Making a Play (Hometown Players #2) by Victoria Denault
Getting down to business, if you are in the bag for contemporary sports romances even a little bit, you’ll love this one.
Case in point – sports romance novels. Guys, I adore these. I eat them up with a big spoon like they’re chocolate ice cream for my soul. I’m a sports fan in general – I love watching this thing that doesn’t even matter a little bit in the grand scheme of life but I can invest my whole self into it for a short amount of time. My real-life job is often stressful and sports are one of my favorite unwinds. (Watching, mind you. Not playing. I am an indoor creature.)
As baseball is my favorite sport to watch, those are usually my favorite sports romances to read, but hockey and football come a close second. I would love to branch out to other sports, so if you have a recommendation for me, throw it in the comments, will ya?
Getting down to business, if you are in the bag for contemporary sports romances even a little bit, you’ll love this one. If your favorite trope is friends-to-lovers, you’ll love this one. If you like hot sex, you’ll love this one. If you love reading about tribal families, you’ll love this one. In other words, get this book.
Making a Play is about Luc and Rosie and is set in a small town in Maine that seems to be home to tons of professional hockey players, both current and retired. This might be like the Colorado-professional cyclist syndrome in so many other novels. Luc is a hockey player known for his super inappropriate antics off the ice more so than his performance on it and is home for the summer to rehab that image.
Rosie is absolutely thrilled to help him with that image since she’s been in love with him for years. She helps him with a charity thing and they hook up but he’s a douchenozzle about it and says they have to keep it secret. Family and friends are skeptical, largely because they seem to think the two would make the perfect public couple and think Luc is wrong about this. Hijinks ensue and the road to the happily ever after is filled with emotional vulnerability, witty dialogue and super hot sex scenes.
This ticked so many of my boxes for what I love in a romance novel, but also touched on a social matter which needs more attention. The charity Luc supports is a refuge of sorts for teenagers who come from unsupportive homes. The facility provides them with a safe place to transition from adolescence to adulthood, either by living on site or by taking classes in life management. Focused at kids both in the foster system and those whose parents simply miss the mark, this place teaches young people how to manage finances, how to find a job, etc. but most importantly provides them with a physically and emotionally safe place to be.
We all know that the transition out of foster or state-run care is awful for teenagers and there are great organizations trying to ease that burden. There are not enough of those much less places for kids who still live with their natural parents and would be petrified to be honest with an adult about how bad their home life is for fear of foster care. Luc and Rosie were both kids who needed this kind of place and I’m so glad that Denault chose to highlight this kind of place in this book.
Like I said before, these types of facilities are few and far between but if you’d like to know more about ones in your area, google around or contact your local department of child services to see how you could help. Providing guidance and safety for a child or adolescent does not need to be a full-time gig, there are loads of ways to help that don’t require taking someone permanently into your home if that is not a feasible option.
With the combination of great storytelling and highlighting a real and pressing need in our country, I would whole-heartedly recommend this book.