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Ratings and Book Reviews (3 82 star ratings
3 reviews

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4.3 out of 5
5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star
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  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    emotionally riveting story

    First of all, I have to say that if I could give this book 6 stars I would. This is the emotional and heartbreaking story of two gay young men, Michael Graham and John Rikker who share a secret relationship in high school, are torn apart by violence and are reunited in college, to the dismay of Graham who is in the closet and hasn't spoken to his high school boyfriend since the night of their separation. Rikker has been exposed as a gay man, a fact that had him kicked off his previous hockey team and picked up by Harkness College. He knows Graham is a key player on the team and doesn't know what kind of reception he will get - but the cold avoidance by Graham seems par for the course. Only, when the two of them are alone, the sparks still fly between them. Can a relationship that was once so special heal their emotional wounds and bring them back together? Is it possible that the author was a gay male teenager in a former life? Because being a straight female, I can only imagine that the scenario in this book is repeated in high schools and colleges across the country, maybe not the exact circumstances but the decisions, the gay bashing, the difficult choices of revealing or hiding ones sexual identity. I would expect that the feelings of the parties involved would be exactly as portrayed in this story. Rikker is reluctantly out of the closet, but owns up to his sexual orientation because he has no choice. He's used to the snide remarks, the avoidance and in some cases the extra attention paid by those who do care for him. It's his life and he's going to make the most of it. He's portrayed as a now confident man with a thick skin, one who plays a darn good game of hockey and that's what he want to be known for, not as a spokesman for gay athletes. Graham on the other hand cringes with the knowledge of how he abandoned Rikker when the going got tough in high school, ashamed of how he reacted and never came to Rikker's defense. He is seriously afraid that Rikker will out him in some fashion and he will be forced to admit to his family and friends that he is gay - something he is used to hiding well by dating women and never standing up for gay rights. He fights his attraction to Rikker every step of the way. But attracted he is, and with the sexual chemistry between them it is inevitable that their mostly chaste explorations in high school will explode into an adult sexual relationship revealing the intense emotions they have had to hold back. Now as adults, in the privacy of a college dorm room, they are free to explore this and it is intense and written so well that one feels as though they are a voyeur watching their passion unfold. It is one thing to write a sex scene involving a male and female - it is totally different to write one between two healthy, strong and dominant males. The dynamic is so different and yet equally riveting. There are several secondary characters that have a strong influence on the plot and direction of the story - friends and family who for good or bad have made these men into who they are today. The realities of playing college hockey and the action scenes involved in the sport were equally well written and engaging. Overall I found this to be a riveting read. With themes of forgiveness and redemption, scenes of humor, tension, sex and romance, it's a wonderful testament to the reality that everyone is deserving of love.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Freaking fantastic

    Oh my god, I adored this book. I was hesitant at first because of the split, back and forth POV, and the relative youth of the characters. I'm so glad I gave it a shot. Such a well developed story and characters, and a romance that built slowly and believably over time. I really like the way this author tackled the themes of acceptance and also homophobia - nothing felt trite, oversimplified, or played for drama, as is often the case. It felt real. I absolutely adored this. Wish this author had more m/m titles to her name because these characteristics seem to be rare so far in my exploration of the genre. So good.
  • 0 person found this review helpful

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    This book was amazing. I'm normally a fan of the two different points of conversation, but it was great actually being inside of their heads. This was wonderful, endearing, funny and all around good read. One of my favorites!

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