Author: Samantha Wayland
Publisher: *Not Listed
Cover Artist: Caitlin Fry
Rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 07/22/2014
Length: Novel (~ 50K-100K)
Genre: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Romance
Mike comes to Moncton wanting nothing more than to play for the Ice Cats and finally live on his own terms. He’s broke, bruised, and covered from head to toe in cheap lube, but he isn’t going to let that stop him. All he needs is a place to live and some time to figure out how to reconcile who he really is with who everyone wants him to be.
Dumping three gallons of lube on the new kid is just another day at the office for Alexei. He knows exactly who he is: a goalie on the ice, a prankster in the locker room, and a man who knows better than to share his private life with anyone. He’s let people in before and it’s taught him that if he can’t have what he really wants, it’s better to be alone.
Despite their apparent differences, an unlikely friendship grows. Neither of them could ever have guessed how much they really have in common.
Mike is newly arrived to the team, The Ice Cats, and Alexei has been around for a while as the goalie. They don’t have much in common, that they’re yet to find out, except for hockey and their talent in playing it well. Let’s see where this takes us, shall we?
It happens, that experience of insta-friendship. There’s no predicting or explaining it, the future becoming the only possible explanation. I can’t fault this story for making this the case between Mike and Alexei, as I’ve experienced it myself.
Due to the length of this story, I’m guessing anyway, time jumps are used to create built-in history. Thankfully, they’re clearly explained and usually only a few months each time. They do, however, at least in the beginning, work to somewhat undermine the connection that is clearly growing between Mike and Alexei.
Mike is struggling with coming out to everyone who knows him, especially his parents. The author does well in portraying the uncertainty, fear, and confusion that battle for attention and top spot in Mike’s heart. I felt them all.
It doesn’t take long for that connection to reveal the true chemistry these two share. It smolders, especially since they aren’t rushing into anything. They both treasure this friendship they’ve built and, in their own ways and for their own reasons, are reluctant to alter it.
Mike is inexperienced in some ways, but he knows himself and, when he gets his first taste of some of those things, he becomes even more certain and confident about those wants. A sexually submissive person isn’t clueless or helpless. They know what they want and how to communicate that.
Alexei has been around the block, as he describes himself, but his experience in long-term relationship land is a mixed bag. Is Mike to be his first? And if so, will Alexei allow himself to be a part of it? A dominant isn’t a brainless uncaring brute. They too know what they want and how to communicate that.
Neither Mike nor Alexei are cookie cutter characters, both fully formed and, despite the shorter length of this book, are more or less given the opportunity to explore, learn about themselves, and how to share it all with each other.
There are a few clichéd and unrealistic moments that take place and, frankly, they took me out of the story. It disappointed me because things were going along so well each time it happened. Thankfully the story recovered, mostly due to these characters. Additionally, a couple of overused mythical descriptions are included and had the same effect.
Overall, I enjoyed this story. It’s well written, the characters and their dialogue felt natural, and Mike and Alexei in particular made it fun in sharing some time with them. They have their fair share of fun, too. 😉
This review is based on a copy purchased by the reviewer independent of any review copies offered.
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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