Tag Archives: sports

ICED

ICED box set by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley

Iced

Have you ever read a book and start to think that you may have read this before?  At least you hope that you have, otherwise you are reading something that pulls from other material.

That’s what happened when I read this box set!  I realized that I have read one of the stories previously!  BUT – it was a story that I really enjoyed so it was a pleasure to read it again and fall in love with the characters one more time.

Both books featured are hockey themed books.  They feature the players from the Atlantic City Hustlers, which is a team of amazing hockey guys!  I have been a fan of Veronica Forand for a while and this was my first introduction to Susan Scott Shelley.  If you are appreciative of the sport and the hot men who give it their all on the ice, you really need to get to know these authors.  This is a great box set to get started with and then you can devour the rest of the series!

Home Run

Home Run (Boys of Summer Novel) by Heidi McLaughlin

home-run

Overview by Publisher:

LOVE ISN’T A GAME . . .

I’ve given up everything for the chance to play major league baseball. Everything. Now I’m so close I can practically hear the crowd chanting my name. There’s nothing that could take my dream away from me . . .

Unless I lose focus. And Ainsley Burke is the most beautiful, distracting woman I’ve ever met. When I’m with her, I can’t think of anything else.

But no matter how much I want Ainsley, there’s no room for love in my game plan. I can give her a quick tour of the bases, but that’s it. Then I have to let her go. If she wants to think I’m a love ’em and leave ’em player, fine.

All dreams require sacrifice. I just wish this one didn’t mean tearing out my own heart.

Get the kleenex ready for this book.  While it is a sports themed contemporary romance, it strikes a chord that transcends the genre.  Ainsley lives in Fort Meyers and is caring for her mother who is sick with cancer.  The reality of what it means to care for a loved one who is fighting for their life is a large part of this story.  At times, this story had me in tears.  As crazy as this sounds, I love books that make me cry.  It means that I connected with the story and my emotions are fully engaged.

Ainsley and Cooper meet at the zoo where she works.  He is smitten right away and even though he is only in Florida for spring training, he pursues her.  I found his attempts charming and I was rooting for him.  Ainsley plays hot and cold with him, which was frustrating, even though I understood her indecision.  They have a hot romance for a couple of weeks.  Lusty sex and moonlit walks on the beach bring them closer together.  All things must end and thus begins the big challenge for the couple.

The author is really great at writing baseball stories.  Cooper is the new rookie to the team.  She captures what it is like for a newbie to come to a well established team and fight for his place.  Heidi really emphasizes what it is like to struggle with the transition to the big leagues and deal with family pressures.  Cooper really struggles with balancing a life and baseball.  His challenges were understandable.

This is a very emotional story.  It was a very realistic story and I found myself drawn into the story of Ainsley and Cooper.  If you are a fan of baseball, definitely add this to your list!

Check it out here on Amazon.

On the Line

On the Line (A Hometown Players Novel) by Victoria Denault

on-the-line

Overview by Publisher:

He had total control of his game–until she changed all the rules . . . As one of the best players in the NHL and the “golden boy” of the league, Avery Westwood knows he has to keep his cool–on and off the ice. His whole life is a carefully constructed image of perfection for the media and his brand sponsors. Of course, that means he can never let his true feelings show. But when it comes to the sexy sister of his former teammate, Avery might be willing to make an exception . . . even if it means breaking all his own rules.
As far as Stephanie Deveau is concerned, having a thing for Avery is the equivalent of psychological napalm. Très bad idea. Then he moves in next door, all sexy smiles and a deliciously hot body that she can’t resist. Something’s happening between them–it’s intense, a little (a lot) out of control, and real. Only Avery doesn’t know everything about Stephanie’s past. And the one exception to his rule might just be the one girl who could destroy his career.

It’s hockey season here in Canada.  You literally can’t walk into any bar or restaurant without hearing a hockey game blaring on the televisions.  It’s not a surprise that the author, Victoria Denault, is a Canadian as she just has such a knack for capturing the culture of hockey.

This is a great series.  I have really enjoyed the books to date and this one was excellent.  It seems odd to have a hockey novel taking place in San Diego, but that is the reality of hockey expansion.  Trust me – the fact that Las Vegas is getting an expansion team and not another team for the Greater Toronto Area gets LOTS of press time in the news.

This story features Stephanie and Avery.  We met them in the previous novel.  Avery was the captain of the Seattle team where Stephanie’s brother plays.  Avery is a hot commodity in the hockey world and has his choice of contracts.  What is not hot about Avery is how tightly controlled he is.  His father is his agent and has drilled into Avery the way to navigate the hockey lifestyle.  No hook ups, no girlfriends, no controversy, no bad influences, no drunken nights out, etc.  In the previous book, we learned that Avery turned his back on his friend who struggled with drug addiction because it may harm his reputation.  Avery is nicknamed ‘the Monk’ because he lives a life way beyond reproach.

Stephanie is outspoken, adventurous and has a past.  She has a friendship with Avery and is probably one of the only people who calls him on his shit.  She has a tough past and has resisted getting into a relationship because she wants to focus on her well being.  But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t get all tingly near Avery and imagines what it would like to be in bed with him.

What this book has going for it is the great chemistry between Avery and Stephanie.  When Avery can unbend for a moment, he has some really great lines and can melt panties off Stephanie with a look or a smile.  The bedroom scenes are awesome!  You know how it’s always the quiet ones that are the wildest?  When Avery makes his intentions known to Stephanie, I thought that I was going to explode!  I definitely enjoyed the sex scenes in this book!

Things are not all roses.  Avery has a huge stick up his ass and as much as he has changed, he still falls back on how his father has raised him.  Stephanie was worried about getting involved with Avery because she feared he would let her down.  The conflict between the two was emotional and well developed.  It certainly got me feeling emotional – angry, sad, conflicted.  I LOVE it when a book does that!

Hockey is front and centre in this story.  I enjoyed the behind the scenes look at the politics of hockey.  I also really loved that the characters were Canadian and would occasionally break out into French.  Oh la la!

The Hang Up

The Hang Up by Tawna Fenske

the hang up

Overview by Publisher:

PR specialist Miriam Ashley makes her living cleaning up bad boys. Mountain climber-turned-CEO Jason Sanders should be an easy fix. And with a nephew to care for, he’s motivated. The problem? Every time she tries to help Jason get his head in the boardroom, they end up in the bedroom.

What the hell is she thinking? He’s the definition of off-limits. Not just because he’s a client—he spends his free time risking his life mountain climbing. The same thing that got her father killed. She’s not going to open her heart to a guy who could disappear at the drop of a…well, she’d rather not finish that thought.

She needs to leave complicated alone, but every time she sees Jason, something tells her it’s her who might fall…

Opposites attract is the saying and its very true in this story.  Miriam is high heels and pencil skirts and Jason is comfortable with carbineers and hiking boots.  It’s a great story that features sexy dialogue and a well developed plot.

Jason has taken a job in town so that his sister and her son can access better hospital care as little Henry recovers from cancer.  His number one priority is to his family, yet he can’t help but want something with Miriam after he meets her.

Their first meeting was so unforgettable.  Jason is back from a Tough Mudder competition and needs to call a locksmith.  If you have ever seen pictures or videos of this athletic endeavour, you can only imagine what they look like when it’s over.  Miriam takes pity on Jason and lets him shower in her house as he is covered in mud.  The air is electric between them and I was kind of hoping they’d act upon it.

Turns out that Jason is Miriam’s new client.  Awkward!  The first meeting in the board room is tense, but Jason is so easy going that he finds a way to unwind Miriam.  Miriam is so attracted to Jason, but she can’t handle a risk taker again.  Still grieving her father who died in a mountain climbing accident, Jason’s lifestyle is a major deterrent to her.

However, his body and personality are like a magnet for her.  He needs her help to settle into his new role as CEO and while she helps him attain a little town polish.  The chemistry between the two is epic.  I loved how despite their differences, they found a way to common ground – or at least the dinner table!  Jason reminds me of one of those really hot guys featured in an outdoor advertisement.  He is beyond sexy and real.  I loved how he brought Miriam out of her comfort zone and engaged her in his life.

Things are not easy going for the two.  The realities of life and the pressures of work interrupt the cozy romance.  I loved the tension between the two as it made the story so exciting.

This is the quintessential romance novel – it has all the elements that make a story work.  Great characters, sexy scenes and an interesting story line!

Lexington and 42nd

Lexington and 42nd by Kim Carmody

Lexington and 42

Overview by Publisher:

It was meant to be the job opportunity of a life time.

It turned out to be so much more…

At the age of twenty five, Emma Lexington takes off to New York on a once in a life time twelve-month job exchange with the New York Warriors. Determined to make the most of the opportunity, she prepares herself for life in the big apple—fast paced, exciting and a whole lot of fun. What she hasn’t prepare for though, is meeting him.

The charming Will Jensen is in the prime of his playing career. As the star quarterback for the Warriors, his carefree, football centric life is thrown into disarray when he meets Emma, the beautiful, easy going Australian girl who joins the Warriors staff.

Unwilling to throw her professional reputation away on a fling with the playboy quarterback, Emma turns down Will’s advances, even though she can’t deny the attraction she feels for him. Their pull toward one another grows, but it takes a near disaster for Emma to finally give Will a chance.

Getting together might have been hard, but figuring out how to stay together will prove even more challenging as Emma must decide between conflicting loyalties.

There is a line in the thank you section of the book that called to me: “reviews help readers find their next favourite book.”  It is my duty to help you find this book!

I adored this book!  It was that thrilling feeling when you start a book that just makes you tingle with excitement!  I have become a fan of sports themed contemporary novels lately, but this is by far one of the very best I have read!

Emma is in New York on a work exchange.  Right away she hears about the quarterback and how he is the star.  She doesn’t realize that the guy she has been flirting with is one and the same.  I think that is what hooked me so quickly – the amazing flirting between the two.  It is such a skill and an art to craft a story that has wicked flirting in it.  If it was easy, every single book would be a five star read.

Emma and Will flirt their backsides off with each other.  Winks, smirks, amazing one liners are just the foreplay of an amazing relationship.  It’s bad politics at work for the PR ‘new girl’ to hop into the sack with the star player of the organization and she puts up a wicked fight.  I LOVED the chase between the two.  Will is so charismatic and he is truly turned on by the fact that Emma doesn’t fawn all over him and really doesn’t understand football, since she comes from a Rugby organization.

Will wants Emma, but he doesn’t really understand why she can’t get past the organization knowing.  He can’t because his star power blinds him from the realities of the little people.  This isn’t a flaw that made me dislike Will, it just made me want to open his eyes!  The push and pull between the two didn’t get tired – which in other books it does.  It made me sit on the edge of my seat and worry incessantly how this was going to unfold.

The sexual tension between the two is really well built up.  The foreplay between the two is sizzling hot!  When they finally come together, it was amazing.  The author crafts love scenes that leave you hot and bothered, but also insanely jealous that this can’t be your life.

This book is everything that you want a romance novel to be.  Spirited, cheeky, emotional and engaging.  I loved this story and I can’t wait to read more from this author!