Tag Archives: hockey

Q and A with Sara Rider

Sara Rider came to my attention with her awesome book Going for the Goal.  I am so fortuante that she answered all the questions I had while reading the book!  If you are a fan of hockey/sports themed contemporary romance novels, you must check out her books!

Bio

sara-rider

Sara Rider writes contemporary romances full of heart and heat about strong heroines and the men who can’t resist them.

Growing up, Sara Rider dreamed of becoming a professional soccer player. When that dream was squashed by her extreme dislike of running, she decided to do the next best thing: write about professional soccer players. By day, Sara spends her time working in the field of research ethics and daydreams about plotlines and character arcs. She spends far too much time at public libraries and never leaves the house without a paperback or an e-reader stuffed into her purse. For the Win is her first novel.

Check out her website here…

Going for the Goal

going-for-the-goal

 

Book 3 in The Perfect Play Series available February 2017 from Pocket Star.

In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?

Q and A

 

  • Was there a particular hockey player you based Nick on?

 

Nick wasn’t specifically based on any single hockey player, but I did draw a lot of inspiration from John Scott since I started writing this book right around the time of the NHL All Star controversy. For those not familiar, John Scott is a 6’8 enforcer who had a solid but unremarkable career in the NHL. For some reason, he became a joke candidate for the Fan Favourite pick for the NHL All Star game, and ended up winning the slot. The NHL pushed back hard, calling him an embarrassment and urging him to step down, but he decided to play anyway and ended up scoring two goals, proving he actually did belong in the game after all. He was traded right afterward in what many believe to be a revenge move, and sent down to the minors, effectively ending his career.

Jared Boll, John Scott

On the surface, it would have been easy to dismiss Scott as a goon, but he wrote an article about the experience that really stuck with me. The articled talk about how he stumbled into the enforcer role despite never expecting to make it in the NHL at all, and how he decided to play in the All Star game to make his daughters proud. I had initially conceived of Nick as a hotshot superstar with a bit of a temper problem, but after reading Scott’s story, I ended up changing his character to be someone who has a deep sense of loyalty and a lot of unexpected layers. Once I added in his brother, Ben, to the mix, Nick’s character developed really organically from that point.

 

  • Which team do you cheer for?

 

The Winnipeg Jets, though I will support the Vancouver Canucks when they aren’t playing against my hometown team.

 

  • The book Going for the Goal is full of really interesting information about the process of sports agents and contract negotiations. What research did you do?

 

Much more research than I anticipated! I read a lot of legislation and policy documents to understand the scope of practice for sports agents, and supplemented that with blogs by sports agents who talked about the dark side of the profession. I was fascinated by the fact that there are some agents out there who engage in practices so much sketchier and more immoral than anything I could have dreamed up.

There are a lot of small, true facts thrown into the book, like the fact that anyone in New York can pay $100 and call themselves a sports agent, but there were a few things I made up for the sake of the plot, like the New York Association of Sports Agents, which doesn’t actually exist. Also, while there are a lot of agents who represent athletes from a big variety of sports, most agents involved in the NHL tend to stick to hockey exclusively.  

 

  • What interested you in writing sports themed contemporary romance novels?

 

I’ve always been fascinated by the challenges faced by women in the world of professional sports—the financial hardship, the sexism, the constant need to prove themselves. Focusing on the less glamorous side of sports lets me write about determined, passionate women who are willing to fight for their dreams in spite of the obstacles and sacrifices. I also love the inherently high stakes of professional sports. The goals and desires of the individual characters are often bound up with the hopes and dreams of so many other people, like their fans and teammates. But most of all, as someone who has always loved playing sports but didn’t quite have the talent to make something of it, writing these books is a form of wish fulfillment.

 

  • What’s next?

 

I’m not sure. My contract for the Perfect Play series was only for three books, so I’m working on some new ideas that will hopefully get picked up.

Check out the book here with links to all sites to purchase!

 

Roman

Roman (A Cold Fury Novel) by Sawyer Bennett

roman

Overview by Publisher:

In a league full of troublemakers, Cold Fury defenseman Roman Sýkora stands out—at least when it comes to negative publicity. When he’s not chilling in the penalty box, the sizzling Czech skate demon is racking up tabloid headlines for his scandalous behavior with the ladies. But now Roman’s feeling the burn from management to clean up his act, or else. Luckily he’s got an enticing distraction: a fun-loving barista who plays the ukulele and brings out a side of Roman he didn’t know he had.

Lexi Robertson came to Raleigh, North Carolina, to finally meet her father, Brian Brannon, and her half sister, Gray, both of whom work in the Cold Fury’s front office. That’s where she first meets sexy, intimidating Roman—who’s really a big softie at heart. As one relationship takes off, another begins: Brian seems to be clicking with Lexi’s boss at the coffee shop. But when the friction between Roman and her new family heats up, Lexi wonders whether she’s a pawn in their game. Feeling hurt and foolish, Lexi’s ready to quit while she’s ahead. Trouble is, Roman’s not ready to quit on her.

I adore this series by Sawyer Bennett.  Well, to be honest, I adore ALL books by her!  This book was another hit for the Cold Fury Series!

Roman is one of the bad boys of sport.  He plays hard, he parties hard and he pushes the limits.  His boss is trying to reign him in and threatens him with a trade if he doesn’t change his bad boys ways.

What is different about this book is that the Brannon family is featured heavily.  We meet Lexi as she is telling Brian Brannon, the owner of Cold Fury, that she is his long lost daughter.  We get the perspectives of Lexi, Roman and Brian in this book.

Lexi is searching for family.  While Brian accepts her right away, her new half sister Grey, is a harder sell.  The family dynamics are fascinating and I really enjoyed seeing Brian find love for a second time.  For those who loved Ryker and Grey’s story, there is a lot of time spent with them in this book.

Lexi is a free spirit.  She works at a coffee shop, plays the ukulele, and dresses how she likes.  She isn’t after the Brannon money, she just wants family.  Lexi meets Roman at the start of the book and the sparks fly.  She likes her men on the bad side and Roman fits that bill.

The relationship between Lexi and Roman is a good fit.  Roman is a loner.  He needs someone like Lexi to give him a chance at a real relationship.  The romance is going all well until Lexi’s new family interferes, which creates some great dramatic moments and pushes the relationship along.  The two of them have incredible sex – not surprising since Roman is as intense in the bedroom as he is on the ice and Lexi’s free spirit extends to her sex life.  This is one of Sawyer Bennett’s great strengths.  She writes loves scenes that are titillating but also emotional.  Each time the characters slide between the sheets, it furthers the plot and the evolution of the relationship.

If you like hockey and contemporary romance novels – you HAVE to check out this series!  The next character Luc was briefly introduced and I was so relieved there would be another book in this series!

Going for the Goal

Going for the Goal (The Perfect Play Series) by Sara Rider

going-for-the-goal

Overview by Publisher:

Sara Rider returns with the third book in the Perfect Play series—a fast-paced, icy hot romance featuring a sports agent fighting an attraction to the NHL’s bad boy…and his ability to melt her heart.

In this perfect book for romance and sports fans, professional sports agent Jillian Nichols knows how to play the game to get what she wants. But admitting to what she needs has always been a challenge. Will she ever let her guard down long enough to let someone in? Or will the bad boy hockey player Nick “the Punisher” Salinger have to fight harder than ever for a chance to win her heart?

It’s hockey season in North America.  We desperately need this distraction and I would much rather read a hockey book than watch the game on tv!

This book was great!  It has all the things you want in a contemporary sports romance novel.  Jillian is a sports agent in an industry that is almost exclusively male.  I really adore when the character is strong and principled in their beliefs.  She is the ultimate feminist – fighting for what she believes.  The story takes place at a time in her life when she is at crossroads in her career and struggling to find her place.

After a chance encounter with Nick years ago, they get another shot.  Nick needs an agent to help him stay with the team he loves.  He puts his trust in Jillian and follows all her rules.  What works so well is that we really get to know Nick – not just the brute hockey player.  The author skillfully reveals his layers to the reader and my respect and admiration for the character grew as the story progressed.

The struggle between Jillian and Nick is not just agent and player.  They are battling intense attraction between them.  Jillian wants Nick, but she has professional boundaries that she doesn’t want to cross.  This creates some great tension and drama between the two and for the reader, it makes for some outrageously sexy scenes.

I think what I enjoyed so much about this book was learning about Nick.  How gentle and kind he could be under the tough exterior.  I adored his sense of justice and how bewildered he could be by courting Jillian.  There are some really awesome scenes in the book that make this a must read!

Back Check

Back Check (An Aces Hockey Novel) by Kelly Jamieson

back-check

Overview by Publisher:

Tanner Bennet hates weddings. They just remind him that he simply isn’t cut out for any kind of healthy, committed relationship—never has been, never will be. After getting rejected by the girl he thought was “the one” all those years ago, he made a huge mistake and married the wrong person. Now that the divorced heartbreaker has reluctantly agreed to be a groomsman for one of his NHL teammates, the last thing he expects is a chance at redemption with the one that got away.

After Marc Dupuis of the Chicago Aces hires wedding planner Katelyn Medford, she discovers that her big break comes with a twist: a reunion with her college sweetheart. The way she dumped Tanner still haunts her. Eight years—and three broken engagements—later, Katelyn knows she’ll never have that kind of innocent, wide-eyed passion again. Still, she and Tanner soon generate enough body heat to burn up the sheets. And even with Tanner’s career with the Aces up in the air, Katelyn’s wondering whether the time is right to let him in for real.

I have repeatedly expressed my love for hockey themed contemporary novels.  This series has been consistently great!  What works well is that the author understands hockey.  Not just the mechanics of the game, but the culture.  Growing up in Canada, it was pretty hard to miss how hockey was revered.  A favourite player being traded causes as much uproar as major world events.  Most children’s organizations and hospitals rely on their charitable work to brighten the day of those in need.  Kelly Jamieson’s books feature an understanding of the team dynamics, the adoration of fans and the impact of a hockey lifestyle.

This book features the reunion of Katelyn and Tanner.  They dated in college but split up when it came time for Tanner to join the league.  This is another example of the author really understanding the culture of hockey.  Many teenagers live away from home while playing in farm leagues and travel to new cities wherever they get their big break.  Tanner’s call up effectively ended their relationship since Katelyn wouldn’t go with him.

Katelyn is now living in Chicago and has been hired by a couple from a previous book to plan their wedding which puts her in Tanner’s sphere.  This story is full of the delicious dance two former lovers do – from shock to disdain to interest to lust.  It was exciting to read how they rediscover each other.

Kelly Jamieson writes really hot love scenes.  Tanner is the perfect blend of gentleman and dirty mouthed lover.  She puts those big muscles and tight abs to use in the bedroom.

There is a lot of depth to the characters and the past.  They have been apart for quite a while and the life events that have occurred are realistic.  While they may have lost years together, the past helps to shape their future.

Hockey season is in full swing.  If you are a fan of the fast paced, hard hitting game than you need to check out this series!

Max

Max (A Cold Fury Novel) by Sawyer Bennett

max

Overview by Publisher:

The ice is a cold mistress. As the league’s most eligible goalie, Max Fournier has access to his fair share of willing puck bunnies, but right now he’s more interested in bringing home another championship than a one-night stand. A romantic at heart, Max believes in love; he’s just not great at relationships. So when he finally meets a nice girl who’s not blinded by his celebrity, he’s feeling the heat—and the pressure to save her from herself.
 
Between working two jobs and raising her sister’s kids, Julianne Bradley doesn’t have time for sports—or men. All she knows about Max is that he’s the sexiest customer to ever grace her gas-station counter. And he sees past her tired eyes and makes Jules yearn for things she can’t have: a glamorous fling, a passionate lover, and the time to enjoy both. Max makes her feel like Cinderella, even though Jules has enough baggage to crush a glass slipper. Luckily, he’s no prince—only a fierce competitor determined to win her heart.

It should come as no surprise that I loved this book!  I adore Sawyer Bennett and this hockey series is probably one of my very favourite hockey series out there!  As a Canadian, it’s pretty much a given that you will love hockey.

Max is a sexy French Canadian goalie.  Be still my heart!  He has a soft spot for the lovely lady working at the gas station when he stops one night to binge on junk food.  Jules has a tough life.  She has suddenly become a single mom to three kids and has no real support system.  I had such compassion for her situation and could understand why she was reluctant to let Max sweep her off her feet and save her.

That is what is so great about Sawyer Bennett.  She creates really strong female characters.  While Jules is overwhelmed with life and it would be easy to take advantage of all that Max is offering, I really respected that.  As it’s clear in the book, there are many women who would do anything to be with a professional hockey player and enjoy the lifestyle it affords.

The author writes the best sex scenes!  While it’s not gratuitous, the characters really come to life when they are finding each other in the biblical sense.  What makes these scenes stand out is the emotional connection the characters share.

When someone is struggling in life, it’s important to help.  What made me love this relationship is how Max gives Jules a hand up, not a hand out.  He recognizes and encourages her artistic talent and with his guidance and support, she is able to find her way.  It gave me feel good goosebumps when Max was helping Jules, rather than taking over her life.

Another great hit from Sawyer Bennett!

Shut Out

Shut Out by Kelly Jamieson

shut ot

Overview by Publisher:

The Bayard College hockey team isn’t where Jacob Flass thought he’d be a season ago. He was a rising star in the Canadian major junior league, cruising toward a spot on an NHL roster—until a single disastrous night on the town brought it all crashing down. Now he’s out of options, except for playing well, studying hard, and staying away from girls. He’s not supposed to be flirting with the hottest, sweetest chick he’s ever met. But how could he possibly stay away?

Skylar Lynwood knows that Jacob is out of her league. She’s just trying to go with the flow, which isn’t easy when six feet and four inches of total hockey hunkiness is making a play for her one moment, then giving her the cold shoulder the next. Skylar’s head tells her that this rugged athlete isn’t worth her time, but her body says something altogether different. Risking her heart for Jacob may be the craziest thing she’s ever done . . . but she won’t let him shut her out.

I don’t normally read books that feature college students, but I really enjoy Kelly Jamieson’s writing and this book is about hockey, so it was a definite read for me.

I am so glad I read this book and that I read it now.  It features a great love story between Skylar and Jacob.  They have insane chemistry and the romance between the two was so well developed.  Jacob is the hot new addition to the Bayard hockey team and he makes a deal with Skylar to be his pretend girlfriend to keep the puck bunnies at bay.  Neither of them really thought this through as you shouldn’t make plans like this with someone you burn for.  Time spent together leads to intimacy.  It’s not just physical, but a really well developed relationship between two people who like and respect each other.

Jacob has reasons for needing a pretend girlfriend.  This is his second chance and he can’t blow it.  Jacob was accused of sexual assault and the story delves into his perspective and the issues of college attitudes around rape.  Skylar is involved in a program to educate students about consent and rape – something that is very close to her heart.

I found this book really resonated with me because of what we have been hearing on the news for years.  As I write this review, the internet is in an uproar over the Stanford rapist, Brock Turner.  The author does an incredible job of addressing sexual assault and how it impacts lives.  She doesn’t pull any punches and I adored that.  This is the kind of book young women should be reading, as well as all women.  Ignorance is not an excuse and Kelly Jamieson addresses the role of the bystander so beautifully.  No one can say it is not their business or problem, as it’s all our issue.  Through the character of Jacob, the author doesn’t let him off the hook for his past.  He faces it and deals with the consequences of his actions.

Not only does this book feature very consensual sex between two hot college students, it tackles a sobering and devastating issue in society today.  Well done Kelly!

Heat it Up

Heat it Up (Off the Ice Series) by Stina Lindenblatt

heat it up

Overview by Netgalley:

Sofia Phillips feels cursed. Her father cheated on her mother, her boyfriend cheated on her―she’s done with dating. A summer work-exchange program in Finland is the perfect escape. But instead of gaining experience as an athletic trainer, she’s cleaning toilets. Awesome. The trip is a disaster, and even better, she meets Kyle Bennett. In the sauna. Naked. 

Sexy hockey player Kyle was the star right wing for an NHL team. But after an accident killed his wife and left him injured, Kyle has appreciated the “therapeutic” benefits of booze and puck bunnies. Now in Finland for the summer, he’s coaching in an elite hockey-training camp for teens. When Sofia’s grandmother decides to set her up with a nice Finnish man, Sofia recruits Kyle as her make-believe boyfriend. Neither expects their first kiss to sizzle. And neither expects, while stranded on an island during a storm, to have a scorching night of passion. 

But as their charade, and then their attraction, develops into something deeper, the past comes back, threatening to destroy them. They must decide if their feelings for each other are strong enough to survive―or it will be game over.

This is the zillionth hockey contemporary romance book I have read in the past while.  One thought I keep having is how all these hockey players are getting married when they are super young.  Kyle is no exception to this as he was married young and widowed.  He is in Finland for the summer to help out with a hockey camp.  Due to a deadly car accident, he lost his wife and his career when he was injured.

Sofia is in Finland for the summer to do a work program and to run away from her life in Minneapolis.  It makes sense that the two people running away would find each other.

I found it charming that Sofia didn’t speak Finnish and her constant thoughts about the language barrier were funny.  Sofia and Kyle were realistic characters.  They both had flaws and were pretty realistic.  Sometimes it was a bit too real, such as Kyle’s womanizing ways and his hard drinking.  It made it challenging to like him at times and see him as worthy of Sofia.  I sometimes felt that if I was Sofia’s friend and encouraging her to have a summer fling, I’d be pushing for the hot Finnish fellow that persistently chased after her.  It also really bothered me that Sofia didn’t know who Kyle was.  Who in this world doesn’t turn to social media to vet a new potential love interest?

The author shows her love for Finland through the sight seeing Kyle and Sofia do.  If you are interested in learning more about the country, then this book will provide some great insights.

What I liked about this book was the narrative from both Kyle and Sofia.  It provided a lot of insight into the characters emotions and thoughts.  It helped to explain why Sofia feared intimacy and Kyle drank.  At times this felt like a YA story and then it would surprise me by a maturity beyond the years of the characters.

While this book features hockey, it’s not the action of the NHL.  It’s a former NHL player coaching young players and trying to hold on to his dream.  Things wrap up nice and tidy in the end and they get their happily ever after.  While I enjoyed this book, it was different from what I was expecting.  I liked the romance, but I think learning about Finland through the character’s eyes was the best part.

Hawke

Hawke (Cold Fury Novel) by Sawyer Bennett

hawke

Overview by Publisher:

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.
 
Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

God, I love hockey novels!  And I REALLY love hockey themed books written by Sawyer Bennett.  This woman can write!  She can take characters that I have little in common with and make them so engaging!

The story opens with a young Hawke and Vale and the night after a rowdy party.  I don’t think I have ever partied as hard as they have, so that was tough to relate to.  Vale doesn’t come to say goodbye to Hawke as he is leaving for his shot at the NHL again.  In fact, she breaks his heart and sends him away without her love.

Seven years later, Hawke is new the Cold Fury franchise and so is Vale.  It was coincidence that has them crossing paths so many years later.  Hawke is now a top tier player and Vale is a physical trainer in sports medicine.  So much has now changed…

Vale no longer has multiple face piercings and jagged haircuts, she is all business now.    Hawke is surprised by the package but still sees the woman he can’t forget.  Vale is cool and professional to her former love, but she can’t deny the attraction is still there.

Through the memories and thoughts of Hawke and Vale, we learn about their previous relationship. How hot it was, how wild the sex, how out of control their lives were and how they have matured past those teen years.  So you know that if things were that hot in the past, they will get hot again!

These two are just so sexy together.  I couldn’t help but be enraptured with their romance and lust.  Sawyer Bennett knows how to write sex scenes that women want to read.  She captures the nuances and images that arrest the attention and heighten the reading experience.

But it isn’t just sex that the author writes well, she crafts stories with great emotional depth.  In fact, I was pleasantly surprised how emotional the story became.  There was a lot of twists and turns and plot points that I did not see coming.  I enjoy a story that has the capacity to surprise me.

As a Canadian, I truly appreciated the research the author did regarding our national pastime.  She accurately describes the junior minor hockey league system and pays homage to Sydney, Nova Scotia.  It’s just touches like this that add to the authenticity of the story.

I am loving this series!  I really have a thing for sports contemporary romance books, and this series in particular.  Sawyer Bennett is a terrific author.  She creates such dynamic characters and seriously sexy men!  With each book, I fall a little more in love with her!

The Final Move

The Final Move (A Hometown Hockey Players Novel) by Victoria Denault

the final move

Overview:

Hockey legend Devin Garrison thought he blew his shot. But his relationship with Callie Caplan just went into overtime.

Sexy, rich, and one of the biggest stars in the NHL, Devin Garrison has always been the one who had it all. That is until his marriage falls apart and he realizes he has to start over. If he’s honest, there has only been one woman who ever really excited him-Callie Caplan. They shared a night that was hotter than the late-summer sun, but in an instant-Callie was gone, pretending it never happened.

Callie Caplan isn’t the wild child people think she is. It’s true she’s avoided relationships, but only because she’s seen how crazy love can be. And her messy, imperfect life is crazy enough without opening her heart to a man-even one as picture perfect as Devin. But when fate brings them back together-just as they need each other most-Devin is determined to convince Callie that what she’s feeling is real. And this final play may be their chance at forever . . .

I love hockey contemporary romance books!  I love this series!

What is so great is that the author really understands hockey and the culture around it.  I recently reviewed a hockey book and commented that Hockey Wives is my new reality show guilty pleasure.  In some respects, this book reminded me of watching an episode.

We have met the other characters in previous books, so it was time for Callie and Devin to get their story told.  Devin’s marriage has imploded and sexy Callie is there to help him pick up the pieces.

I was SO worried that Callie would just be a rebound for Devin, but nope, these two have a history and it makes for a great story.

Callie is like the guy in the book.  Totally commitment phobic, one night stand champion and never serious.  Devin couldn’t wait to settle down and get married with a kid.  Devin is the golden boy of the Garrison gang.  He signed to the NHL first, got the million dollar contracts and the Stanley Cup. He’s struggling particularly hard with the breakdown of his marriage because it’s a failure and he hasn’t experienced that a lot in his life.  I really liked this plot point.  It’s so easy to just write about the golden boy and keep things surface level, but the author really delves into both his and Callie’s fears and emotions.

What was so great about these two was that you realized that they should have been together all along.  Devin’s marriage wasn’t a mistake, but Callie is really the one to set his blood and heart on fire.  However, a girl like Callie isn’t giving in without a serious ass kicking.  This isn’t just an easy-peasy romance.  There were times reading this (on a plane ride today) that I wanted to yell in frustration and kick her!  He’s sexy, has a huge dick and he’s a great guy – what is the problem??

Overall, this is a really fun hockey story that goes deeper than you would expect.  The character development is fantastic.  The hockey scenes were a little less than I would have liked, but we do get one really good fight.  Checking in with the other couples in the series was a terrific addition.  If you are a hockey fan, definitely check out this series!

 

Once Upon A Power Play

Once Upon A Power Play (Risky Business) by Jennifer Bonds

once upon a powerplay

Overview by Amazon:

Sidelined by a potentially career-ending injury, the only thing hockey player Ryan Douglas should be thinking about is recovery. But after sharing a near death experience and a night of passion with a spunky brunette, the only thing on his mind is five and a half feet of sexy sarcasm. And he’ll do whatever it takes to get her back in his bed—even if it means playing dirty.

Chloe Jacobs is done with fairytales. And men. She’s kissed her share of frogs and what’s it gotten her? Dumped by text—again. Determined to eighty-six illusions of romance and prove she’s more than just a good-time girl, the last thing she needs is a pushy, arrogant hockey player testing her resolve. Especially one who’s sinfully good with his hands and thinks date-by-blackmail is a perfectly acceptable social convention.

Ryan wants to play games? Fine by her, but this is one faceoff he’s going to lose.

I LOVED this book!  I thought it was amazing!  I have recently become a huge fan of the sports genre – hockey, baseball, football.  Living in a major hockey city, you are not allowed to dislike hockey.  So when I saw this book on Netgalley, I snapped it up right away.

Chloe is the friend I wish I had.  I love her perspective on life!  She is a straight shooter and a little bit wild.  Her love life has sucked hard for a long time, so she is beyond jaded when she accidently meets Ryan Douglas.  Their first encounter was hilarious.  As much as I love hockey, I don’t know if I would recognize a player out of their pads, helmet and gear.

Ryan is the captain of the Rangers.  He has been sidelined with a possible career ending injury and his long time girlfriend dumped him.  What I liked so much about Ryan was that he was a really good guy.  No history of puck bunnies or bad boy behaviour.  But under that good guy exterior, was a dirty talking sex god.  The love scenes between the two were scorching hot and I thoroughly enjoyed how they connected.

The story is a great telling of how a couple goes from random hook ups to a real relationship.  I liked how the author explored this.  At times, it was very easy to forget that Ryan was a sports celebrity.  Chloe wasn’t impressed with his notoriety and I loved that about her.  While the characters are really well fleshed out, I knew more about Ryan’s back story than Chloe.  Besides one slight mention of her family and that she grew up in New York City, there wasn’t much context to her background besides her failed relationships.

Chloe’s job keeps the two of them in constant contact.  Chloe is doing the PR for a children’s charity and is feeling the pressure to do her job well and to support the adorable little rug rats.  When Ryan steps up to help her, I fell even harder for him.

Chloe is such a breath of fresh air.  She’s the brash and caustic New Yorker, but also deliciously funny and wicked.  She was such a great counterpart to Ryan.  When the big misunderstanding happens, we get to see what Chloe is made of.  I really liked how the author manoeuvered the plot and she evoked a lot of emotions out of me as the reader.

This is not only a great hockey romance book, but a great contemporary romance novel!  I highly recommend checking it out!