Travis is used to moving; after all, he’s been traded nearly every year for the last few and before that played in many different countries to boot. It makes his life hard, for sure, but his love life is the thing that suffers the most—no long term relationships for him since he’s bound to be gone before too long. Still, Travis is an asset to the hockey teams that take a chance on him. He’s not only hired for his calming influence, but also for his ability to fight. It’s not often he needs to do that as his reputation precedes him, but if a fight on the ice is needed, then he’s the man to do it. The problem is that Travis also hides a dark secret—one that makes fighting a dangerous option. He keeps that close to the cuff for many reasons, the main one being that he can’t stop playing as he has no other real skills than hockey playing on his resume. That’s the main reason for the online college courses he’s been taking and his latest one, a poetry class, is going to be the death of him.
Barnaby wears his heart on his sleeve and has been burned too often for it. The latest boyfriend to betray him did so on an epic scale, pushing him to leave England all together for a fresh start in wintry Canada. Living with his cousin, Rupert, and Rupert’s husband, Callum, may be a godsend, but Barnaby is all too aware that the mountain of debt around his neck keeps him from truly being free of the nastiness he left behind him. Swearing off dating in all forms is part of the penance he’s subjected himself to and he’s determined to finish his Ph.D. and get debt free before even considering another relationship. When Rupert offers up an easier way to make money part-time by tutoring one of his hockey players, Barnaby jumps at the chance. Who knew his love of poetry would not only give him a bit more free time and a nice additional income, but also a chance to be with a gorgeous athlete? But Barnaby is determined to keep their interactions at a professional level, at least that’s the idea, until a friend with benefits arrangement is offered and becomes much too alluring to turn down.
Samantha Wayland offers up another delicious hockey romance with her latest release, Poetry in Motion. With returning characters from other novels and new ones that are just as alluring, the author sets in motion a romance that is sure to melt the ice around anyone’s heart. Barnaby has come to Canada licking his wounds and trying to escape the feeling that he was a genuine fool for love and not in a good way. Betrayed by his ex after footing the bill not only for his dancing career, but a lavish lifestyle the guy enjoyed, left Barnaby deeply in debt. To make matters worse, he had been horribly hurt and humiliated to discover his boyfriend had been sleeping with mutual so-called friends and everyone seemed to know it, but had never bothered to tell him. So when attraction rears its head between he and Travis, Barnaby is understandably reluctant to give in to it. Only when Travis offers a friendship with additional benefits and the knowledge that he won’t be looking for more due to his transitory lifestyle does Barnaby give in.
Oh silly boys. These two are like sparks on dry firewood; they go in deep within very little time and the feelings they both keep hidden from each other run strong. The chemistry between them is undeniable and genuine and really lovely to see grow and mature. But that little secret Travis has that he inadvertently shares with Barnaby may well be the catalyst to force these two apart. It becomes a real deal breaker for Barnaby and one that Travis refuses to share with anyone else despite it being a dangerous decision in the end. My heart broke for Travis and his inability to trust in himself or believe in his own worth beyond playing hockey. Having been told for so many of his formative years that he wasn’t very bright and just to stick to playing has made the man afraid to think beyond a career that may very well do him damage beyond repair. Some of the best moments in this novel were when Barnaby would encourage Travis to see himself as the smart and kindhearted man he truly was.
I think my only niggle with this book was this idea that Travis was hired in order to start or continue fights on the ice. I am putting that down to my very limited knowledge of the sport, but it seemed just a bit strange that he was such a mild-mannered guy who could swing a fist with the best of the them and had been hired because of it—I just didn’t get it. However, other than that, I really felt this novel was incredibly well done.
Poetry in Motion is a story that reminds us that we are often so much more than we ourselves can see or believe. Sometimes it takes the love of another person to open our eyes to who we truly can be and that is a lovely thought. I really enjoyed this novel and hope the author manages another story where we get to see Travis and Barnaby again.