Friday, February 5, 2021

ARC Review: Goal Lines & First Times (CU Hockey #3) by Eden Finley & Saxon James

Goal Lines & First Times (CU Hockey #3)



It turns out making out with my best friend in high school could be considered gay. Who knew? Apparently, everyone but me.

Now that it’s been pointed out, I can’t help reliving it in my head. Repeatedly. Goodbye Denial Town, hello Confusionville.

When my path leads me down the gay dating app route, I don’t expect to meet anyone I like, but then I meet him.

He can’t be more opposite than me. He’s smart, he hates hockey, and he identifies as demi—something I’ve never heard of.

Yet I can’t deny something’s there. Something I want to explore in person. If only I could get him to agree.


All my life, I’ve felt broken.

Sick of being asked if I could be gay by ex-girlfriends, friends, and even my parents, I join a gay dating app to prove a point.

I don’t expect to find what’s always been missing. A real connection.

The problem is, I’m too scared to meet him in person. He’s a hockey player, and I fear when he finds out my twin plays for the NHL, I’ll be overshadowed by my overachieving brother. Again.

Worse yet, what happens if we meet and that connection isn’t the same?

When I tell him I’m not ready, he’s disappointed but supportive. Fate, on the other hand, isn’t as accepting.

I had no idea the person I’ve been falling for is someone I already know.

Todd's rating:


This story felt like the slowest of suuuuuuper-slow burns that I'd ever read from Eden or Saxon, but not in a bad way at all.

Previously straight, and possibly asexual or demisexual, Seth got a bit of a wake-up call when his most recent girlfriend broke up with him, calling him on his supposed attraction to the guy who played The Witcher and opening his eyes to a possible change in future dating endeavors.

And jock-boy Cohen, aka "Richie", had also recently began to question his own strict hetero status, so seeing the two meet and form a true bond over a gay chat app hit all of the right notes for me.

Their back-and-forth banter regarding the over-abundance of dick pics on the chat site would've been a win for me, even if I hadn't already been a huge fan of stories where MC's meet over text, then not meeting in person until much later than usual in typical M/M romances.

However, the total amount of banter and humor did feel slightly lower than in Eden's previous books. Yes, it was still there, but it didn't feel quite as prevalent this time out. To me, at least.

Eventually, though, they did put two and two together and discovered (quite by accident) who "Richie" and "Einstein" actually were, which I enjoyed, but still may or may not have yelled at my eReader to just "TELL HIM ALL GODDAMN READY" a time or two. Allegedly. ;- )

I'm not sure who else might experience this, too, but by around 40% in, I was thinking that the story "could" have possibly wrapped up within the next 3 or 4 chapters, then I looked at my book location and saw that I hadn't even hit the half-way mark in the book yet.

So the pacing felt a bit wonky for me, but then I kept reading and everything evened out as I suspect Eden and Saxon had intended all along.

The angst was kept in check pretty well; however, I do have to admit that, with Seth thinking that he might be asexual, the story had A LOT more steam than I'd initially suspected. And flip-floppy steam at that, so no complaints from me. heh

I have to admit that the first two books in the series have been my favorites so far, but this one still held its own nicely and fit in well with the previous books.

I'm guessing that the next MC would most likely be Asher, a new freshman member of the hockey team who'd recently lost both of his parents, but I could be wrong.

Overall, I'd rate this one at around 4 stars and recommend it to fans of the series.

My ARC copy of the book was provided by the authors in exchange for a fair, unbiased review and will be *FREE* with Kindle Unlimited membership when it is released.

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