Saturday, February 1, 2014

End Game by Samantha Wayland

Title: End Game
Author: Samantha Wayland
My Rating: A+

Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance
Series: Hat Trick #3
Main Characters: Garrett, Savannah, and Rhian
Release Date: January 2014
Publisher: Loch Awe Press
Links to Purchase
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Garrick LeBlanc never intended to fall in love with two people, but he has, and now he has to figure out what to do about it. He wants to make them happy, but is afraid he’s doing just the opposite. To make matters worse, he’s trapped in New Brunswick until the end of the hockey season, while his lovers are both in Boston. 

Savannah Morrison has no one but herself to blame for practically shoving her lover into the arms of another man. After all, it was her idea that Garrick take a lover while they are separated for the season. She loves Garrick with all her heart, but how the hell is she going to share him with Rhian? 

Rhian Savage used to have such a simple life. Now he’s in love, his dreams of skating on an NHL team are coming true, and he keeps spotting a strangely familiar face in the crowds. To top it all off, he has to see Savannah every day. He knows she’s Garrick’s real future, but he doesn’t have the balls to do the right thing for all of them and end it—until his life goes sideways. As usual. 

Now Rhian is alone, Garrick is heartbroken, and Savannah—the one person Rhian figured would celebrate his departure—is beating down his door. What the hell is up with that? 

My Review:
NOTE: This review will have spoilers from the previous two novels in this series. It's a series that I highly recommend you read and it's helpful to read them in order so you get the full story. If you haven't read book #1 yet, stop reading this review right now and go get it!! You won't regret it. It's a seriously hot, sexy series set around hockey and two (well, actually three) amazing hockey players who find a new definition for family. Every single book in the trilogy has been GREAT, completely riveting read and the whole set will be on my keeper shelf (as soon as the final two are out in paperback).

Now for the specific review about THIS book.... This is the final book in the trilogy about Garrett, Savannah, and Rhian. In book one we saw Garrett and Savannah fall in love. Book two featured Garrett and Rhian's building relationship. And this one combined them all, but I love that it began with Rhian and Savannah. 

At the beginning of this book Garrett is still living in New Brunswick while both his lovers are in Boston working for the Bruins. Nothing about the situation is ideal, but it becomes exponentially worse when Rhian suddenly stops talking/communicating with Garrett. Caught in the middle is Savannah. She knows Garrett is hurting because of something to do with Rhian. She works with Rhain and has tried to talk to him and although they used to be friends, they've gotten to a place where talking isn't something they can do. Even though Savannah is okay with Garrett and Rhian, it doesn't make any of this any easier. Rhian is the other man. 

But then Savannah realizes that Rhian needs someone to stand by him and she can't just leave him to face things on his own. They find their way to friendship...and I love how the author wrote this. It's awkward as all get out for both of them. They have doubts and moments of jealousy. The whole scenario feels real. But I also love how no matter how awkward and tenuous it all feels that Savannah never backs down. She supports and loves Garrett and she's a friend to Rhian. She needs to be there regardless and she doesn't let Rhian push her away. Throughout this series, I've loved Sav's character...that grew exponentially in this book. She has her doubts, but she never lets that get in the way of taking care of the people that she loves. She puts Garrett and Rhian first always and I loved her for that. She truly doesn't have a selfish bone in her body and the way she made this work for them was incredible. 

Then there's Rhian. In book #2 we got a hint of how hard his life was as a child. So much more was revealed about that in this book and I understand why Garrett and eventually Savannah just have to hold him at times. He has moments where he's so fragile...he just needs someone to prop him up and LOVE him. Never have I read a character that needs love as much as he does. There's a single line about that when Garrett finally arrives to join them where Savannah says, "I get it now." She's talking about Rhian and how Garrett fell in love with him. Gah....I loved that. You can't help but fall in love with Rhian's character and need to hug him.

Like I mentioned before, I really like the way this story evolved. Honestly, I could never imagine making a triad work in real life, but this story with these characters felt believable. Their relationships are based on the people and while the sex is hot (whoa, is it ever!!) that's not the basis of why they are there for each other. For all of them, they begin as friends and a support system develops and in the end find themselves as a family and I've loved the journey of getting to watch them get there. It's been gorgeous to read!!

And the good news is...that there will be more coming soon. Other characters have stories could see the hints of one couple in this one and I cannot wait because the sparks were coming off the page when Rupert and Callum butted heads. Also, if you've ever read the other two menage books by Samantha Wayland (and if you haven't, you need to), both sets of characters make appearances in this book...I LOVED that!!

I highly recommend this book and this series. And I just have to take a moment to call attention to the freaking hot!!! Yeah, I definitely want this one on my keeper shelf.

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