4-star,  M/M,  Sweet sweeter sweetest

Goal Lines & First Times (CU Hockey #3) by Eden Finley & Saxon James

As usual, Finley’s and James’ collaborations are bloody delightful to read. Goal Lines & First Times was no exception. It’s low-angst, feel-good, MM-love of the young-and-slightly-stupid-in-a-fun-way variety. The jock edition.

This is the story of Seth – twin brother to Foster (CU Hockey #1), and a guy who claims to hate hockey – and Cohen – a hockey-player who thought it was perfectly normal for straight guys to practice kissing with their (male) best friend. Both Seth and Cohen are questioning themselves and their sexualities. Seth has sort of figured out he’s demi, but then his last girlfriend told him (during their breakup) that maybe he should try dating a guy. And Cohen has realized that finding other dudes hot might not be super straight. When they sign up to the same hook-up app and end up texting, it’s an eye-opener for both of them. Over time their connection deepens, but will it still hold when they finally meet irl?

I thought I knew what demi meant. Sort of. That in order to feel sexual attraction, they need an emotional bond first. But from the descriptions in this book, it seems that my understanding of the term wasn’t completely accurate. And it’s always great to learn something new. However, I’m still not sure I completely get it since some parts didn’t quite made sense to me. On the one hand, forming emotional bonds to fictional characters is apparently easier to do for someone who’s demi, so the Witcher thing was… a thing. But then Seth thought Cohen was hot in a way that was set apart from the whole Witcher costume. And he got off on thinking about Cohen, without knowing Cohen was the guy he was texting? Nope. Still can’t make sense of that.

Well, anyway. This was an easy, cute and unobtrusive read. And either I’ve gotten desensitized to smut, or this book was less steamy than the previous two. Whichever it is, it’s a shame. I would have loved me some more raunchiness. The way Finley and James previously have been able to combine humour and coming out with sexy shenanigans pretty much makes the perfect story. Goal Lines & First Times didn’t quite live up to that. It felt a bit more bland than what I’ve come to expect from these two.

But no matter. I love this series. And getting to revisit the other guys from book #1 and #2 was awesome. Seth and Cohen can’t compete with either Foster & Zack or with Jacobs & Beck, but this is still a solid 4-star read.

Side note. And a miniscule detail that bugged me a whole lot. The cover pic. I know Finley and James like to use photos of guys with their faces completely visible. Granted, they’re always bare-chested (good choice that), but I have such a hard time ignoring those faces. The whole point of reading instead of watching a movie is that you get to use your own imagination. Sure, the basic descriptions of the characters are there, but when it comes down to it you’re free to decide how the MCs look. And for this whole read, I just couldn’t get the photo of Cohen’s face out of my head. Maybe that’s the reason I didn’t appreciate the nakey-scenes in this book? I just wish all authors would stop putting full-on face photos of their sexy/hot/beautiful MC on the covers of their books. Beauty is subjective. And yes. The cover of Goal Lines & First Times was a complete mood killer for me.

Yes I said it.

I hated the cover of this book.

So much.

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I'm a Swedish book nerd reading mostly steamy English romance novels. And since there is so much good stuff out there, and so much shitty stuff too. I just want to give credit where it's due (and diss the rest).