Olympic figure skater Emory Lowe falls in lust the moment he lays eyes on his new neighbor, hockey player Nikolai Vetrov. On the surface, Nik is a typical badass enforcer, intimidating and dangerous, on and off the ice. The only son of Ukrainian immigrants, Nik has been groomed from childhood to fulfill his father’s dreams of seeing him in the Hockey Hall of Fame. Igor guides his son toward that goal with a controlling—and abusive—hand, steering him clear of anyone who might ruin his chances.
Although Emory is the US National Figure Skating champion, he’s in-your-face gay, and his audacious persona rubs Nik and his family the wrong way. Raised by supportive and loving parents, Emory is Nik’s polar opposite in every way but one—his desire to succeed. Underneath the fluff and glitter beats the heart of a fierce competitor, and this side of Emory’s personality begins to close the distance between the two athletes.
While the attraction is one-sided in the beginning, Nik finds himself responding to Emory’s flirting. But before the incongruous pair have a chance at any sort of relationship, they must survive the pressures of career, separation, and most importantly, Igor’s ruthless homophobia.
The idea of a flamboyant figure skater and badass enforcer hockey player getting it on makes me all kinds of hot under the (metaphorical) collar.
Throw in a Slavic MC, and I'm pretty much ringing that bell!
The opposites attract theme worked well here, and there was enough steam (gay first-timer + two butt-sex virgins = FUCK YES!) to make me happy.
Enforcing Emory is YA/NA (lots of parental involvement, and Emory lives with his family), but contains adult themes.
Nik drove me crazy with his SUCK-MY-DICK-BUT-I'M-NOT-GAY denial. I get that he was deeply in the closet and scared of his own shadow since his dad is a crazy Ukrainian homophobe. Even so, I felt like he was using Emory (not that Emory was complaining).
Let me insert this public service announcement: Not all Slavs are homophobes, people.
But Nik's dad is one of a kind, and the homophobia in this book is melodrama central.
And then there's Emory's dad, the kind racist who hates "foreigners," calls Russians (BTW, Ukrainians are NOT Russians!) "commies," and thinks all jobs should go to good ol' Americans, etc.
But he's a nice guy who supports his gay son and finally takes Nik under his wing. Give the man a cigar.
I enjoyed the second part of the book (minus the cray-cray that was Nik's dad, of course) better than the first. Once Nik stopped pushing Emory away, they were damn cute and sexy together
Even though the beginning dragged and there were a few WTH? moments, I felt the HEA.