What happened in high school stayed in high school. Until now.
Five years ago, Michael Graham betrayed the only person who ever really knew him. Since then, he’s made an art of hiding his sexuality from everyone. Including himself.
So it’s a shock when his past strolls right into the Harkness College locker room, sporting a bag of hockey gear and the same slow smile that had always rendered Graham defenseless. For Graham, there is only one possible reaction: total, debilitating panic. With one loose word, the team’s new left wing could destroy Graham’s life as he knows it.
John Rikker is stuck being the new guy. Again. And it’s worse than usual, because the media has latched onto the story of the only “out” player in Division One hockey. As the satellite trucks line the sidewalk outside the rink, his new teammates are not amused.
And one player in particular looks sick every time he enters the room.
Rikker didn’t exactly expect a warm welcome from Graham. But the guy won’t even meet his eyes. From the looks of it, his former… best friend / boyfriend / whatever isn’t doing so well. He drinks too much and can’t focus during practice.
Either the two loneliest guys on the team will self destruct from all the new pressures in their lives, or they can navigate the pain to find a way back to one another. To say that it won’t be easy is the Understatement of the Year.
THIS BOOK IS A STANDALONE. NO CLIFFHANGERS. NO PRIOR EXPERIENCE NECESSARY.
Warning: unlike the other books in this series, this heartbreaking love story is about two guys. Contains sexual situations, dance music, snarky t-shirts and a poker-playing grandmother.
The Understatement Of The Year is the third book in this series and in my opinion was better than the previous ones. I loved the other books but I really LOVED this one. It’s no secret I love hockey, duh. It’s no secret that I love M/M books. Putting the two together, for me, is like finding that one present that was tucked away behind the Christmas tree that you didn’t know was there. Sarina Bowen was able to not only combine two if my favorite genres but she did it beautifully.
Let me state the obvious. I am not a gay man, shocker I know, nor do I know what it is like to struggle with your sexuality especially after a traumatic event that not only hurt someone you loved but cost you to lose that person from your life for years. So while at times I found myself getting angry at Graham, I had to stop and remember that there was so much more to it than him just not wanting to admit to himself his feelings for Rikker. I wanted to cry more than once for both of these guys. Rikker unfortunately didn’t get the chance to choose to come out about being gay, he was forced to come out and while he didn’t have it easy when it happened, he didn’t hide from who he was either.
Watching not just the sexual chemistry build to unbearably hot levels, but their friendship repairing is what made this book my favorite of the series so far. It wasn’t just a quick process. Both had things they needed to work out both together and separately and if the author would have rushed that I think it would have ruined it for me.
The direction that Ms. Bowen is taking this series is up. Each book is better and better. Each book shows struggles of life and is not a “let’s hurry up and be a couple with no problems book”, they all have the same relationships and life and not easy and it takes work for both of those things to bring you happiness theme going on. I can say with a certainty that Sarina Bowen is now firmly on my favorite author list and she won’t be leaving there any time soon.