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Hat Trick by Chelle Dugan

Hat TrickHat Trick by Chelle Dugan

My rating:  2.5/3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Charlie Trevino and Tony Côté had one night together that neither could ever forget. Charlie left his number for Tony, but spilled water rendered it illegible. That mishap kicks off a year of failed connections and miscommunication. Tony fears what life outside the closet will do to his career in pro hockey, so he travels the country with his team and doesn’t search for Charlie. Charlie finishes college and tries to ignore his disappointment over Tony. When they finally get together, Tony’s closet takes its toll. But Tony attempts the ultimate hat trick, hoping for another chance with Charlie.

So what did I think?

Hat Trick was a pleasant, albeit slightly disappointing story. I had grand hopes for this story – professional, closeted hockey player meeting the man of his dreams – and I liked the idea of chance playing a role in romance. But it did not live up to it’s potential.

I found it hard to believe in Tony and Charlie’s love. They had a one night stand and given it was only sex and they didn’t know each other, I wasn’t sure what formed the basis for their long term pining over each other.

The co-incidence of running into each other a couple of times and so far from where they originally met just seemed very far-fetched also. It’s not that I expect 100% realism in my fictional stories (obviously!), and some elements of fate are okay, but this book just combined too much lack of believeability – the love, the meetings, the resolution…The resolution just wrapped things up too quickly and easily.

In summary, okay for a quick read but I would have enjoyed a bit more time with the characters getting to really know each other.

2.5/3 stars

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Buy Hat Trick from Amazon.

Buy Hat Trick from Dreamspinner Press.

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Home Team by Jameson Dash

Home TeamHome Team by Jameson Dash

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The blurb...

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.

To find out more about Jameson Dash visit the website.

Buy Home Team from Amazon.

Buy Home Team from Dreamspinner.