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Review: Gravity

Hello my bookish friends! I am back with a review of GRAVITY by Tal Bauer. This is a standalone MM hockey romance set primarily in Montreal. It has a gay/bi awakening, and it's packed with so much emotion all to a fast-paced, high-stakes hockey backdrop. I'll try to give some coherent thoughts and a spoiler-free review down below, but let me just say ... this book made me ugly cry. Don't get me wrong, a lot of my tears actually were more of the, "OMG this is so sweet, my heart can't handle it," but there was a 7% stretch there where I was sobbing and yelling at my Kindle.


*Don't worry, there is an HEA, and this is not a trauma book.


Blurb:


C’est cela l’amour, et tu es mon rêve...

Bryce:

Hockey is my life. This game pulled me from my tiny Quebec hometown all the way to the NHL, and now? I’m the number one player in the league. Team capitane for the Montréal Étoiles. I’m shattering records and packing arenas every night, and I’ve promised my team: we’re going to win the Stanley Cup this year.

But I’m keeping big secrets. I'm thinking dangerous thoughts and dreaming about impossible things. Like how a man’s lips might taste, or how his body might feel in my arms.

I can’t go there. I’ve got to focus. Team. Hockey. Cup. What my heart wants doesn’t matter.

So why am I falling head over heels at the NHL's All-Star Weekend?

I can’t do this. I can’t fall for Hunter Lacey. He’s a hockey player. We’re both in the NHL. He’s on a different team. And, oh yeah, he’s straight.


Hunter:

I’m a middle-of-the-road, nothing-special hockey player. Good enough to be drafted into the NHL, and I’ve been on the roster for the past two years, but I’ll never make the Hall of Fame. I’m just trying to keep my head up and get through each day, until this wild ride comes to an end.

Deep thinking isn’t really my thing. Look inside myself? Lotta beer and burgers there.

I never thought I’d be invited to the All-Star Weekend, but here I am. And there’s my hero: Bryce Michel, league superstar.

Saying hello to Bryce turns into hours spent together on the ice, and then an invite to dinner, and then days at each other's side. I’m in heaven. He’s my hero, and this is the coolest—

Then Bryce’s lips land on mine, and the world turns upside down.


GRAVITY had me hooked right from the start, and it kept its claws in me until the very last line. I read the first 64% straight through, and only set it down to get some sleep before finishing the rest in one sitting. Bryce and Hunter connected with me immediately; they're both kind, and funny, and sweet, and don't have an arrogant or asshole bone in their bodies. I loved them as individual characters, and I absolutely adored them together from their very first moments.

And the team takes on a life of its own as an amalgamation of individual characters (I would read each of their books in a heartbeat if this became a series) but as kind of an entity all its own. I love a good found family, and this brotherhood gave me EVERYTHING.


The writing is gorgeous and evocative without being purple or over the top. It's angsty but never feels like it's too much or for no reason. The snowed in, forced proximity, and only one bed tropes are perfectly executed.


And you all probably know I'm a sucker for the younger player with something to prove meets their sports idol at the All-Star game where they're sharing the ice (field/stadium/etc) together trope.

I need to figure out who I got this recommendation from because it destroyed me in the best way. Act 1 filled me with the warm and fuzzies, Act 2 pulled at my heartstrings, Act 3 tore my heart out of my chest, and the resolution planted a garden in the cracks in my heart and made it grow Grinch style until my chest ached trying to hold it all in. I can't wait to read more of Tal Bauer's romance, and I cannot recommend this book enough. It's got gay/bi awakening done in such a beautiful and realistic way with no hint of fetishization, and I'll pop a little spoiler comment down below if anyone is worried about what coming out/not looks like for these characters.


What are you currently reading?


Stay spooky,

Cat


*Tiny spoiler content note below!

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Regarding the coming out: I don't want to give too much away, but for anyone that a forced outing or negative consequences to coming out would be a trigger, I want to reassure you that this book does not have any of that. Bryce and Hunter get to come out on their own terms, everyone that matters has a positive response, and there are no negative consequences with respect to their careers, teammates, etc.

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