Book Review: Ramping Up by Zoe Dawson

Confession time: I don’t watch a lot of extreme sports, so when I think of skateboarders, I have a preconceived notion of punk kids with baggy jeans and spiked hair. I know, it’s narrow minded, especially because I know in reality that skateboarding takes a huge amount of talent Despite my version of skateboarders, I was excited to read a book about extreme sports, as it wasn’t a trope I’d tried yet.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A surfer turned skateboarder is picked up by a well known sports agency and finds himself attracted to his new agent. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Surfer Dude to Skater Boy
Gunner has been raised by his controlling father to be a surfer, but because of the way he’s been “trained,” he hates it. So he latches on to skateboarding as something he enjoys and is good at, never thinking of it as a career. A video of him skating goes viral, though, and catches the eye of one of the people at Mavrick All-Stars, a sports agent company. The owner’s daughter, Lena, finds Gunner and offers to represent him. And by offers, I mean talks him into signing with the company.


Gunner is cautious about the whole thing, partly because he knows his dad is going to throw an epic fit and partly because going pro means possibly losing his love of skateboarding. But Lena is nothing if not persuasive, and the fact that Gunner is attracted to her doesn’t hurt. He signs with the company and the ball starts rolling on his rise to athletic fame.

Business vs. Pleasure
On the flipside, Lena is attracted to Gunner as well, but she knows she needs to tread carefully when it comes to mixing business with pleasure, especially because her father had been embroiled in a scandal years ago when he started a relationship with a client. But knowing and doing are two different things when the hormones go high octane, and Lena isn’t able to stick to her good intentions.

Dicks Everywhere
Besides the whole “should we/shouldn’t we” conflict, there are some other shenanigans happening to Gunner and Lena. Lena is dealing with a competing agent who’s super shady and also happens to be working with Gunner’s dad to force Gunner back to surfing. Also, the douchie dad is stalking Gunner and causing scenes at his competition, threatening to find and hurt his mother and sister who left home years before.

Did I mention the guy was a complete asshat?

Girl Power
Though I was a little unsure at first, I ended up liking this book. I loved the fact that the top agents at Mavrick were women (or at least the ones showcased) and that they completely rocked at their job without being too perfect. In fact, Lena starts out having a full on Jerry Maguire moment where she questions her integrity and whether or not she’s following the mission of the company. Competent, yet flawed, is a combo for a great character.


Hard Edge, Soft Heart
Gunner is also awesome. He’s got a rough edge, but it comes from being abused by his father for years. Mostly he’s just a sweet guy who did what he had to to protect his mom and sister and who doesn’t want to fight his attraction to his agent. Also, he meets a little girl who wants to be a professional skateboarder, and I loved how he supported her and became a friend and mentor to her.

The Romance Factor
While I enjoyed the relationship between Gunner and Lena, I didn’t get overly mushy over them. I think the emotion of the book came in the form of the conflict brought in by outside forces. While they’re sweet together and there was definitely some romance, it was a little more low key. 3/5

The Steam Factor
When the sexy times happened, we knew they happened, but we didn’t get too much detail or dirty talk. 3/5

Final Thoughts
If there was anything that annoyed me it was the nickname of McHotstuff that Gunner gave Lena. I don’t know why, but it just seemed silly to me. It wasn’t a dealbreaker though, and I enjoyed the book overall. Do I think extreme sports is going to be on my radar? Maybe. It might depend on the context. But I definitely want to read more of this series.

Book Review: Catching Summer by L.P. Dover

I wasn’t sure the direction this story was going in at first. It started out dark and sad, then felt more like a contemporary romance, and then went into an interesting mystery plot. Though I wasn’t quite sure in which direction it was really going, it ended up being an entertaining read.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
Two years after the death of her husband, a woman allows herself to have a relationship, only to find that someone is trying to tear them apart. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Getting Past the Pain
Summer’s trauma over seeing her husband murdered takes its toll, and it takes two years of therapy and avoiding relationships before she’s ready to move on. Her therapist tells her its time for her to live her life and find love again, her friends want to see her happy, and though Summer will never forget her husband, she realizes she’s ready to start something new with Evan.

Evan is a football player who Summer meets when she starts working with his team. While some of the other players hit on her, the only one she’s interested in and feels safe with is Evan. He’s a good guy who treats her with respect and doesn’t want to push her into anything she’s not ready for.

10 Days 2

Perfect Match
Evan and Summer solidify their relationship fairly early. This isn’t a situation where we wait for that all important declaration of love since it’s said fairly early and as far as their dynamic, there isn’t much conflict. They’re made for each other. But the tension comes from the outside. Things escalate from Evan’s evil ex trying to sleep with him to someone intent on actually hurting Evan, going so far as to do something that affects some of their friends and Evan’s teammate drastically.

Good Things
There were two things I really enjoyed about this story. The first is the normalcy of everything. All of the interactions felt real, not only the interactions between Summer and Evan, but also between their friends and family. The author touched on grief and hope and starting over in a way that was genuine and heartfelt.


The second thing I enjoyed was the mystery and suspense surrounding who was after Evan. I figured it out early, but it was still fun watching it play out to see how the characters solved the mystery.

The Romance Factor
Because of the romantic tropes I prefer, this one didn’t push my romance buttons. While the characters were sweet and I enjoyed their relationship, the normalcy of it didn’t leave much room for romantic conflict, which is what I really love. That’s not to say it wasn’t a good book. It was and I liked it, but the romance was a little low for me. 2/5

The Steam Factor
Sexy times were low in quantity but high on quality. While not explicitly graphic, they were definitely open door and gave a good view of what was happening. 4/5

Final Thoughts
There are other things I could say about the book, but I really can’t do it without giving any spoilers. Readers who like a good dose of danger with their romance will like this, and even though Evan and Summer’s relationship isn’t my catnip, I think it will definitely strike the right chord with a lot of other readers. The writing was solid, and I would definitely read more by this author.

Book Review: Jackson’s Trust by Violet Duke

This is the first sports romance I’ve read that involves football. Unlike most sports romances, though, neither main character is a player. So maybe it’s not considered a sports romance? Either way, it was really entertaining.


I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A woman takes a job as an NFL sportscaster and becomes involved with one of the sports analysts. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

Sex Equality
The story starts out with Leila getting her dream sportscasting job and meeting Jackson, who she has an instant attraction. However, she doesn’t want to act on it because she doesn’t want to put her job or her reputation in jeopardy. She knows a lot about football, and even runs her own fantasy pick site. But the industry doesn’t welcome women with open arms and she knows she’d be judged quickly if anyone caught her getting down and dirty with Jackson.


The “I’m No Good For Her” Scenario
Jackson has an instant attraction to Leila as well, but besides the fact that he knows the type of problems an affair could cause for her, he has his own personal reasons for not wanting to get into a relationship, insinuating that nothing good could come for anyone who dates him. Okay, drama king. It’s a pretty standard trope, and I knew eventually all would be revealed and we’d find out why he was so anti-relationship.

Taking It Slow
Instead of jumping into bed, Jackson and Leila start a friendship, then a cuddle buddies agreement, and things eventually escalate into an actual romance. Through the first half of the book, things are pretty standard. The banter is good, the sexual tension is palpable, and the foreplay isn’t overdone, but you know what’s coming. Maybe.

Did Not See THAT Coming
The second half of the book starts taking some turns. We find out that Jackson isn’t actually who we think he is just before Leila finds out the same thing. Whoa. It’s not like he’s Superman or a serial killer, but I kind of loved the fact that up until that point, I’d accepted he was just a mild mannered sports analyst. This brings a little more conflict to the story, as does the family drama for both of them.  While their relationship doesn’t have a whole lot of angst, there’s a lot of side conflict between douchecanoe relatives and coworkers being morons.

Towards the end of the book, things get really nutty, and again, I saw none of it coming. There are more secrets that, if they were alluded to earlier in the book, I didn’t catch on to. There are some heartstopping moments. There are feels all over the place. Basically I started out thinking it was a nice, mellow, cute romance and ended up feeling wrung out and hung to dry. And yet it was executed and paced so well that the experience was fun and unexpected.


Conspiracy Theories
The only part that seemed a little weird to me was that at one point, Jackson starts talking about “them” in relation to the conflict in the context, and he sounds a little paranoid. By the end of it, you understand where he’s coming from and why he’s saying it, but it led me to wonder if we’re going to see some weird conspiracy in other books? Or if it was just rambling as a product of his situation.

The Romance Factor
My favorite thing about Jackson and Leila’s romance is how supportive they are of each other. Jackson believes that Leila can do anything in her job and that she’s highly talented, giving her the support her crazy political family never gave her. And Leila never stops proving to Jackson that despite his beliefs that he has nothing to offer, she knows he does. There is a lot of great unconditional love going on here, and it was delightful. 4/5

The Steam Factor
There’s a lot of foreplay, but eventually things get horizontal. It wasn’t overly scandalous, but it was still sensual and upped the temperature a few degrees. 4/5

Final Thoughts
Besides being a good read in general, this story had some fun side characters that lend themselves to future plots of the series. Jackson’s friends make a big appearance in this one (and they’re hilarious), so even though I liked Jackson and Leila, I’m definitely looking forward to learning more about the other guys. This was a solid romance with a nice dose of excitement thrown in, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Major Misconduct by Kelly Jamieson

Netgalley seems to understand my love for hockey novels, so it’s hard to resist when they suggest ones they think I’ll like. This one by Kelly Jamieson is the first in the Aces Hockey series. I spent most of the book being conflicted between the things I loved and the things I didn’t care for, and it’s rare for a book to do that to me.

Major Misconduct

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A young woman moves in with her hockey player brother and his teammate and starts a fling with the teammate, despite her brother’s warnings. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
Overall, I liked this book. I thought the writing itself flowed well, and there were parts about the characters that I really adored. I thought at the beginning that I was going to hate Lovey, but she ended up being fairly charming, though some of her decisions were questionable. Sex in her brother’s bathroom? Has the girl never read a book or seen a romantic comedy?


The fact that the fling between Lovey and Marc is supposed to be a secret actually gave me, as the reader, a great sense of tension and danger every time they were hooking up because of the chance that her brother was going to come home early and catch them. It was way more fun than I expected.

I really like that Lovey is the commitment-phobe who wants a fling and maintains that through most of the book. I was also a fan of her character’s bitchy moments that didn’t just end with her feeling bad about treating someone else poorly. There’s a scene where she’s in a bad mood and snaps at her brother (who deserves it), and even though he chastises her, she doesn’t back down. It’s rare to find a heroine have a complete unapologetic bitch moment.


Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
One of the things I didn’t care for was the minor details that didn’t add anything for me. There’s extraneous information about the clients she’s trying to get for her business and way too much about the groceries she buys. These things slowed the story down for me. However, this is a reader preference, as I know other readers who love that level of detail.

I also thought the ending stretched a bit too long. There were parts of this story that were really boring for me, but then there were other parts that I was really invested in.

Another thing I question in general is the use of popular music and references in a novel. Even though it’s a contemporary novel, pop culture doesn’t always stay pop culture, and I’m not sure how long music references last before they’re no longer relevant to the reader. As opposed to my feelings on the first issue, I really enjoy the popular references. It gives me a better background for the scenes I picture in my mind.

The Romance Factor
I definitely enjoyed the fling-to-relationship aspect of this book and how the relationship developed without any insta-love. It was solid and believable, and the angst was almost perfect. 4/5.

The Steam Factor
That whole not wanting to get caught factor really added something to the sexy times, which were already pretty steamy. Because it was so fun, I’m giving the SF a 5/5.

Final Thoughts
The things I disliked were all reader preference items. I thought the writing was good and the story and characters felt realistic. Also…hockey. I definitely plan on reading more books in this series.

The Heat of the Moment by Katie Rose

Admittedly, I’m not a huge baseball fan, but I’m being sucked into sports romances and I’m loving it. They’re just fun! This is the third in a series by Katie Rose.

Heat of the Moment

I received an ARC of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A power hitter with an injured knee is miserable when he’s traded to a lower ranking team, but his misery is cut short by his physical therapist who he’s totally into, even though she claims she won’t date baseball players after a bad experience. To see a full synopsis, check out this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
Even though it had nothing to do with the romance, I really loved the camaraderie of the team in this book, the New Jersey Sonics. They’re a lower ranked team and even though they train and want to win, they don’t take themselves so seriously that they can’t have a good time. I love the brotherhood of the whole thing, including the pranks and the encouragement.

baseball bromance

I also liked the theme of inner confidence versus outer confidence. Jessica, the heroine, is an attractive, outgoing tomboy. Though she seems comfortable with herself at the beginning, and confident enough to engage with others, as the story progresses we find that she definitely has a fear of putting herself out there and putting her heart on the line (why, yes, I did just use a cheesy cliche…)

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
While a good portion of the dialog flowed, and the banter was normal, the lack of contractions was distracting. For me, contractions make the dialog sound natural to the reader’s ear, and when I come across a line that isn’t contracted, it reads unnaturally to me.

The Romance Factor
The story is cute, but the conflict is minimal. Jessica and Gavin have chemistry, but there were times I thought the story was kind of boring. I like my angst, and it was missing through most of the book. On the other hand, Gavin is adorably beta male, and I kind of dig that. 3/5.

The Steam Factor
There are a few hot scenes, but nothing that really caused any blushing. Their first encounter was pretty awesome, though, mostly due to location. 3/5

Final Thoughts
This can be read as a standalone, though there are characters from the other books in the series that kind of intrigued me. Though the romance wasn’t as strong as I like, I wouldn’t mind reading more of this series just to get more of this baseball team and their shenanigans.

Delayed Penalty by Sophia Henry

The Chicago Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup this year. And yes, I realize that was several months ago, but I thought mentioning it would be appropriate for a book that centers around a hockey player. I’m kind of ambivalent towards the Blackhawks. My team is the Detroit Red Wings, and even when they have a rough season, they’re still my favorite. For this reason, I was happy to see that the author of this book, Sophia Henry, is a fellow Wings fan.

Delayed Penalty

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

One-Sentence Synopsis
A college student takes a job tutoring and translating for a Russian hockey player, and though she finds herself insanely attracted to him, she’s held back by her fear of abandonment. For a full synopsis, see this book’s Goodreads page.

The Good Stuff
I will pretty much give any hockey book a chance, because hockey. I enjoyed that the heroine, Auden, was a hockey fan. There was a lot of college nostalgia for me in this book, including Canadian bar trips and all Michigan mentions (since Michigan will always be my first home).

I thought the writing flowed well, and Auden’s voice as a 20-something felt genuine, as did the dialogue and banter between her and Alexsandr. Alexsandr’s Russian dialect and accent came across to my reader’s ear, and not every author can do that well. Also, and this is going to sound like a really silly thing to like, but it’s mentioned that Alexsandr has false teeth, and while that’s not necessarily a sexy thing to talk about, it’s a great detail considering that hockey is a rough sport and most players have lost teeth to the ice.

ice hockey falling

Things That Made Me Go Hmmm
I wanted to like Auden, I really did. Even though she sometimes had a selfish, “all about me” attitude, I wanted to give her a chance, especially because I remember my own “all about me” phases in college. Unfortunately, she just didn’t do it for me, and there were a few reasons. Sure, she was angsty about things, all of which her understandable, but there were aspects of her life that didn’t jive for me.

For instance, she’d been cut from the soccer team, but she talks in a few sections about how good she is at soccer. When someone is cut from a team, I automatically think it was because they weren’t good enough, so when she talked about being good, it left me wondering what the story behind that was. Because not knowing just made me think she was too full of herself to understand that she wasn’t as great as she thought she was.

There was also a lot of things going for Auden, and while it’s fine for a character to have several aspects, talents, hobbies, etc.,it’s hard to keep track when they all come to the forefront. Besides the soccer thing, Auden was also asked to join a band who heard her singing karaoke (though there’s a whole section where the band isn’t even talked about, and I sort of forgot about them until they showed up later). Then you find out that she started a foundation to help underprivileged kids. Then you find out a weird secret about her family. Multiple guys want her. She treads the line of “all about me” so much that at points, I forgot she even had a tragic backstory.

ice hockey reaction

The Romance Factor
This one gets an RF of 3/5. While there were some parts that were sweet, and I liked the parallel angst Alexsandr and Auden had going for them, I felt the leap from antagonizing each other to suddenly adoring each other was too quick. I wanted more conflict between them, hence more foreplay. There was a heavy dose of conflict that showed up later that brought about some delicious angst, but it also gave Alexsandr a hint of douche.

The Steam Factor
This book was tame. There was a lot of sweet kissing and the hint of some heavy petting, but there was very little sex. And in the sex there was, I’m not sure if I was reading too quickly or what, but I’m not entirely sure Auden finished. Kudos for the portrayal of first time sex as awkward and uncomfortable, but the SF was only at about a 1/5 for me.

Final Thoughts
Though I can’t list this book on my favorites, I don’t think it’s a bad novel. I would have liked to see some tighter, more focused characterization of Auden, but even with the douchie bits, I really liked Alexsandr. I believe that had I read this when I was in college, I would have had the opposite opinion. Also, I like a little more sex in my romance, but I know that’s not for everyone, so tamer readers will likely love the sweet relationship between Auden and Alexsandr.

Goodreads Review: Laid Out by Sidney Halston

My last review coincided with me getting ready to attend a spring outdoors camping weekend, and this one is being written as I sit at home recovering from said weekend. While it was quite a bit of fun, there were also some challenges that I need to work through before I do this again. However, I did learn the joys of archery, and hopefully by the time this publishes, that will be a thing I’m doing. Speaking of sporty type things, I’ve found a new love for sports related romances. This one includes MMA fighting, though mostly in passing. I liked this book…high angsty love drama for the win! The book is scheduled to release on August 18th. 

Laid Out (Worth the Fight, #4)Laid Out by Sidney Halston

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received a free ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cain and Violet were best friends growing up. As adults, they’re still friends, but things have changed. Cain, who has always been in love with Violet, can’t bring himself to pursue a relationship with her because of his guilt regarding their other childhood friend and Violet’s fiance, who died in the service. Violet can’t bring herself to date due to a lack of confidence brought about by a strict and critical father. When Cain decides to help her become more confident, he promises he can do it without ruining their friendship.

I wasn’t entirely sure I was going to like this book, especially because there are parts of each character that are really not likeable. However, it turned out to be enjoyable and a good standalone story (even though its part of a series).

The plot used a few different tropes, including military man, girl with confidence issues, and friends to lovers, but whereas in a lot of stories the tropes are fairly straightforward, these ones had layers, so the plot felt intricate and fleshed out. There was conflict coming from several directions, so the resolution didn’t feel easy and the angst level, especially for Cain, was really high.

There was one plot point I would have liked to see developed further, and that was Cain’s MMA fighting. It was mostly talked about it narrative. There were a few fight scenes when Cain was fighting for scary Russians, but those felt like teasers. Also, movies and books have taught me that you generally don’t start doing stuff for the Russian mob and then just stop whenever you want. Maybe they weren’t really the mob, and maybe that’s reality and Hollywood biffed it again, but it felt like the story started down one path and then detoured without looking back.

Cain and Violet are interesting characters who I sort of liked but who also irked me. Violet had body confidence issues and was slightly obsessed with thinking she was fat (she was a curvy character). There was a lot of negative self talk, even though she was contradictory and often said that she really liked and accepted who she was when clearly she didn’t.

Cain is actually a major jerk through most of the book. His mood changes frequently and he goes from being sweet and affectionate with Violet to ignoring her completely. I felt that she took a lot of emotional abuse from him and kept coming back for more. As the reader, I likes that the author switched points of view, because knowing Cain’s thought processes actually helped in dealing with this character. Also, he decides that after Violet can get naked in front of him without feeling embarrassed, she’s obviously ready to date. This drove me nuts because yeah, I get he was trying to teach her self confidence, but dude…just because she can get naked in front of one guy doesn’t mean she’s ready to take it full monty everywhere she goes.

I think what made me enjoy this book overall was that it was so much romantic angst (unrequited love was another trope), and though I’m not always a fan, I really liked it as part of this story. The Romance Factor is a strong 5/5 for that reason and because for all his flaws, I could buy how much Cain adored Violet. The Sex Factor also gets a 5/5 because the sexy times were intense and sweet and were paced well so that they didn’t take up half the story but made an impact when the did come into play.

The book was technically well written, though this arc had several minor errors in wording and grammar, including a random switch from 3rd to 1st person POV. I’m assuming those will get ironed out before publishing. Overall, this was a pleasant surprise and was hard to put down, especially at the end. I’d definitely read more from this author and might look into some other MMA novels as well.

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Goodreads Review: High Heat by Linda Morris

I’m still considering making a devoted book review blog over here, but I need to do some research into the best way to go about doing it and I need to decide if it’s something I’m going to keep up on (since I haven’t done such a great job of keeping up on this one…other than book reviews pulled from Goodreads). I’m torn between wanting to do something cool and wanting to keep it simple. Until I make a decision…and we could all be waiting awhile for that…I’ll keep doing what I do. Though hockey is my sport of choice, this baseball romance was fun and proves you don’t necessarily have to like to sport to enjoy the romance. 

High Heat (Hard Hitters, #1)High Heat by Linda Morris

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

As VP of public relations for her family’s minor league baseball team, it’s Sarah’s job to keep professional pitcher Tom from getting into too much trouble with the media. Having already caused some controversy, Tom is pitching for her hometown team while he rehabs his pitching arm before heading back to the pros. Things get complicated when Sarah and Tom start and affair, despite the fact they know it won’t go anywhere past Tom’s short stay and despite the fact that Sarah has been warned by both her father and her brother to stay away from him.

The plot was fairly simple and straightforward, but it was sweet and fun to read. This was my first baseball novel, and even though I’m not necessarily a baseball fan, I found the dynamic of this to be entertaining. The story was paced well, and things didn’t seem to drag on, though I felt the whole thing about Sarah’s dad doing his best to protect her started to get annoying, more because her dad was a super unlikable character.

Though I didn’t like the dad or the brother, Sarah and Tom were fun characters. My issue with Sarah is that she was kind of a pushover, and it was painful to watch her hope that her father would come around and give her a higher position with the company. Tom was a nice guy who just fell into that trope of a good guy who didn’t want to commit and had a rough time of it with ex-girlfriends. I loved how he wasn’t impressed with the way Sarah was treated and seemed to have more faith in her than her family did.

The Romance Factor was a solid 3/5. No heart feels, but it was definitely sweet. The Sex Factor is also a 3/5. While there wasn’t a whole lot of foreplay and it wasn’t as naughty as some of the other books, there were a few steamy moments.

Overall, a good book. I wouldn’t mind reading more in the series and more baseball romances in general.

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Goodreads Review: Alex by Sawyer Bennett

I liked this book, but one of the beginning scenes is about a hockey game and it was painful how much I want to go see a live game again. We have minor league and club teams nearby..I have no excuse. Maybe it’s more I miss college hockey and actually watching NHL on a television. Either way, I enjoyed this book a lot. I reference the 3rd book in the series, which I wrote a GR review for but hasn’t dropped here yet. It’ll come out in a few weeks, closer to the time when the book is released. 

Alex (Cold Fury Hockey, #1)Alex by Sawyer Bennett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Alex is the MVP of the Cold Fury hockey team. The problem is, he hates playing and he has a reputation for being a jerk to both the fans and his teammates. Alex couldn’t care less, since he’s only playing to bring home a paycheck and set himself up for when his career ends. That all changes when he’s forced to work with Sutton, an advocate for children in broken rooms, on a team sponsored anti-drug campaign. Besides the fact that he’s attracted to her, he starts to see hockey through her eyes and his love for the game is renewed. As they form a relationship, Alex starts to doubt if he’s good enough for her, and when his own family past starts to haunt him, he wonders if the only way to save his sanity and his career is to let her go.

I read this book because I’d read an ARC of the 3rd book in the series and wanted more. The plot of this one is straightforward but well written. It doesn’t drag. The romance between the 2 main characters develops at about the speed I like my romance to develop in general. Though the plot is pretty standard, the hockey aspect makes me happy, other than the fact it’s painful how much it makes me want to go watch a hockey game.

Sutton is mostly likable and cute. She and Alex both come from harsh childhoods, but she’s pushed through hers and found happiness while Alex can’t let go of his. Because she’s a therapist, it seemed very blatant that she was using psychology on Alex, and though she emotes, there were times when she felt very stoic and logical about what was happening to her. Alex is fun as the surly hockey player, but I almost wanted him to be grumpier and to hold on to his angst a little bit longer. The chemistry between the two was good, but I wanted more conflict.

The Romance Factor was at about a 4/5 because even though it was very sweet, it didn’t give me the Heart Feels. Having said that, the nod to one of my favorite movies ever at the end was pretty darn awesome (not giving spoilers…read it!)

I remember the Sex Factor in the other book from this series being much higher than this one. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still there, it’s still frequent, and it’s steamy. Maybe I’m just acclimating to the sexy times in the books I’ve been reading, but this one felt tame. Sexy, but tame. I’m giving it a 3/5.

This was a fun read and I always enjoy cameos of characters from other books (though one of the cameos was a little depressing knowing what happens in book 3). Hockey and romance? Yes…please give me more.

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