- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 883 KB
- Print Length: 219 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B073RTL8Z4
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #83,185 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Open Net (Cayuga Cougars Book 2) Kindle Edition
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Top customer reviews
This is a sweet romance between a young hockey player and an older man.
Augie is very young and his inexperience makes him feel younger. I suspect that this is a more accurate portrayal of a young professional athlete than most. Augie’s world is hockey and he’s pretty sheltered and naive beyond his sport. The innocence rolling off of Augie had me just as protective of him as his friends are. I’m not sure I ever liked the idea of a 37 year old HIV positive man for Augie - but I did eventually warm to the relationship and I did come to like Salvatore.
Sal is unusually ordinary for a leading man in a romance novel. He’s attractive and charming but he is also a hospital orderly without grandiose dreams or ambitions. Augie and the other characters acknowledged my many reservations about Sal but as I came to care for him I wondered if he didn’t have more to lose in his unlikely relationship with a beautiful young athlete just poking his head out of the closet.
I don’t often get quite so reflective about characters or so emotionally involved in their decisions. These two felt very real to me and I found myself completely invested in their relationship.
More objectively, this is very much an instalove story without much action that moves quite slowly. There isn’t as much hockey in this story as I usually want from a sports romance. haven’t read earlier books so I struggled with characters the author expected readers to know. But there is something special about the way Augie and Sal both come to life in this story.
This is the second book in the series, and I would recommend that you read Snap Shot first, although it is not essential - there we got Mario and Lila's story, but met many of the other team members including Augie.
Although this is a sports romance, and does have the issues of the Cougar hockey team as a feature, the core of the story centres firmly around Augie and Sal, their romance, and their issues. Just as Snap Shot gave the reader an insight into issues of transgender, Open Net focusses on Sal's HIV status and how it affects his relationship with Augie, and both their relationships with Augie's friends and family.
We are reminded of the mistaken preconceptions that are so easy to form, and of the disappointments when close friends behave in a way which hurts. As Augie opens up about his nature, and introduces his new love to those that mean the most to him, the results are at times unexpected, and unwanted, but at others affirmatory and welcome.
A more thoughtful book than I was first expecting, but as I thought back to the impact Snap Shot had on me, I knew I shouldn't have been surprised; Ms Locey is good at getting to the heart of the matter.
~~ Wicked Reads Review Team~~
Oh Augie, he was just so adorable. Young, inexperienced, shy and certainly not out, everything changes when he meets Salvatore Castenada. Sal is gorgeous, older and a lot more experienced in all things than Augie - also Sal is HIV positive.
It's a whirlwind romance for our two heroes, and I loved it. As usual, the book was all in first person and we get an insight to all that's going on inside Augie's head. Sal's HIV was present everywhere, but not intrusively - as it would in real life too, well done on that point. Plenty of drama and dramatics here but the basis of it is that Augie is a sweet boy who deserves all the love.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
August Miles is a charming character that is closeted, though he wonders why since there are players on his team openly gay. He meets Sal at a graduation party for Heather, the baby momma to Victor one of Augie's teammates.
Sal is a transportation orderly at the hospital and a close friend of Heather's. Sal and Augie hit it off right away and their romance develops quickly but will Sal's secret be too much for Augie?
As usual, all of the characters are well-developed, charming, quirky and fun. We get another look at Vic and Dan and also Mario and Lila.
The topic as I mentioned is dealing with an HIV positive lover and I learned a lot. I didn't want to put this book down once I started!
If you like interesting characters, Hockey players, Orderlies, a sweet romance with a touchy subject, coming out a spicy romance with some hot man-sex you will like this.
If you are not a sports fan don't let that stop you. The hockey does not overpower the story and does add flavor!
Augie’s story! From Mario and Lila’s book, Snap Shot, we got a little glimpse of August Miles. New goalie to the Cougars, shy, not out and so sweet. Written in first person point of view by Augie, we get an idea of how much he wants his personal life to match the shining loveliness of his hockey life. Augie is young, 22 years old. He knows who he is but so far hasn’t been able to be that person in public. Only Mario knows the true Augie and looks at him as a son (and Mario only knows because Augie was crushing on him!). He’s sort of wistful, Augie. “I liked Lila. She was so at peace with herself and her identity. I envied her. Hell, I envied all the Cougars who could be themselves in public.”
He meets Sal, a 37-year-old coworker of Heather, at a party and sparks fly. While the two of them are getting to know each other, Sal is also letting Augie know that he has HIV. Sal is so upfront and honest about it, while being so vulnerable it was heartbreaking. “I would totally get it if you walked out and didn’t come back. Most guys do, and I get it, I really do.” Sal is afraid of what Augie will face when people know he’s with a much older man, let alone one with HIV. I loved that Augie didn’t say, “no biggie, into bed we go.” No, he was responsible, researching, talking to Heather (as a medical professional) and doing a ton of research on HIV. When he makes his decision, it was an informed decision.
This installment of the Cayuga Cougars has a more serious overtone than the usual V.L. Locey hockey stories due to Sal’s HIV status. I thought the response by Mario was real (jerky, sure, but he’s so protective of his Augie). I appreciated that Sal’s HIV status was important but it wasn’t everything about him. It never felt preachy or judgmental but felt real. There was real fear when Sal gets sick and real concern about thinking about a relationship. That made sense to me, especially with it being August, who does think things through.
It’s not all serious, of course. We get the Cougars, who are down and dirty. Speaking of dirty, we get some mud sex. Augie in a kilt. In other words, life beyond the HIV.
I really enjoyed this story, Sal and August working together to find a way that is best for them. Protective friends stepping up, especially Heather for Sal – that girl is amazing. We get to see Viktor and Dan, also, which was a bonus. I admit I was worried about who Augie would end up with after Snap Shot, because he’s just so lovely. I wanted someone worthy and I’m so happy that’s who he got.
Augie is by far my favorite character from this series. Anyone who knows me must be aware of my penchant for oddball goalies (or, as their more commonly known: goalies). By the first page I was so totally in love with him that it could have been 200 pages of him being just his crazy self and I probably would have been happy. And then he runs into Sal at a graduation party for a friend…and, well, hello there, hot stuff! Sal may be a bit older than Augie (which Mario, doing a rather good impression of a jerk for the majority of this book, is not hesitant to point out), and certainly more experienced, but these two click like no one’s business. Their interactions at the party had enough sizzle to power the grill for a week at least. Not that them getting together is easy, or anything (especially with Mario McJudgeyface), but they have a simple yet heartfelt connection from the moment they meet to the moment the books ends. It made the story very readable.
One of the things that not reading the blurb did though, much to the stories credit I think, is that I had no clue that Sal was HIV positive going into this. So when the reveal came along, I was genuinely shocked. I really liked that. I also found Augie’s reaction to be rather realistic. He didn’t shun Sal, but I honestly think taking some time to think about the consequences–both bad and good–of dating someone seropositive was the adult thing to do.
I honestly can’t think of anything bad to say about this story. I did think that some of the conversations about HIV felt a tad bit like Things You Need to Know About HIV! in structure, but it didn’t get too distracting. And while I don’t think it is the book of the year, it was very well written, entertaining, and had some great characters. There is not a whole lot here that is new, but I wasn’t expecting there to be. It is just a really good story and one I recommend.
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