This was a great start to what promises to be an entertaining series. It was both heartbreaking, and also endearingly sweet. Asher and Geoff meet under horrible circumstances - Asher being the victim of domestic abuse, and Geoff being one of the cops who responds to the call. Asher breaks up with his ex, but his ex won't listen when Asher says it's over, leaving Asher scared and on edge. Geoff offers to help, having been in a similar situation, albeit without the physical side of thing but abuse all the same. Asher and Geoff have an instant connection, which soon progresses past just being a friendship, but what they now need to work out is whether it is because they genuinely like the other person, or whether it's a case of being on the rebound and the other being the opposite of their respective exes, and therefore 'safe'.
It was well written, and I liked that it was kept light due to their pasts being discussed but not shown. Even the altercation at the start of the book saw the cops arriving when it was past the violent stage. We still got enough detail to fill the gaps but didn't have to witness it first hand, which would have been devastating as I couldn't help but love both the MCs.
Their past relationships still haunt them, and having insecurities in a new relationship, especially in the situations that remind them of their exes, is natural. I loved that they both had support networks, although Geoff seemed to have a closer one than Asher. I was glad when Asher finally opened up to his team about what had been going on.
Geoff's kids were a great addition to the storyline, and while we didn't see a lot of them, they behaved like normal teenage kids - giving Geoff grief while he tried to protect them from some darker truths about his ex. Whether Claire should have behaved differently due to her situation is another story, and one I can't judge. I loved that she was so happy and seemingly secure in herself though.
The only bit I found rushed was the end and the resolution of their respective insecurities. We get their commitment to work on things together and to be open about how they were feeling - and it was done in a very sweet way - but then it jumps to the epilogue where it's 2 years later and everything seems to be going well. Don't get me wrong, it was a beautiful epililogue and fit the story perfectly. My personal preference would have been for the main story to show them working through some of those issues together, rather than it just telling us that they had made it work and we're in a good place. It seemed a bit of a gloss over given how those inseucurites had played out through the rest of the story.
I really enjoyed this book, and look forward to more in this series, especially if the same characters will continue to appear (please make this happen!).
This was a fantastic read. Lots of angst and emotion. Both Asher and Geoff just came out of extremely bad relationships, but they can't seem to let go of the attraction simmering between them. Both men find it hard to trust again and insecurities and fear rear their ugly heads. Well written with sensitivity toward a difficult subject. Looking forward to next book in series.
Things I love about this: fairly decent portrayal of family abuse survivors and the conditioning they undergo, a happy trans kid with normal everyday teen problems, realistic talks about the spectrum of desire Things I didn't like: I found it hard to sympathize with both MC's at times, which is not normally a problem for me; sometimes the anxiety and second guessing went on for a long time and instead of sympathising, I wanted them to just get on with it. There are plenty of authors who are able to show mental trauma without making it tedious (although, as someone with a chronic mental illness, tedium is actually a pretty normal part of my life - I just don't need it in my books) and a few parts just missed the mark for me. It's still a decent read.
I really enjoyed this book, could not put it down. An emotional, gripping, wonderful story. I'm a sucker for gay hockey romance so was drawn to this book from the start. Great main characters. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars was that it was a little bit drawn out in some places of the storyline and did not go into a lot of detail in others. Still very keen to read the next book in the series.