Two of my favorite things in the world are hockey and books. When you combine them together I'm in heaven. This was the fourth book in my favorite hockey romance series. At the end of the last book there was a pretty ugly game between two rival teams and goalie Laurent St, Savoy crosses the line in a big way. The beginning of this story starts with Laurent being traded to the Spitfires and being expected to play with a bunch of guys (& coaches) who hate him.
Laurent is aware is behavior was deplorable but he has some serious issues and desperation made him act like he did. Issac Drake wants to ignore Laurent all season and just play the game but as team captain that's kind of hard to do. When circumstances bring Laurent's issues to Issac's attention he finds he can't turn his back on his new teammate.
Issac and Laurent become friends and Issac slowly convinces his other teammates and coaches to give Laurent a second chance. Much of the story is about Laurent learning to deal with his issues and stand up for himself. Over the course of the story the two young men fall in love and develop a relationship.
I really enjoyed this book. It's my second favorite of the series. It tackles some pretty serious issues in a well thought out manner. The progression of Issac and Laurent's relationship was realistic and I really loved them together. In addition to their relationship there were also some very touching moments between Issac and his coach/mentor Misha. Those ended up being some of my favorite scenes in the entire book.
As usual this author writes great hockey scenes and it's apparent that she not only knows the rules and regulations of the game but her love for it jumps off every page at you. As a fellow hockey lover that means a lot to me. There's nothing as exciting as the big games and/or the big wins in sports stories.
The three previous books in the series can be read as standalones and technically this one could too but I think you would get more out of this story if you read the previous book first. There is a lot of back story on Issac and his coaches that you should know.
Again, I love this series and this was another great installment. This is a definite recommend from me and will be one of my most enjoyed books of the year.
Spartanburg Spitfires’ goalie and captain Isaac Drake ended last season with an unexpected trip to the playoffs. He’s found a home and family with his coach and mentor, Misha Samarin, and he’s looking forward to making a serious run for the Kelly Cup. But things take an interesting turn when Isaac’s archnemesis, Laurent St. Savoy, is traded to the Spitfires. After Laurent’s despicable behavior in the playoffs last year, Isaac wants nothing to do with him – no matter how gorgeous he is. But that changes when Isaac discovers the reason for Laurent’s attitude.
Laurent St. Savoy grew up the only son of a legendary NHL goalie in a household rife with abuse, constantly treated like a disappointment on and off the ice. When a desperate attempt to escape his father’s tyranny sends him to the Spitfires, the last thing Laurent wants is to make friends. But there’s something about Isaac Drake that he can’t resist, and Laurent has an opportunity to explore his sexuality for the first time, but he’s cracking under end-of-the season pressures. When facing the playoffs and a rivalry turned personal vendetta, Isaac’s not sure he’s enough to hold Laurent—or their relationship—together.