- Read my review of the first book in the Sin Bin: West Coast series, Breakaway
Lindsey treats us to a few of my favorite tropes in the latest installment of their hockey romance series. Poly romance arcs are a particular favorite because it’s like getting multiple story arcs for the price of one, and as usual, Lindsey upends every expectation by creating a unique dynamic between three well-developed characters. Plus, all the “idiots in love” goodness I could want from any story.
Marko and Luka already have a history long before this book starts, and while the physical aspect of their relationship is solid, the emotional bit is in flux. Luka doesn’t want more, he wants certainty, which I found perfectly in character for this cinnamon roll. Marko wants nothing more than to give Luka anything he desires, but Lindsey portrays his neurodivergence beautifully as Luka’s hesitancy clashes with Marko’s occasional difficulty with interpreting emotion. I’d have been enthralled by a book entirely about their evolving relationship, but Lindsey heightens every element of the story by dropping Nolan into the mix. He’s the emotional equivalent of a feral cat, and bonus points to Lindsey for such an excellent portrayal of an aromantic character, which is entirely different from asexual. (All three of these men are very sexual, and each spicy scene, no matter who is involved, is off-the-charts hot.)
Most poly romances focus on building equal relationships between the featured characters, but I appreciated that Lindsey doesn’t follow pattern here. Instead, they remind readers that poly doesn’t have to be 100 percent equal on all sides—it just has to be right for each individual involved. Marko, Luka, and Nolan all place different values on physical and emotional intimacy, and the importance of this book’s happily ever after lies with each character’s happiness, not an external measure of “equality.” The dark moment in this book is really only from the reader’s perspective. For the characters, it feels more like life as usual during the sort of emotional flux that comes into play when making any leap of faith.
This story works as a stand-alone, but I enjoyed the active presence of previous series heroes Ravi and Adrien as they support their best friends in excellent counters to toxic masculinity. I also loved the subtle references to other works by the author, who has created a fun, fictional representation of Denver and the surrounding communities. This book is not to be missed by anyone looking for a twist on the standard poly romance arc, especially those who also appreciate unique characters.
Disclaimer: I received a digital review copy of this book from the author.