I’ve been waiting for this novel since I read the first Aces Hockey book. It was a given that Duncan would have his own story, I just had to be patient and wait for it.
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
A model and waitress who’s sworn off professional athletes for personal reasons finds herself attracted to a hockey player who’s decided he needs to stay away from models. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.
More Than a Wallet
Duncan and Amber are both cute, sweet characters who’ve been burned in different ways. Duncan has always dated hot women who’ve used him, and with his latest model girlfriend, he finally realized that being used for his money wasn’t something he wanted. He swears off dating models (which seems to be his modus operandi), which means he’s free to take interest in the pretty, down-to-earth waitress who works at the bar he and his teammates frequent. But then he finds out she’s a model, which throws a wrench in things.
Not Open for Athletes
Amber makes ends meet by waitressing and modeling. Though initially interested in Duncan, she’s turned off when she finds out that he’s a hockey player. She doesn’t have a thing against hockey players specifically, but she doesn’t want to go near a professional athlete, the reasons for which are eventually revealed, so I won’t spoil them.
Getting What They Don’t Want
The fact that they don’t want date the other because of who they represent goes up against their attraction to each other. They attempt friendship, but eventually they give in to the screaming of their loins. I liked that they start out doing normal things. The simple diner that Duncan takes Amber to charms her, and Amber finds herself drawn to Duncan’s farm boyishness. Even when they finally do give in and start letting their guards down, they face the issue of Amber being the only model who doesn’t want Duncan’s money as well as the only one Duncan wants to buy stuff for.
Shoots & Scores
Not all hockey romances bring the hockey action, but this one did. We got a lot of game scenes and hockey talk, which made my heart happy and reaffirmed that I really need to get to more hockey games this year.
The Romance Factor
Amber and Duncan are good people who are sweet to each other and who’s relationship evolves at a realistic but emotional pace. There’s a sense of normalcy about how they date that I enjoyed, and when misunderstandings come up between them, there’s a lot of emotion. 4/5
The Steam Factor
The sexy times are erotic and satisfying, yet happen naturally as part of the story. I did have to laugh at the instances where they wanted to be alone but had to endure the company of Lovey and Marc (from the first novel). It was like forced foreplay. 4/5
Though the tropes are standard, this book was a really fun read and I wasn’t at all disappointed in Duncan’s story. There is some sad parts in the book regarding another team member, and hints at possible future stories, so I’m hopeful that I’ll get more Aces hockey goodness in the future.