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.
Sports romance and a fake relationship seem like two tropes that don't go together in m/m books, right? Well, in this book they did go together and they were perfect for each other!
Ollie is a hockey player, he's out and pretty open about his sexuality with his huge family and some close friends, but he's still closeted when it comes to the rest of the world. His family is super supportive and they are all pushing for him to come out, to the point of Ollie feeling pressured about it. With his relationship with his childhood sweetheart over, his family won't let up about him coming out and winning his ex back.
Lennon is a nerdy sports journalist that loves his job. When he meets Ollie under some awkward circumstances they hit it off and he agrees to play his boyfriend for one evening so Ollie's family would stop pressuring him. They don't have time to make proper introductions so Lennon finds himself being refered to as Clark.
Fast forward six months, a trade for Ollie, a few articles and a reassignment for Lennon and they meet again, only this time Lennon's true name is revealed and Ollie storms out.
The whole story was very captivating. With the fake relationship, the journalist and the closeted athlete hitting it off, the ex making an appearance, the large and fun Stromberg clan and a collection of good friends I didn't even notice the book coming to an end.
There are a lot of funny moments that made me laugh out loud, thankfully when no one else was around. The banter between Ollie and Lennon was great and when drunk Lennon couldn't think anything without also saying it out loud made for some hilarious moments.
The meeting with Ollie's ex was very interesting to see. They had a lot of history together and it showed immediately but I liked how they behaved to each other. It's difficult to move on after so many years together and I liked that there was no evil ex, just someone that Ollie wasn't meant to be with but still cared about. I liked how civil they both were even if a little sad that they were no longer together.
This book deserves a big, bright star for there not being a last minute break-up-make-up scramble to create drama. There was no need for that because the plot was enough by itself to keep the reader's attention.
There was a press conference somewhere near the end and now you're all thinking "a press conference at an m/m sports romance book? what else is new..." but you'll never guess how that went!
The fourth book of the series is going to be about Talon and Miller, there won't be a fake boyfriend trope and I can't wait to get my hands on that one!
*An ARC of this book was kindly provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.*
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