All Hail the Underdogs (Breakaway Book 3) by E.L. Massey

"I hope we keep getting more books that take place in this world, cause I never want to leave it." Angel read All Hail the Underdogs.

From the blurb:

When seventeen-year-old Patrick Roman is offered a scholarship to a top hockey preparatory school, he thinks maybe his notorious bad luck has finally ended. With a hearing for his legal emancipation on the horizon, he dreams of getting scouted and securing a place on a D1 college team. There’s only one
problem: Roman has serious beef with his new winger on the team, Damien Bordeaux. They’re supposed to be perfectly in sync on the ice. But Roman, with his buzzcut and tattoos, has nothing in common with trust-fund-kid Damien, his floral scrunchies, and designer T-shirts that cost more than all of Roman’s secondhand hockey gear combined.

When eighteen-year-old Damien Bordeaux starts his senior year, he tells himself he’s going to focus on hockey and school. No more making out in the stacks, no more dorm parties. He needs to decide what his future will look like. Does he pursue his long-held dream of becoming an author? Or stay in his lane and do what he’s good at: hockey. Regardless, he’s not going to let any pretty boys distract him from figuring his shit out. Except his new center, Roman, is possibly the most beautiful boy Damien has ever seen. And his hockey—the way he moves on the ice—might be even more beautiful. Too bad he’s also probably a homophobic, racist asshole.

But their antagonistic beginning turns into an unlikely friendship and then turns into something much scarier for them both. Navigating relationships is hard enough for normal teenagers. It’s a lot harder when contending with lawyers, NHL scouts, and mutual past trauma. Roman and Damien have to decide: What do they really want in life? Are they willing to fight for each other—including fighting against their own pasts and prejudices—so they can have a happy ending?

Angel's Review:

I've read other books by this author and have really enjoyed them, so I was hoping All Hail the Underdogs would be another knockout book. And it was! Rome and Damien are enemies upon first meeting each other, and that doesn't change for a large chunk of time. Being enemies works for them, they don't talk to each other apart from their verbal jabbing and their insults they spew to each on the ice. Nothing really changes until Damien gets pulled over while Rome was in the car and Rome realizes just how wrong he was about Damien. He realizes he was wrong about a lot of things, and is determined to learn more about the things he doesn't know so he can do better, and be better. 

That's something that really stood out to me, the message that it's possible to change and to learn how to do better and to be better. That it's possible for someone to change, and Rome definitely did. He realizes that his behavior was wrong and uncalled for and worked on himself to try to stop himself from behaving the way he was. And while he was still a jerk at times, he definitely improved on his behavior towards Damien.

I.. adored Damien's character. I also felt for him because despite how hard he tried Rome always made him feel two sizes too small. That didn't stop Damien though, when Rome needed help he, along with their fellow teammates, stepped up to help him. I loved the bond that these teammates had with each other. They weren't just teammates on the ice but we're also friends off of it. Besides the two MC's I think my favorite character Piper. She's so cute and made Damien feel welcome, not to mention she's just adorable. I also liked Kaner's character along with Olly.. it makes me wonder if their might be something going on between them... 

This story is really well written, great dialogue, important messages were written in a way where you understand what the author was trying to vocalize, without them yelling it. The characters were also really fantastic, each and everyone contributed something to the story and they all belonged. I wish the epilogue was longer, I would've loved to see more of  Damien and Rome now that they are older. Overall a really terrific book! I'm excited to see what else this author releases/writes next!

Rating: 4.5 Stars

All Hail the Underdogs is available to buy in ebook and paperback formats.