November 26, 2023 | Posted in:Review

The injured hockey player and the grumpy chef…


My time playing pro hockey will be up soon. I can feel it. And I’ve heard the he’s too old, he’s had too many injuries, he’s lost his edge. I don’t want to admit it, but they could be right. Next season might be my last.

Or this season. Because of course, this is when the universe decides I need another concussion. It’s a doozy too—the kind that’s going to keep me off skates for a while.

Which is how I end up in a small New England town in the middle of nowhere Vermont, eating every meal at a diner where a grumpy chef from Quebec makes haute cuisine…and burgers. Jean-Claude is funny and charming and—

Okay, I have a crush on a gay man.

This is a new one.


Confused straight men are entertaining. But Riley is…fascinating, sexy, and curiously vulnerable. His injury has rocked his confidence a bit, so perhaps he’s in need of a friend. Any friend. Even moi .

I’m an unlikely choice, but maybe he just likes my tuna salad.

No…I think it’s me.

And though I’m happy to help him explore his bisexual curious side, I have career concerns of my own. See, the things I love most about Elmwood seem shaky and uncertain, but not Riley. He’s solid and genuine. Suddenly, this temporary secret liaison feels more real than anything in my life.

I need more than this season. I want it all. With Riley.

Next Season is an MM bisexual-awakening romance featuring a grumpy chef, an injured hockey player, and a big HEA in a small town where anything can happen.




Kara's Review

5 out of 5 stars

Next Season is the second book in the The Elmwood Stories series by Lane Hayes. I loved You, Again and I was excited for Jean-Claude to get his story! When Vinnie’s old teammate and friend, Riley, is hurt and comes to Elmwood to recover. He spends a lot of time at the diner and eventually Jean-Claude has to say something to him about what he’s ordering. He makes a lot of delicious meals and Riley needs to eat something else. But Riley is recovering and very superstitious so he needs to have the same thing every day. Riley is pretty sure he’s straight. Mostly. Until he starts to see how attractive Jean-Claude is. Now he’s not so sure. He is sure that he wants to spend more time with him though. Get to know him. Touch him. He’s the first man he’s ever been attracted to so he’s not even sure what to do. Jean-Claude doesn’t want to get involved with a straight man, that never ends well. But Riley seems to be exploring more than experimenting. The attraction is real and not one-sided. Riley is only there temporarily while he heals and Jean-Claude is going to make the most of their time together. I love these two! They are sexy, fun and sweet. Jean-Claude is moody and so damn funny! I love when his accent gets the best of him! Riley is handsome and fun and just goes with the flow. I love how sure he was. He wasn’t afraid or freaked out by his feelings. He just went with it. The two of them together just make me so happy!! I laughed and smiled and loved it! I also loved seeing Vinnie and Nolan again. Can’t wait for more from Elmwood!


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