Title: Winging It
Author: Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Pages/Word Count: 300 Pages
At a Glance: From the terrific world building, the endearing characters and the solid plot and timelines, this book was simply so much more than I could have hoped for.
Reviewed By: Janet
Blurb: Gabe Martin has a simple life plan: get into the NHL and win the Stanley Cup. It doesn’t include being the first out hockey player or, worse, getting involved with one of his teammates. But things change.
Dante Baltierra is Gabe’s polar opposite—careless, reckless… shameless. But his dedication to the sport is impressive, and Gabe can overlook a lot of young-and-stupid in the name of great hockey. And Dante has a superlative ass in a sport filled with superlative asses.
Before Gabe can figure out how to deal, a tabloid throws him out of his comfortable closet into a brand-new world. Amid the emotional turmoil of invasive questions, nasty speculation, and on- and off-ice homophobia, his game suffers.
Surprisingly, it’s Dante who drags him out of it—and then drags him into something else. Nothing good can come of secretly sleeping with a teammate, especially one Gabe has feelings for. But with their captain out with an injury, a rookie in perpetual need of a hug, and the race to make the playoffs for the first time since 1995, Gabe has a lot on his plate.
He can’t be blamed for forgetting that nothing stays secret forever.
Review: This book was absolutely brilliant!! I loved it. The writing duo of Kane and James is producing stories that are technically perfect, full of humor and excitement, and guys you just can’t help falling in love with. I can see the progression to excellence through their writing history, as each book gets better than the last; a single voice for the pair, strong characters, and seamless plots that are really out there and so very original.
This particular book is about hockey, professional NHL hockey players, and coming out against that background of media frenzy and the politics of professional sports. It may sound strange, though, that I don’t think of it as a sports book, per se, as the characters are so well developed that the focus is on them, their emotions and reactions, so the hockey is just a backdrop, a part of them and their world, and this is made clear to the reader.
Let me state clearly that even though I am Canadian, I have never had a pair of ice skates on my feet, nor have I ever watched an entire hockey game, clips on the news being my only personal knowledge of the sport, and yet I got the book. Ashlyn Kane and Morgan James present all the knowledge any reader needs to enjoy the book fully. It is hockey 101, total immersion. Any and every detail is covered – from the chapter headings as periods of play, the glossary of terms and players for reference – all come together to create an experience for the reader.
Gabe and Dante are the MCs and getting to know them was a real treat. Watching them dance their way into a relationship was even better. The sex was hot and their awkwardness was sweet. Gabe’s obliviousness made me want to shake him sometimes, and Dante’s earnest determination made me so proud. The full cast of characters were so well developed that reality just resonated off the pages. Winging It is masterfully written, a completely engaging story from start to finish, and really, just writing this brings it all back and I want to read it again. From the terrific world building, the endearing characters and the solid plot and timelines, this book was simply so much more than I could have hoped for – I can’t recommend it highly enough. This is not simply a book, it is an experience, and you will love it.
You can buy Winging It here: