Home Ice Advantage – K.R. Collins

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Yet another great instalment in this series. I find myself both loving the idea that this series is going to continue for some time as I enjoy the books so much, but also equally worried that we’re going to be kept waiting even longer for the thing I most want to happen!

I enjoyed that the narrative of this book takes place both in the main hockey league and at the winter games, breaking things up a little and ensuring that we aren’t revisiting the same thing over and over. The hockey scenes are always written well and this hasn’t changed in this book. There’s plenty of action off the ice in this book too, which provides a nice interlude.

I find Sophie’s feelings about her career, her family and Elsa both immensely frustrating and completely relatable. I love that whilst Sophie is an adult, with a high pressure career, she’s experiencing the feelings that many feel when discovering their sexuality as teenagers and it’s here where I most love Collins as a writer. Her writing about hockey is fantastic and also shines, but her ability to bring out Sophie’s feelings without making her appear as a whiny child are great.

I love that Collins doesn’t write all of the characters to be the same, just because they are hockey players. She teases out parts of each of the women in the league so they are both great friends and foes for each other. I also really liked that this book explores the relationship Sophie has with her coach in more depth.

I enjoyed the discussions about ensuring the locker room was inclusive and the addition of some bi representation as well as a gay male character.

If you’re a fan of the series you’ll enjoy this instalment, and if you haven’t started this series yet – pick up Breaking the Ice as you’ll need to start at the beginning.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Glove Save and A Beauty – K.R. Collins

Rating: 4 out of 5.
I caught up with the previous books in this series recently in anticipation of this one’s release day and I have to say I thought this was a worthy addition to the series, despite it being about Gabrielle instead of Sophie. In fact, I think adding this shorter book before we read the next chapter in Sophie’s journey will keep the series fresher.

When I was little I was a huge hockey fan. Despite growing up in the UK I was lucky enough to grow up in a town with a team in the top league in the country and I could be found at the rink for every home game. However I wasn’t allowed to play. I desperately wanted to be a goaltender. Reading this is a small glimpse into all the things I enjoy about keeping goal in any sport. The writing on the psyche of those of that choose to stand in front of a puck for a living is great. It’s detailed enough to allow understanding but not so detailed that non-fans will be put off.

I wasn’t sure I’d like the decision to present the narrative in a non-chronological order, but actually that works too. For me it increased the understanding as to why Gabrielle is the way she is. The pressure on her is different than that on Sophie – which is hinted at in Sophie’s books, but it’s nice to have that explored further. There isn’t as much hockey action in this book – which is probably why it’s shorter, so non sports fans may prefer this instalment.

My only real gripe is with the front cover – this is a book about a goaltender – put a goaltenders mask on the front cover. They’re unique and interesting – Gabrielle’s is even described in the book.

Fans of the series should enjoy this, as should any hockey fans, sports fans and people that enjoy queer fiction. I think you could read this as a standalone – whilst it’s definitely strengthened by having read the other books, they aren’t necessary to enjoy this one.

I received an e-ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.