- File Size: 2914 KB
- Print Length: 290 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing (April 1, 2017)
- Publication Date: April 1, 2017
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B06XB72PVZ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #950,584 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Love of the Game (Love of… Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
Love of the Game us a book not to be missed. It's a story of how damaging love can be when done wrong and how healing it can be when done right. The main characters, Charlie and Hannes are the perfect foil for each other. Their strengths and weaknesses are portrayed in such a way the reader will be sucked in from page one. The secondary characters are so well woven into the story that they have you falling in love with them as well.
I hope this is book one in a series. I definitely want more of the secondary characters, they deserve their own stories. Also would love to learn the back story of Marc and Luc.
Please please make this a series.
After indulging in Ms. Novak’s paranormal world, I gladly delved into this contemporary tale. I’m no hockey fan, but can’t seem to keep myself from devouring any and all stories that revolve around sports and the men that play them. Games, you say? Oh yes. Play on...
Young, buff Hannes has an unlikely encounter with the green-eyed Charlie in Paris. A one-off, spur of the moment heated thing that burns in both of their memories. Johannes Alm then travels to take up his position in Montreal, playing for the NHL. Charlie Morin just so happens to live there too, as a reporter. Circumstances occur that bring them once again face-to-face, unfortunately bigotry and slander also showed their dirty hands. Charlie’s been charred by his past, but his make-up’d, green eyes haunt Johannes, and he’s determined to pursue Charlie, no matter what.
While the actual world building is minimal, the secondary characters were exceedingly well-rounded. I fell for Marc and Luc, Andrew and Sergei, just as much as Charlie and Johannes. I enjoyed the nuisances of various discussions of love, trust, sexual play and BDSM. While I wouldn’t have minded a bit more “play”, that wasn’t the point of the story. This is about reaching forward and overcoming obstacles (physical and mental) in order to gain the higher ground of true love and trust.
My only tweak - I felt the men sounded the same, and I wanted them to sound different. The cultural differences from Canada and Sweden never came through. We got the Russian speech from Sergei, but there wasn’t a single twist of language of French-Canadian or some fun Swedish words. Give me some dialect slang and make me a happy girl.
I don’t claim to fully understand BDSM, nor to know how it feels to have that urge, that need to dominate someone or to feel that need to submit, sexually or otherwise. I guess that unless you feel it, you can’t really understand it, and no matter how much I read about this, I will always be at a loss, at least to a degree.
I understand that Charlie, one of the protagonists of the book has gone through hell. That’s abuse. I also understand that part of the allure of submission is the release of control to your master or dom. Marc and his husband Luc are the poster boys for a happy dom/sub couple in the book. I have always understood that, I just didn’t get the perks, the benefits of it. And make no mistake, this isn’t Ms Novak’s fault, quite the contrary. Seems it took for me to read her book to connect some of the dots in my own life (which doesn’t mean I crave BDSM, quite the contrary). Some of the key aspects of domination are “control” and “trust”. And I look into myself, I look at my own marriage, and I wonder, how is this different from being “vanilla”, which is how I’d define myself?
Falling in love, for real, with someone is (imho) all about relinquishing control. I know so many young people who are afraid of “letting go”, of trusting their hearts. Their relationships keep failing, because they just can’t let go, afraid to be hurt.
But to really love is to trust someone else implicitly with your heart and soul (and all that comes with it).
In a nutshell, that is what Love of the Game is about. For Hannes and Charlie to find that place of implicit trust. It’s easy for Hannes, but given Charlie’s abuse, that’s a different beast. Yes, there are additional aspects being explored, including the sexual “pain” aspects, mostly philosophically, although there is one scene, where Hannes and a friend get up close and personal, and while I normally skim sex scenes in books (I prefer to watch), squirming about the weird language used to describe one of the most basic human endeavors, that scene left me squirming in a different way. I was so horny that I thought my pants would burst! Great writing Ms Novak, and I’ll send you the dry cleaning bill… But yeah, I still don’t get it. Pain and pleasure are two centers in my brain that just don’t want to be connected…
On the surface, Love of the Game is constructed like a traditional romance novel, an ice hockey story, playing out around a tight-knit Canadian NHL team. The protagonists meet, there’s a spark (first turning point), there’s separation, a chance (fated?) reconnection, and plenty of stuff happening before finally, after the second dramatic turning point, the two get to skate off into the sunset, together (for now). Within the premise of that, Ms Novak tells a riveting, sometimes very funny, sometimes tear-jerking story of young Swedish NHL rookie Johannes Alm, his first season in Montreal, and journalist Charlie Morin, who is battling the demons of a really bad and abusive relationship.
Ms Novak is not one to hide her convictions under a rock, and she’s found a great spokesperson in Hannes, the young hockey pro. The scene at his first press conference is one for the history books. If only the real NHL coaches had as much cojones as Hannes’s coach. But alas, in real life, being out and proud in the NHL is still “fiction”. Hopefully it’ll be a reality sooner rather than later.
If you like BDSM stories, you should definitely read this. No dungeons, no prolonged sex scenes with nipple or cock torture await you though. If that’s your fancy, look elsewhere. And if you cringe at the mention of those four letters, like I do, you should still give this story a go. Maybe you’ll finally be able to “get it”, the way I have after reading it. While it’s helped me understand some aspects of what attracts people to BDSM, I still don’t understand the whole submission or the pain aspect, probably never will, even though Caraway did a great job at explaining it in his novel. Phetra’s story doesn’t quite go that far.
Love of the Game is an unusual book, and boy do we need more of those.
The prior abuse suffered by one of the main characters simply broke my heart and made me fall in love with the 2nd MC who helped heal the emotional scars with love and acceptance.
I really enjoyed meeting all of the supporting characters and look forward to reading more of Ms Novak's Love of The Game world.
This book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.