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Every so often a book comes along and you know it will be one you’ll go back to and read over and over again. Love & Hockey is one of those books for me. It pulled me in right from the start. The prologue is from Valor’s mother’s POV, and it’s heartbreaking and haunting. Then we meet Valor as a 10 year old kid, the first time she sets eyes on Bishop – and we follow their lives until Valor is 22 and Bishop is 30. We get to see their love grow over time.
Their story is a real romantic fantasy – the story of a love so strong it leads you to believe there is some kind of great plan for all of us. That, no matter what, if two souls are meant to be together, there is nothing that can tear them apart. I’m pretty cynical, so there aren’t many books that can take my breath away with that kind of storyline – I usually find those stories are so unbelievable they’re cheesy. But Monty Jay has managed to write one that made even this cynical 40-something tear up and then smile through those tears.
Love & Hockey isn’t only about romantic love though – Monty shows how different types of love can all be equally powerful: love is love. Love between biological parent and child, love between friends, and love between chosen family members is just as critical as romantic love. Valor and Bishop both grow up missing a certain kind of love – and that absence leaves holes and cracks in each of their hearts – but they both learn to fill those holes and patch up the cracks with different kinds of love – and in the end they are still whole.
Love & Hockey broke me, exhausted me and took my breath away – but ultimately it put me back together and left me with a sense of satisfaction and contentment. Days later I still can’t stop thinking about the characters. I’ll be waiting eagerly for Monty’s next book.
And finally, make sure you read the acknowledgements at the end. Monty’s love for her own dad, the inspiration for Valor’s dad – made me cry all over again. Monty Jay is an author I’ll be following for a LONG time!