Title: See The Light
Author: Cassandra Carr
Rating: CABR Gold Star
Publisher: Loose Id
Publication date: February 2013
Synopsis: Hockey player Jason Monroe lives a double life—star defenseman and soon-to-be Olympian on the ice and closeted gay man outside the rink. A serious relationship is out of the question, and Jason makes do with anonymous sex in barroom bathrooms, not willing to take the chance on coming out as gay in a decidedly macho sport.
Advisor to the US Olympic hockey team Patrick Parker knows a thing or two about being a professional hockey player who’s not out. He’s fifteen years older than Jason, and when he senses the sexy younger man is interested, he knows he shouldn’t give in to the attraction.
The two men can’t keep their hands off each other, though, and with each heated encounter it gets harder to hide their relationship. When their world blows up around them, forcing them into the limelight, though, will their love survive or be put on ice?
Review: A fantastic m/m romance debut from erotic romance author, Cassandra Carr. I couldn’t believe this was her first time writing about two men falling in love, “See the Light” was that well written.
Jason and Patrick struggled against their mutual attraction until finally, they could stay away from each other no more and had a mind-blowing oral sex encounter in Jason’s room.
The kiss that led to that…amazing! Their passion practically leaps off the page. 😀 But it’s a long road to being a couple, and a closeted gay couple at that, because both men work in the National Hockey League (NHL). Although there is an educational campaign in place, neither Jason nor Patrick are willing to risk their careers just yet.
Keeping their secret is doubly hard when the USA Hockey Team heads to Geneva for the Winter Olympics. Jason and Patrick are around each other a lot but they dare not be seen ‘together’ in public. The lengths these two go to, in freezing weather, just to be together…makes you realise how hard it is for people dealing with prejudice to just be themselves around others without fear/worry/repercussions.
Humour abounds between these two, even when dealing with being ‘in the closet’, which is a big part of the reason why I enjoyed “See the Light” so much. In fact, read it in one night, so hooked was I on their story. 🙂
This being an erotic romance, there was or course lots of sex…and it was hawt! It never felt gratuitous. Rather, being together physically, in the privacy of hotel rooms for the most part, was hot Jason and Patrick were able to express themselves and release pent up sexual frustration from only seeing each other sporadically due to their hockey schedules.
A tragic incident forces this hockey player and the team advisor to face their feelings and damn the consequences in the process.
There was a bit of scandal but the author chose to focus on Jason, Patrick and their teammates’ reactions to the ‘coming out’ and relationship status. While I appreciated that, I would have loved an epilogue of this coupe’s lives post-immediate HEA to see how the wider NHL and Jason’s family reacted to the truth.
I’m hoping Ms Carr choses to write either a sequel or include the “kid” and the “old man” in a future book.
Patrick packed up his stuff and headed out, hitting the button on his rental car’s remote to unlock the doors when he was a few feet away. His brain flashed back to his meeting with Jason. The kid was acting weird, and Patrick wasn’t sure what was going on. He’d been loose that morning, laughing and joking with his fellow teammates. So what was different during their meeting? Was he nervous about being yelled at?
The brass at USA Hockey had spoken to his coach in New Jersey before making their final selections and had been told the kid was definitely coachable. Patrick wasn’t sure what would be different about him taking direction here.
He frowned. Come to think of it, he’d seen Jason interact with the various coaches today, including him, and he hadn’t seemed as uptight as he just had. Did the kid not like him for some reason? What had changed in only a few hours? When Patrick realized he was standing beside his car door, staring into space, he shook his head and climbed into the car for the drive back to the hotel, resolving to watch Jason tomorrow, both to see if the younger man took his advice about the positioning and to see if he acted strangely around any of the other staff. Having a player hate you was always bad for chemistry, especially when you had no idea why or what to do about it.
* * * *
The next day, Patrick was more confused than ever. He’d found himself watching Jason like a hawk, and Jason appeared to be having a great time, streaking up and down the ice during drills in the morning and working his ass off in the afternoon scrimmage. He was quick to smile and laugh, but the couple of times Patrick noticed that when Jason glanced his way as Patrick sat a few rows up from the benches, his smile had faded and he’d turned away. Never before had a player responded to Patrick that way, not while he was playing, and certainly not now that he was serving in an advisory capacity for USA Hockey and as a scout for Philly during the season.
Despite Jason’s apparent dislike of him, though, Patrick was drawn to him. When he looked down at his notes and realized the legal pad in front of him was virtually blank, and that what notes he’d managed to jot down were almost exclusively dedicated to Jason, he rubbed the bridge of his nose between his thumb and index finger while silently castigating himself.
In the logical part of his brain, he knew there was a possibility a player wouldn’t like him or wouldn’t jibe with him at some point in his career. Despite that, for some reason it bothered him a whole hell of a lot. Jason was a player he respected tremendously. Yes, he was young, but also incredibly talented. He had a great future ahead of him.
Doesn’t hurt that he’s smokin’ hot either.
He told his dick to shut up. Patrick had played with and been around good-looking, well-toned professional athletes for years. The guy’s physical makeup shouldn’t even be entering into his thought process. But it was. Shit. Not having a hot guy such as Jason like him was hard on a gay man’s ego, especially since Patrick wasn’t exactly a young man himself anymore. With a sigh, he tore his gaze away from Jason and forced himself to observe the other guys.
When Jason was still acting squirrelly the next day, Patrick caught up with him in the hallway outside the trainers’ room. He was losing his mind. He had to know what was up with the kid. For the past two days he’d been racking his brain, trying to figure out what he could possibly have done to bring about this change in the man’s attitude.
“Hey, Roney, wait a minute.”
Jason froze before slowly turning. His expression was stony. “Yeah?”
Patrick took a deep breath. Instead of relaxing him, the clean, woodsy scent of Jason’s cologne flooded his nostrils, and he barely held in an agonized groan. “What’s up with you?” His question came out harsher than he’d intended, and he sighed.
“What do you mean?”
The younger man wouldn’t meet his gaze, and Patrick tried to rein in his temper. What the fuck was going on?
“This,” Patrick answered, gesturing toward Jason. “Did I do something to piss you off?”
Jason’s eyes were shadowed with an unreadable emotion when he finally looked at Patrick. “No.”
“Then what’s with the attitude?”
One eyebrow rose. “Attitude?”
Patrick crowded him a little, and Jason immediately retreated, his back hitting the wall behind him.
What the fuck? Is he afraid of me?
The concept seemed ridiculous, but otherwise, why would he be acting this way?
“This,” Patrick repeated, poking Jason in the chest. “You won’t look at me, you won’t talk to me, and now you look like someone just made you eat something that smelled bad.” Jason’s throat worked, and Patrick frowned. “I don’t understand what I did, but we’re going to be working closely over the next couple of months, and I don’t want there to be some weird rift between us.”
Crossing his arms over his chest in the scant distance between them, Jason replied, “There’s nothing. I’m fine.”
A lesser man would’ve been cowed by the threatening stance the younger man had taken, but Patrick was used to hockey players beating their chests. It didn’t faze him, despite the fact that Jason was about six-two and easily over two hundred pounds. Patrick was a few inches shorter and, at this point, probably twenty pounds lighter, but Jason being bigger kind of turned him on. Really, if anything, Patrick should be afraid of Jason, not the other way around.
Looking at the other man’s face just a hairbreadth away, Patrick noticed how close they were standing, especially since Jason had crossed his arms. His treacherous dick twitched. At the moment Jason was clad in a pair of sweat shorts that no doubt showed his ass to great effect and a skintight USA Hockey T-shirt, his large feet clad in the sandals most of the players wore around the locker-room area. Those muscular arms, still crossed over his mouthwatering chest, were lightly dusted with dark hair, as were his legs.
Patrick was practically plastered to the other man, not having wanted to look weak by backing down himself, and when Jason met his gaze once more, Patrick barely stifled a gasp. Heat lurked in the kid’s eyes, much as he no doubt tried to disguise it. There was no mistaking the way his pupils were lust blown. It was next to impossible to hide if someone were looking closely, and Patrick was. Was he gay? Even more alarming—did he know Patrick was too? Was that the reasoning behind the look Patrick had just intercepted?
This just got pretty fucking complicated.