Reviewed by Chris
TITLE: Snap Shot
SERIES: Cayuga Cougars #1
AUTHOR: V.L. Locey
LENGTH: 125 pages
RELEASE DATE: April 6, 2017
Mario McGarrity has been around the block – and rink – more than a few times.
He’s creeping up on retirement age, has some dings and dents, and says what’s on his mind. Not exactly what most would consider a luxury ride, but his beautiful Lila – the transgender woman who stole his heart – loves him like no other woman ever has despite a little rust here and there.
Everything is good – no, great – aside from the distance issue, until a surprise from Lila’s past crops up and moves in with her. Can Mario be the family man that Lila needs, or is this one game the old vet is unable to skate in?
Mario is deeply in love with Lila, but with the distance between them it is sometimes hard to snatch more than a few hours, maybe days, with her. Playing hockey is hardly a 9-5 job, so they just try to do their best to see each other when they can. But when Lila drops a bombshell that she had a teenage son–who is coming to live with her–what time they had together seems to shrink to almost nothing. Mario is not ready to give up the love of his life, though. Even if the love of his life comes with the most annoying teenager in history.
I don’t get many chances to read books about trans women, so I really glad to see this book offered up for review. Plus I’m all about the hockey (and I’m stuck clinging desperately to the hope that the Sharks have another good playoff season) so this seemed like a real good mix for me. I will admit that my last attempt at a hockey story from this author did not leave me all warm and fuzzy, but that was more about a certain character, and not the writing, so I hoped to come out more on top with this story.
For the most part I enjoyed this, too. The sex scenes were damn hot. And despite the fact that I have a mixed history with reviewing erotic stories, I had no problem just sinking into those scenes and not getting overly analytical. While I’m used to reading about a trans-male perspective of sex, the opposite is not exactly true. Sure there are plenty of books out there with MCs who love a little bit of lace in their lives, but it is not exactly the same thing. The way this book integrated Lila gender with the more physical aspects about herself, was incredibly well done.
I also really liked how this book wasn’t so focused on the two MCs coming together, but more on building that relationship and growing it. A lot of romance books like to focus on the falling in love portion of a romance (not that I have any objections to that) but seeing a relationship past the first blush of love is something I greatly enjoy. I will say though that because you don’t see these two fall in love, the overly flowery nature of the way these two talk to each other can get a bit saccharine at times. We don’t really get to see the struggles they had to go thru to get to this point so it comes off a bit unbalanced in relation to tone. While not a perfect relationship, the way they interact with each other is a bit too Halmark for my tastes.
Though the addition of Lila’s (brat of a) son, does help even that out a bit. It is times like these that I feel completely justified in my decision to never have kids. Mostly because my first instinct when faced with such a disrespectful ass is to slap them…and that’s really not the best way to parent. For the most part I did like how Mario handled the kid though (I keep calling him kid, but I think he is like 14/15 in this story, just to clarify). Mario was tough without resorting to abuse…though there were a few moments where the way he phrased things was a bit too close to the line for my tastes. Not that I blame him, but then again I’ve hardly been shy about my feeling of kids, and not the best judge on these sort of things.
Mostly I enjoyed this story, but I have to say its reluctance to dig deeper into the characters or the relationship played a large part in not breaking it from just an average read. Lila wasn’t nearly as fleshed out as I had hoped–and there was a lot there that I think could have worked real well if given the page time. Also the overly-sweet nature of their relationship, and the way they didn’t really have any problems to conquer other than Lila’s kid, didn’t give me a real compelling reason to want to stick around. I don’t regret picking this up, but by the end I can’t deny I was left a bit on the meh side of things.