Back to Center, Mohegan U Hockey #2 by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood - Review and Giveaway

"His scent filled the air and drove my thoughts wild. I craved him like a drug I desperately needed but couldn't have." - Jack Rogan, Back to Center.

From the blurb:


There are ways to get ahead in college hockey, but having a meltdown, trying to get rid of your coach,
and stalking his boyfriend isn’t one of them. Is it really a surprise that I wound up in a hospital facing my demons instead of getting ready to play for the pros and taking care of my baby? I needed the world’s biggest redo, but the probability of a second chance was about the same as…

Jack Rogan walking through the door. But there he was! Jack was one of my coaches, and I was pretty sure he was straight. His easy laugh and sympathetic ear put a smile on my face. He made me believe I could turn my life around. But as much as I liked him, I knew I had to put my fantasies aside. With obligations to meet and amends to make, I didn’t have time to obsess about a guy who was out of my reach.

So why did I say yes when he offered me a place to stay while I got on my feet?


I was done with relationships. A fractured heart had made sure my walls were high, and my shields were strong. There wasn’t a man I couldn’t resist—until Eckie.

After driving everyone away in an avalanche of self-destruction, he was getting much needed help, and I wondered if I should go see him. A single visit turned into the best part of every day, and I was hooked. When I was with Eckie, the world made sense again. There were only two years separating us, but since I was one of his coaches, spending time together was dangerous. If we kept it up, who knew what I might do?

Maybe something brilliant, like asking him to stay with me when he left the hospital. I knew it was risky, and I told myself I was only being a friend. But the truth was, I liked feeling things again.

Eckie was seeking redemption; Jack was trying to do the right thing. Neither planned on anything beyond friendship. Will following their hearts leave them worse than before, or will they find what they’ve needed all along?

Back to Center is a story of redemption and the unexpected love a man finds in a friend he never knew he’d have. It also includes exciting hockey, a coach/player dynamic, great communication, unquenchable longing giving way to irrepressible heat, an adorable baby, and a perfect HEA.

Content warnings for depression and physical/emotional abuse by parents. The abuse happened in the past, but knowing about it may be difficult for some.

Laora's Review:

I was anticipating this second book in the Mohegan U Hockey series. I was wondering how it would work out having Eckie as one of the main characters in this book, since he was very abrasive to Cole, the team, his wife Mary, overall not all together well in book one.

I can say I was pleasantly surprised by how Eckie developed and had a lot of personal growth and inside gained through treatment between book one and during this book. I appreciate that trauma is not sugarcoated and mental health is a continuous work in progress for Eckie. But overall he is well balanced with an open heart for his son Levi, who by the way is so cute how he is described in behavior and being.

Jack is the second main character and assistant coach for Eckie, and his team. He visits Eckie whist he is seeking treatment and, slowly but surely, a trust and friendship build. And when Eckie needs a place too, Jack is there to provide a safe place to get back on his feet.

Their friendship gradually turns to more and once they decide they are the one for the other, they realize they can overcome even the worst things together with their found family of friends. Also kudos to Mary for choosing Levi's happiness above being selfish. I liked that the authors choose to include her road to a new happiness as well.

The authors have written this book from both main characters POV, mostly alternating, and it has good story development over several months. Eckie and Jack have a lot of heart and heat for each other. And naturally hockey training and games play-by-play, however it takes a little while before get to the actual hockey in this book, but it felt natural since the story starts in the off season.

As aside: Call me a geek, but I absolutely liked the little detail that the small picture below the chapter heading changed to include Levi.

Rating: 5 Stars

Heather's Review:

I love a good bully redemption and Eckie's story was the perfect storm in book 1 - homophobic, bullying and mean... all while suppressing his own gay feelings and dealing with immense family pressure, depression and more...

He naturally gravitates towards Jack, the coach who spends an inordinate amount of time visiting and getting to know him - and despite the fact that they're coach/player, a relationship develops...

This book is filled with heart, heat and sweet, good communication and a strong and positive message about overcoming and rebuilding after mental illness.  It's a true redemption, second chance story with the added bonus of Eckie's adorable little boy, Levi!

If you like books set in this hockey world with a positive and heartwarming message, good heat and good hockey, you'll love Back to Center!

Rating: 5 Stars

Alyssagp's Review:

This is my second book in the (Mohegan U Hockey, #2) series by Joshua Harwood and Ryan Taylor. Both authors have left me amazed! 

After reading book one I did not like Eckie, so I was uncertain about his story, but surprisingly enough he became a much better person. I enjoyed the growth of Eckie’s character; he matured and went through his on a journey of figuring himself out. 

The two Main characters Eckie and Jack had chemistry had amazing chemistry together. I loved seeing their relationship grow! I look forward to future books in this series. 

Rating: 4 Stars

Back to Center is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.

Add to your TBR List!


Purchase Link

Amazon Universal ~


$25 Amazon Gift Card
a Rafflecopter Giveaway


Mohegan U Hockey #1

Available Now

Purchase Link

Amazon Universal ~

About the Authors

Ryan Taylor met his husband and co-author, Joshua Harwood, in law school. They live in a suburb of Washington, DC, and share their home with a big, cuddly German shepherd. Ryan and Josh love to travel. In addition, Ryan also enjoys swimming, and Josh likes to putter in the garden whenever he can. They began writing to celebrate the romance they were so lucky to find with each other, and the sharing soon developed into a passion for telling stories about love between out and proud men.

Connect with Ryan & Joshua


Facebook Author Page:

Facebook Reader Group:

Ryan's Goodreads Author Page:

Joshua's Goodreads Author Page:




Ryan's Amazon Author Page:

Joshua's Amazon Author Page:

Ryan's Bookbub Page:

Joshua's Bookbub Page: