Reviews

Game Misconduct by Ari Baran

the_discworldian's review

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dark emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

clareactual's review

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emotional

3.0

ericawrites's review against another edition

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4.0

Mike and Danny are rival enforcers, with a history of bad fights, and that's where this enemies-to-lovers starts. This is a rougher book where the two men's violence on the ice translates into their personal lives and how they have sex. I very much felt the tinderbox evolution of their relationship and the pressures of the hockey season as both their teams ascend toward winning the Stanley Cup.

The story started out a little slower, and the ending was perhaps a little too neat. Also, this fake NHL is supposed to be more inclusive (Mike is Japanese American, Danny is Mexican American, and Mike's best friend on his team is a Black woman), so the fighting itself felt a little old-school. It seemed like a more racially, ethnically, and gender diverse wouldn't have as much fighting, especially since the IRL NHL has tapered off fights a lot over the past decades.

Mike and Danny are jocks and dealing with having feelings for the first time and all that brings up for them, whether past traumas, dealing with family, or Danny's pain and addiction issues. The interview was a cute way to end the book, but I very much wanted one more tender note between Danny and Mike after the Cup game and Danny's decisions about his future.

I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator was great, especially with the different inflections of Danny and Mike!

avalydia's review

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4.5

More like 4.5.

This was SO good. Baran's writing was excellent - I laughed out loud at several points, especially during Mike's POV - and I was impressed by how distinctive the POVs were. Mike in particular was a fantastic character, so much false bravado and pent-up anxiety, but with so much potential for growth. I loved watching Danny recognize that in him and pushing him to want more for himself.

I took off half a star because I thought the pacing was a bit rushed at the end - Danny didn't
hit his low point until almost the very end of the book, which didn't leave a lot of time to set up the HEA
- and I didn't really like the article epilogue format. But these were minor issues in what was otherwise one of my favorite reads of the year!

coralie_c's review against another edition

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

celsius273's review

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2.0

Why does everyone keep trying to recreate heated rivalry?

lechepatito's review

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I liked the moments of humor, especially Mike learning to feel his feelings, and the growth for both both characters. It was a little rough for me - less the kink and more the just general inclination to violence. I would have liked a tad more backstory for both Mike and Danny early on, to explain why they were as closed off and sad. And there was some real hand-waving to resolve Danny’s alcoholism at the end. Overall a good debut, and I’m looking forward to book 2.

theresrachel's review

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emotional sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

knittingwild's review

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.5

ditten's review against another edition

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emotional medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

These guys were so horny for each other and so mad about it which is a trope I'll never tire of 😂

I loved Mike and Danny, and I really enjoyed this book. Some of their first sexual encounters were a bit too violent for me, and I wish we'd gotten more of an epilogue, but I thought the writing was great and I'm very excited for the second book in the series