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Summary

Life is going pretty well for Derek LaVigne. He's playing professional hockey in Los Angeles where hockey is barely on the radar, and this allows him to live in relative anonymity. Derek's world is tilted on its axis when he's traded to the Detroit Wheels. Not only is this one of the top teams in the National Hockey League, he'll also be playing in a city that lives and breathes hockey. It sounds like a dream come true, but soon enough it becomes clear it isn't.

The reason for Derek's change of heart is Trevor Ladouceur. Five years ago Derek and Trevor were linemates on Team Canada at the World Junior Championship. They were inseparable both on and off the ice and became known as the Wonder Twins. After winning the gold medal, they slept together. Trevor was gone the next morning, and they haven't spoken since. Now they're together again, and the expectation is for the Wonder Twins to help Detroit win the Stanley Cup. Much to Derek's dismay, he realizes he's falling in love with Trevor all over again.

©2015 D K Dunn (P)2015 Dreamspinner Press

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Havan_IronOak
  • 30-11-15

Teammates, linemates, roommates even mates

Derek and Trevor were two hockey players who played so well as juniors that their Team Canada won the Gold Medal at the World Junior Championship and they both went on to the NHL.

Of course, that night after they won the gold they slept together but in the morning when Derek awoke he was alone. Trevor's gay panic and abandonment left a deeply wounded Derek. It's now 5 years later. Derek is playing hockey in L.A. and has been able to explore his sexuality a bit because hockey isn't really on anyone's radar out there.

But he's been traded to the league leading Detroit team where Trevor is playing (and dating the local weather girl). Detroit's coach wants to "reunite the wonder twins" but in a city where hockey players are famous, how will Derek deal with finding his place on this much better team, resolve his issues with his old flame and still be true to himself?

D.K. Dunn has done a great job here. The story is compelling, the hockey details are spot on, the Michigan setting is exactly right (even down to a casual mention of Euchre) and the two guys seem realistic and both are sympathetically drawn. This is one of the best M/M sports centered books I've encountered.

However don't go into this expecting anything too steamy. No one even gets laid in the first 15 chapters. This is a sweet tale of coming-out and redemption and of re-establishing a relationship that was ended prematurely. But don't ever forget, this is also a hockey story. The MC's may be athletes but with all the scrapes and bruises and brittle machismo attitudes that the sport is known for.

Michael Pauley does the narration here and does a great job of voicing Derek from whose POV the story is told. He gets the attitude as well and the pacing during key sports scenes works really well.

*** Note: I received a copy of this audiobook for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest and impartial review ***

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Morgan A Skye
  • 24-09-15

Great narration, not a great story

Derek is gay and plays for the NHL team in LA. He gets traded to Detroit for a chance at the Stanley cup. He should be psyched but he’s absolutely not because this will pit him head to head with the hit and run lover he had 5 years ago who left him all alone after a night of drunken sex.
Trevor, who is now 24, “can’t be gay” and play professional hockey – or so he tells himself. He continually pushes Derek away and claims that the night they spent together was a mistake.

As they Wonder Twins begin to work with one another to win the cup, they begin to form a somewhat stable friendship, or at least not openly hostile.

Trevor’s hot girl-friend – who is a total bitch – finally tires of playing second or third fiddle to hockey, the dogs and even Derek – and drops him. Trevor is forced to re-evaluate his life and realizes Derek has been right for him all along.

**

So… I wanted to like this. I like the idea of GFY/OFY, hot hockey players? – oh yeah; coming out stories – you bet! – enemies to lovers – awesome! This sounded like it had a bit of all that. Yeah, no.

It had a guy with his head in his a** the ENTIRE time, constant back and forth between the two MCs over the SAME ISSUE and only pne – count it – one sex scene at the very end of the book. It also had a long list of things that bugged me: making most of the women in their lives act like b*tches, making fun of being gay, no coming out for either character and a totally unbelievable “I love you” declaration that came from out in left field.

When we get to the end I have absolutely no belief that this relationship will work out and really I didn’t even care by that point. I sort of liked Derek, but never cared for Trevor at all. There was a LOT of hockey, a smidge of sexual tension, and very little romance.

Audio

Michael Pauley did a good job with this book. He tried to give all the various hockey guys a unique voice and even tried a little Canadian accent now and then –eh? At times he sounded almost out of breath and I can’t tell if it was because Trevor always was angry but his narration make him always sound that way.

I can’t really recommend this book, it didn’t do it for me on any level, but the narration wasn’t the problem.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Queue
  • 19-03-16

Amazing love story

I’m not usually a fan of sports-related books so I’m not sure how this one ended up in my queue but I’m glad I gave it a shot. Linemates was an awesome romance between two hard headed and perfectly matched men.

Hockey player Derek LaVigne is both excited and nervous when he is traded to the Detroit Wheels. It’s the team he’s always wanted to play on since he was young but one of his teammates is ex-lover—Trevor Ladouceur. Years back Derek and Trevor had some hot and heavy sex and Derek in love right away. However, Trevor took off and never contacted him again.

I’m a big fan of sexual tension between characters and that’s what most of this book is about. There’s a push and pull between Trevor and Derek that had me hanging on every word. I couldn’t wait to plug in my earphones and find out what was going to happen next.

Because of the mostly unrealized sexual tension there is a lack of actual romance in the book. In fact there is no sex until the very end. That’s something some readers might see as a negative, but not me. I thought it was perfect because any sooner it wouldn’t have been realistic. Both Derek and Trevor had growing to do, mostly Trevor.

One thing that some readers might take offense to is the homophobic remarks made by Trevor’s and Derek’s teammates. Yes, they were offensive but they were also authentic. Anyone that’s been in a men’s locker room or worked in a mostly male environment know that that kind of conversation is commonplace.

One of my complaints is that there weren’t many positive female characters. Trevor’s girlfriend is written as such a stereotypical bitch that it was hard to see any reason whatsoever Trevor would want to be with her. Yeah, he was using her as a beard but she’d still need to be a decent enough person he’d want to spend time with her.

Overall, an enjoyable story I would recommend highly.

Michael Pauley did an amazing job with this book. He absolutely nailed Derek, whose POV the story is written in. There are a lot of supporting characters in the book, mainly Trevor and Derek’s teammates, and Pauley did a good job making them all distinct. I will definitely listen to anything by him in the future.

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  • A. Clark
  • 17-12-15

DNF

I was really excited that there was a book that has hockey elements to it, but man I could not finish. Four hours in, and I found myself actively hoping that the main characters DIDN'T get together.

Also, I didn't care for the narrator. All of his secondary characters sounded the same, and his female voices were TERRIBLE.

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  • Lifesavr
  • 03-10-15

Good coming out story - Sports

Another in closet gay professional sports romance. I listen and read a lot of these stories, this one I liked a lot. The read was good. It was still a little distant when it comes to character development, but it kept my interest to the very end.

I wish it went a little further than it did. The sex was good, wasn't what I consider over focus.