Netgalley Mini Reviews: Common Goal, Rocking the Boat, Burning It down, and Feel the Fire

Posted December 15, 2020 by shooting in Book Review / 10 Comments

Because of all my stocking stuffer posts, I haven’t been sharing as many book reviews. I thought I’d do a few mini ones for you today! These are all m/m romance, so if that’s not your thing – I apologize! I’ll have a couple mystery/thriller books to review soon (hopefully tomorrow).
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Common Goal by Rachel Reid 

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Review: This is the fourth book in the Game Changers series. They can all be read as stand-alones, but they do feature characters from previous books. Common Goal is about hockey goalie, Eric Bennett. He’s not sure how much longer he’ll be playing hockey, but it’s hard to look into the future and think about leaving the team (and sport) he loves.

Eric meets Kyle through mutual friends, and while the two start a friends-with-benefits situation, Kyle tries not to get too attached. Obviously we know that’s not going to last long! I really loved this one. First off, ice hockey is one of my favorite sports, so it’s always fun to read about. Second, I just really liked the dynamic between Kyle and Eric. There’s an age gap – and Kyle has more experience with guys than Eric – but they work well together. I really loved their mutual appreciation of art – it was just one way they connected on a deeper level!

Rocking the Boat by C. Koehler 

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Review: Rocking the Boat gives a look at a men’s college rowing team. I feel like I’ve read another book about college rowing, but it’s been years. It was definitely interesting to learn more about the endurance and precision that it takes to be a good rowing team. This book focuses on coach Nick Bedford and one of his rowers, Morgan Estrada. The age difference here isn’t that large, and they are both legal. The issue is that Nick is Morgan’s coach.

I will say that Nick made some dumb decisions throughout the book, and it took awhile before Nick and Morgan even decided to give it a chance and start dating. Together, they are a great pair, and I really did enjoy this one. I wish Nick had been a bit more communicative with Morgan though  – sometimes he acted way more like the younger man in the relationship.

Burning It Down by C. Koehler

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Review: Rocking the Boat was the first in the CalPac Crew series, and Burning It Down is actually the third. I felt like the author did a good job bringing readers up to speed on events in the second book though, so I didn’t really feel like I was missing much. I liked the premise of this one – Fire Captain Owen Douglas is injured on the job and ends up joining an adaptive rowing team where he meets Adam Lennox. First off, Adam is a veterinarian and I just loved seeing how he interacted with all the animals! Second, I think it’s cool that there is adaptive rowing for people with disabilities! I had no idea!

Now, when it comes to actual story, this is one that kept me reading (just like Rocking the Boat), but I have to say that story-wise, I liked this one less. I think both Owen and Adam made some dumb decisions – especially Adam, who is dealing with an abusive ex. I just feel like this serious topic could have been handled better in the overall story, because it’s important to show people that abuse happens in same-sex couples. Unfortunately, this was not a favorite.

Feel the Fire by Annabeth Albert

source: copy from Netgalley; all opinions are my own

Review: Feel the Fire is the third in the Hotshots series and by far my favorite! Albert is a favorite author of mine, but I didn’t necessarily LOVE the first two books.  However, Feel the Fire definitely gets 5 stars. This book is about fire behavior specialist (which is a fascinating job), Luis Rivera, and Tucker Ryland. The two were high school sweethearts who hadn’t seen or spoken to each other in years. Luis comes back to town for his job and the two end up having to work side by side – airing old wounds and forging a new friendship and eventual relationship.

I love a good friends-to-lovers romance, and I thought this one was done well. Both of them had past hurts to deal with but they didn’t take it out on each other. They had both matured and were ready to move forward. Of course, Luis is only in town for the job – and he’s not sure he really wants to up and move. Tucker, however, has teen twin boys and therefore more ties to the area. It’s a lot for them to deal with. I loved getting to know Luis and Tucker and seeing them fall in love all over again!

10 responses to “Netgalley Mini Reviews: Common Goal, Rocking the Boat, Burning It down, and Feel the Fire

  1. It’s unfortunate about Burning it Down, because abuse in same-sex couples is definitely something that doesn’t get enough recognition and could really use page-time for awareness. I am starting to see it a little more though, so that’s a start…

  2. Hockey was becoming one of my favorite sports last year when I got to go to a bunch of live games! Hopefully that will happen again soon. I guess my local team is having games and allowing fans, but of course seating is limited! Great reviews, all of these sound good, and I love that you kept with a series and were blown away by one later on even though the first two didn’t do that for you.

    Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature) recently posted: Cover Reveal: Lovebug (Natural History #2) by Erin Mallon
  3. Oooh, these books sound great (I don’t think I’ve ever read M/M romance novel. I’ll have to change that!). Also little known fact: I was a coxswain in college so the books about the row team are of interest to me. Thanks for sharing!

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