Review: Meg Harding – Hat Trick

51zu9j1L2LL_hatAuthor: Meg Harding
Reviewer: SheReadsALot
Publisher: Loose ID
Genre: MM Contemporary

Rating: ★★★¾☆ 

Summary: Nathan Barres has always loved hockey before anything else. When a one night stand with Felix Moore gives him emotions, he flees the scene. He’s not expecting to see Felix ever again. So when an injury knocks him out of the game for several weeks, he’s less than pleased to see the Winnipeg Wolves newest trainer is none other than Felix.

Almost two years later, and the feelings are still there. Nathan does his best to shove them to the back burner and ignore the temptation Felix presents. That is, until Felix makes him an offer that’s just a little too tempting–with amazing results. He’s a hockey player after all, and they’re nothing if not superstitious. If Felix is his good luck charm, who is he to resist?

Review: I think to be able to enjoy Hat Trick by Meg Harding, you need to know this quote: “I think we’re both extraordinarily stupid.”

This was deemed by one of the main characters. And I support that hard.

Because they were.

I’ll cut to the chase this way we won’t waste each other’s time, this novella relies on heavy miscommunication.

Sometimes it’s awkward (okay a lot of the time).
Sometimes it’s cringe-worthy (I found myself doing this a lot).
Sometimes it will drive you to want to strangle a character (only like once or four times)
But the main characters are stupid. Refer to the quote if you read the story and find yourself gritting your teeth.

Nathan meets Felix after a hockey game and they hook up. See, Nathan is gay, out to his teammates and closet family & friends, not out to the public. The twenty-four year old team captain tries to keep his hookups away from the public eye when possible. He does a classic hit it and quit it. But…there’s something about the guy that makes him not want to vamoose. And he carries his feelings for nearly two years because he can’t do a relationship with feelings. He can’t forget Felix no matter how hard he tried. So imagine his surprise when the team has a new trainer added to the roster.

Does Nathan embrace Felix with open arms and declares he wants to ride him off into the sunset? Nope.

He word mangles and flusters and just tries to act nonchalant while inside he’s horny and nervcited.

See, I get Nathan. I felt like Nathan was spirit animal at times. Nathan can be oblivious to just about everything else and focused on the one constant in his life: hockey. So he might be “stupid”, but his body knows what the deal is. If only he could get out of his head.

I think he might possible frustrate readers who prefer instant gratification and heroes who can communicate well.

An injury forces Nathan into Felix’s hands (nonsexually). He has to pretend to be cool with being a friend to Felix, watch him interact with a boyfriend while slowly dying on the inside. Being friend-zoned sucks. And Felix keeps it professional…though he can read Nathan’s thoughts off of his gestures and silences. Probably due the constant interactions to help Nathan heal from his injury. To Nathan, Felix is taken and doesn’t hint to wanting to resume anything.

And thus begins a volley of not talking to each other because they just don’t communicate well. And this goes on for weeks. But the tension is there. And teammates are picking up on it.
Now with sports, I could care less. ;D

Don’t worry hockey fans, I spread my non-care to just about all sports equally. (I do like ice skating come Olympic time) But there is something about hockey romances that I like to read. Couldn’t tell you if the story is accurate in hockey jargon, as I feel accomplished knowing there are discs referred to as pucks that go in a net and grown men aggressively slap sticks on dry ice and beat each other up. Lose teeth for this itty bitty puck to be slapped in a net? *smh*

This is my second hockey team written by Meg Harding that I’ve read. I like the camaraderie and brotherhood among the teammates. It read like a frat house a lot of them times but they mean well with their meddling. Nathan is also really close with his mom and shares just about EVERYTHING and it’s cute.

There ends up being a no penetration rule when it seems the men finally get their crap together (hooray for blowjobs and intercrural sex!) which is supposed to help Nathan do away with his feelings.

*blinks*

Because that helps, having sex to get rid of your pining for the person.

Granted the moments between the friends are hot (*coughs*in a car too) but it’s the little moments, the unsaid moments that really lent to Nathan’s character. He can be a little naive, he doesn’t read the hints. Felix doesn’t help either by sending mixed messages.

Yet, I couldn’t read this fast enough. The writing was decent. I think the author had a good handle of her main characters, though I wish we got to learn a little more about Felix’s background. The story is told from Nathan’s POV.

Through the frustrations, I enjoyed them.

The heart wants what it wants.

Recommended for all?Hell no! You saw my quote and warning about miscommunication? You’ll need to have a high tolerance for a lot of beating around the bush. And don’t mind some helpful friend meddling.

There was something affable about Hat Trick(which is a totally new term to me).
Check me out. I’m all hockey termed.

Hat Trick is not a re-read for me. (I think the author’s other hockey themed story To Arizona is stronger) The cover also doesn’t match the characters. That guy who is supposed to look like Felix looks like Scott Stapp which makes me think of Creed instead of the Johnny Depp lookalike. No one needs to have “Arms Wide Open” stuck in their brain anymore. And Nathan is supposed to be a curly headed blonde which doesn’t look like the other guy either.

It ends with a HEA, though I was nervous there wasn’t going to be one once or twice.

I liked them and the story.

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