Country Boy (Hot off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp
This is the second book in the Hot Off the Ice hockey series by AE Wasp. I read the first book, City Boy and was quite taken with the characters but found some of their dialogue and scenarios unrealistic. I was hoping that the story of ice hockey players Paul and Robbie would not be quite so farfetched, but regrettably from the off, I was disappointed.
The story is a good one. Paul has repressed his homosexuality due to his homophobic super religious upbringing yet he cannot deny his urges and he spends one gloriously debauched night with Robbie. Robbie is out and proud and although he knew that Paul was not he was still irreparably hurt when Paul bashed him on the ice literally and figuratively. Being called a ‘faggot’ by the man he’d spent the previous night in bed with was not something Paul could get over easily. Without adding spoilers, the rest of the book deals with what happens when they meet 2 years later and realise they still have feelings for one another. Both men are in different places and their personal lives have changed circumstances, but it is a big ask to give everything up for one another.
The issue I have is in the writing style. The characters refer to things readers have no previous knowledge of, and I couldn’t seriously imagine two hulking ice hockey players quoting poetry at each other. I found the dialogue difficult to follow in places and also a bit confusing as to who was saying what. And the author has a tendency to make her characters change their minds really quickly which throws the storyline at times.
As with the first book, overall, I enjoyed the essence of the story. However, I feel more care with syntax and editing could have raised the quality of the writing.