This book has been big in the zeitgeist, and I wasn’t sure if I’d ever pick it up because it is so…freaking…long.
But I was looking for a new audiobook on Libby and there it was, available for my listening pleasure, and I gotta tell you: 25 hours never went by so fast. (Okay, that’s in part because I listened to it first in 1.75 and then in 2.0 when that was still too slow, so it was more like 13 or 14 hours.)
The benefit of the audiobook is that it includes the prequel novella that introduces us to Rachel and Jake, and makes clear the relationship they have together from the get-go. But after their magical night of no names, Rachel leaves, taking Jake’s heart with her. Then, we cut to the big tamale, where Rachel is a brand new resident for the Jacksonville Rays, the newest team in the NHL. And of course, Jake is one of their star players, much to her surprise. She also has some element of chemistry with her new colleague slash neighbor, Caleb, who turns out to be Jake’s best friend (and maybe in love with him?). And that fourth perspective, Mars (I have no idea how to spell his actual name, thanks audiobooks), is a wildcard. How does he fit into all of this?
He wants her, that’s how.
So. We’ve got a lot of complicated relationship plotting between a woman who just wants to do her job, a golden retriever and his black cat BFF, and the goalie who wants to keep playing, no matter what. Then, well, I’ll just be honest: there is A LOT OF SEX OH MY GOD SO MUCH SEX. I knew, from people talking about it, that it was…quite the sexy book, but I didn’t think that half of 750 pages of romance novel would end up being graphic, incredibly dirty sex. (Some of it is very YMMV—like, if you don’t like bodily fluids…this is not the book for you look away.) This is very much an erotic romance, in that almost every sexual encounter actually moves the plot forward, whether in events that happen or feelings that develop or come to light. The aforementioned bodily fluids come into play a little too often for my own tastes, but YKINMK and all that.
In the end, I couldn’t stop listening! I usually have to be doing something in order to be able to concentrate on an audiobook, but there I was at midnight, just lying in my bed, staring at my phone as we reached the denouement (and proceeded to have another hour of story). It was incredibly long, but even with all the sex scenes, not a word was wasted. (Okay, maybe every time the word jersey was used instead of sweater I shuddered a bit.) Rath gives enough time to each element of the final relationship to really make us believe that Rachel and the guys would be okay (even if she heavily romanticized the resolution of the Big Conflict). This is not a novel for every reader, but if you’re curious, totally pick it up!
(Please note: if you are a medical professional of any kind, also look away. There is so much unprofessional and unethical behavior here, and it can very much be a turn off. I just happened to yell “that’s so unethical!” and keep listening, but I know that there are some people for whom this is a hard limit.)