Word of advice: don’t come out to random guys in public restrooms. Even if they’re charming and adorably nerdy and offer to help.
My family believe I can’t be happy if I’m not out to the world. I have a bitter ex-boyfriend and an unstable NHL career to show for it. A fake boyfriend seems like an easy and quick solution to get my family off my back, and this guy is volunteering. I take him up on it without asking his name.
I really should’ve asked for his name.
Word of advice: learn how to introduce yourself properly.
In my defense, I don’t recognize Ollie Strömberg right away. I cover football, not hockey.
I’m not supposed to see him again, and he’s never supposed to find out I’m a reporter.
That all changes when my editor reassigns me.
It’s a lesson I should’ve learned by now. Nothing’s changed since high school. Jocks still hate nerds. But even worse, athletes hate journalists. Especially ones who know their secret.
Wow, this feels like some big ole' Eden Finley book 1 déjà vu, because once again...
I have nothing but LOVE, LOVE, LOVE for this story.
At 24, NHL player Ollie had zero problem with the fact that he was gay, but his entire family took major issue with him not coming out yet, as they didn't understand that the issue was way less about shame and way more about holding onto a job in hockey that he truly loved.
So after one family dinner, accidentally coming out to a stranger in the bathroom, and an offer of assistance from said stranger, Ollie found himself introducing his (*cough-fake-cough) boyfriend, Clark, to his large, supportive family.
Except Clark was actually Lennon, a sports journalist and the very last person that Ollie would've chosen to come out to, if he'd known he was putting his one big secret in jeopardy beforehand.
Every little thing about this book was on point. Nope, not even a single niggle that I can think of. This story had the perfect blend of feels, insecurities, angst, steam, and snarky banter.
Plus, a reporter that looked like a blond Clark Kent falling for a Nordic God of a jock? Umm, YES, PLEASE!
I fell in love with Ollie's family immediately, but could see from a mile off that the fake boyfriend lie was going to be a difficult one to escape, and it was.
“When are you going to tell them the truth about me?” he whispers.The big secret, that Clark was in fact Lennon came to a head, when Ollie's brothers were talking shit about Ollie's situation and Lennon came to his defense, which I adored, because *that* was when the true, bone-deep feelings actually became apparent between the MC's.
I shrug. “At our engagement party?”
Matt's little brother, Jet, was an amazingly-fun character, too. Talk about being a total little spitfire, full of piss and vinegar.
“I’m only here because of my roommate.”The humor was a thing of beauty in this story, especially when everyone and their grandmother kept calling Ollie "pretty".
Jet raises his hand. “That would be me. He wanted to go home, but I convinced him to stay for at least five drinks.”
I’m learning really fast that negotiating with Jet is pointless.
“There’s that fuckin’ pretty word again. I’m not pretty. I’m wicked badass.”Along with Lennon's jealousy.
“Of course, you are, baby.” I pat his cheek.
Even though I’m being condescending, he has this weird smile on his face as if I just told him he’s won the Hottest Man on Earth competition. Which, in all fairness, if it was a thing, he could totally win.
“There you go calling me pretty again,” he grumbles.And the sexy times, which began with a somewhat-daring blowjob taunt.
“You are kinda pretty.” Soren turns to us from the passenger seat with a charming smile showing off the dark scruff on his face.
Ollie chuckles at me. “I think you’re growling. Are you trying to growl? Fuck, that’s adorable.”
I didn’t know it was possible for someone to call me a pussy with just their eyes, but Lennon pulls it off flawlessly.Finley didn't disappoint in her avoidance of contrived drama and the ever-dreaded Big Misunderstanding, either, as neither were anywhere to be found, Praise the Lawd.
The slow burn in this story was exquisite, but when the MC's realized and admitted their true feelings, it felt believable and pretty damn sublime.
Ugh. I sound like a puck bunny. I gasp. I’m Ollie’s puck bunny! I chuckle at myself, because even though I’m joking, I don’t actually mind the sound of that.The book ends with a strong HFN, headed towards an HEA, complete with a few personal sacrifices, willingly offered up, once what was truly important blessedly made its way to the forefront of the MC's minds.
So with all that said, this story gets ALL 5 STARS from me and I'm dying to read the last two books in the series.
My ARC copy of the book was provided by the author in exchange for a fair, unbiased review.
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