Series: According to Liam 01
Author: V.L. Locey
Genre: Contemporary, Sports
Length: Novella (136 pages)
Publisher: Self Published (1 Oct 2019)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖💖 5 Hearts
Blurb: There’s always that chance that your heart’s desire is one click away.
Someone needs to pinch web designer/humor blogger/Pittsburgh Ravens mega fan Mike Kneller. Hard. For years, Mike has been living his life for his younger sister Kelly and his four-year-old nephew Liam. He’d opened up his home to Kelly when she found herself pregnant at sixteen and facing having a baby alone. Sure, his days are filled with skinned knees, snotty noses, and the occasional mishap with stuffed superheroes, but he’s perfectly happy because he loves Liam as much as he loves his baby sister. Giving up a social life and going to bed alone is a small price to pay. Little does he know that someone on the Ravens is about to show Ravens goalie Bryn Mettler one of his vlog posts. Of course he’s not going to believe it when his phone rings and the world-famous netminder—and his goalie crush—is on the other end. I mean, life doesn’t work that way for ordinary, hardworking uncles like Mike. Does it?
Bryn Mettler is a superstar athlete and a major part of the Pittsburgh sports society. He seems to have it all. He’s well-dressed, handsome, wealthy, an elite goaltender, a famed philanthropist, and the holder of numerous medals and trophies. To date, there are two things that have avoided him: lifting that big shiny silver cup over his head and finding a man to settle down with. Now that he’s over thirty, Bryn is finding the gay club scene is wearing thin. His teammates’ wives have decided it’s their duty to the team—and to Bryn—to find him Mr. Right. He’s relatively sure the man who’ll capture his heart surely won’t be found on a humor blog. Funny how life likes to take the things that you’re most certain about and flip them—and you—on its ear. When Bryn meets Mike, he is instantly drawn to the warm, funny, sexy man who shares his hectic days with thousands of Pittsburgh natives. Now he just has to convince Mike he is who he says he is so he can get to know him better. Thankfully, Bryn isn’t a quitter. But does he have what it takes to leap into life with Mike, Kelly, and Liam?
Review: Life According to Liam is a really sweet standalone book by VL Locey. I’ve been loving Locey’s work, particularly since she started writing the world of the Harrisburg Railers and it’s two spin off series with RJ Scott. So a new romance by Locey that includes some ice hockey is always a score for me these days.
As well as being sweet, the other descriptor that comes to mind for the story is charming. The story is pretty much what I expected it to be. The characters are charming and endlessly endearing. Despite MC one being a popular NHL player, he has some great friends that really add to the feel that this is a down to earth character, and totally on the same level as the MC who really is just an ordinary guy, a web designer and blogger. The MCs have some great chemistry but I love how real and relatable they seem as they get to know each other, adding some depth to the romance.
The story opens with Mike Kneller. He’s the web designer and blogger who has a modest following as he writes about his life as a single gay man, helping to raise his nephew with his younger sister and is a massive fan of the Pittsburgh Ravens. Mike was disowned by his family when he came out as gay, a couple years later his then teenage sister, Kelly, turns up needing help because she was disowned for becoming pregnant. Since then, Kelly and Mike’s nephew, Liam, has become his life. They make a beautiful family and Liam is a total joy. The siblings are super close and have a lot of love for each other and Kelly is a bit of a mother hen, towards both her son and her big brother. Mike and Liam also share their love for NHL, in particular the Ravens and their out and proud player, Bryn Mettler. Liam, like all kids, comes out with some quirky one lines, but he loves his Uncle Mike with all his heart and he is part of the reason why this story is just so damn wholesome.
When we meet Bryn Mettler for the first time he is having dinner with his team mates and their wives and/or girlfriends. Being a single gay man, the women in the lives of his team mates want to fix Bryn up with a man so that he isn’t lonely. It’s usual problem of being the only single person in a whole group of couples. It is one of those women that mentions the blog, Life According to Liam, and how the blogger, Mike, is gay and has mentioned that he is attracted to his favourite NHL player. Captured by the blog, Bryn reaches out to Mike, starting a sweet and sometimes rocky journey towards love.