Title: Picks and Pucks
Author: Teegan Loy
Length: Novel (254 Pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (April 21st, 2014)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts
Blurb: Rising men’s figure skating star, Justin Corrin, is coming home to train for the upcoming season and face his demons. The last thing Justin needs is to fall in love with a hockey player. Instead of getting rid of his demons, Justin is collecting more. He tries desperately to control his growing feelings for CJ Daly, but finds being with CJ keeps his nightmares away.
Justin isn’t the only one with problems, and hidden fears and secrets threaten to separate the two. With the pressure mounting, CJ starts to pull away, and Justin doesn’t know why. His skating suffers, and he decides to stop wasting his time on love and focus on winning the nationals.
If Justin can destroy his demons, he might have a chance for happiness on and off the ice. But if the demons win, Justin’s life could be ruined.
Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4898
Review: Teegan Loy has written a very enjoyable, sometimes emotional story, about two young men, both in sports, both gay, and both trying to find their balance. Both Justin and CJ are damaged souls, both conflicted with demons from their past but who have a very good support system thru family and friends if they will allow themselves to reach out, accept the resources, and help around them.
Justin has recently returned home from California where he was away training for the US Nationals. After his mother passed away, he misunderstood some things and felt everyone was against him. His dad was heartbroken from losing his wife, and probably a little standoffish, his siblings were getting more and more distant, the boy he loved would not come out to be with him, so he fled. He decides to come home with the hope and intentions of putting all of these bad demons that haunt him, in his past. It’s not an easy thing to do when he doesn’t want to communicate with anyone, nor tell them how he feels. He has a chip on his shoulder most of the time, and he avoids situations that he feels will put him to much in the spotlight. He continues to have nightmares from things he wants to forget. Will he ever be able to come forward and face the demons he carries around in his head and heart? Will he finally open up, allow someone else in his heart, and share his burdens and torment with him? Justin hates all hockey players, or so he thinks. Will he give CJ a chance to show him he’s his own person? He doesn’t act like the rest of the guys on the team and he wants the chance to prove that to Justin.
CJ is a new transfer that has joined the hockey team. The same team Justin’s dad is the coach for. He is also gay, but he hides it from the team. He, also, is hiding a lot of fear and hurt from a situation that happened in his hometown. He has a hard time letting anyone in his heart or opening up about his past troubles. When you have been abused and ridiculed by people you thought you could trust, that makes him very weary to put himself in that situation again. He and Justin start to get close, they have sex and it’s good but they have a lot to learn. CJ is not as experienced as Justin, but they are working on it and they have good chemistry. He is not willing, or…. more like he is afraid to confide in Justin, so he keeps his past locked up. Justin knows something bad happened, it must have, he just doesn’t know what. Will he be able to convince CJ to share his feelings with him? What happens when Danny, the boy who Justin was in love with, realizes he made a mistake?
Teegan Loy held my interest throughout this entire story. I think that she done an amazing job with the plot as it continued to move forward. I don’t know if the facts were correct in relation to the skating world, whether it was figure skating or ice hockey. What I do know, is she made me believe they were. I was fascinated with the ins and outs that she described within the setting. I would have liked for the boys to come to a resolution a little sooner, in regards to their relationship, but that is just me wanting the romance kicked up a few notches. She still held my attention waiting and wondering what would happen next. The author has included some wonderful side characters that were a large part of this story. Eli, Justin’s best friend was awesome, supportive and extremely funny. I would love to see him have his own story in the future. I would recommend this to anyone who loves sports driven plots and who enjoy laugh out loud banter between characters. There is quite a bit of angst with both Justin and CJ, as they try to figure out how to slay their demons once and for all. It’s a good story, read it for yourself, I think you will agree.