Book Review by El: Different Dynamics, by Tamir Drake

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Different Dynamics, by Tamir Drake
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: June 26, 2017

Actual Book Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars
Hilarious Fanfic Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Richard doesn’t mind being an omega; all he cares about is playing good hockey, even though it means ignoring the media that tries to rip him apart for it. They don’t think omegas should be allowed on the ice, but he gets along fine. He’s team captain. He can play with the best of them.

The one sticking point is his heats; Richard might be on suppressants, but he’s one of the unlucky ones who still gets a heat every four months or so. They suck to deal with, especially alone, but seeking out a heat partner isn’t an option. The PR nightmare alone keeps him from any kind of hook-up. He can’t risk it. Hockey is all he’s got.

When Richard’s heat comes early while his team is on a roadie, teammate and best friend James helps him out of a bad situation. Tired of hurting, Richard decides it’s better not to go it alone. And James is safe and warm; he’s a great alpha who knows just what Richard needs. When Richard also imprints on big, bad rival player, Dmitry Sokolov? There’s sweet comfort in a three-way with lots of knotting and dirty talk.

Richard might be on cloud nine.

M/M and M/M/M Pairing
Gay Characters
Bisexual/Pansexual Characters
A/B/O Dynamics
Friends to Lovers
Hockey Players*
Erotic Content

Warning For:
Undernegotiated Barebacking
Dubious Consent

* Note: the publisher says this is a sports romance, but I disagree with the use of both “sports” and “romance”, as you’ll see in my review. “Erotic novella about three dudes who happen to be athletes” would be better.

Disclaimer 1: If you found this review by googling your name or the name of someone you know in real life, STOP NOW AND ABORT. Seriously, hit the freakin’ back button.

Disclaimer 2: If you don’t know what a/b/o is, this review will be very confusing. Go educate yourself. You’re welcome. (I’m sorry.)

If I was writing this review as someone who has not read her fair share of hockey fanfic, it would be a much simpler review to write. Different Dynamics is an a/b/o story set in the midst of a hockey team, and it’s honestly not great on either the a/b/o or the hockey parts. As a non-hockey-fanfic reader, I would easily rate this a 1.5 or 2, and say it is bland, overdone, frustrating, and has an ending that is not a HEA and just barely a HFN.

Thankfully, I have read a lot of hockey fanfic. I have, in fact, read a reasonable amount* of a/b/o hockey fanfic.

(* probably all of it)

Which makes this book HYSTERICAL.

Back up. Hockey fanfic is fanfic using real human beings, in situations they do not (to the best of our knowledge) engage in for real (read: sex. allllll the sex. with each other.) If that squicks you out to the extreme, you should really stop reading now.

Different Dynamics is absolutely hockey fanfic with the names change. In fact, I would say with reasonable (absolute) certainty that it is Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin/Alexander Ovechkin fanfic. (The former two are star players on the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins; the latter is the star player of the Washington Capitals, and a “rival” of the other two. In reality they are probably BFFs.)

But Richard had always been pretty positive Sokolov maybe hated him a little. They had a whole “media rivalry” thing going on.

So I mentally replaced every name in this book with the corresponding Real Life Hockey Player. It made it a lot more bearable when Richard Sidney starts having omega lust thoughts about James Malkin, and absolutely made Dmitry’s Ovechkin’s Russian accent and ridiculousness make more sense.

But the book itself is a mess. Richard Sidney spends the entire novel having his own omega dynamic explained to him.

“Fuck,” Richard breathed. “That’s why omegas need heat partners. Why did no one ever tell me this?”

Dmitry glared. “American schools very bad sex ed.”

“No shit!”

The sex is not very well done. The trope brings absolutely nothing new or fresh to the table. There is no actual hockey despite being a story about three hockey players. And the ending… I thought I must be missing a few chapters, since it ended so abruptly!

You should read this book if you:

  • Really really really love a/b/o and will read anything with the trope, regardless of quality.
  • Read hockey fanfic often enough to appreciate the utter absurdity of this novel

You should not read this book if you:

  • Have absolutely no idea what a/b/o is (honestly, why are you still reading this review?)
  • Don’t know who Sidney Crosby is (actually, just email me, I’ll be happy to educate you on the Greatest Hockey Player in the NHL)

And if you’re really interested, go read some truly awesome hockey a/b/o fanfic. Message me, I’ll send you some links.

Tamir has the tendency to write feelings into everything, no matter how filthy. He’s not all that sorry about it.


You can purchase Different Dynamics from:


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I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

3 thoughts on “Book Review by El: Different Dynamics, by Tamir Drake

  1. This review made me laugh so hard! Just reading the warnings made me settle down for a fun read.

    I’ve read some a/b/o and it’s fine but not really my thing, and I watched the Stanley Cup finals but I’m afraid I couldn’t identify Sidney Crosby in a line up. And I was happy not knowing that a/b/o hockey RPF exists. But this review, this review is fabulous.


  2. OMG. a/b/o… I didn’t know the abbreviation and that it was a THING, but having read my fair share of shifter stuff, I think I know what it stands for ;-P


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