The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Offside: Post 12

Chapter 15: “A big ass orgy-fest”

Please note that there’s not actually “a big ass orgy-fest” in this chapter. Nor is there a grammatically more sensible big-ass orgy fest. But the phrase is used, and it amused me, and thus we have our title for today’s post. Besides, this post goes somewhere dark, so be glad we’re starting with just grammatical snark.

This chapter opens with Billie freaking out at Logan for purchasing her hockey coaching service while they stand outside the charity function in the parking lot. This location will be important in a bit, so keep it in mind.

Logan asks why she’s so upset, since she’s just raised $1000 for the support center and she wails that “…now everyone thinks we’re sleeping together!” (245). Which… yes. But given the commentary, everyone already thought that.

She continues on.

“Hell, half the town thinks I’m sleeping with their husbands, or at the very least I’m banging every single Angry Pirate in sight.” She snorted. “Because, you know, I’m not playing hockey for the love of it or anything” (245).

And that’s exactly my problem with the ‘logic’ of everyone in this town. If Billie just wanted to sleep with lots of men, which is entirely her prerogative, there are much easier, much more sanitary ways of doing so than showering with a hockey team in a community rink (which is something else she claims that everyone thinks she’s doing.)

Billie continues babbling about what the town thinks, having overheard people in the Costume Shop of One Solitary Costume saying she’d stolen Logan from Sabrina, is sleeping with Shane as well as all the Forest brothers, and showering with the Angry Pirates. Also, Billie just learned from the cranky women in the Ill-Stocked Costume Shop what an angry pirate is.

She pressed her hands over her eyes and counted to ten.

Only to find that Logan was so close to her, she could stick out her tongue and lick him (248).

Wait, what? I assume she notices Logan’s proximity when she uncovers her eyes, but that’s not what the text says at all. Plus, lick him? I mean, yeah, I understand that appropriate licking can be sexy, but at the moment they’re just snapping at each other and her first thought is he’s close enough to lick?

This leads to Billie having self-recriminations about letting Connor talk her into participating in the auction and many, many thoughts about how sexy Logan is and how his deep voice is so sexy and how she feels an ache “deep down there” (249). Oh crap, did we just end up in Fifty Shades of Grey territory with an inability to actually reference female anatomy in a way that doesn’t read as either shameful or prepubescent?

Billie keeps saying things like “I don’t think we should do this” as Logan gets closer to her and starts kissing her neck, which leaves Billie as a “bunch of quivering lady parts” (251).

She was half gone as he nuzzled her in that spot. Zing! The spot that was like a conduit of pleasure. A conduit of pleasure that led directly to her already aching lady parts. …. Until all those quivering girlie parts were practically sitting up and begging for his touch (251).

I’d comment on this but honestly I feel its absurdity stands on its own. And if you disagree, and you’re quite welcome to, you might not be reading the right blog.

Logan moves on from Billie’s neck (yes, her neck is “that spot” If these two ever actually have sex, I’ll be shocked if Billie can reference her clitoris) to sucking on her bottom lip. Sucking on one’s bottom lip doesn’t actually sound like the definition of kissing, in my opinion, but Billie disagrees, declaring that Logan “was the God of kissing” (252).

Hey, remember when I told you where these two are during all of this? In a parking lot of a well attended event? Yeah, that’s important now, because first Logan sucks on her nipples through her clothes, then “carefully and with much finesse, free[d] her breasts from her dress” (252).

I don’t really care if people are being all PDA when I’m nearby; I really don’t. Whatever. I think we’re too uptight about sex and physical contact and too blasé about violence. But I have to agree with the random passerby who yells at them to get a room. 

(Also, the narrative seems to have forgotten that Billie is wearing a body suit under her dress. It specifies mouth-to-skin contact occurring, so either Billie's nude bodysuit had strategic cut outs or it's like the magic pants of book one and hockey gear of the recent one-shot interruption.) 

But even before Random Censor Guy yells, the fun has gone out of the make-out for Billie. Logan says “I want you,” and she flips out (internally) and pulls away.

She’d heard those words before. She’d acted on those words—words that hadn’t been meant for her—and she had lied to him (255).

Ooooh, the plot thickens. Except, Billie is an identical triplet who has had a crush on Logan since her teen years and he was dating her sister (Betty). Is there really any mystery here? (I’ll spare you the suspense. No. No there is not.) But apparently this is the Big Reason why Billie doesn’t want to get together with Logan—she’s afraid he’ll find out that during high school, when he thought he was finally having sex with Betty, he’d actually had it with Billie (at a party, while slightly drunk), the latter having given him her virginity. Then when he came to their house the next day, asking for Betty and not realizing (magically?) that he’d slept with Billie, she’d gotten upset, told him that Betty had left for NYC (which she does the next day), and closes the door on him and goes to Europe. (Which no, doesn’t really make sense since according to earlier in the book Billie had played in college for a few years first, but hey, you want an author to remember what she wrote? Ha!)

Of course, Billie doesn’t tell Logan any of this, she just pulls away and is all “we shouldn’t” and he gets angry—specifically referenced as on the road to “fury” (260) because she’s, to his mind, “playing games.” I find this really problematic. First, as I’ve mentioned before (and will probably mention again) EITHER partner at ANY TIME gets to stop intimate contact. I can see being disappointed, but you don’t really get to be angry. Second, I just get irritated when romance novels’ main conflict is because one person won’t just talk to the other.

Is what Billie did as a teenager wrong? INCREDIBLY. It’s rape, in fact. Logan did not consent to sex with Billie (he consented to sex with Betty.) Now, if you Google this sort of thing, you’ll find that the law does not always agree with me. I don’t care. It’s called Rape by Deception, and Billie raped Logan. Think about it if it had been a male twin impersonating a woman—equally wrong, equally rape. (Also, Logan was intoxicated so you could argue that he couldn’t give consent, but since he was the one pursuing her (thinking she was Betty), I don’t know how that would go over legally.) This is played as problem of mistaken identity, and that Billie’s lie wasn’t so much that she pretended to be Betty but that she told Logan Betty had left town before she actually had. And if Logan wants to forgive her (once he knows) because teenagers are stupid and aren’t actually taught properly about consent and also men are seen as hounddogs who can’t control themselves so almost no one sees women as capable of raping men, then that’s his prerogative.

But what she did was wrong, and more wrong than the narrative admits.

The narrative seems to be blaming Logan for being cranky about the Barker Triplets being trouble.

“Betty was difficult but you’re something else entirely.
“What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

That’s awfully defensive, Billie, given what we know.

“It means your sister Betty liked to play head games and I was stupid enough to let her play with mine a long time ago.” He sounded bitter.

He sounded like he still cared (261, emphasis original).

Billie backs off at this point because Logan might still have feelings for Betty, not because, y’know, she sexually assaulted the guy. Logan storms off, then demands that she meet him Monday for his $1000 lesson.

Hopefully I’ll manage to get a post up Monday about said Monday’s $1K lesson. And hopefully it’ll be a post that’s more fun and less ranty… But I work with what the text gives me, and the text gave me sexual assault.


  1. A "big ass orgy-fest" would seem to be a festival-like orgy of big asses. Whether that would be many donkeys getting it on, people who are enormous asshats getting it on, or people with large butts getting it on, I do not know. A "big-ass orgy fest" would seem to be a festival-like orgy that is very, very big. Just, y'know, to clarify my opening points.

    Either way, though, if it's a "fest" I demand funnel cake.

  2. I have never had funnel cake. Am I missing out on a life-changing experience?
    My biggest issue around commenting seems to be that I can't reply to your replies, or comment more than once a day. I am delighted each time I have to prove I'm not a robot by merely clicking a button. In any case, I will put my reply comment where my original comment should have gone.

    In contrast to your experience, I was told by a guy that he couldn't imagine anything less attractive than a woman playing hockey. Personally, I find people who are passionate about any interest attractive.

    The New Yorker review of FSOG was hilarious. And you may be sad this year, but next year when you have Jack Eichel and Max Domi, things will be much better.

    1. Mmmm, funnel cake. I dunno. I would like to think that it's amazing, because it is. But I also wonder if it might not be something that seems gross if you didn't grow up with them? When I went to undergrad (in New England), they didn't have funnel cake, they had elephant ears, which are very similar but different enough that I thought they were *gross*. So I dunno...

      I'm not sure how I feel about this guy of which you speak saying that he couldn't think of anything less attractive than a woman playing hockey. I mean, to each his/her own, I suppose, but did you know that when something like 60% of American and Canadian girls drop out of sports by high school, many of them cite thinking that sports are "unfeminine" to be the reason? So, thank you for society and strict gender norms. >.<

      (Not me, though. I didn't play sports 'til I picked up hockey during graduate school.)

      And yes, I am very sad this year (I am currently watching the Yotes lose badly to the Rangers, for example) but I do have high hopes for next season.