Break (Hard Hit #6) by Charity Parkerson #mm #review @CharityParkerso


Break

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Noah’s career means everything to him. That is, until he loses his true everything.

Noah has been in love with his best friend, Troy, for as far back as he can remember. There is no one else he can picture spending his life with. After signing a contract with the Blue Fires, Noah heads to New Orleans, ready to start his new life as a pro hockey player. With the career he’s always dreamed of having in his hands and the man he’s always loved in his bed, Noah thinks everything is golden.

But nothing could prepare Noah for how being the star player would change his life. Each time he finds a reporter’s mic underneath his nose, Noah can’t stop himself from pushing Troy farther away, making Troy the dirty secret. That is, until the day Troy has had enough.

With Troy gone, Noah can’t find his footing, but neither does he have the words to fix the things he’s broken. No matter how many times Noah picks up the phone, fear stops him from saying all the words he’s avoided. Until a single call and a tragic accident changes everything.

“He arrived at St. Luke’s Medical Center… Labels no longer counted. Opinions were out the window. Nothing mattered any longer.”

Hurt, anger, and bitterness have Noah throwing back the curtain, showing the world his every secret. But is it too little too late?

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I really must pay better attention to Parkerson’s release schedule because I have obviously been missing out on another great series if Break is representative of the rest of the Hard Hit series, and knowing this author’s writing, I suspect it is. While I haven’t read the previous books in the series, and cannot speak to how much, if any, of Noah and Troy’s friendship has been seen earlier in the series, I can say that I did not feel lost at all while reading Break.

 

In the opening scene, Parkerson manages to dive straight into the story with night two of a celebratory weekend in Las Vegas, giving the reader enough back story to make it clear that Noah and Troy have been best friends for years and that what they’re about to do has been a fantasy of each man, without the other ever having any idea that he harbored the same desire. Yet even as both worry that it will ruin their friendship, neither is willing to stop it from happening. Even though we don’t see the morning after, and instead jump forward six months, it’s apparent through the texts and the interactions between Noah and Troy that as much as Noah wants to be with Troy, his concerns about how coming out would affect his career are ruining what little of a relationship they have and destroying the friendship they both cherish. With each action Noah takes to “prove” his heterosexuality, the more of a strain he puts on his relationship with Troy…until it finally breaks. Like many, Noah doesn’t appreciate what he has with Troy until he’s lost it. But the true gravity of his loss isn’t realized until he receives the phone call telling him that Troy’s been involved in a serious car accident. When Noah arrives in Phoenix, he learns that there far worse things to lose than his reputation, and earning back the trust and love of the man who holds his heart may be the most important challenge he’s ever faced.

 

I have yet to read a Parkerson book that didn’t deliver the heat and Break certainly lived up to my expectations in that area. As much as I enjoyed the skin-on-skin scenes, it was the emotional struggles both men faced throughout the story that had be devouring the book. Noah’s dilemma is a common theme for athletes in M/M sports romances, yet Parkerson manages to make the story believable and fresh. The tragedy that befalls Troy and serves as a wake-up call for Noah added another layer to the struggle between the men, but occurred in such a way that I didn’t feel as though the characters were being overburdened with fabricated obstacles before they “earned” their happy ending. I liked how the animosity that Troy felt toward Mara was dealt with and I really must check out the author’s other books to see if Mara’s story has been published, because that’s a story I need to read. The ending certainly had me biting my nails, breathing a big sigh of relief, and laughing hysterically as Noah’s hard hit played out on the ice and in the locker room. Break was an entertaining read and I cannot wait to check out more books from the Hard Hit series.

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