My rating: 3 of 5 stars
After fifteen years playing pro hockey, Aaron Buckley screws up, and his mistake and his attitude get him sent down to the minor leagues. His new team is in his old city, where he started his career in hockey, and also where he left his boyfriend behind. His luck hasn’t improved since joining a team of rookies and kids, but he has discovered that Zach—the ex-boyfriend who could never compete with hockey for Aaron’s love—is still in town. Aaron has a second chance to answer the same question: Zach or hockey? But maybe it’s time for a new question.
So what did I think?
I love a good romance with a sporting backdrop. There’s just something super sexy about althletes and I usually like the difficulties that are faced as they balance their desire for an elite sporting career and a need to follow their heart. Home Team tells the story of Aaron who is at the fading end of his pro hockey career, relegated to the minor leagues who meets up again with his ex-boyfriend.
I need to say upfront that I never really warmed to Aaron. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I didn’t want him to have put a sporting career before true love but mainly I think I was put off by the present tense telling of this story. It was just off putting.
What I did like was the insight provided into why Aaron made some of the choices he did..“He remembers the promise he made himself more than twenty years ago. Hockey is hockey, and the rest of his life is the rest of his life. If he focuses on making hockey work, everything else will fall in place. It did, at first.” There is a real sense of sadness and of regret and Aaron is redeemed by this regret, without which I don’t think his relationship with Zach would have worked. “But none of that was even an option in his mind back then. It was hockey or nothing. It was hockey or Zach, and Aaron hates himself for how easily the choice was made. Zach deserved so much more.”
The other strength to the book was Zach and the obvious passion between the two men – some great sexy bits! It’s a sweet ending but I wanted it big and public as fitting for someone in the public eye.
So all-in-all, a nice quick story although I found the writing style really prevents me from loving it.
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