Author: Stephani Hecht
Cover Artist: Angela Waters
Rating: 3 of 5 Stars
Publication Date: 01/01/2011
Length: Novella (~ 15K-50K)
Genre: Contemporary, Gay Fiction, M/M Romance
At one time Devon Canton and his two brothers were the talk of the NHL. Set to become the next superstars of the sport, they had lucrative contracts and numerous endorsements within their reach. Then the bottom fell out of their world and everything changed. Now struggling to make ends meet, they have been reduced to playing in the minor leagues. To make matters worse they all end up playing for the same dead-end team, the Battle Creek Hawks. Not only hasn’t the team won a game in three years, but their arena is falling down around them and in danger of being condemned. Then Devon and his brothers hit a new low when they get thrown out of their first game for getting into a knockdown, drag out brawl…with each other. Battle Creek Times sports reporter, Saul Davis, knows the instant he see the three brothers beating the snot out of each other that he has a story. It only takes a little digging to find out how far the once promising hockey players have fallen. Intrigued, Saul tries to pin down Devon for an interview, only to be rudely rebuked. Unfortunately, for Devon, that only makes Saul more determined to get to the bottom of the story. Then Saul finds out a shocking revelation about the brooding hockey player that could not only destroy the man’s reputation, but also ruin any chance of him ever playing on the professional level again. Saul knows he should go ahead and run the story, but as he finds himself growing closer to Devon, he discovers that his feelings for the other man are too strong to ignore. Then when a rival reporter finds out Devon’s secret, Saul realizes that he may have to make the most painful decision of all—his own journalism career or Devon.
This one started out strong. I could imagine that run down arena, the back hall with the buzzing lights, the flickering, half lit sign. I could feel that instant attraction when Saul and Devon’s eyes met for the first time.
The author did a great job setting up the Canton brothers, their hockey history, and their familial issues. I liked the way Devon interacted with Trey and Chad, full of snark and love and a bit of anger. I welcomed the mystery and liked the way Saul, and therefore the reader, had to work at discovering Devon’s secrets at first.
However, after a while things fizzled for me because there was too much going on for such a short novella and everything felt rushed or forced.
Devon and Saul’s relationship felt like an afterthought, or something squeezed in for the sake of adding sex. I easily grasped their initial attraction and liked seeing Saul/Devon struggle to understand why they wanted more from each other. But for me, they never understood their desire and I as a reader never understood it either. I did not see why they ever developed beyond physical lust and I sure as heck didn’t understand why it happened so quickly and completely.
The final crisis was a bit too contrived and while I hated what was revealed and it made me a bit emotional, it was awkwardly done and just a bit too perfectly resolved.
Overall Offside Pass was an enjoyable and quick read. I am interested in continuing this series. However, it could have been better if it had been longer and more developed. And I have to mention, as with most eXtasy titles, the editing was poor and it detracted from the quality of the story.
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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