Book Title: Egotistical Puckboy
Authors: Eden Finley and Saxon James
Release Date: February 10th, 2022
Genres: Gay Romance, Sports, LGBTQ+
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Partying, dudes, and hockey. What more could a gay NHL player want? If it weren’t for Anton Hayes, my life would be perfect. Not that he affects my life in any way. At all. That would imply I care what the winger from Philly thinks of me. Which I don’t. Not even a one-night stand with him can thaw his misplaced animosity toward me. He says I’m the one with the ego, but he can talk. He rivals me for most egotistical puck boy in the league. I hate him as much as he hates me. Even if I crave a repeat.
When it comes to hockey, I’m all about the game. I’ve worked for years to be one of the best in the league, and l’ve done it without splashing my orientation all over the tabloids. My hockey image is one I’ve carefully cultivated, and after one night with Ezra Palaszczuk, I risk it all. He’s cocky, obnoxious, and has an ego bigger than Massachusetts. And okay, maybe he’s the sexiest man I’ve ever known. We’ll never get along. Not when we sleep together. Not even when my possessive streak awakens. That doesn’t stop us from falling into bed together over and over again.
When I learned that I had been given an ARC of Egotistical Puckboy, I was beyond ecstatic! I read the CU Hockey series in December and have already reread all of them since then. As soon as I saw that Saxon James and Eden Finley were releasing another book together, and another hockey romance no less, I knew I had to have it. Because of this, I went in with rather high expectations. In fact, they were probably too high, but I couldn’t manage to talk myself down from them. Even so, this book met all of those expectations and then proceeded them. It was such a wild ride, and I finished it one sitting because it was just that good!
One of my favorite parts of this story was the humor. While I’ve enjoyed the various witty comments made by characters in their other books, none of them had me outright cackling like this one did. Ezra and Anton’s sense of humor was pushed up several notches from the other books, and it was just *chef’s kiss*. Some parts had me snorting out loud they were so funny. And I can’t mention the humor without mentioning the banter!! There was so much banter between the two main characters and I was living for it. Their back and forth was so easy and smooth, and it was so genuine, too. I totally bought the two hated each other in the beginning, and their snark was excellent. But even as they began growing closer, they never lost that witty edge; it just softened a bit, and I loved it! They were so entertaining to read about, and the way they would just sass each other back and forth while simultaneously forgetting anyone else was in the room was so adorable.
Not only did I love their snark matches, I also loved the relationship between the two. It was so endearing and pure, while also being anything but if that makes any sense. It was so fun to watch their bond form and blossom, because at the beginning it seemed doomed. Ezra is what you would consider a commitment-phobe, while Anton was so determined to keep his life private that he wasn’t always willing to take many chances; not to mention his fear of rejection held him back, too. Still, there was an undeniable attraction between the two, and they thought they could just get it out of their systems by hooking up and leaving it at that. Alas, a simple hookup was not in the cards for these two, as slowly they began to grow feelings for each other, to their absolute horror. Watching this happen was so much fun. Because while they never stopped being the gods of sarcasm around each other, they also challenged each other to be honest and reveal parts of themselves they had always been too afraid to show before. They completed each other in the best way possible, and I adored their relationship. Saxon and Eden know how to write a romance, and this one was one of their best, in my opinion. There was something so open, raw, and vulnerable with the two of them. They brought out the best parts of each other, but unlike some stories, they didn’t change themselves to benefit the other. They simply allowed each other to be open to possibilities they hadn’t allowed themselves to consider before being together.
While the relationship was undeniably one of the best parts of Egotistical Puckboy, the character work was also incredible. We got to see Ezra and Anton grow together, of course, but we also saw them go through their own development as people. They both had a wealth of issues to work through, but work through them they did.
I loved Ezra from moment one. He was such a chaotic disaster, but also a gigantic teddy bear on the inside. His past kept him from forming connections with anyone, but deep down he craved it. I also loved all of the moments between him and his fans. He was so sweet and understanding with them, and my heart melted every time. In reality, he’s just a big softie, and no one can convince me otherwise. And his superstitions! Those had me facepalming and laughing, while also wanting to give him a pat on the head. I know hockey players can be superstitious, but dang, Ezra took it to a whole other level.
Anton was also a great MC. We really got to see the different sides of being queer while in an organization like the NHL. Ezra rarely had to worry about what he was doing because everyone knew he was gay, but Anton was constantly second-guessing and questioning himself out of fear of being discovered. It broke my heart, because this also held him back from going for what he wanted for the longest time. His dedication to charity was so endearing, and I wish we could’ve had more scenes of him pursuing that.
I can’t decide whether I liked Ezra or Anton more. Is both an acceptable answer?
Finally, I can’t mention the characters in this book without mentioning the Queer Collective! This was probably my absolute favorite part of this book. It gave me those found family vibes which I love oh so much, and it brought us back to some familiar faces from previous books, which I was desperate to see more of! Their gatherings were so wholesome, and I can’t wait to see more of them in later books. (And will we possibly be getting a book with Tripp and Dex?)
By now, you can probably guess that I adored Egotistical Puckboy. I finished it one sitting because I could not put it down! I plan on rereading it as soon as the audiobook comes out, and I’m sure I’ll love it just as much.
Is Egotistical Puckboy on your TBR? If not, you should definitely add it! It just released on February 10th, and is available on Kindle Unlimited. This is a book you won’t want to miss!
Thank you so much to Eden Finley, Saxon James, and Foreward PR & Marketing for providing me with a digital ARC in exchange for my honest opinions.
Purchase it at: Amazon
Check out my last ARC Review: The Weeping Tide