Title: Contract Season (Trade Season #2)
Author: Cait Nary
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: September 6, 2022
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Sports Romance
Page Count: 375
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
This book features a romance of sorts between hockey player Brody and country music star Seamus (Sea) "Camp" Murray.
For a romance between a hockey player and a country music star, little time is spent in either venue. There is talk about Brody's conditioning and regime and perhaps one scene set in the hockey arena, but we never really get any on-the-ice action. In the same way, Sea talks a lot about the music industry, award shows and recording, yet we never get any lyrics of his songs, although his songs are supposed to be extraordinary. Each man is supposedly passionate about their craft, yet often we are told rather than shown.
Sea's hair is firmly established as a secondary character here - its curls, the length and texture and styling are referenced to often, as well as when Sea tosses his curls, shakes his head, pushes the hair back from his face, gathers it up and ties it back, ad nauseum.
At 375 pages, there's too much hair, and not enough page time given to developing either Brody or Sea's personalities or back stories. And that's a shame, because in between all the award shows and hair, there's the bones of a good story. After getting about halfway through this book, I actually went back to the beginning and tried to read it without obsessing about Sea's hair, etc. I did appreciate how the author gives us some rationale for how Sea has a hard time coping with his sudden stardom but it is threaded through so much talk of afore-mentioned shows, industry events, etc.
Finally, there is just a few sex scenes here - basically one in the beginning and one at the end - and the whole sex thing is .... convoluted. Sea makes it more complicated than it needs to be, and again at 375 pages, after Sea's third or fourth tortured internal monologue, it all became a bit too much for me personally. 3 "did not really work for me" stars.
I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.