Victor Kalinski, all-star forward for the Boston Barracudas, is one of the biggest jerks in professional hockey. Before long his aggressive attitude gets him shipped off to play in the minor leagues.
Furious, he takes to the ice with equal amounts of skill and scathing sarcasm, which doesn’t win him any friends—except for good-natured alternate captain Daniel Arou. He won’t take any of Vic’s crap, and he won’t take no for an answer.
But Vic’s troublemaking is pulling his career one way while Dan’s talent is pushing his in the other. However much they scorch the sheets, they might soon be separated by more than Vic’s fear of being hurt.
*an ARC of this was provided by the author in return of an honest review
You know that when sometimes you read a book that has been out for ages and you ask yourself why the hell you waited so long to read it? Of course that means the reverse is possible too, but I’ve never had it happen until now. Two Man Advantage is the first book I was looking forward to reading for ages I now I wish I had never read. To say this book was disappointing for me is too mild a word.
Looking from the outside this should have been my kind of book because it’s about hockey/hockey players. And I guess the hockey is written well in this book. You can clearly see that V.L Locey knows what she’s writing about when it comes to that. But that’s the only thing I liked about Two Man Advantage. Unfortunately, even that couldn’t make me like the book in the end.
If you don’t want to be spoiled I recommend you don’t read any more of this review because in order to discuss what upset me so much I’ll have to use quotes and they include spoilers.
The book starts off with Victor saying, when asked if he’d seen a teammate’s wife:
“I was with Pete Dubrovski’s daughter last night. Why would I pass up cherry for something that has fruit flies?”
The above quote gets him a nice black eye, courtesy of the father of the teen, and he’s send down to the AHL team.
Why they don’t just fire his ass I have no idea. Victor is sure he’ll be called back up within the week because of course the team can’t be without him. As if a hockey team was made up by only one player. But I guess some players have that big of an ego.
Instead of seeing being sent down to the AHL as an incentive to change, Victor just goes on and on.
With every page I wanted to read the book less. By 15% I was already sure he wasn’t redeemable in any way. However, there had been so many amazing reviews I thought maybe I was wrong about that and he might change for the better?! He did not.
Instead Vic “jokes” about rape:
“Celebrate what? Being anally raped by the Knights eight to one?”
and “jokes” about self harm:
I rifled through my duffel bag, hoping to find a box cutter so I could end my suffering before it started. All I found was a disposable razor.”
Because those “jokes” aren’t enough we’ll throw in some misogyny:
“If I wanted estrogen-laced BS at seven in the a.m., I would have fucked a chick,” I commented as I walked around him.
So… he starts something with Dan. What the attraction was I have no idea, because they didn’t really talk or otherwise interact before they fucked but oookay.
“How the fuck had I just got ranked down to bottom?”
Sadly it didn’t stop there.
He calls Dan a fa**ot because he’s “upset”. And when (on the same page) Dan asks what he can do for Victor he replies that he could let him fuck Dan. To which Dan just nods! He doesn’t tell him that he’s done, or ask Victor to never call him that again. He just lets it drop without commentary.
To round it all up Victor also makes comment about Dan’s brother who was born with Down Syndrome.
I mean, the way they’ve handled how their sons have turned out.. shit, if my mother were half as together as your-“
“I just meant that they had to be like ‘WTF?’ when they ended up with one son with Downs and the other being gay.”
This was, by the way, the only time Dan told him to shut it.
And at the end he cheats on Dan who he’s SO in love with. But it’s not really cheating because Victor is bisexual and Dan, because he’s a man, can’t give him what he needs. Obviously.
I’ve highlighted way more passages but can’t fit them all in here. I do think though that the ones I picked will give you a pretty good idea about what kind of guy Victor is.
This was all in the first novella of three. And I have honestly no inclination whatsoever to read book two or three. Victor Kalinski is a misogynistic, queerphobic, insensitive asshole that I don’t want to spent another second reading about and I honestly can’t recommend this.