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Ratings and Reviews (6 21 star ratings
6 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.3 out of 5
21
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    Loved it!

    A great addition to the series. A new perspective. What happens when you dream of playing pro hockey doesn’t come to be? What happens when here is something you might want more? What happens when you have it all but realize something is missing? Cole and Luke conquer all of these life questions and more. Full of passion, self discovery, Love, family, and the storm team. I can’t wait for more!
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    Sweet, hockey-centric romance

    Save for a selection of favorite authors, including Miss Gayle, I tend to read more m/m than m/f romances these days. Suffice to say, I’ve been looking forward to Neutral Zone since Colesy and Luke both came out in Game Breaker. Despite trusting that Miss Gayle would do her characters and the Portland Storm series justice, I admit I was a little nervous it wouldn’t work as well as her m/f romances. Comparatively speaking, that wasn’t an issue. Neutral Zone was a sweet hockey-centric romance that made for an enjoyable read. I generally like when authors take an unexpected direction or sneak in a good twist, especially those writers whose books I read often. So I was pleasantly surprised when Neutral Zone played out differently than I anticipated, particularly Luke going undrafted and moving back to Portland. From the start I was engaged and running multiple possible scenarios and resolutions. So definite kudos to Miss Gayle for not following a predictable pattern. As for the characters, I liked Cole and Luke and enjoyed getting to know them better and learning their individual stories. I also liked them as a couple. They had a sweet romance that fell in place fairly naturally. While I liked how supportive they were of one another, I missed out on some of the chemistry. I’m unsure if it was a result of the shorter length not allowing ample time, but I didn’t see the feelings build between Luke and Cole. The reader is told that both men have harbored a crush on each other for some time, and they clearly share common interests, but I wished I’d have seen and felt that spark on the page. While the initial chemistry was missing for me, the growing emotional connection was fairly well-developed and I liked the conflict resolutions. And as always, you can count on Miss Gayle to write detailed hockey scenes that both fans of the game and those who just enjoy reading about the sport can appreciate. Overall, I think Neutral Zone ended up being a sweet romance with likable characters that did the Portland Storm series justice. *eARC provided by PA. The author and publisher had no influence over this review*
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    Loved it, but wanted more!

    I really loved this book - honestly, the biggest reason I only gave it 4 stars is because I wanted MORE! It's a beautiful story of finding yourself and your true passions in life - even when they weren't necessarily what you expected - and doing so with the love and support of the most important people in your life. I feel like a lot of stories about coming out/coming into your own are about teenagers...but this book shows that it happens in adulthood, too, and highlights the importance of being true to yourself no matter where you are in life, because the reward is greater than the negatives.
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    Accepting your life as it is

    This book stole my heart, gave it a big squeeze, then carefully placed it back in my chest. Cole and Luke are perfection together, the ying and the yang the other didn't know was missing. Luke is the last single Weber, both his sisters' are settled into relationships with hockey players on the Portland Storm, where his dad is one of the coaches. He always wanted a pro-hockey career, but it isn't materializing, and he isn't sure if it is because he came out in college, or he just isn't good enough. He has done everything that should have made his dream come true, but it hasn't, and he is drifting. This worries those who care about him, but he is stuck in his funk. The only thing that seems to pull him out is when he is around Cole. He has had a crush on the man for as long as he can remember, but Cole doesn't seem interested at all. Cole likes his private life private, but that isn't going to happen. After spending so much time with Luke during the pre-season, he realizes, with a little help from Luke's dad, that he is willing to take a leap. He knows the problems they will face, he faced it from his own family, and while Luke thinks he is ready, he quickly realizes he is not This is a realistic look at what these characters face in the real world. Those who support them, those who hate them for no reason, and those who upset them without intent, but they learn to ignore it. This is about Cole truly living in the now, and not some distant future, to wait for what he wants. This is about Luke accepting his now, and the reality of his situation. This is about a family's love for their children, for each other, and having it grow, rather than dilute, and encompassing all who are loved by them into the family This is the story of Luke and Cole, and how they found the love they have for each other, and are going to make their life together
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    Heartbreaking and inspirational.

    Whether neutral or bias, Neutral Zone tackles subjects we can all get behind. Look beyond the romance and step into the light. Ms. Gayle is once again, on track with the times. Cole and Luke's tale is a fight for acceptance and self- love. It is a journey that is equal parts heartbreaking and inspirational. Life is about being true to ourselves and making the time we have here count. Skin color, religious beliefs or sexuality should not factor into tolerance. That's the lesson that Neutral Zone teaches.
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