Rating: 4 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel

 

Jamie Jamieson (yes, that’s probably his real name) is a hockey player looking for a new start. He was engaged to his team captain’s brother, and when the wedding got called off by mutual decision, it became a super difficult work situation. Coming to the Vancouver Orcas is a huge change, hopefully for the better, and Jamie is determined to keep out of trouble. He’s a few hours away from his large and loving family, and staying in a spare bedroom at a house owned by his new coach’s cousin, Dorian. Jamie makes a decision to not mess around with anyone related to the Orcas organization, but damn is Dorian sexy. And competent. And kind. He honestly doesn’t work FOR the Orcas, but there’s a lot of crossover in his duties as social media manager for the local NHL affiliate that oversees the Orcas. And, there’s always the chance that hurting Dorian could cause issues with his coach, right?

Dorian Shore’s struggled to connect with people most of his life. He was the youngest, and clearly the most disappointing, of his siblings. He’s very low contact with his parents and siblings, instead building stronger relationships with his extended family, including his two gay cousins–Orca’s head coach Matt Shore and team baker to the NHL affiliate, Charlie Shore. Matt and Charlie each have found their partners and they have all the love and support Dorian’s afraid to accept.

This is the third book in the Vancouver Orcas series, but can be enjoyed as a standalone. It is a sweet and sexy romance between men who didn’t want to connect. It’s all about convenience, at first, because it’s absolutely expensive living in Vancouver; Jamie doesn’t have the means to rent his own place. But, the longer he stays in Dorian’s place, the more he helps Dorian warm up to living beyond existence. Dorian’s a bit neurotic, and he’s pet-averse, but that’s mostly because he has so little experience with people or pets. And Jamie’s just the man to change Dorian’s rigid rules for the better. Their caretaking was cute, but I think it was Jamie’s depth of compassion, helping Dorian see that he’s worth loving no matter how cold his parents were, that was the bright spot. Watching Dorian grow out of his well-fortified shell was enjoyable, especially as Jamie helped him realize his new dreams. Dorian’s wealthy from app development and wants to build a new homegrown business, which Jamie supports. It’s fun seeing them connect over local handicrafts.

As a reader that is NOT Canadian, I really liked the insight into this culture. This hockey romance includes a good amount of hockey–on ice, in the locker room–if you want that. I generally do enjoy the sports moments, and they are well done here. The focus throughout the series has been on character development and relatable emotional needs, and the story feels authentic as a result. We get to see Matt, Charlie, and their partners, up close again as they help both Jamie and Dorian navigate a reasonable path toward love. I really enjoyed this series and would definitely read on if there are any more books.