Title: Game Misconduct
Author: Ari Baran
Publisher: Carina Press
Release Date: May 16, 2023
Genre(s): M/M Hockey
Page Count: 326
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
Mike Sato is angry, one-note angry. Period. He's an undersized D-man with a huge attitude and he's resigned himself to being a goon, especially when it comes to his on-ice nemesis, Danny - an opposing D-man. As in they bust teeth, bloody noses, fight every time they meet during a game. It's almost pathological on Mike's part while Danny hopes just to survive a few more seasons before retiring and he seems very disengaged while on the ice, and off-ice as well.
Until the night they meet in a dark alley, which suddenly turns to sex. What follows is a mostly long-distance relationship of sorts with Mike and Danny having violent sex when they meet on the road, and texting in between. Not sweet nothings, unless you count 'asshole' as an endearment.
Danny is sort of estranged from his family for reasons not really explained. He lives in a fog for other undeveloped reasons. Mike doesn't get along with his family and seems to allow anger to be his primary response and emotion. Maybe it was just me, but I never felt that I understood much about either character and while we are given some minor background about them, they never feel fully fleshed out. I absolutely accept that other readers may feel differently.
I enjoyed the hockey universe the author creates, and there seems to be some interesting relationships there that I hope the author will explore in future books. And as Danny finally addresses his addiction in the closing pages of this book, I hope we get to see the next chapter of his life, and his life with Mike. 3.5 stars.
I received an ARC from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.