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Released: June 28, 2016
Series: In the Zone #0.5
“I always thought their dynamic was sweet and adorable, and that reflected in this novella and how it all started.”
~ Under the Covers
Kate Willoughby is an author I recently discovered thanks to this series. I was excited to see that she was writing a prequel to the series with a sweet couple we had seen in book 2 ACROSS THE LINE. ON THE BRINK is the story of how Calder’s brother, Hart Griffin, went from star hockey player and mostly straight man to admitting he was in love with a man. I always thought their dynamic was sweet and adorable, and that reflected in this novella and how it all started.
These two couldn’t be more different. Jeremy is the artsy guy while Hart is the jock. One is out and proud, and the other is so deep in the closet he doesn’t even know it himself. Being gay was not something he could even consider questioning because it would ruin his career as a pro hockey player. Or so Hart thought.
I loved how Jeremy was always pushing the envelope, not so worried about rejection and going for what he wanted. That was also true about facing homophobes and not hiding who he is from anyone. It made his sacrifice in the end all the more special, even though I didn’t agree with the decision.
As this was a novella, I do think that we were missing some of the parts were they connected as their friendship grew as well as answers to some questions to situations that come up in the book. The author does a pretty good job at recounting events or moments to reiterate their feelings of closeness, but I think I would’ve liked to have seen those fleshed out more. That’s always a tricky thing with novellas for me, it feels as if things are rushed and you lose the opportunity to connect with the characters more.
Since this is a prequel to the series, and I had already seen them “in the future”, this was a nice way to fill in the gaps. If you are reading this as a standalone m/m book, you may be missing things. Like an HEA that you are comfortable with. This novellas leaves them a bit in a HFN situation as it’s understood if you’ve read the other books that you’ve seen them in their HEA and how comfortable they are together. An epilogue to tie in the two timelines would’ve been nice to make this a complete standalone.
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