Friday, August 25, 2017

Open Net by V.L. Locey Blog Tour

August Miles has the world on a string professionally.

Augie, as his friends and teammates call the unassuming young goaltender, is on the fast track to the pros. The starting goalie for the Cayuga Cougars, he has a year or two in Cayuga to hone his skills and all his career dreams will have come true. Pity his personal life isn’t riding the same high. He’s the only one among his group of friends without that special someone to call his own.

Until he meets Salvatore Castenada at a lakeside party. The attraction is white-hot and more than a little wonderfully overwhelming for the romantically inexperienced goalie. August quickly discovers that Sal is everything he’s dreamed of in a man: mature, settled, sinfully handsome, and filled with gentle humor. Sal is also HIV positive.

Will Sal’s revelation about his status end this budding relationship before it can even begin? Or will the two men be able to handle the challenges life—and a championship run for the Cougars—throws at them?

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

This is a sweet romance between a young hockey player and an older man.

Augie is very young and his inexperience makes him feel younger. I suspect that this is a more accurate portrayal of a young professional athlete than most. Augie’s world is hockey and he’s pretty sheltered and naive beyond his sport. The innocence rolling off of Augie had me just as protective of him as his friends are. I’m not sure I ever liked the idea of a 37-year-old HIV positive man for Augie – but I did eventually warm to the relationship and I did come to like Salvatore.

Sal is unusually ordinary for a leading man in a romance novel. He’s attractive and charming, but he is also a hospital orderly without grandiose dreams or ambitions. Augie and the other characters acknowledged my many reservations about Sal, but as I came to care for him I wondered if he didn’t have more to lose in his unlikely relationship with a beautiful young athlete just poking his head out of the closet.

I don’t often get quite so reflective about characters or so emotionally involved in their decisions. These two felt very real to me and I found myself completely invested in their relationship.

More objectively, this is very much an insta-love story without much action that moves quite slowly. There isn’t as much hockey in this story as I usually want from a sports romance. I haven’t read earlier books, so I struggled with characters the author expected readers to know. But there is something special about the way Augie and Sal both come to life in this story.

This is the second book in the series, and I would recommend that you read Snap Shot first, although it is not essential – there we got Mario and Lila's story and met many of the other team members, including Augie.

Although this is a sports romance and does have the issues of the Cougar hockey team as a feature, the core of the story centres firmly around Augie and Sal, their romance, and their issues. Just as Snap Shot gave the reader an insight into issues of transgender, Open Net focusses on Sal's HIV status and how it affects his relationship with Augie, and both their relationships with Augie's friends and family.

We are reminded of the mistaken preconceptions that are so easy to form, and of the disappointments when close friends behave in a way which hurts. As Augie opens up about his nature and introduces his new love to those that mean the most to him, the results are at times unexpected and unwanted, but at others, affirmatory and welcome.

A more thoughtful book than I was first expecting, but as I thought back to the impact Snap Shot had on me, I knew I shouldn't have been surprised; Ms. Locey is good at getting to the heart of the matter.

Also Available in the Cayuga Cougars Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Snap Shot Blog Tour.

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.

Connect with V.L.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Open Net (Cayuga Cougars #2) by V.L. Locey to read and review for this tour.

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