BACK TO CENTER: Mohegan U Hockey #2
by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
There are ways to get ahead in college hockey, but having a meltdown, trying to get rid of your coach, and stalking his boyfriend isn’t one of them. Is it really a surprise that I wound up in a hospital facing my demons instead of getting ready to play for the pros and taking care of my baby? I needed the world’s biggest redo, but the probability of a second chance was about the same as…
Jack Rogan walking through the door. But there he was! Jack was one of my coaches, and I was pretty sure he was straight. His easy laugh and sympathetic ear put a smile on my face. He made me believe I could turn my life around. But as much as I liked him, I knew I had to put my fantasies aside. With obligations to meet and amends to make, I didn’t have time to obsess about a guy who was out of my reach.
So why did I say yes when he offered me a place to stay while I got on my feet?
I was done with relationships. A fractured heart had made sure my walls were high, and my shields were strong. There wasn’t a man I couldn’t resist—until Eckie.
After driving everyone away in an avalanche of self-destruction, he was getting much needed help, and I wondered if I should go see him. A single visit turned into the best part of every day, and I was hooked. When I was with Eckie, the world made sense again. There were only two years separating us, but since I was one of his coaches, spending time together was dangerous. If we kept it up, who knew what I might do?
Maybe something brilliant, like asking him to stay with me when he left the hospital. I knew it was risky, and I told myself I was only being a friend. But the truth was, I liked feeling things again.
Eckie was seeking redemption; Jack was trying to do the right thing. Neither planned on anything beyond friendship. Will following their hearts leave them worse than before, or will they find what they’ve needed all along?
Back to Center is a story of redemption and the unexpected love a man finds in a friend he never knew he’d have. It also includes exciting hockey, a coach/player dynamic, great communication, unquenchable longing giving way to irrepressible heat, an adorable baby, and a perfect HEA.
Content warnings for depression and physical/emotional abuse by parents. The abuse happened in the past, but knowing about it may be difficult for some.
Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs
Photo: CJC Photography
Model: Aaron Anderson
Genre: M/M Sports Romance
Trope: Friends to lovers, coach/player, single dad, unexpected love, redemption, depression, physical/emotional abuse by parents, HEA
Add to your TBR List!
~ Amazon Universal ~
I am so glad Eckie got to have his redemption story after the way his story arc went in Cracks in the Ice. He was definitely the ‘bad guy’ towards his coach Benny and his ex Cole as well as his team members, and his behaviour became more and more erratic and out of control.
I liked seeing him get the help he needed and that the assistant coach Jack had decided to be a friend for him when he really needed one. Finding out more about Eckie’s background, especially his relationship with his parents, put a very different spin on his behaviour and his mental health and I felt a lot of empathy towards him.
I enjoyed seeing the friendship between Eckie and Jack grow into something more and loved that Jack was able to see something worthwhile in Eckie and convey what he saw to him until he believed it. I think that without Jack’s support and encouragement, Eckie wouldn’t have been able to be as strong as he was and make all the positive changes he needed to make in order to regain his scholarship and his place on the team.
I loved seeing how he was with his son, and I liked that his ex-wife was able to see what a good father he was and didn’t keep him from seeing him as so many mothers tend to do when a relationship breaks down.
While Eckie had to prove himself to everyone and some of his teammates were less supportive than others at the start, it was good to see how far he came and how seriously he wanted to make those changes.
I found the incident involving his parents and cousin’s a bit over-the-top, but I realise that there are crazy zealots out there who will go to any lengths to get what they want, and in America it seems even more so. My heart was stuck in my throat at times while this was going on.
I really loved Jack and Eckie as a couple and I’m sure we’ll see more snippets of them in future books.
$25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter Giveaway
CRACKS IN THE ICE
Mohegan U Hockey #1
~ Amazon Universal ~
About the Authors
Ryan Taylor met his husband and co-author, Joshua Harwood, in law school. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel. In addition, Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men.
Connect with Ryan & Joshua
Facebook Group / Facebook Page
Ryan Taylor’s Amazon Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Amazon Profile
Ryan Taylor’s BookBub Profile / Joshua Harwood’s BookBub Profile
Ryan Taylor’s Goodreads Profile / Joshua Harwood’s Goodreads Profile