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Too Much Man

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A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut. Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey pla A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut. Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey player. His smoldering presence is a temptation and a challenge to her long-standing vow not to date cis men. Gavin Williams has no business starting a relationship, least of all with a woman he’s not sure even likes him. He can’t resist the Friendly Bean’s hot, pink-haired owner, but a casual fling is all he can commit to. He’s hoping to leave town for the next stage in his career…if he ever gets the call with the job offer. A friends-with-benefits arrangement is perfect for them both—but neither is ready for the feelings that hit. When the post-hockey life Gavin always dreamed of is suddenly within his grasp, they’ll both have to make a choice: hold tight to what they thought life should look like, or work together to build something new.


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A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut. Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey pla A grumpy former hockey player and a bisexual coffee-shop owner refuse to commit—to themselves or each other—in this fun, flirty debut. Piper Welborn has created a warm, welcoming space for all in her queer-inclusive coffee shop, even if the long hours came at the cost of her love life. But she’s not ready to welcome one man in particular—a grumpy, muscular former hockey player. His smoldering presence is a temptation and a challenge to her long-standing vow not to date cis men. Gavin Williams has no business starting a relationship, least of all with a woman he’s not sure even likes him. He can’t resist the Friendly Bean’s hot, pink-haired owner, but a casual fling is all he can commit to. He’s hoping to leave town for the next stage in his career…if he ever gets the call with the job offer. A friends-with-benefits arrangement is perfect for them both—but neither is ready for the feelings that hit. When the post-hockey life Gavin always dreamed of is suddenly within his grasp, they’ll both have to make a choice: hold tight to what they thought life should look like, or work together to build something new.

30 review for Too Much Man

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ⓐlleskelle - That ranting lady ッ

    4.5 STARS I REALLY ENJOYED THIS ONE! Enemies to lovers set up: Anti meet-cute? Opposites attract Grumpy hockey player Driven sunshiney queer heroine No strings attached arrangement... or is it? Escalating sexual tension Soft, intimate and verra nice sex scenes 😏 Queer representation and bi-erasure discussion Endearing and fun supporting cast Great romance pay off, low angst, A+ writing, Too Much Man was most satisfying! More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞ 4.5 STARS I REALLY ENJOYED THIS ONE! Enemies to lovers set up: Anti meet-cute? Opposites attract Grumpy hockey player Driven sunshiney queer heroine No strings attached arrangement... or is it? Escalating sexual tension Soft, intimate and verra nice sex scenes 😏 Queer representation and bi-erasure discussion Endearing and fun supporting cast Great romance pay off, low angst, A+ writing, Too Much Man was most satisfying! More reviews and book talk at : You can find me here too ☞

  2. 5 out of 5

    Alex (HEABookNerd)

    I absolutely adored TOO MUCH MAN and I read it one sitting because the writing and plot just sucked me in. Professional hockey star Gavin Williams is still reeling from his career ending knee injury and a bad morning has him butting heads with bisexual coffee shop owner Piper Welborn. Piper has no interest in dating cisgender men, let alone having a no-strings fling with one, but she can't deny her attraction to Gavin. Piper and Gavin's confrontational first encounter was full of sparks and fire I absolutely adored TOO MUCH MAN and I read it one sitting because the writing and plot just sucked me in. Professional hockey star Gavin Williams is still reeling from his career ending knee injury and a bad morning has him butting heads with bisexual coffee shop owner Piper Welborn. Piper has no interest in dating cisgender men, let alone having a no-strings fling with one, but she can't deny her attraction to Gavin. Piper and Gavin's confrontational first encounter was full of sparks and fire and I loved watching them get to know each other after that initial bad impression. Both of these MCs were incredibly relatable and likable, even grumpy Gavin who's just starting to come out of a dark place from his injury. Piper's concerns over her bisexuality being erased by dating a man were written so beautifully that I felt every one of her struggles and worries. There was so much heart to these characters and I felt like I really knew and understood them. After a few missteps, Piper and Gavin start to find a connection and I loved the way their relationship developed. Their chemistry has a softer, mature feel to it but it's no less steamy. I just really enjoyed these two as a couple, with all their ups and downs. Additionally, the side characters were really well developed and I adored Piper's group of friends. I hope we see more of the Firebird's team in the future books and I'm really looking forward to more in this series and by this author. ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review Content Warning: discussion of and concern over bi-erasure; chronic pain from a knee injury; references to past parental death

  3. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Hearts Romance

    Thoroughly enjoyable with a great cast of characters. The handling of grief, biphobia, and identity struggles for both MCs is handled with utmost care and relatability. I’m looking forward to what else comes in this series! Overall rating: 4 Hannah Angst Scale™ Rating: 2 Content notes: grief, FMC’s parents were killed in car accident in past, bi-erasure and biphobia (FMC references past experiences of both and struggles with some internalized biphobia), MMC has injury causing permanent disability, Thoroughly enjoyable with a great cast of characters. The handling of grief, biphobia, and identity struggles for both MCs is handled with utmost care and relatability. I’m looking forward to what else comes in this series! Overall rating: 4 Hannah Angst Scale™ Rating: 2 Content notes: grief, FMC’s parents were killed in car accident in past, bi-erasure and biphobia (FMC references past experiences of both and struggles with some internalized biphobia), MMC has injury causing permanent disability, on page alcohol use, on page sex

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kazen

    3.5 stars A grumpy hockey player and bi coffeeshop owner aren't interested in a long-term relationship... but there's no harm in a fling, right? While I have some nitpicks about the hockey I love how Piper wrestles with her bisexuality, the found family vibes, and pretty much every side character. Along with the romance! Check out my standalone video review for more thoughts - I have so many! So curious to see what the next book of the series brings. Content notes: (view spoiler)[exploration of bi 3.5 stars A grumpy hockey player and bi coffeeshop owner aren't interested in a long-term relationship... but there's no harm in a fling, right? While I have some nitpicks about the hockey I love how Piper wrestles with her bisexuality, the found family vibes, and pretty much every side character. Along with the romance! Check out my standalone video review for more thoughts - I have so many! So curious to see what the next book of the series brings. Content notes: (view spoiler)[exploration of bi erasure, mentions of homophobia, mentions of parental death, ongoing pain due to injury (hide spoiler)]

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jess

    I think this book is really interesting, because it's largely about how much of yourself you owe to yourself or others, but I did find it a bit frustrating to read at times, because of how much both the hero and heroine kept jumping to the wrong conclusions? And I personally could have used more time with them together to see the heroine's evolution into actually having feelings because for most of the book it did feel like she was just using the hero for sex (fine) due to all of the cis men bad I think this book is really interesting, because it's largely about how much of yourself you owe to yourself or others, but I did find it a bit frustrating to read at times, because of how much both the hero and heroine kept jumping to the wrong conclusions? And I personally could have used more time with them together to see the heroine's evolution into actually having feelings because for most of the book it did feel like she was just using the hero for sex (fine) due to all of the cis men bad stuff. I needed more transition, I guess.

  6. 4 out of 5

    oitb

    I was really looking forward to reading this since a bunch of people I follow on GR were really into it, but this did not work for me for three reasons (I took notes so I could remember lol): - The first third of this book was a drag. In fact, a LOT of this book was a drag. Every time the mains were not on page, I was so bored. I skimmed a lot a lot a lot. The side characters don't feel like real characters, they feel like people saying lines. The conversations and dialogue felt rote and dry. - T I was really looking forward to reading this since a bunch of people I follow on GR were really into it, but this did not work for me for three reasons (I took notes so I could remember lol): - The first third of this book was a drag. In fact, a LOT of this book was a drag. Every time the mains were not on page, I was so bored. I skimmed a lot a lot a lot. The side characters don't feel like real characters, they feel like people saying lines. The conversations and dialogue felt rote and dry. - The book is premised on a friends-with-benefits situation, and that doesn't actually start until near the halfway mark. The FWB trope is not one requires THAT MUCH setup and in fact, I feel that more time should be spent on the stuff that happens after the sex because that's when feelings come into play and when the story and conflict really kick into gear. And look, I'm not saying that because I think there is One Way to write a FWB story, but all the stuff that came up until the point when the hero and heroine have sex could've been edited down by a lot. There was a lot of nothing happening, and the hero's internal conflict in particular was painfully boring and so overdone that I didn't feel like it was worth spending that many pages on. The heroine's fears — her queer identity being erased in some way because of her relationship with a cisgender straight man — was much more interesting. - My third and final issue with this book — and very much a "me" issue and might not be an issue for anyone else — is that this author coddles its readers too much, and through that, I can sense the author's lack of confidence. There was a lot of telling and not showing re: identity and the characterizations were painful sometimes: For example, we're told that the heroine's friends are a ragtag group of outsiders, and then we're treated to physical descriptions of these characters, like, someone has a bunch of piercings and tattoos, and then someone else has a shirt that literally says, "On Wednesdays we smash the patriarchy." This is so fucking cringe to me, like when the Sex and the City reboot has a nonbinary character who came from the imagination of the lamest straight person ever — like how it's so obvious when boomers write millennials, or when millennials write Gen Zers. At one point, the author builds a definition of "cisgender man" into the story to describe the hero and I just really hate that, personally, as a reader. I think authors should have the confidence to use phrases that may or may not be in the mainstream and let their readers figure it out. It reminds me of an interview I read by Tia Williams, author of the brilliant and beautiful "Seven Days in June," where she said that at the beginning of her career, she wrote a lot of books about black people for white people, and how as she got older and more tenured as an author, she stopped doing that and wrote black books for black people. She basically said (I'm paraphrasing) that if readers didn't know what she was talking about in her text, they can look it up. And yes!! That is the energy I want from authors who talk about stuff that their readers may or may not know. Trust your readers to figure it out, and if they don't, that's on them. Don't baby them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Mariah

    i really wanted to love this 🥲 RTC

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joeシ

    This looks so Interesting; I can’t wait to read it!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kini

    Really, really enjoyed this debut from James. Grumpy ex-hockey star meets a coffee shop owner who is not taking his shit. Gavin is grumpy because he unexpectedly retires from hockey after an injury, he is having to figure out the next step of his life. But this book is really Piper's. Piper is a bisexual woman who has sworn off dating cis-het men. She does not want her identity as a bisexual woman to be lost and erased by dating a cis-het man. She has placed a lot of worth in her queer identity. Really, really enjoyed this debut from James. Grumpy ex-hockey star meets a coffee shop owner who is not taking his shit. Gavin is grumpy because he unexpectedly retires from hockey after an injury, he is having to figure out the next step of his life. But this book is really Piper's. Piper is a bisexual woman who has sworn off dating cis-het men. She does not want her identity as a bisexual woman to be lost and erased by dating a cis-het man. She has placed a lot of worth in her queer identity. So both Piper and Gavin have to work through how to be the people they are without losing a part of themselves. The story is very emotional and many times I had to put it down because it was so heavy. Really looking forward to reading more in this series.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Escape_in_a_Book

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I liked this book even if I wasn’t fully sold in their relationship progression. To be fair, I am not a fan of insta-love and this felt very much that. After an initial not great meeting, the two MC’s quickly shelve their sh*t, drop their clothes then immediately serve up their hearts on a platter. We’re told they fall in love by the end of the book, but did I feel it as a reader? Not really. I adore a good enemies to lovers storyl I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. I liked this book even if I wasn’t fully sold in their relationship progression. To be fair, I am not a fan of insta-love and this felt very much that. After an initial not great meeting, the two MC’s quickly shelve their sh*t, drop their clothes then immediately serve up their hearts on a platter. We’re told they fall in love by the end of the book, but did I feel it as a reader? Not really. I adore a good enemies to lovers storyline… this didn’t have that vibe. What worked really well for me? Our heroine’s internal musings and describing bi-erasure were very well done. More so than any other romance book I have read. For that alone, I’d say this is worth the read. Fingers crossed that Tyler Valentine is our hero in book two of this series.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    A promising, enjoyable debut. Gavin’s emotional arc was really strong, as he dealt with a career-ending injury and figuring out what his life can or should look like if he can no longer play hockey. There’s also a lot around the image he’s presented to the world vs. who he really is (or will be) that was fascinating. Piper’s arc was more confusing to me, as it mostly centers around her fear of bierasure and working through internalized biphobia due to her decision years ago to no longer date cis A promising, enjoyable debut. Gavin’s emotional arc was really strong, as he dealt with a career-ending injury and figuring out what his life can or should look like if he can no longer play hockey. There’s also a lot around the image he’s presented to the world vs. who he really is (or will be) that was fascinating. Piper’s arc was more confusing to me, as it mostly centers around her fear of bierasure and working through internalized biphobia due to her decision years ago to no longer date cis men. This poses a problem since she’s intensely attracted to Gavin. I do not want to minimize what Piper was working through because that is a valid issue and struggle for bi folks. However, it felt like she should have worked through this earlier or at least taken her friends’ words to heart sooner, as they were all great about pointing out that who Piper dates doesn’t determine her sexuality. It wasn’t enough of an emotional arc to sustain the book or provide a good enough counterpart to Gavin’s arc. Either way, the book felt a bit disjointed as a result. Gavin and Piper had great chemistry after a rough start and I really appreciated the way they couldn’t resist each other. That doesn’t mean they communicate well though and this felt true to life, even if it did make for some frustrating missteps. The timing of Gavin’s job offer felt unrealistic, especially the timeframe of when he would start. That made it difficult for me to accept the way the low moment unfolded because I couldn’t understand why he was letting things move forward when there were other valid options on the table. But those are small complaints in the grand scheme of things. I had a hard time putting this one down during a week filled with lots of great distractions. Very high praise in my book. (Pun intended.) There are lots of promising secondary characters and I’m curious about whose book will be next. While Piper’s friends’ level of nosiness initially felt intrusive, I came around on them by the end and would gladly read any of their stories, in addition to those of Gavin’s hockey friends. Characters: Gavin is a 42 year old white former hockey player. Piper is a 33 year old white bisexual coffee shop owner with pink hair. This is set in Shady Hill and Philadelphia, PA. Content notes: bierasure, internalized biphobia, past biphobia, MMC has chronic pain due to permanent knee injury (has a knee brace and cane), internalized ableism (around using cane), MMC getting off painkillers for injury (at very start), past death of FMC’s parents (car accident), past divorce (MMC), secondary character’s mom is in remission for breast cancer (has a charity fundraiser for her), on page sex, alcohol, inebriation, hangover, gendered insults, gender essentialism (sometimes countered), ableist language

  12. 4 out of 5

    Jenn

    Sexy, Bi, Hockey, LGBTQIA I really enjoyed this book and the fact it calls attention to some more sensitive and prominent issues like Bisexual erasure, which you typically do not find in a romance novel. The story follows Piper, a Bisexual coffee owner and ex-hockey player, Gavin who is recovering from a career-ending injury. They meet, fight, decide to have a fling and re-evaluate their previous life goals/plans/expectations as they secretly fall for each other. I do have to mention that I did f Sexy, Bi, Hockey, LGBTQIA I really enjoyed this book and the fact it calls attention to some more sensitive and prominent issues like Bisexual erasure, which you typically do not find in a romance novel. The story follows Piper, a Bisexual coffee owner and ex-hockey player, Gavin who is recovering from a career-ending injury. They meet, fight, decide to have a fling and re-evaluate their previous life goals/plans/expectations as they secretly fall for each other. I do have to mention that I did find their internal monologue a bit repetitive as they each worked through their issues, however, I prefer this over them just snapping their fingers and figuring it all out. There wasn’t anything too surprising about the story but I didn’t mind so much since it was a great debut novel and fairly sexy. Piper’s continual debate with her queerness and her concerns about parts of her identity being “erased” or overlooked were refreshing to hear as authentic Bisexual and representation in entertainment can be hard to come by. The novel did a fantastic job at setting the stage for more stories within the Firebird world and I can’t wait to read how the other characters find love. I have some hopes for some storylines that I think James was foreshadowing (maybe a gay hockey player?). All in all, this was a good read and I’m excited about55 the next instalment. PS: Saul the “huge, hairy, mean bigfoot,” I cannot wait to read about your story! Special thank you to NetGalley and Carina Press for sharing this digital copy in exchange for my honest thoughts. #NetGalley #TooMuchMan #Firebirds

  13. 5 out of 5

    amanda

    This was cute! I liked the dynamic between Piper and Gavin. He was super grumpy and rude and she was having none of it, and I like that it didn’t just go away when they first got together. I really liked the discussion Piper had throughout the book on finding a way to be with Gavin while also being proud of her queerness and accepting that not everyone will know and get it but those who know her and matter will. And Gavin was supportive and kind. The conflict did frustrate me with how much it se This was cute! I liked the dynamic between Piper and Gavin. He was super grumpy and rude and she was having none of it, and I like that it didn’t just go away when they first got together. I really liked the discussion Piper had throughout the book on finding a way to be with Gavin while also being proud of her queerness and accepting that not everyone will know and get it but those who know her and matter will. And Gavin was supportive and kind. The conflict did frustrate me with how much it seemed to drag on, but I’m happy with how it all ended!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Harlequin Books

    Categories Sports Romance, Bisexual, Romantic Comedy, Contemporary Romance Miniseries Firebirds (Book #1)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie Panach

    Hockey romances are always right up my alley and queer friendly ones are even better! I liked this one a lot - but it wasn't love like I expected it to be. I think that is mainly because I didn't love Piper. Everyone in the book kept telling me I should - that she had a big heart and was passionate and funny - but I found her to be aloof and fairly cold. Even when she and Gavin push each other away at the end - I had a hard time finding empathy for Piper. I loved the concept- and I would definit Hockey romances are always right up my alley and queer friendly ones are even better! I liked this one a lot - but it wasn't love like I expected it to be. I think that is mainly because I didn't love Piper. Everyone in the book kept telling me I should - that she had a big heart and was passionate and funny - but I found her to be aloof and fairly cold. Even when she and Gavin push each other away at the end - I had a hard time finding empathy for Piper. I loved the concept- and I would definitely be interested in learning and reading more about some of the other folks introduced in the book - but for me Gavin and Piper didn't have the chemistry I like to see between characters and Piper in particular was just not very likeable for me. I did like the bisexual representation in the book - and felt Piper's concerns were very realistic and well done. Overall - it was ok - but not great. I received this as an ARC from NetGalley, but these opinions are all my own.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    I was hoping that this was going to be a good read. I really was. And while the story itself was fine...Piper drove me nuts. I have identified as pansexual over a decade now. So, when there is a scene where a self-identifying bisexual woman declares "well, I'm probably more pansexual but I say I'm bi because..." The because is what irks me. A lot of the Bi community gets so worked up about bisexual erasure --but you know what? You're doing the same thing to pansexual community by making us uncomf I was hoping that this was going to be a good read. I really was. And while the story itself was fine...Piper drove me nuts. I have identified as pansexual over a decade now. So, when there is a scene where a self-identifying bisexual woman declares "well, I'm probably more pansexual but I say I'm bi because..." The because is what irks me. A lot of the Bi community gets so worked up about bisexual erasure --but you know what? You're doing the same thing to pansexual community by making us uncomfortable to use our identity. For some folks, it is literally a flag preference (I get it, I'm not wild about it either), it is SO IMPORTANT to our dialog that we can accurate represent ourselves. So...yeah, that whole thing really irritated me and I almost stopped reading. I also got very, very annoyed with her constant "I don't want to not be queer by dating a man!". ...Piper, honey...get a grip. As I mentioned: I'm pansexual. I'm also non-binary. I exclusively date cisgender men. Women and trans folx just, historically, are not interested in me. I'm fine with it. But if if a woman/trans person comes along and shows interest...I'M STILL GOING TO GIVE THAT PERSON A CHANCE (...you know, if I like them). I'm not saying that the book was bad, but I would have liked to see more focus on the RELATIONSHIP and less on the inner turmoil of being a queer identifying person in a heternormative relationship. It was repetitive at best. The writing itself, other than the repetition, was good and I did enjoy the parts without Piper agonizing about her sexuality. I'd be curious to read another --but if it's more of the same, I wouldn't bother with more unless it was a character pairing I was really excited about.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emmalita

    Gavin Williams is having a bad month. He wakes up hungover, in pain, and not ready to face the sudden end of his hockey career. On the advice of his teammate, Carlos, Gavin limps down to the local coffee shop to try coffee as a hangover cure. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like coffee and he’s in a temper he doesn’t have a handle on. He immediately butts heads with Piper, the owner of the Friendly Bean, who is also having a bad day. It’s a spectacularly un-cute meet. Piper and Gavin loathe each other Gavin Williams is having a bad month. He wakes up hungover, in pain, and not ready to face the sudden end of his hockey career. On the advice of his teammate, Carlos, Gavin limps down to the local coffee shop to try coffee as a hangover cure. Unfortunately, he doesn’t like coffee and he’s in a temper he doesn’t have a handle on. He immediately butts heads with Piper, the owner of the Friendly Bean, who is also having a bad day. It’s a spectacularly un-cute meet. Piper and Gavin loathe each other and are embarrassed by their own behavior. Which makes them dislike each other even more. So how do we get from Meet grumpy to HEA? Carlos’ sister works at The Friendly Bean, and he wants to do some fundraising events with Gavin at the coffee shop. Piper likes Carlos, so she’s willing to tolerate Gavin. Gavin apologizes to Piper. As they get to know each other, they find they are attracted to each other, and decide to have a fling. In Too Much Man, Davis explores identity and the expectations we set for ourselves. Piper is a queer woman – bi. Being queer and a part of the queer community is important to her. Being in a relationship with a straight cis man might lead others to assume she is straight and that makes her uncomfortable. Creating a queer friendly neighborhood coffee shop and being a part of the local queer community helped Piper heal from the sudden loss of her parents. For Gavin, his identity has ben tightly linked to hockey and Vancouver. An injury has ended his career, and while he was with a Philadelphia team, not the Vancouver team. He clings to his ideas of who he is to navigate this new territory. Neither is what the other wants for themselves long term. I requested this from NetGalley largely because Anna Zabo said she had read an early partial draft and liked it. I love their books and if they say a writer is worth investigating, I will. Katy James has created a lovely, queer friendly, world in which to tell more stories. I’m interested to see how she will grow as a writer. I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley and Carina Press. My opinions are my own.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Adriana

    A forward-leaning 3.5 stars for this hot romance with a grumpy older man in need of healing and a headstrong bi woman who’s sworn off relationships with men. The story is standard fare for the genre with interesting characters and some very smexy scenes. Gavin and Piper are that perfect mismatch of personalities that you just know are perfect for each other as soon as they meet on the page. I would have enjoyed some more page space devoted to their developing relationship, but I understand the l A forward-leaning 3.5 stars for this hot romance with a grumpy older man in need of healing and a headstrong bi woman who’s sworn off relationships with men. The story is standard fare for the genre with interesting characters and some very smexy scenes. Gavin and Piper are that perfect mismatch of personalities that you just know are perfect for each other as soon as they meet on the page. I would have enjoyed some more page space devoted to their developing relationship, but I understand the limitations of page count. Is it possible to be both superficial and very in depth when creating a character? Because that’s what I walk away feeling about Gavin and Piper. I know the deepest feelings of the characters, but I don’t really know anything beyond that. My main peeve with the story is Piper‘s obsession with bi erasure and how people are going to see her if she starts dating a man. I understand it’s something that is important to many bi individuals who have to fight prejudice and lack of understanding, yet it Felt like I was getting repeatedly hit with the same issue over and over again. What was maybe a minor thing in the major scope of the story turned into element that felt overused and diluted the importance of what was being said. I particularly enjoyed how well characters are presented and quirks that made them unique. As much as I didn’t enjoy some of the character choices made with Piper, I’m intrigued by the other characters percent and I’m looking forward to reading their stories. Happy thanks to NetGalley and Carina Press for the entertaining read!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kelly-Jo Sweeney

    There are so many romance novels out there that follow a similar plot, it isn't always a bad thing, they can be well written and enjoyable. Even so, it's always good to come across one that has something different about it. Too Much Man is certainly that. Yes, it follows the idea of two people greatly attracted to one another but avoiding anything permanent for one reason or another. What makes this a little different though, is the reason that Piper is reluctant to start anything more than a fli There are so many romance novels out there that follow a similar plot, it isn't always a bad thing, they can be well written and enjoyable. Even so, it's always good to come across one that has something different about it. Too Much Man is certainly that. Yes, it follows the idea of two people greatly attracted to one another but avoiding anything permanent for one reason or another. What makes this a little different though, is the reason that Piper is reluctant to start anything more than a fling with Gavin. Piper is bisexual and while she is attracted to men and women, she always feels that part of her is erased in the eyes of others when she is with a man, for that reason, she has avoided being in relationships with men for a number of years. I liked the way the author addressed Piper's fears, the story concerns how we worry about the way other people view us, rather than what we want and feel. At the same time, Gavin is coming to terms with the end of his sports career. He's been successful, incredibly so, but that has come to an end. It's an interesting subject, how even someone who has had it all can face uncertainty when all that they have enjoyed comes crashing to an end. This was an interesting read and one I really enjoyed. I see that it's the start of a series and I'd be interested to see where next for this hockey team. I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. The opinions expressed in this review are completely my own and given voluntarily.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Lynn

    Firstly, Thank you Harlequin 0 Carina Press and Net galley for access to the eARC, Too Much Man, by Katy James. Grumpy Sunshine Hockey Player + LGBTQ coffee shop owner + spice = I SWOONED for this book! Piper owns her own LGBTQ+ friendly coffee shop in Philadelphia. In walks Gavin Williams, one of the ELITE hockey players, who just suffered a career ending knee injury. Their chemistry may be electric, but she has a preference of not dating cis gendered men, and he is hoping to get out of town an Firstly, Thank you Harlequin 0 Carina Press and Net galley for access to the eARC, Too Much Man, by Katy James. Grumpy Sunshine Hockey Player + LGBTQ coffee shop owner + spice = I SWOONED for this book! Piper owns her own LGBTQ+ friendly coffee shop in Philadelphia. In walks Gavin Williams, one of the ELITE hockey players, who just suffered a career ending knee injury. Their chemistry may be electric, but she has a preference of not dating cis gendered men, and he is hoping to get out of town and make some more career moves within hockey. So sounds like the perfect chance for a no-strings attached fling until Gavin leaves town! Instead, both are fighting their plans for the future, and how they don't fall in line with their agreement. My review: 4/5 stars. This was a fun read. You get grumpy sunshine, inclusivity with a MC who has a physical injury and Mental health problems relating to it, and a queer character. I enjoyed learning about the trouble bi-women must deal with, fighting the stigmatization of "picking a side." Always fun to read a book for spice, and getting to learn something along the way! I'm excited this is the first book in what will hopefully be a character series?!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kathryn

    Too Much Man is a queer hockey romance, just not in the traditional sense of the sub-genre. Most queer hockey romances are MM or FF, whereas this is MF with a bi woman. Piper is a proud bisexual woman who chooses not to date straight cis men and Gavin is exactly that. Gavin is a professional hockey player who’s has an injury keeping him off the ice. The two instantly clash but find they have a lot of chemistry and start a friends with benefits relationship, which of course turns into feelings. I Too Much Man is a queer hockey romance, just not in the traditional sense of the sub-genre. Most queer hockey romances are MM or FF, whereas this is MF with a bi woman. Piper is a proud bisexual woman who chooses not to date straight cis men and Gavin is exactly that. Gavin is a professional hockey player who’s has an injury keeping him off the ice. The two instantly clash but find they have a lot of chemistry and start a friends with benefits relationship, which of course turns into feelings. I didn’t have a lot of expectations for this book and really enjoyed it. I found Piper’s internal struggle of trying not to disappoint her community by being in a relationship with a straight to be very interesting and a real concern in the bi community that doesn’t usually appear on the page. I also found Gavin’s struggle of his career ending and not knowing what to do interesting. I appreciated that both of these things did not distract from the romance aspect of the book and actually made the two more reliant on each other for support. I also enjoyed the side characters and hope to see them again in future books in this series. Thank you to Carina Press, Harlequin, and NetGalley for the ARC.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Marianne | Petite.BumbleBeeBooks

    Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Too Much Man by Katy James In this first in instalment in the Firebirds Hockey series, Gavin Williams is now a former player, his injury making unable to play anymore. Piper Welborn, a coffee shop owner has sworn off relationship with men, but when the smoldering and grumpy Gavin makes his way to the shop for a charity event, the sparks fly and at least for a friends-with-benefit arrangement they both jump-in, at least until their true feelings for each other start to show. Piper a Review ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Too Much Man by Katy James In this first in instalment in the Firebirds Hockey series, Gavin Williams is now a former player, his injury making unable to play anymore. Piper Welborn, a coffee shop owner has sworn off relationship with men, but when the smoldering and grumpy Gavin makes his way to the shop for a charity event, the sparks fly and at least for a friends-with-benefit arrangement they both jump-in, at least until their true feelings for each other start to show. Piper and Gavin are the proof that meet-cute aren't necessary for a happily ever after, after their less than cute first impression those two grump are definitely intrigued by the other. I loved how a lot was discussed in this book surrounding both bisexuality, its place in the world, but also in the queer community and the sometimes toxic "hockey culture", especially surrounding mental health. I loved how Gavin wasn't the usual all-alpha and confident hockey player, he was a little shy and self-conscious. I personally don't love the "it's only sex" trope, but with all the friendship going on at the same time, I found the author had a good rhythm going on. I'll definitely be on the look-out for the next ones in the series! Hoping for Carlo next!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Roberta Blablanski

    3.5 out of 5 stars Too Much Man was a quick, easy read for me. Anyone who likes big, muscly hockey player love interests and strong, queer leading ladies will definitely enjoy this romance story. It follows a pretty standard romance formula: Grumpy guy makes a bad impression. Gal puts guy in his place. Attraction flares, leading to a temporary friends-with-benefits situation...UNTIL! Both have feelings. Then former grumpy guy becomes grumpy again and pushes gal away. Both are miserable, their fri 3.5 out of 5 stars Too Much Man was a quick, easy read for me. Anyone who likes big, muscly hockey player love interests and strong, queer leading ladies will definitely enjoy this romance story. It follows a pretty standard romance formula: Grumpy guy makes a bad impression. Gal puts guy in his place. Attraction flares, leading to a temporary friends-with-benefits situation...UNTIL! Both have feelings. Then former grumpy guy becomes grumpy again and pushes gal away. Both are miserable, their friends give them a swift kick in the butt, big declarations are made, and everyone lives happily ever after. I liked Piper and Grant just fine, but they weren't memorable. I did enjoy Piper's group of friends and the abundance of queer rep. Gavin's teammates were enjoyable, as well. Apart from Piper's pink hair, nothing sticks out for me. I am curious about the next book in the series and who will be the MC. Perhaps Valentine, as it seems the author inserted a few nuggets to make me curious about his backstory. ***Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.***

  24. 4 out of 5

    BOOKarina (Karina)

    Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, my thoughts are my own. This was a not loving, not hating kind of book. The ones I hate to review the most because it is hard to put into words a book that did not leave a mark on me be it good or bad. This is a lukewarm book, neither memorable or bad just not for me in a way I did not expect as I am a HUGE lover of Sports romance. Especially Hockey as I am from Quebec, Canada and it is a pretty big thing here. Now about the book, I read it a little whil Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book, my thoughts are my own. This was a not loving, not hating kind of book. The ones I hate to review the most because it is hard to put into words a book that did not leave a mark on me be it good or bad. This is a lukewarm book, neither memorable or bad just not for me in a way I did not expect as I am a HUGE lover of Sports romance. Especially Hockey as I am from Quebec, Canada and it is a pretty big thing here. Now about the book, I read it a little while ago and due to family stuff happening and mental health reasons had to step back and not be on anything for a while. Which means that all I have left are a phrase "Not bad but like meh" which is the note I had left for myself after reading it. From memory I do believe this author has a lot of potential to write a book I could love in the future, I remember liking the easy to read well made story that was written nicely. Unfortunately the romance did not make me root for them, I felt uncaring about how their relationship would progress. In the end an okay read 2.5/5 stars Bookarina.

  25. 4 out of 5

    KC

    Too Much Man was a quick, easy read for me that was well-paced and enjoyable. It's an m/f hockey romance but the female lead is bi which was an interesting take on the genre. I really loved Gavin as a character and enjoyed the cameos of the other hockey players on both his current and previous hockey teams. I liked Piper slightly less and had some issues with her worldview and how she handles things. Also, she seemed all over the place, all the time. Their chemistry was good and there was a lot Too Much Man was a quick, easy read for me that was well-paced and enjoyable. It's an m/f hockey romance but the female lead is bi which was an interesting take on the genre. I really loved Gavin as a character and enjoyed the cameos of the other hockey players on both his current and previous hockey teams. I liked Piper slightly less and had some issues with her worldview and how she handles things. Also, she seemed all over the place, all the time. Their chemistry was good and there was a lot of fun, light scenes that I really enjoyed. This is my first Katy James book and I liked it a lot, I will definitely read more in the future. Overall I think it's about a 3.5* for me but rounded up. It was a lot of fun. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for an e-arc in exchange for an honest review.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. TOO MUCH MAN follows pink haired, bisexual Piper who owns a queer inclusive coffee shop, and Gavin, a grumpy silver fox hockey player who’s coming to terms with the injury that has cost him his career. - I had a hard time connecting with Piper and Gavin. I just wasn’t invested in their romance at all. Overall it was an okay read, but I wanted more, and I think that’s because I didn’t get enough heat from the enemies to lovers trope that I was expecting. I did enjoy Pipers journey of reflection an TOO MUCH MAN follows pink haired, bisexual Piper who owns a queer inclusive coffee shop, and Gavin, a grumpy silver fox hockey player who’s coming to terms with the injury that has cost him his career. - I had a hard time connecting with Piper and Gavin. I just wasn’t invested in their romance at all. Overall it was an okay read, but I wanted more, and I think that’s because I didn’t get enough heat from the enemies to lovers trope that I was expecting. I did enjoy Pipers journey of reflection and growth and the discussion of bi erasure and the importance of queer visibility. - 3 stars. TOO MUCH MAN by Katy James is available December 7, 2021! - Thank you to Carina Press and Netgalley for sending me an eARC to review.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Sara | sara.reads.too.much

    I'm a lover of hockey romances, it's such a fun sport to read about! This book started off great, there was banter, there was a clear heat-to-love trope happening from the first time the characters interacted and I was excited to see where the story would go. It was good until the middle, there was sexual tension, there was more banter, I love that Piper is bisexual, but the middle of the book kind of lost me, sadly. It got too worked up on the whole hook up and Gavin inevitably leaving that the I'm a lover of hockey romances, it's such a fun sport to read about! This book started off great, there was banter, there was a clear heat-to-love trope happening from the first time the characters interacted and I was excited to see where the story would go. It was good until the middle, there was sexual tension, there was more banter, I love that Piper is bisexual, but the middle of the book kind of lost me, sadly. It got too worked up on the whole hook up and Gavin inevitably leaving that the characters weren't able to grow because of that looming cloud above them. Please keep in mind that just because it wasn't for me, doesn't mean you won't enjoy it!! Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the earc in return for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Julie Hamilton

    I really enjoyed this book. I spent a lot of time reading fanfic when I was younger and always loved coffee shop AUs, and this feels like one of those fics. Piper and Gavin were such compelling characters. Piper is worried about the erasure of her bi identity if she enters into a serious relationship with a cis man, and Gavin is dealing with the emotional and physical impacts of a recent knee injury and his forced retirement from hockey. I loved watching them each navigate their own paths to hap I really enjoyed this book. I spent a lot of time reading fanfic when I was younger and always loved coffee shop AUs, and this feels like one of those fics. Piper and Gavin were such compelling characters. Piper is worried about the erasure of her bi identity if she enters into a serious relationship with a cis man, and Gavin is dealing with the emotional and physical impacts of a recent knee injury and his forced retirement from hockey. I loved watching them each navigate their own paths to happiness while falling in love. This is a sexy read that’s also deeply emotional. I’m looking forward to reading more from Katy James (and hope Tyler Valentine gets a book next).

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue Ouellet-Cofsky

    3.5 stars I always love a good hockey romance. Throw in a grumbly hockey player and I'm usually a pretty happy person. It started out super strong with some great banter and the cast of friends on both sides were pretty amazing. I absolutely loved Gavin and could completely understand where he was coming from. Piper though was harder for me to understand and love. I love the inclusiveness of the story for all genders and sexualities. Piper's hard line though just kind of threw me a bit and I had 3.5 stars I always love a good hockey romance. Throw in a grumbly hockey player and I'm usually a pretty happy person. It started out super strong with some great banter and the cast of friends on both sides were pretty amazing. I absolutely loved Gavin and could completely understand where he was coming from. Piper though was harder for me to understand and love. I love the inclusiveness of the story for all genders and sexualities. Piper's hard line though just kind of threw me a bit and I had such a hard time connecting with her and not because of her sexuality but the hard line in the sand. Eventually, there was a connection between the two that I enjoyed and a satisfying ending.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mags

    Too Much Man the debut novel by Katy James is an enjoyable tale that introduces readers to grumpy injured pro hockey player Gavin and bi-sexual coffee shop owner Piper and tells an engaging story full of colourful characters and a rather anti meet-cute. As the main characters clash from the off, but that soon changes and they come to find something in each other and by the end they learn that your identity is more than your job or the person you love. Would recommend. **I was kindly provided with Too Much Man the debut novel by Katy James is an enjoyable tale that introduces readers to grumpy injured pro hockey player Gavin and bi-sexual coffee shop owner Piper and tells an engaging story full of colourful characters and a rather anti meet-cute. As the main characters clash from the off, but that soon changes and they come to find something in each other and by the end they learn that your identity is more than your job or the person you love. Would recommend. **I was kindly provided with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review**

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