Title: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2)
Author: A.E. Wasp
Series: Hot Off the Ice
Publisher: Kelpie Press
Reviewer: Larry / John
Release Date: September 21, 2017
Genre(s): m/m Gay Fiction / Romance / Awakening
Page Count: 326 pages
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Blurb: Sometimes the toughest thing to believe in is yourself.
The first time Paul Dyson met Robbie Rhodes, they ended up naked in Robbie’s bed. The last time they met, on the ice the morning after, Paul punched Robbie in the face and called him something he’d rather not repeat.
Two years later, they’re teammates and Paul is so deep in the closet he’ll need a roadmap to find his way out again.
Robbie might be his compass. But to be with Robbie, Paul will have to turn his back on his family and everything he’s ever believed in.
It’s going to take a lot of faith to find their way together in this shiny new world.
Country Boy is a love story about figuring out who you are, who you want to be, and how to get there. It contains sweet hockey plays, a 1976 Corvette Stingray, fancy underwear, and the journey of a lifetime.
Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2) takes us on a journey of loathing, fear, frustration and awakening. Two young men who come from very different backgrounds are trying to navigate their feelings for each other while their inner struggles seem to be trying to pull them apart. It is a journey, a journey that each takes in his own way, while attempting to support the other.
Paul was conflicted. Throughout his entire young life, his religion told him being gay was wrong, a sin, a direct path to hell. Yet he knew deep down he was gay, and prayed for it to go away – it didn’t. When he met Robbie, his life went into a tailspin. From that strange evening forward, Paul knew he was in trouble. So how does a good kid overcome the teachings of his church, his homophobic father, and all the people in his community?
Robbie though not an atheist, didn’t believe in the teachings of church. His family was open, accepting, and loving. He only wished they would understand his need to play hockey. The son of two high level professors who needed Robbie to be like them was the anchor around his neck. Though he tried to help them understand, they couldn’t see playing games as a career even if it was lucrative. To them, Robbie had failed.
When Robbie and Paul hooked up one cold winter night, Robbie knew there was something between them, only to be kicked in the face by Paul after his father confronted him, spewing damnation and disgust. Several years later, they found themselves on the same hockey team, having to work together, having to get past their differences, and falling for each other at the same time. How do they get past Paul’s internal conflicts? How does Paul keep his little sister in his life once his father finds out he is sleeping with Robbie? How would he face his church family once they found out? Paul’s internal conflicts only became worse.
Life and love had become a tangled mess for the two Thunder rookies, a mess that overflowed to the team and eventually to the fans. When religion stands in the way of love, it no longer feels good to be part of that church. Paul’s struggles with those demons brought pain to him and to Robbie. His fears had merit in his mind and had to be justified, but his love for Robbie and the love he felt from Robbie also had merit. How could he throw one away and not the other as well?
Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice Book 2) was an easy read, though a difficult one to get through without wanting to punch someone in the face. Wasp brought the pain front and center. She managed to mingle in the love, hot sex, and fear into a story that takes the reader along a path that no one wants to travel. Through her words, the reader is able to feel Paul’s pain, Robbie’s frustrations, and even the team’s support as the two rookies worked their way down the path of eternal damnation.
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