It’s goalie vs. goalie in this brand-new enemies-to-lovers hockey romance from Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn…
Ryu Mori has had a stellar season as goalie for the Atlanta Venom. So when he’s called into management’s office, he’s expecting to hear he’s the new starting goalie for the team, not that some new guy—an incredibly hot, annoyingly bratty rookie—is here to compete for his spot.
Not everyone gets to play in the best league in the world. Emmitt Armstrong knows that, and he’s not about to waste the opportunity after grinding his way from the bottom to the top. If the Venom is looking for a meek, mild-mannered pushover, they’ve got the wrong guy.
Ryu doesn’t want to admit the other goalie’s smart mouth turns him on. Beating Armstrong at practice feels good, sure, but there are other, more fun ways to shut his rival up.
In this league, it’s winner takes all. But there’s more to life than winning, and if Emmitt and Ryu can get past their egos and competitive natures, they might just discover they work better as partners than they ever imagined possible.
This was a steamy and adorable sports romance.
This story features two men of color as the protagonist. Emmitt is a black man trying to make it in the NHL, and Ryu is Japanese American.
The story kicks off with Emmitt being drafted to the NHL from the minor leagues, which is where he previously played. When he arrives to his new team, he realizes he’ll have to compete against Ryu, the teams goalie, for the starting spot for the season.
Not only is this an enemies to lovers story, but it also has an opposites attract trope. Emmitt is loud, a little bit obnoxious, and arrogant. Ryu has this driven, more reserved personality. I think they complemented each other really well. The banter between them was my favorite. I loved the hate to love that coated their relationship at the beginning. I also really loved how they went from enemies to eventually developing feelings for each other. It felt really authentic.
The ending felt a bit rushed to me. Everything kind of wraps up and resolves itself fairly quick. It’s definitely an HFN ending, rather than HEA, which isn’t bad, but just leaves a little bit of unresolved issues for the future. Though I suppose that’s realistic.
This was a cute, enemies to lovers romance. While I didn’t like it as much as the first book, this was a nice addition to the series.