Saturday, August 9, 2014

Crashing the Net by Samantha Wayland

Title: Crashing the Net 
Author: Samantha Wayland
My Rating: B+

Genre: Erotic Romance (m/m)
Main Characters: Mike and Alexei
Release Date: July 2014
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
Mike comes to Moncton wanting nothing more than to play for the Ice Cats and finally live on his own terms. He’s broke, bruised, and covered from head to toe in cheap lube, but he isn’t going to let that stop him. All he needs is a place to live and some time to figure out how to reconcile who he really is with who everyone wants him to be.

Dumping three gallons of lube on the new kid is just another day at the office for Alexei. He knows exactly who he is: a goalie on the ice, a prankster in the locker room, and a man who knows better than to share his private life with anyone. He’s let people in before and it’s taught him that if he can’t have what he really wants, it’s better to be alone.

Despite their apparent differences, an unlikely friendship grows. Neither of them could ever have guessed how much they really have in common.

My Review:
Samantha Wayland is that author for me. It doesn't matter when she releases or what book I'm reading at the time. When her book is available to buy I drop everything and read it without even reading the blurb. Once again, she proved that this is a good plan for me with her books. 

If you've read her other trilogy, this book takes place in the same hockey world as her Hat Trick series, but doesn't interact with that series at all besides a quick glimpse of some of the same characters. So honestly, this is a great place to start if you've never read Samantha Wayland before because this book is only $.99 (at the time of writing this review...I'm not sure if she will leave it at that price long-term.) This book is also a complete stand-alone so for those of you that don't like to commit to series, this is a good one. 

This book features Alexei and Mike. Alexei is the seasoned goalie for the Moncton Cats, but Mike is a youngster...only 22 years old and in his first season on a pro NFL team. As such he's subject to a bit of newbie hazing. What Alexei doesn't realize is that Mike is sporting some serious bruising from an incident a couple of days before so the hazing doesn't go as well as Alexei hoped. As a result of his apology, the two men form a strong friendship that develops over the entire season. This is my only teeny-tiny complaint about this book. As their friendship develops, a lot of that time is glossed over in the story. I understand why the author wrote the story that way, but something about that little section just felt off to me. 

But otherwise the story is fabulous. Because almost a season of time passes, this becomes a friends-to-lovers story which I really ADORE. The thing is...both of these guys are pro athletes and deeply in the closet. Neither realizes the other is gay so they don't act on the attraction. And even after they do, there are still barriers between them.

I enjoyed the fact that Alexei was so much older and more experienced than Mike, but Mike didn't let that stand in the way of what he wanted. I also really enjoyed the different aspects of the way they interact. One of the things they do constantly as friends is debate and argue about things. But when it comes to the bedroom, Mike wants Alexei completely in charge. I liked that the story showed how a person can have a really strong personality and still be submissive in the bedroom. Both these guys are definite alphas and all that involves in pro hockey. 

There wasn't a ton of time spent on the sport of hockey, but the scene where it showed the two men playing was AWESOME. I loved watching their reactions to threats to the other on the ice and how alpha, protective male they both got over the other out on the ice. It made for a really fun hockey game with some interesting revelations. 

I adore hockey stories. I love friends-to-lovers stories. And I truly enjoy m/m romances featuring two alpha males. Yep, this was a good one. 

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