Henry Delloit is a game designer who lives in an isolated mountain community in his dream home. A fan of the X-treme Games, he looks forward to the one month out of the year that the games visits his area so he can go flirt with the athletes. When Henry observes Ecco performing, he strikes up a conversation and asks him to dinner, hoping for a casual hookup.
Ecco Rasmussen loves snowboarding, except that he has to deal with his manager, Blake Dobbs. Blake treats Ecco as if he owns him. Mean, possessive, and holding the purse strings, Blake forces Ecco to do whatever he tells him to do. When Henry asks him to dinner, Ecco struggles with wanting to go, but knowing he will have hell to pay if Blake finds out. Despite this, he accepts Henry’s offer.
When Ecco suffers an injury on one of his qualifying runs, Henry offers him a chance to escape from under Blake’s thumb and recuperate. While Henry and Ecco give in to the lust they have, the two quickly find themselves falling for one another. The only problem is that Blake isn’t ready to let Ecco go.
When I got the chance to review this book, I was super excited! Snowboarders! Competition! Right up my alley. Add in that it is written by one of my go-to authors and I devoured this book within a few hours.
Readers should be aware that there are scenes of domestic abuse that occur within this story that are graphic. Ecco has suffered abuse by Blake for years. He’s tried several times to escape, but because Blake controls nearly every aspect of Ecco’s life, including the money, Ecco is forced to do whatever it is that Blake wants him to do. Arriving at the Branchberry Games, his hopes were to just get on his board and ride. What he wasn’t expecting was to have Henry flirt with him and ask him to dinner.
Henry is a rich geek who borders on being a bit nerdy. He’s made a nice hunk of change designing video games. It’s enough money that he has an isolated dream home with beautiful mountain views and can afford to spend a month watching the X-treme Games when they come to town. Ordinarily he looks forward to flirting with the athletes, and this year was no different…until he met Ecco and realized that there was something seriously wrong going on between Ecco and Blake. Stepping in, Henry is ready to protect Ecco any way that he can. I really liked Henry because he is not the type of character you expect to play the role of the hero.
Ecco is a snowboarder who knows that he’s reached the highest he’s going to ever reach when it comes to the sport. In his late 20s, he came across as being much more immature in the manner in which he spoke and acted – at least initially. It was nice to see him mature before my very eyes with the help of Henry. When Henry offers Ecco a place to recover from his injuries sustained both on the slopes and behind closed doors, Ecco jumps at the chance to get away, even if it is only temporary. Once these two are at Henry’s isolated house, the two can’t keep their hands off one another. Yes, there plenty of sexy scenes between these two!
I liked that the story didn’t bring in a whole lot of secondary characters, other than Blake. Blake is the perfect bad guy: esay to anger, quick with his fists, and having little empathy for the snowboarder whose made him a pretty penny.
One issue I had with this story was the relationship between Blake and Ecco. Without giving away any of the story, I found it hard to believe that Ecco did a complete 180 degree turn from living in fear of his manager to standing up to him. For me, it seemed as if Ecco had chances to break away from Blake before, but for some reason came back and I guess I just didn’t understand the hold Blake had over him.
Overall, despite my lack of understanding of Ecco and Blake’s relationship, I really liked this story. If you like a sports-themed story and an abundance of well written sex scenes, you’ve got to check this story out!
A review copy of this book was provided by Dreamspinner Press.