Friday, March 3, 2017

Point Shot Trilogy by V.L. Locey Blog Tour


Two Man Advantage

Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.

Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.

But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.


Game Misconduct

Life has been treating Victor Kalinski well, which is a surprise for the ginger-haired forward with the venomous tongue. His career is somewhat stable, at least for another season. His relationship with Cougars alternate captain Dan Arou is deepening, despite the fact that Daniel has yet to come out of the closet.

It’s typical Kalinski luck when a puck bunny he shared a drunken night with several months ago slaps him with a paternity suit. Despite the sizzling passion and painfully heartfelt connection between them, Dan doesn’t take the news well, and heads back to Canada alone.

If he wants to make things right and win back the man he loves, Vic has no choice but to swallow his pride—and nobody’s prouder than hotheaded, ego-driven Victor Kalinski.


Full Strength

What a difference a year makes. Twelve months ago, Victor Kalinski was one of the best and most controversial ice hockey players in the pros. This year he’s playing in the minors, has a paternity case pending, and has just been vindictively outed to the world by one of his own teammates.

But he seems to find life in the tiny town of Cayuga to his liking. A large part of that is Dan Arou, the Cougars’ alternate captain and the man who now holds Victor’s heart. Surely venomous, viper-tongued Victor hasn’t been mellowed by love!

Well, perhaps a little. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t intend to get sweet revenge on those who’ve hurt the man he loves and the friends he’s somehow made along the way.

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Lying beside him in the dark, I was thinking about getting under the covers to suck him off when he asked me what I thought about the team.

I shrugged the shoulder his dark head rested on. “They suck, man.” I ran my tongue over my teeth.

“Think so, do you?” he enquired. “I hate that sound you make when you suck air through your teeth.”

“Um, yah,” I snorted, my palm resting on his shoulder. “I mean, no offense, but if not for you that bunch of losers wouldn’t have the few wins they do. And tough shit about the teeth sounds.”

Dan’s exhalation blew over my nipple. It puckered up into a tiny pink bead. I really wanted to get oral on this man. He seemed to be chatty, though. I didn’t dare comment on how girly that was. My ass was still recovering from the last slur against his manhood I’d made.

“You’re right,” he confessed, sitting up against my wishes to turn on the light. I squeezed my eyes shut and bitched about the wattage. “You think you could help us out?”

My nose wrinkled. “Dan, man, look, maybe if I were going to be here for the season, yeah, I’d be happy to pass along what tricks I’ve learned. But this trip is just for a week or two.” I had hoped he would drop it as soon as I weaseled around. He didn’t. His blue eyes stayed glued to me. “Arou, man, don’t make this harder than it is. Why don’t you just turn out the light, lie down and let me get you off again?”

I saw the desire flare up in his gaze. “I’d consider it a favor if you gave the other guys a hand. They’re buddies, you know?”

“Whose buddies? Not mine. They all fucking hate me,” I countered, pulling him back to the bed.

He flopped down with a sigh of exasperation. I rolled over him and began tasting his neck. He was just as bound up in this crazy thing we shared as I was. His neck and jaw tightened as he worked to fight the fire trail where my tongue and lips moved over him, but the nudge of his erection against my stomach showed he couldn’t control the need for me any more than I could handle my need for him.

“That’s because you’re a dick,” he ground out as I tongued his navel.

I agreed, then licked a long trail across his belly.




Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Veronica☆☆☆☆
Hockey star Vic has a big mouth with no filter and his team has had enough. In an effort to teach him how to behave, he is sent back to play with their AHL team. Vic is instantly attracted to his new teammate, Dan Arou, so when the two share a room on a road trip, they quickly fall into bed together.

These two together are absolute dynamite. We get to see them spend a good amount of time between the sheets throughout all three books, which was always fun and never got old. Every scene was just as sexy as the last.

I would usually find a guy like Vic annoying, and some of the time he is. Vic referring to Dan as a hobbit got old fast and was a turn off. It was easy to see Vic's mummy issues were causing him to lash out and were the driver of his poor behaviour. He really is his own worst enemy. Over time though, Vic opens up to the people around him and by the start of Full Strength, I loved him. Dan, on the other hand, is a great guy, well-liked by everyone, takes care of the people in his life, and he is pretty patient with Vic, even when Vic doesn't deserve it.

Each story is told entirely from Vic's point of view and the musings that go on in Vic's head had me laughing at times and cringing at others. I also have Vic to thank for spending a day with the theme from Laverne & Shirley stuck in my head.

The three stories in this box set, Two Man Advantage, Game Misconduct, and Full Strength, were all solid 4-star reads for me. The story of Vic and Dan's lives and relationship spans the entire box set, taking us though lots of ups and downs in their personal and professional lives. I was fully engaged with this story, from the first page right to the last.

The Point Shot Trilogy, for me, got the balance of romance/relationship and sports story spot on. I'm definitely going to be checking out more of Ms. Locey's work.


Erica☆☆☆☆
Two Man Advantage: 4 Stars
Game Misconduct: 4 Stars
Full Strength: 3 stars

V.L. Locey is a new-to-me author. I found the writing style easy to read, quick to fall into the story, detailed but not burying the storyline beneath the inane, with lifelike characterization.

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Review of Two Man Advantage: To be quite honest, I struggled to connect to Victor when I started the first novella. If it hadn't been for the fact that Cayuga, New York is in my local area, I may have stopped reading. But I was curious, so I continued. I'm sure glad I did.

What was a struggle for me was the way Victor spoke – his narration. Like the author was trying too hard to make him sound 'alpha male,' as well as with other characters, such as the coaches. In the author's defense, Victor is a self-admitted D-bag. While some of the commentary was inventive yet hilarious (mad props on that), it felt way over-the-top, distracting me from the storyline. But after a few chapters, this leveled out to a few of these phrases per page, instead of every sentence.

Our narrator, Victor's bad attitude has him being shipped from the pros to the minor leagues in hockey. A tough exterior, foul mouth, and serious attitude issues are the makings of a bad boy with a hurt heart. As I said, I had a hard time with Victor, but as the story unfolded, showing a small glimpse into his past, I could tolerate Victor. But it was Dan who won my heart.

Daniel Arou – Dan is Victor's new teammate and hotel roomie while at away games. Dan is outgoing, helpful, an all-around nice guy who is loved by all. Dan tries his hardest to smooth the rough edges off of Victor's attitude.

Their relationship unfolded slowly, even with this being a novella. Tension. Smack-talk. Banter. Heat. When Victor and Dan gave into their impulses, it was hotter than Hades.

At the end of the novella, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it, as well as feeling completely satisfied... which is why I've yet to start the second novella yet. I will be rectifying that now. Be back to review once I've finished.

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Review of Game Misconduct: The second novella in the trilogy picks up months after the first ended, tying up threads left unwoven. Victor and Dan are living together, both playing for Cayuga after Dan was shoved back to the minors by new draft picks in Boston.

The main conflict is two-fold: a thread from the previous book rears its ugly head, causing a fracture in the budding relationship. Truth be told, I see this from Victor's point of view. In a new relationship, with Dan moving to Boston and Vic staying behind in Cayuga, I felt they were finished (conflict of the first story). They had only been casual, never speaking 'forevers,' and Dan leaving felt final. So any acts taken by Victor were none of Dan's business, up and until Victor felt like sharing.

I believe in life, we all have the right to privacy, especially in our own minds. We don't have to share bits of ourselves with friends, family, or the person we are building a relationship with. It takes time, trust, and the conversation to make it exclusive. It's not lying. It's not lying by omission. It's 'none of your business’ until we make it your business. So in books, and in life, when I see a person fling out, "you're lying to me" when someone holds back info that belongs solely to them, that gets my ethics riled up. It's impossible to relay every second of your life from birth to death and lay it at your partner's feet.

When whatever act impacts the new relationship, then it is the other person's business. In this, Victor immediately tells Dan what happened – or tries – but Dan flees for the hills. I'm on Dan's side with this part. If he needed space, he deserves space. But I'm with Vic on another point. If you just spent many months in a committed relationship when info that predates said relationship rears its ugly head, to flee without communicating is an immature move. Bratty. After many months together, if you can't read your partner's intentions, then maybe you both need to reevaluate the relationship.

In reading, and in life, miscommunication is a no-go for me. It's reserved for emotionally stunted adults and children who have yet to voice their feelings and thoughts – neither of which describes Dan. Dan, who I thought was awesome – I understood his need for distance, but not his reluctance to hear what Victor had to say. It went against the characterization for Dan to run and give the silent treatment for the sake of conflict.

The second thread is what weaves into the last installment, so I won't spoil it by explaining. I'm looking forward to the conclusion.

This is a vent, but it didn't impact the rating of the book. However, it did impact the overall enjoyment of the book. I think this went a few steps too far to sound 'manly.'

One peeve of mine is the negative way women are spoken about in this series of books. One of the most derogatory MM books I've read to date, out of 500+ books. While I understand Victor after the way he was treated by his mother, as a bisexual man, he seems to loathe women. This makes no sense. Even when he acts like he likes the woman, the 'blah, blah, blah' he's thinking negates it, leaving it as tolerating women at best.

Gay men don't hate women – they just don't want to sleep with them. Straight men don't hate men – they just don't want to sleep with them. Straight women don't hate women – they just don't want to sleep with them. Gay women don't hate men – they just don't want to sleep with them.

Why all the hate? The being nasty to women?

The way all the characters speak of women, as a card-carrying uterus and ovaries owner, this stings. Keeping it authentic is one thing – acting as if ALL men loathe women is another. Not all women talk nonstop, try to get impregnated to get someone to pay their way, then are demanding and smothering and controlling. Even if they are, that doesn't make them bad people – people out there do love them. The way it was written, as if a woman's only worth is between their legs, as long as they shut up and are perfectly hot (no fatties, oldies, or uglies need apply). Other than a select few having value due to the genetic lottery and their chronological age, the rest of us may as well go lay down and die, because we don't deserve respect by these perfect specimens of men.

I could understand if this wasn't from a bisexual man. I could understand if this wasn't coming out of the mouth of every single male in the books – straight, gay, bi – they all LOATHE women.

In this, I finally understand the bi-erasure commentary. Just because a bisexual man partners with a gay man, that doesn't mean his attraction to women evaporates. Not only that, the entire female gender is hated on a cellular level.

_________

Review of Full Strength: This installment I can't go deep into the details without spoiling major threads of the entire box set. So I will comment overall on all three books tying together. Most readers will enjoy the continuity of how well they flow together, tying up all threads. I thought the author did a good job with the flow.

However, since I wasn't a fan of how women were portrayed in the series, a major thread was difficult for me to swallow. (I just about broke my Kindle when Victor voiced to his therapist how she shouldn't be having sex because she was old and fat). Heather – how immature she behaved. As if 14 years old, when she was supposedly 21 and ready to graduate. How the author wrote her as dropping everything to run to Dan and Victor's side, when neither needed her there, or asked her there – never once meeting Dan previously, and only seeing Victor three times in her entire life. Then saying she had to ride back to Cayuga with them, after flying out. Who ever buys a one-way ticket? Who buys a one-way ticket when they know they have to go home? It's more expensive than round-trip. Who buys a ticket for 'nothingness' because they want to stick their nose where it doesn't belong? Then makes Victor pay for it after the fact because she used her rent money? This was an unsuccessful ploy the author used to push Heather in Victor and Dan's orbit – one that was not palatable because it made Heather look manipulative when the author was trying to make her look cute, friendly, the guys' ally and new buddy.

Heather was an issue for me – not the storyline per se, but how it was written and executed. How Heather was written. Paying for her college? Her living expenses? Excuse me, what? Why? Victor and Dan don't know her, and from what I saw of how she was written as a tween, I don't know why they would want to know her. Apparently hot girls with big boobs are giggly morons who pout and get what they want. Hooking up with Brooks? Eww. Just eww. Have some maturity and wait. Yuck.

I'm sorry, but all of this, a major plot that I'm trying to talk around, especially with all the 'women hate' – it made my gender look flighty, moving from one guy to the next in a matter of minutes, with the intelligence of wet paper. Whatever guy can provide is the right one. I wasn't the intended audience of the plot featuring Heather. She gives my gender a bad name – she's exactly why I try to educate women to be better, more logical, responsible people who don't wait to be rescued for not using the brain in their head – people who take responsibility for their choices, without shame but learning from the situation. It's not cute – it's ridiculous. Require more out of women than what's between their legs.

Truth be told, and this is only my opinion overall, but I would have been satisfied with the happily for now ending of the first book, and been perfectly happy not to read the following two novellas. Simply because that's the type of reader I am. Once a couple is together, for me, it feels like drawing out the story. I'm positive I'm in the minority, but this is the type of reader I am. So I had more enjoyment in novella one, mild curiosity in novella two, and was slightly disinterested during novella three.

One portion did keep me interested, the locale. I live in the Twin Tiers of Southern New York and North Central Pennsylvania. The Finger Lakes is my region. So I got a kick out of Cayuga, Seneca, and even an added bonus of seeing our neighbor to the south – Scranton. I wasn't aware we were such hockey fans, or that the press was 'that' interested in the personal lives of minor league players. But the fantasy of it, the angst, made for a good read once I suspended belief.

I do recommend this trilogy of novellas, and do look forward to more stories by the author. This did and didn't work for me, because of my own personal issues with how women were portrayed.




V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and two Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.


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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Point Shot Trilogy by V.L. Locey to read and review for this tour.

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