dark cloud hanging over them in the form of Igor and his threats.
For all the darkness and brutality that Igor’s character brings to the story Emory’s father Tom brings the exact opposite. He is fun, loving and supportive and although there is a reason from his past that might make him act the way he does, he is inherently a good person and he showers his son, and later Nik, with acceptance and love. He was the perfect counterpart to Igor giving both the boys strength and solid advice. He is a true champion in Emory’s life.
This story has some pretty bleak moments, it doesn’t skate over the very real damage that homophobia presents or the damage it can cause. It’s a story of first love, of finding out about who you really are and the importance of controlling your own life and loving who you want instead of who you should.
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,
|This post may contain affiliate links.
|Prism Book Alliance® assumes no liability for the ownership of photos or content used in guest posts and interviews. The post author assumes all responsibility and liability for this content.|