A veteran hockey player and a rookie can’t get away from each other—or their own desires—in this sexy, heartfelt opposites-attract hockey romance.
Olly Järvinen has a long way to go. He’s got a fresh start playing for a new team, but getting his hockey career back on track is going to take more than a change of scenery. He’s got to shut his past out and focus. On the game, not on his rookie roommate and his annoyingly sunny disposition—and annoyingly distracting good looks.
All Benji Bryzinski ever wanted was to play in the big leagues, and he’s not going to waste one single second of his rookie season. Yoga, kale smoothies and guided meditation help keep his head in the game. But his roommate keeps knocking him off track. Maybe it’s just that Olly is a grumpy bastard. Or maybe it’s something else, something Benji doesn’t have a name for yet.
Olly and Benji spend all their time together—on the ice, in the locker room, in their apartment—and ignoring their unspoken feelings isn’t making them go away. Acting on attraction is one thing, but turning a season’s fling into forever would mean facing the past—and redefining the future.
I have been a romance fan for over twenty years, and in recent years, most of the romances I’ve read have featured queer protagonists. I don’t watch a lot of sporting events, but there’s something special about sports romance. I especially enjoy hockey romances, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read the first book in a brand new hockey romance series.
Olly and Benji are definitely an Odd Couple, who must live with other for Team Reasons. As the blurb mentions, rookie player Benji is health conscious, whilst Olly is…not. They get along reasonably well, but they initially have very different outlooks and attitudes about everything. As they grow closer together, they have to wade through a lot of internalized homophobia and toxic attitudes before they acknowledge their feelings for each other. This makes the romance a “slow burn” with an ever-present simmering tension, but the payoff is worth the wait.
This is a hockey romance for hockey fans. I don’t watch a lot of pro hockey, but I did co-manage the JV Boys’ team one year, so appreciated the team camaraderie. There’s some hockey slang like “chirping” and “billet brother” throughout the book, which made me smile.
I would absolutely recommend Season’s Change. This book is a bit heavy on the angst scale for a sports romance, but as I mentioned, our two protagonists have a lot to work out in terms of emotional growth and introspection. This affects the pace and dynamic of the narrative, but the change works to enhance the narrative, leading to the satisfying conclusion of both protagonists finding happiness with each other.
I received a digital ARC of this book from Carina Press/NetGalley