Gravity by Tal Bauer _ Blog Tour & Double Review

GRAVITY

by Tal Bauer

Blog Tour

Release Date: August 12, 2022

Cover Design: Angela Haddon Book Cover Design

Genre: M/M Sports Romance
Trope: Bi-awakening, friend to lovers


Synopsis

C’est cela l’amour, et tu es mon rêve…

Bryce:

Hockey is my life. This game pulled me from my tiny Quebec hometown all the way to the NHL, and now? I’m the number one player in the league. Team capitaine for the Montréal Étoiles. I’m shattering records and packing arenas every night, and I’ve promised my team: we’re going to win the Stanley Cup this year.

But I’m keeping big secrets. I’m thinking dangerous thoughts, and dreaming about impossible things. Like how a man’s lips might taste, or how his body might feel in my arms.

I can’t go there. I’ve got to focus. Team. Hockey. Cup. What my heart wants doesn’t matter.

So why am I falling head over heels at the NHL’s All-Star Weekend?

I can’t do this. I can’t fall for Hunter Lacey. He’s a hockey player. We’re both in the NHL. He’s on a different team. And, oh yeah, he’s straight.

Hunter:

I’m a middle-of-the-road, nothing-special hockey player. Good enough to be drafted into the NHL, and I’ve been on the roster for the past two years, but I’ll never make the Hall of Fame. I’m just trying to keep my head up and get through each day, until this wild ride comes to an end.

Deep thinking isn’t really my thing. Look inside myself? Lotta beer and burgers there.

I never thought I’d be invited to the All-Star Weekend, but here I am. And there’s my hero: Bryce Michel, league superstar.

Saying hello to Bryce turns into hours spent together on the ice, and then an invite to dinner, and then days at each other’s side. I’m in heaven. He’s my hero, and this is the coolest—

Then Bryce’s lips land on mine, and the world turns upside down.

**Gravity is an MM romance featuring bi/gay awakening, friends to lovers, team shenanigans, fast-paced hockey, ice-melting sizzle, and swoony Québécois love songs.**


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Excerpt

It’s like seeing God.

There he is, Bryce Michel. Hockey superstar. The only player to knock on the door of the Great One’s records. Fresh from his most recent victory when he led his team in obliterating the Detroit Roughriders. Those stats he put up in the game…

He looks like a god, too. He’s all muscle, everywhere. I carry extra heft to absorb the punishment, and my strength is concealed by my small protective layer of puck-catching fluff. Not Bryce. He’s slender and lithe, with an angular, chiseled body and long, fine-drawn features. His dark hair is short, and he doesn’t have any bruises or gashes on his nose or his cheeks from high sticks or elbows. His wide eyes are sparkling. They’re royal blue, perfectly matching his Étoiles team sweater.

He raises his stick over his head in a salute to the crowd, and the noise, somehow, grows.

That glide, his smile, the effortlessness. Fuck, he is a hockey god.

Cheers race around the bowl like someone’s lit a fuse. Even the rest of the players—a testosterone-pumped, who’s-who mix of the biggest names in the league—stop and slap their sticks on the ice.

I’m too frozen to move. To slap my stick. To cheer. The Montréal Étoiles and the Carolina Kitty Hawks have played against each other six times in the past two years, but Bryce was rested after injury during four of those games. Carolina was absolutely not a threat to the Étoiles, and they didn’t need to send the best player in the league out against us. Both of the other times our teams met, I rode the bench while he played. We’ve never shared the ice.

Until now.

Bryce takes two circuits around the rink. Hockey players and cameramen cluster around him, and he high-fives or fist bumps everyone who says hello.

He’s twenty-six, four years older than me, at the age when players start getting looked at twice if they’re slow on the push-off or coming over the boards, but he’s limber and loose like it’s the end of summer and the start of the season, not like we’re halfway through what feels like a never-ending car crash. Most mornings, I feel like I’ve dived off the top of a three-story building. Twenty-two is too young to be chewing Tylenol all day, but show me an NHL player who doesn’t pop painkillers like candy.

Well, Bryce Michel, probably.

His blue eyes flare when they meet mine. A moment later, Bryce beams, and the full force of his smile—the same one I’ve seen on ESPN, Sports Illustrated, and Men’s Health—hits me like a slap shot in the center of my numbers.

He cuts through the small crowd surrounding him and heads right for me, his hand outstretched like he’s saying hello, like he wants to introduce himself. To whom? I look over my shoulder, trying to spot the bigger, better player shadowing me.

Bryce slides to a stop, snowing my skates.

“Hunter Lacey.” His smile widens. He has a sharp Quebecois accent, and the upriver French cuts through his spoken English like a melody. “Bonjour.”

Holy shit, he knows my name.

My heart takes off. It has never beat this fast, not from going over the boards in my first game or from throwing myself in front of a slap shot. I can’t breathe because this, suddenly, is rarified air. Bryce moves in a world beyond mine, at the peak of perfection. He’s too high.

“I have watched you play for two years. C’est bon de te rencontrer enfin.” Bryce is still smiling.

Jesus, he watched me play and he’s smiling at me? Not laughing at me, not telling me to give up the sport, quit the league, go wash cars for a living, or feed penguins at the zoo, or do anything other than pretend to be worthy of wearing his jersey number. He’s smiling like I actually have a right to stand on this ice with this man and shake his hand.

“Yo, Lacey!”

The player from Buffalo I was warming up with hollers my name a half-second before he slaps the puck at my face. I see it coming, but I am powerless to stop it. Too much adrenaline, too much raw shock. Too much Bryce Michel less than a foot away from me. I am about to get a puck to my face, a mistake I haven’t made since high school—

Bryce moves so fast he’s a blur.

He pulls the puck to the ice with a smack, dances it back and forth around his stick, and then, like a soccer player, figure-eights it between his skates before bouncing it up onto his blade. He’s still wearing that lopsided little smile, with his head tilted down, his eyes cast up, like he’s bashful about his skills.

I could faint. I could also puke, right onto the ice, right between his skates. “Hi,” I squeak. “I wear your number.”

“Enchanté.” Bryce’s grin grows. “I wear your number, too.”



Purchase Link

Amazon Universal ~ https://geni.us/rpRAGy



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About the Author

Tal Bauer writes breathtaking, heartfelt, and often action-packed gay romance novels. His characters are head over heels for each other, and fight against all odds for their happy ending.Nothing stands in the way of love.

Tal is best known for his romantic suspense novels, including The Murder Between Us and The Grave Between Us. He has also written You & Me, The Jock and The Quarterback, along with the Big Bend Texas Rangers series.


Connect with Tal

Website: https://talbauerwrites.com/

Newsletter: https://bit.ly/3xWrMVk

Facebook Author Page: https://bit.ly/3O0HJPT

Goodreads Author Page: https://bit.ly/3xWJ98D

Instagram: https://bit.ly/3OeGWKM

Tiktok: https://bit.ly/3xWmNUv

Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3OiQ4y1

Bookbub Author Page: https://bit.ly/3b57SOW


[I received a digital copy for an honest review]

Gravity 
is an emotional MM hockey romance by author Tal Bauer. This is my first time experiences his writing and it won’t be my last.

It’s like I can’t escape him. Et non, I do not want to . He can trap me in his gravity pour toujours.

Bryce is the number one player in the NHL whose goal is to win the Stanley Cup. Hunter, while a great hockey player is not in the same leagues and is shocked when he’s invited to NHL’s All star weekend. He has always looked up to Bryce and when they finally meet they become fast friends. Bryce has been avoiding his attraction to men for a long time, but his connection to Hunter has him taking a chance and giving into his attraction. When Hunter doesn’t reciprocate, it destroys Bryce’s heart and throws off his game on the ice. But they played so well during All star weekend that the Montréal Étoiles pull strings to get Hunter transferred to their team. Hunter has the chance to fix things with Bryce and find happiness for them both. But on the ice isn’t the safest place to be and when injuries happen their future is uncertain.

“How could you fall for me?”
“How could I not?”

Bryce and Hunter are both fantastic main characters. Bryce is a poetic romantic who embraces his emotions. From the start you felt his internal struggles and you just wanted him to find peace. The way he lit up around Hunter as soon as they meet was just adorable. Hunter is a sweetheart who is a bit star struck when he meets Bryce but seamlessly falls into step with him as if they’ve been friends their whole lives. Thier romance starts quickly and halts just as fast, and from there Hunter has to rebuild their friendship after he inadvertently breaks Bryce’s heart. The intimacy in the bedroom between them is emotional and passionate. Outside of it, every moment they are alone they can’t keep their hands off each other and it’s a mashup of stolen kisses and secret hand holding.

Kissing him is like a first morning skate on fresh ice, or a perfect shot on a goal that bends the net. It’s a rush, jolts of perfection sliding up my veins and burrowing into my brain.

The story itself was a steady 4 star read from me because there is a whole lot of hockey game play by play. Then around the 75% mark my heart literally stopped, and I drowned in feels. (That’s all I will say on it because #spoilers ) The emotion the story evoked from me and the highly satisfying ending bumped it up to a 5 star read.

Hunter said I think we were meant to find each other.
non, nous étions fait l’un pour l’autre.
We were made for each other.


Gravity by Tal Bauer was a fantastic mm hockey romance with a hockey team that’s one big family, French terms of endearment, first times, stolen kisses, love songs on the guitar, playoffs, injuries, and a well deserved happily ever after.

—Written by Amanda—

[I received a digital arc for an honest review]

Gravity by Tal Bauer is a new standalone MM hockey romance. Bryce Michel is at the top of the NHL but carries the weight of his secrets heavily in heart. He doesn’t expect for All Star Weekend to bring him face to face with Hunter Lacey. Bryce and Hunter immediately connect deeply; choosing to spend time together exploring the outskirts of Vegas than partying it up. When a kiss shatters their perfect weekend together both men return to their respective cities struggling to settle everything they’re feeling. When hockey politics brings them back together Bryce and Hunter are forced to face the repercussions of their kiss and what that means for their future as teammates and hopefully more.

Bryce Michel had me hooked from page one. He was emotionally vulnerable immediately as he expresses the intense weight of the pressure he feels both in his game and his private life. He finds Hunter a breath of fresh air and their chemistry is apparent on and off the ice. Bryce plays with all his heart so when his heart is hurting, his game is drastically impacted. Once he and Hunter are able to discuss what happened in Vegas they are able to find their magic back on the ice as well behind closed doors. His inexperience in bed is matched with Hunter’s so getting to see them learn what each other likes together was steamy and sweet.

You are with me each and every moment. My heart is in your hands. My heart, my life, my everything. Put your hand on your own heart, mon amour, and you’ll feel mine beating next to yours.

Hunter Lacey considers himself an alright player who managed to get lucky getting drafted to a bad team. He has hero-worshiped Bryce Michel since he was a teenager so when the man approaches him at the Allstars weekend he is tongue tied and awkward. He is able to relax as the weekend goes on and Bryce keeps finding excuses for the two men to spend time together. He struggles to understand his feelings after the kiss but seeing how broken up Bryce is afterwards Hunter knows he needs to try to decipher these emotions before they are both crushed under the weight of it all. Once he allows Bryce in, Hunter finds himself balanced both emotionally and able to play at the top of his game. They are able to lean on each other after difficult games and celebrate their victories together. The emotional support they provide each other never wavers and the intimacy just adds to their already strong bond.

“The truth is, Hunter, mon coeur… you are my strength.”

Oh boy did this book win me over. Yes, it was pretty far leaning on the insta-love scale but that didn’t even bother me because I wanted these two beautifully raw men to have each other. The sweetness was balanced with some heart wrenching moments that left tears in my eyes. The author’s writing was poetic without feeling like too much as the relationship grows and evolves. The found family that supports both Bryce and Hunter are wonderfully complex as teammates can be both with pranks and unwavering love. As a standalone I felt complete after reading the book and not frustrated that anything was left unsaid.

5 stars for Bryce and Hunter embracing their chemistry on and off the ice.

–Written by Katie—

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