Review: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

Rookie Move-Review ROOKIE MOVE
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #1
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Sarina Bowen
Release Date: September 6, 2016add-to-goodreads-button-2

rookie move

The first novel in a sexy new series featuring the hockey players of the Brooklyn Bruisers and the women who win their hearts—from the USA Today bestselling author of the Ivy Years series.

In high school they were the perfect couple—until the day Georgia left Leo in the cold… 

Hockey player Leo Trevi has spent the last six years trying to do two things: get over the girl who broke his heart, and succeed in the NHL. But on the first day he’s called up to the newly franchised Brooklyn Bruisers, Leo gets checked on both sides, first by the team’s coach—who has a long simmering grudge, and then by the Bruisers’ sexy, icy publicist—his former girlfriend Georgia Worthington.

Saying goodbye to Leo was one of the hardest things Georgia ever had to do—and saying hello again isn’t much easier. Georgia is determined to keep their relationship strictly professional, but when a press conference microphone catches Leo declaring his feelings for her, things get really personal, really fast….

Buy LinksAMAZON | iBOOKS | B&N

Review-DGR3.5 starsRookie Move-DGR Teaser

You and I don’t have one-night stands. We have forever night stands.”

If you love second chance romance with a hero that’s so sweet and devoted it will make even the most cynical heart swoon, then you’ve just found your next read! It seems the romance genre is well saturated with a good share of alpha-holes lately, and I have to say that Leo Trevi was a breath of fresh air. Don’t get me wrong, alpha-holes happen to be my crack of choice. But every now and then it’s also great to get a genuinely nice guy that fell hard once for the love of his life and never fell out of it.

Georgia and Leo were high school sweethearts, until the Georgia broke Leo’s heart at the end of their senior year and they haven’t seen each other since. Now Georgia is trying to live her dream as the publicist for the NHL and gets the surprise of a lifetime when the new player to the team her father is now coaching is none other than the boy she’s never forgotten or gotten over.

He inhaled, and the familiar fruity smell of her shampoo misted his already hazy mind. Slowly, she lifted her chin, her nose tracing a line up his cheek. Then their lips found each other’s effortlessly, like magnets realigning.

Their reunion was not angst filled but it was certainly full of tension and emotion. It’s hard not to fall for Leo the very second he appears on the pages. The man is swoon with a capital S. Seriously. He doesn’t hide from his feelings or try to punish Georgia. He’s so incredibly pure with the depth of his emotion, that it practically jumps off the pages at you.

There’s plenty of tension from outside forces like the team coach and Georgia’s father and his mystery loathing and hate for Leo, Leo being the rookie to the team and trying to prove himself, and of course trying to deal with the event that led to the ultimate breaking point of their relationship.

As much as I love a good second chance romance, I have to admit that I did find myself a little bored in the first half. Leo was swoony and sweet, but alas I love my men with a little more edge to them, so while I was full, I wasn’t quite satisfied if that makes sense. The second half more than made up for the first and the story read a whole lot quicker. I was antsy to finally get the full reason about why the coach has it out for Leo and the progression of Leo and Georgia’s relationship really picked up while making me curious about the slew of other characters that were introduced like Silas, O’Doul, Becca, and Nate. I’m already salivating for their books….O’Doul especially.

So while this was a little tame for my tastes and so sweet it almost made my teeth ache at times, it also made perfect sense for this story. I could’t see it play out any other way. I loved the ending and while I wasn’t reading this with my usual devour pace, it was still a light and easy romance that I enjoyed quite a bit. It’s definitely the start of what looks to be a fantastic new series and I can’t wait for more.

Are super sweet heroes my thing? Not really. *ducks head in shame* But Leo made a believer out of me just this once.


BROOKLYN BRUISERS SERIES

ROOKIE MOVE (Brooklyn Bruisers #1)
GOODREADS | AMAZON

HARD HITTER (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) <– available January 3, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

PIPE DREAMS (Brooklyn Bruisers #3) <– available May 2, 2017
GOODREADS | AMAZON

Review: ★The Final Move★ by Victoria Denault

Review-TFMThe Final Move
Series: Hometown Players #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Denault
Release Date: December 8, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

Denault_The Final Move_E-Book

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 . . . 

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM

Review2 Stars

Minor spoilers to follow, please don’t read my review if you don’t want to know. I’ll spoiler tag the big stuff.

I’ve been a huge fan of this series since One More Shot. The mix of angst and swoony romance just did it for me. And ever since I first met Devin Garrison in that book I’v been not so patiently waiting for his story.

As the calmer and more settled of the Garrison brothers, Devin was refreshingly different. Being married and a daddy also made him even more appealing. But the reader also got a peek into his life and began to understand that not everything in his marriage is quite as perfect as he’d like to make it appear. At first I assumed that Devin’s story would be more of marital issues than reconciliation with his wife, but after the events of Making a Play I realized that he’d be ending up with the other Caplan. After reading the preview in book 2 I have to admit that I was curious as to how this would play out. After finishing it? Well I kind of wish I could unread it, because it made me absolutely hate Callie and strongly dislike Devin in the process. *sigh* Where are those men in black when you need them?
I get what the author was trying to do with this story and while I appreciate her effort, it just didn’t pan out for me. Not even a little. Why?

Issue 1

Villinaize the wife as the catalyst.

Was this really necessary? Couldn’t it just be an “issue” they were dealing with and have them just fall out of love as they clearly were already well on the road for. Did she have to (Highlight to view spoiler)cheat (end spoiler)? I just didn’t find it necessary for the story. Sure, it served as the catalyst for Devin’s decisions, but it just felt like an easy way out.

Issue 2

Devin’s regression.

Oh boy. Where do I even start. So your wife (Highlight to view spoiler)cheats(End spoiler) on you, what do you do? Proceed to drink yourself stupid and have a one-night stand because…why? It felt like revenge and punishment more so than anything else. Hey, I was the perfect husband for so long, I need to slut it out now just to see how the other half lives. It didn’t make sense. And yes, I understand that he was hurting. But what he also was, was still married. Sure, I also get that this is a common occurrence and I shouldn’t judge. But do two wrongs really make a right? Considering how Devin has been for the past two books and always being the voice of reason, I wanted him to take the high road.

Issue 3
Callie.
Now I hate to name call, so I won’t. I also hate slut shaming, so I won’t. What I will say, is I absolutely hated her decisions and treatment of Devin for basically the entire book. One, she’s dated and flirted with his teammates. She proceeds to go on a date after her and Devin finally sleep together. Then there was her decision to go down on him after she finds him in the middle of a drunk hookup and throwing the woman out of the house they’re currently sharing. Also knowing how Devin is, her decision to continuously sleep with him but refuse anything more was downright infuriating. Considering everything Devin’s been through it was almost callous.

Issue 4
Did I mention that Devin is still technically married (though separated and no longer living with his wife) through all of this?
Again, I understand that this happens, and if this was any other character, I could have looked past it. But with Devin? No. I felt like he regressed and just wasn’t the Devin that I ultimately fell in love with throughout the series. I did not like him for a good 75% of this book.

Issue 5
And this is ultimately what lowered my rating even more. I felt zero, no connection between Callie and Devin. There wasn’t an undercurrent of sexual tension or longing throughout the series between them. Not even in this book did that come into play. It felt like they just ended up together because it was convenient and not because it was meant to be. I couldn’t connect to them as a couple. Hell, I didn’t believe in them as a couple. And what’s more, I didn’t like them as a couple.

Le sigh.

To say that I’m disappointed would be an understatement. I love this author, and I will definitely read any of her future work without a second thought. But sadly this book didn’t work for me at all. Maybe because I had such high hopes? Who knows. It is what it is, and I have a feeling this is just one of those books you’ll either understand and enjoy, or you won’t. I don’t see much middle ground here. But that’s just my opinion. Clearly I’m in the minority with my opinion so read it and judge for yourself.

★The Final Move★ spotlight & interview with author Victoria Denault

Spotlight-TFMThe Final Move
Series: Hometown Players #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Victoria Denault
Release Date: December 8, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

Denault_The Final Move_E-Book

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 . . . 

Buy LinksAmazon / B&N / iBooks / GooglePlay / Kobo / BAM

Author Interview

I’m so excited to have Victoria Denault on DGR today and she’ll be answering all my questions about her Hometown Players series, The Final Move and what’s to come next!

Hi Victoria! Thanks so much for stopping by DGR today!

DGR: Can we start by having you introduce yourself?

Victoria: Hi! I’m Victoria Denault very happy to chat with you. I’m the author of the Hometown Players series. I’m Canadian but I live in Los Angeles with my husband and our two chubby Chihuahuas who like to try and lie on my laptop while I write. LOL

DGR: Now can you introduce your Hometown Players series to those that may not have read it yet?

Victoria:  Hometown Players started off as an idea about three essentially orphaned sisters who, in their twenties, have to go back to the small town in Maine when the cold-hearted grandmother who raised them passes away. Heading back to Silver Bay has them reconnecting with their childhood best friends – the Garrison brothers and their friend Luc Richard and it reignites a whole lot of unresolved feelings towards these boys (now men).

DGR: Was One More Shot your debut novel? And what inspired you to write it?

Victoria: Yes, One More Shot was my debut. I wrote it several years before I tried to have it published. I have always dabbled in creative writing, and was an avid romance reader. I’ve also always been a hockey fan. Those passions collided when I watched the first HBO Road to the Winter Classic series. It was the first time I saw an in-depth glimpse of hockey players lives off the ice – the small towns they came from, their families’ sacrifices and commitment, etc. – and I thought, this kind of lifestyle would make a great background for a romantic story. That’s when Jordan and Jessie’s story started to grow in my head.

DGR: You write about some sinfully hot hockey players, is it safe to assume you’re a fan of the sport?

Victoria: I adore hockey. I was born and raised in Montreal where hockey is a religion and so I’ve been a fan since I was young. But I don’t have loyalty to one specific team. I have favorite players I follow and they are on a variety of teams so I cheer all of them. For example Jeff Carter (LA Kings), Kris Letang (Pittsburg Penguins), Carey Price (Canadiens), Alex Burrows (Canucks), Jordan Staal (Carolina Hurricanes). When they play each other it’s kind of like a game of Survivor in my head and I have to vote one of them off (temporarily). It annoys people that I cheer multiple teams, but oh well.

DGR: Did you have a favorite book to write in the Hometown Players series?

Victoria: Each one was my favorite until I wrote the next and then that was my favorite. The Final Move was the easiest to write. Callie’s boldness and snarky attitude came easily. 🙂

DGR: If you had to pick your favorite scene out of any of the three books, which would it be?

Victoria: Oh boy… just one scene? I have favorites in all the books but if I had to pick just one it would be Callie kicking out Devin’s random hook-up. I like the humor in it, when the hook-up assumes she’s the wife, and I love the passionate fight between Devin and Callie and, of course, the resulting shower scene.

DGR: You write some delicious angst, but I think that Devin Garrison’s book was probably the angstiest for me. Was his book difficult for you to write?

Victoria: It was. I wanted to make sure Devin took time to really move on from Ashleigh, emotionally. I didn’t want him to just jump to Callie because I didn’t want anyone to see her as a rebound. But at the same time, it’s a book with only so many pages, and I needed to get them together, I mean that’s the point? LOL. I struggled a little with that balance – letting him move on without rushing it but still keeping the story moving.

DGR: If you had to describe Devin in 5 words, what would they be?

Victoria: Driven. Proud. Passionate. Loyal. Sexy.

DGR: Callie Caplan is one tough cookie. Out of the three Caplan sisters she’s always come across as the toughest. But she also has some inner demons that she tries desperately to hide, doesn’t she?

Victoria: Oh yeah! Of the three sisters Callie is the one who latched onto the worst possible coping mechanism to deal their childhood trauma. She put a protective shell around herself and tried to be a protective shell for her sisters. She honestly feels that she can never open her heart up because she can’t risk being hurt because her sisters have risked it – and one of them needs to keep their heart in once piece. The idea of letting someone in after all the people who have abandoned her in the past is more terrifying than death for Callie.

DGR: Did you always know that you’d have Devin and Callie end up together?

Victoria: Honestly, no. I thought One More Shot was a one-off novel and that Callie, Rose, Luc and Devin were just supporting characters. But halfway through One More Shot, I realized Rose and Luc’s story needed to be told. And as soon as I started their story I knew that a book about Callie had to happen – ripping down her defenses would be so much fun. I didn’t want to introduce a new person for Callie and Devin was the only Hometown boy who would have the strength to knock down her walls. Plus, I could give him an issue (his wife cheating/marriage ending) that Callie could help him through because Callie lives for helping/protecting her loved ones.

DGR: What was the most difficult part for you to write in The Final Move?

Victoria: Writing the end of Devin’s marriage. Even though Ashleigh cheated I wanted the real reason the marriage fell apart to be about more than that. I don’t know how the hockey lifestyle, with the extended absences and raising kids essentially alone, affects a marriage first hand so I did a lot of research on that. There are blogs and articles written by hockey wives that talk about it which were helpful.

DGR: And how about the most favorite?

Victoria: Any scene with Devin and Conner. I don’t have kids and I didn’t think I would really enjoy writing a child but I loved writing scenes between Devin and Conner, like when Devin tries to explain how Callie will live with them now.

DGR: Now that the Caplan girls are all paired up, and the Garrison brothers all seem to be settled, what’s up next? Any chance the sexy Sebastian may be getting a book?

Victoria: Sebastian should get a book, shouldn’t he? He’s so much fun! I can’t confirm anything yet, but there may be more Hometown Player books coming in 2016.

DGR: Anything you’d like to leave the readers with?

Victoria: A giant heartfelt thank you. I am so happy with the reaction to this series! It’s been a dream come true. And I fully intend to give you some more angsty, hockey romance so stay tuned…

About the Author

VictoriaDenault_Mary Costa Photography

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Launch Day Blitz & Review: ★Making A Play★ by Victoria Denault @ForeverRomance

Making-a-Play-Launch-Day-Blitz MAKING A PLAY
Series:
Hometown Players #2
Genre:
Contemporary Romance
Author:
Victoria Denault
Release Date:
September 8, 2015
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Denault_Making a Play_E-Book

He’ll do whatever it takes to winon and off the ice.

Luc Richard is the hottest player in the NHL and it has nothing to do with hockey. His racy relationship with his supermodel ex set the tabloids on fire but nearly put his career on ice. To avoid being traded, Luc agrees to take a break from the spotlight and from women and spend the off-season at home in Silver Bay, Maine. It’s the perfect plan… until he reconnects with Rose.

Rose Caplan is tired of being shy, sweet, and safe. She’s ready for passion, romance and Luc. Having loved him longer than she can remember, she’s finally ready to prove she’s not the same innocent little girl he once knew. Off the ice Luc doesn’t do games, but this new Rose makes him feel like playing a little dirty. If he’s really got a shot at her heart then he’s not just playing to win. He’s playing for keeps.


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Luc is out back when we get there, positioning Adirondack chairs around the crackling firepit. The weather is slightly cool, with a strong breeze off the lake. He’s wearing a black v-neck t-shirt with a pair of beige shorts and a dark plaid shirt tied around his waist. He looks like a hipster model or lead singer for a grunge band from the 90s and as usual, it’s fucking hot.He smiles welcomingly as we all pile onto his deck, but as his eyes land on me they flare and I swear to God I see a little spark there. The smile vanishes than reappears a little softer, a little darker.

Jordan speaks, breaking the moment into dust. “So! Be a good host and get me a beer.”

“Get it yourself, bitch,” Luc snarks with a smile and Jordan gives him a playful punch on the shoulder as he walks back into the house to retrieve his beer.

He comes out with beers for everyone and we settle in around the fire and start planning. Luc takes notes on his iPad balanced on his knee. We decide which NHL players and alumni to invite, which weekend to have the event, when to put tickets on sale and what to sell them for. But with every detail that’s decided comes a bigger list of everything that needs to get done, and Luc’s sexy face starts to turn into a grimace of stress. And the one thing none of us can help him with is picking the cause.

“It has to come from you, bro,” Jordan says. “You have to pick something that really means something to you.”

He nods and I catch a glimpse of his tongue resting on his bottom lip as he thinks and I feel that hot tingle of lust between my thighs. I shift in my chair.

“I have to think about that one,” he admits and his voice is low, like it’s some kind of failure.

Jordan gets up to grab another beer and Jessie leaves to use the bathroom. I lean over from my chair and place a hand on his. “It’s okay. We can book the venue and the arena and figure out the cause after. You’ve got a little time.”

He smiles at me gratefully and then he glances down. He runs his fingers over my forearm. “You’ve got goose bumps.”

He stands up and unties the plaid shirt from his waist and then walks around my chair and drapes it across my shoulders. He rubs them gently as he places it there and leans down to whisper in my ear. “You look beautiful tonight, Fleur.”

I tip my head and gaze up at him. KISS ME! I silently beg him. Jessie comes bouncing down the deck stairs and Luc pulls away and the moment disappears into the dark night.

Still, I feel a little flutter of victory inside my heart. There was a glimmer of something in those light brown eyes that I’ve never seen directed at me before. He looked at me like I was something new he hadn’t seen before. Something special. Something desirable. I swear it’s not just wishful thinking.

After two and a half hours of planning and an hour of just goofing off we call it a night. As we drive home Jessie keeps giving me curious glances in the rear view mirror. There’s a smirk on her lips and I know she’s got something to say so when we get inside the house and Jordan heads into the living room I stop her in the kitchen. “Say it.”

“What?”

“Whatever it is you’re thinking.”

She smiles again. “I’m thinking that you’re making a play for Luc.”

I feel defiant and self-conscious at the same time and can’t seem to look her in the eye. “So? Is that bad? And… is it that obvious?”

She shakes her head, auburn hair swinging. “Not incredibly obvious but I know you and normally you’d leave the house in overalls and a sweatshirt for a night drinking beers in someone’s backyard.”

I blush, embarrassed at having my plan exposed, and she walks over and gives me a hug. “All I have to say is good for you.”

“Really?”

“Rosie, it’s now or never,” she tells me giving me a tight squeeze before pulling back and holding my by the shoulders. “You’ve finished college and you’re trying to figure out your future and I’ve known forever that you see Luc in your future. So take the shot. See if it works. If it doesn’t, then at least you can move forward without wondering.”

She walks to the fridge and grabs a bottle of water and then heads towards the living room. She stops in the archway and smiles at me encouragingly. “For the record, Rose. I think it’s going to work.”

I drop down in one of the chairs at the kitchen table. Oh God, I hope she’s right.

Review
4 stars
Making A Play- Dirty Girl Romance

 

Your life will be beautiful because you, Flower, are beautiful. And you will find someone who will love you for it.”

When I first read One More Shot earlier this year, I was hooked on this series. Hot hockey players, angst, and steam, what else could I possibly ask for? Now if you haven’t read One More Shot yet, I highly recommend you do, because it’ll give you a much better background on the Caplan sisters and the dynamic they have between them. While you can easily read Making A Play as a standalone, I think you’d enjoy it more reading in order. Rose is first introduced in One More Shot as the youngest Caplan sister. Admittedly she’s not exactly the type of heroine I enjoy reading about; she’s shy, introverted, a little mousy and has been pining away for her Luc Richard as long as she’s known him.

Luc Richard is a successful hockey player. He’s basically grown up around Rose since her and her sisters were like family to the Garrison family who were like his family as well. While an attraction was always there, Luc always knew that Rose was just too good for the likes of him and so he friend zoned her. Now he’s in town to lick his wounds after his ex almost cost him his career and attempt to stay away from the spotlight and the gossip column. Rosie is determined to get him out of the friend zone while Luc is just as determined to keep them solidly there.

The relationship between these two was both sexy and frustrating. There were many a time when I wanted to reach through my kindle and knock some sense into The French Disaster. I also wanted Rose to grow a bigger backbone and really stand up for herself and show some growth. She may not have been the sassy and smart mouthed woman like her sisters, but she does grow into her own and she did grow on me.

If angst isn’t your thing, this book will probably frustrate the living hell out of you because it takes a good chunk of it (if not 3/4) for Luc to finally get his head out of his ass. I personally gobbled it up like the angst whore that I am.

I loved getting more of Jessie and Jordan in this one. It was great to get that continuation of their HEA and see where they are now. Then there was Callie; the oldest and the wild one of the three sisters.

Can you please say something snarky and inappropriate because if you get all sentimental and mushy, my heart will break for the millionth time in a week.
“Does he have a big dick?”
I laugh. “Thank you.”

I’m not sure what it is about her, but I’m just so intrigued by her story. She almost comes off borderline brash at times, but I can’t help but like her. There’s just something about her that screams that she’s hiding something. And that peek into what happened between her and Devin those years ago certainly whetted my appetite for the next book.

If you’re a reader that enjoys some angst with your sports romance then you definitely need to get acquainted with this author. Was this book perfect? Not quite. I could probably nitpick a few things but at the end of it I truly enjoyed the book so why bother? I think I enjoyed book 1 a little bit more but this was still a fantastic addition. But the book I’m REALLY looking forward to is still to come. I simply can’t wait to see how THAT turns out.


THE SERIES
Denault_One More Shot_E-Book

ONE MORE SHOT (Hometown Players #1) by Victoria Denault (June 2, 2015)

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true.  Jordan is determined to take two.

Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.

Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.

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Denault_The Final Move_E-Book

THE FINAL MOVE (Hometown Players #3) by Victoria Denault (December 8, 2015)

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…


About the Author

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Review: ★Him★ by @sarinabowen & @ellekennedy

Review HimHim
Genre: New Adult, MM Romance
Authors: Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy
Release Date: July 28, 2015add-to-goodreads-button-2

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

Warning: contains sexual situations, skinnydipping, shenanigans in an SUV and proof that coming out to your family on social media is a dicey proposition

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HIM1

Review

5 starsHim-DirtyGirlRomance

Jamie Canning was my first crush and my first love. But he was never mine to have.

So let’s see here; we have friends-to-lovers, second chance romance and GFY all mixed in with sizzling chemistry and humor. If that’s not enough to justify my 5 star rating, I dunno what is. Maybe I haven’t read an MM in a while, maybe I was exactly in the mood for a feel good and sexy MM romance? Whatever the reason may be, I loved this book to pieces. There was not one part of it I read where I didn’t either have a goofy grin on my face or felt like I needed to ice my ovaries. It was fabulous!

My weakness is him.

Ryan “Wes” Wesley and Jamie Canning have been friends for years. Some of their favorite memories came from the time they spent together at hockey camp, until the summer when they were eighteen when one night and one dare changed everything and Wes just disappeared from his life. Jamie never stopped missing his best friend or wondering what he did to push him away.

Wes has been in love with his very straight best friend for years. His mistake those four years ago made him turn away and not look back since. But he’s never forgotten Jamie or gotten over his feelings for him. Now chance brings them together again on the ice rink, and Wes will be dammed if he’ll just let him walk away from his life again. And if he happens to get his friend to look at him as anything more than just a buddy? Hey, hope springs eternal, right?

Maybe one day a switch would suddenly go off and he’d be like, hmmm, I’m totally into Wes. Or maybe he would figure out he swings both ways and decide to take a walk on the dude side.

I simply loved the interaction between Jamie and Wes. Their bond is so strong even after 4 years without speaking. I command the authors for making the transition to Jamie’s true sexuality as natural as it did. It was like the reader was discovering everything along with him and it just made it that much better. As for Wes? Don’t even get me started on that man. He was my favorite part about this book. He’s a rule breaking wise ass, but beneath the muscles and tattoos is a heart of gold. His feelings for Jamie were so heart melting and heart breaking, I just wanted to reach through my kindle and hug him.

There was so much to love about this book, the biggest being the banter between these two. It was utterly delicious.

…what two guys stand around describing their perfect sexual partner? Did we wander onto the set of Sex and the City? If so, I’m Samantha. Called it.”
“You know actual character names from Sex and the City? Shit, if you hadn’t told me you were gay, I would’ve figured it out just now.”

And if you’re curious about the steam? Well let’s just say Him has just the right amount to make this story incredibly sexy on top of entertaining as hell! The sexual chemistry between Ryan and Jamie practically crackled with electricity. And when they finally get together?

We’ve been going at it every night like puck bunnies in heat this week. Pinch me. It’s like a blowjob relay race around here. And we’ve gotten really good at passing the baton

Ryan was such a fantastic hero as well. He’s such a tender heart, but it totally works for him. Together they just made a certain kind of sense. These are two guys that you’ll be rooting for from beginning to finish. I absolutely loved the way that Ryan is with his family and their quirkiness. Considering the cold detachment of Wes’s family, it was wonderful to have such a warm family dynamic on the other end.

If you’re looking for a fun and sexy NA MM romance, you really should look no further. Sabrina Bowen and Elle Kennedy together are a dynamic powerhouse and I only hope they have more books planned together for the future because I’d read them all without a second thought.

What do you want?” I ask. And I need him to be specific. This is a very dangerous game we’re playing. It will probably end in disaster. But if there’s a way I can prevent that, I will.
He moves further onto the bed, making room for me. Then he beckons. And there isn’t enough money, fame or fortune in the world to keep me from obeying.


Him2

 

About the Author

Sarina
Goodreads / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Elle
Goodreads​ / Website / Twitter / Facebook

Review: ★One More Shot★ by Victoria Denault

One More Shot 
Author: Victoria Denault
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Release Date: June 2, 2015

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true.

Jordan is determined to take two.

Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with—Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.
Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan—or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.

Thanks to Jessie, I knew love felt like pain. Deep, cutting, dying-inside pain.

One More Shot is the first book in the Hometown Players series, and if you enjoy angsty and sexy second chance romance, it’s one you don’t want to miss. I’ll admit, I was sold the second I read that synopsis. Friends to lovers and a second chance romance? Gimme! I will never pass that up. Add it some angst, a manwhore hockey player and the girl whose heart he broke and who in turn broke his? Yep, that’s a recipe for book gold for me there.

Jordan and Jessie grew up together. The Caplan sisters were practically joined at the hip with the Garrison brothers all through high school. When the Caplan sisters lost their parents at a young age and moved into the small town of Silver Bay to live with their grandmother that wasn’t all that thrilled to have them. Spending most of their time with the Caplan clan allowed them to feel the warmth of family that they were missing, and it also brought together Jordan and Jessie and formed a tight bond of friendship. Growing up they were each other’s world.

Jordan has been in love with Jessie for as long as they’ve been friends, so when the opportunity finally shows itself for him to make his move, he doesn’t hesitate. He takes it and doesn’t look back and the sparks that have been simmering between them through the years finally spark to life.

There’s no faltering. No reservation when our lips touch. There’s only a feeling- like a lighting bolt- that blasts through my body. I feel…bulletproof.

But then much like the typical 18 year old boy, Jordan screws up and breaks Jessie’s heart. Knowing that she’ll only ever be the only one for him, when she moves away from Silver Bay and severs all ties to him, he’s devastated. So he concentrates on all he has left; his hockey career. Being drafted right out of high school allows him to focus all his pain and loss on his hockey. And of course being the typical men, he drowns his pain between the legs of any willing woman…and there’s plenty of them…

Hockey was the only thing in my life that made me feel right. It used to be hockey and Jessie, but then I lost Jessie. It had been hockey and only hockey ever since.

Now six years later, the death of Jessie’s grandmother brings both her and Jordan back to Silver Bay and to face the past that they both tried to ignore or outrun in their own right.

I was trying to find something to numb the pain. Because it never left. I never stopped missing you. I never stopped needing you. There was a constant ache in my chest for you. I tried to convince myself that it was anger, but it was love. And no one could fix it. You’re the only one who can fix it.

One More Shot was definitely heavy on the angst. Jessie and Jordan have a whole lot of unfinished business and miscommunication between them and that all culminates over their 6 years apart to the non-relationship they have now. Jessie has a hard time swallowing Jordan’s past with women especially since his hockey career puts him in lots of headlines…mostly for his womanizing ways. She certainly makes Jordan works for every crumb she throws his way. At times it was almost too much for me. While I understood her hurt and anger she would purposely hurtful to Jordan when everything that Jordan has done was because he didn’t think he had a chance with her and was definitely not with he direct intent to hurt her.

The story is told in flashbacks from past to present though it was smoothly interwoven into the book so it was never confusing or distracting. It gives you Jordan and Jessie’s past piece by piece that ultimately leads to that one fateful “thing” that killed their relationship.

Jordan has always been in love with Jessie and he’s still in love with her now. His efforts to get her back and her outright blowing him off at times was no easy pill to swallow. As much of a manwhore as he may be, I found Jessie to be almost cruel to him at times. His manwhoring ways completely stopped when Jessie came into his life, so although he had plenty of women before, there are no jilted exes when he finally gets back into Jessie’s life.

I really enjoyed this book and all the secondary characters; Jordan’s best friend and two brothers, Jessie’s sisters. This book gave me all my favorite tropes in one angsty and sexy read. I’m definitely looking forward to seeing what more Victoria Denault has to offer with this series. The set up for Rosie’s story already has my interest peeked, so I definitely found me a new series to love.

Review: ★Game Changer★ by @m_cutler

Game Changer 
Series: Bomb Squad #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: May 19, 2015

The author of Undefeated and Risky Business has another sexy hero for you to meet…

Welcome to Destiny Falls, New York, home of Bomb Squad—an ice hockey team full of rugged military heroes. A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has the team captain packing his bags for greener pastures, but saying good-bye to the woman who’d captured his heart is easier said than done…

After being wounded in combat, Brandon Theroux lives every day like it’s his last. He never could have imagined that the sleek mechanics of his prosthetic leg would open so many doors, including minor celebrity status as a fitness model and a well-earned reputation as a rakish playboy. The only door it hasn’t opened is the one to Harper Johnson’s bedroom.

Harper has too much self-respect to join the ranks of Brandon’s “carpe diem” conquests, but when she needs someone to keep the peace in the tavern she owns, Brandon offers his help—as long as she agrees to a very tempting trade. It isn’t long before the two realize that a deal struck between friends who can’t keep their hands off each other has the potential to be a whole lot hotter than either of them is prepared to handle…

This is going to ruin our friendship.”
The fire in his eyes threatened to incinerate them both where they stood. “Baby, we were never meant to be friends.”

Oh. Oh wow. This book. What a perfectly pleasant surprise this was. Admittedly, my inner cover whore first caught her eye on that cover, because c’mon, have you seen that cover. So of course I was thinking I’m getting another hot hockey player and manwhore and the woman that denies him so he wants her even more. What I got is so SO much more. The depth of these characters, their story, the romance, I think I loved everything about this book.

You should see the way you look right now,” he growled. “The fight in your eyes. The fire. I live to see you like this.”
“Such pretty words,” she sneered, shoving at his chest. “If only they weren’t empty.”
“You have no idea how hard I’ve tried to give you up.”
“Stop saying that as though it means something.”

Brandon Theroux lost his leg to an IAD explosion while deployed in the military, but he didn’t let that stop his life. A successful model and personal trainer by day, a lothario by night, he lives every day like it’s his last. As much as he loves his Bomb Squad team of fellow wounded vets, he knows he’s not meant for the small town of Destiny Falls and finally seizes his chance with the opportunity of a lifetime to move to Miami and appear on Meet the Groom and bring national recognition and inspiration for all wounded vets like himself. He just has some unfinished business first; in the form of the independent and feisty blonde that has been denying every single one of his advances for the last five years.

He didn’t know what the future held for her, or for him. All he knew was that neither of their lives would ever be the same again after this weekend.

Harper Johnson has no interest in being another notch on Brandon’s bedpost. She wants commitment and permanence and she knows that Brandon will never offer what she needs and she has too much pride to give into the lust between them knowing it won’t last past the night. She’s eight years older and he just may be too young to understand the beauty of what she wants. But then one disastrous hook up takes them from two people fighting their chemistry to two people who become each other’s rocks during their most difficult times and best friends.

Someday you’re going to find someone who’ll beg you to put that ball and chain on his leg. A guy who thinks the perfect way to spend the rest of his life is shackled to you inside your brick fortress.”

First of all, can I just say how much I loved the way that the author handled the first hookup between the characters. How often do you read about the hero loosing his erection because he’s so angry and the heroine faking an orgasm because she’s thinking too much. Bad sex? These two had it.

Melissa Cutler then takes a story that could have been ordinary and cliche and made into something so much more. She took a heroine and gave her a true struggle. She made her a survivor. She gave her a weakness to embrace. She made her a fighter, a woman who fights for every day of her life and enjoys it to the fullest. She then took a hero that could have been your typical manwhore, and gave him depth. She took a friendship and infused it with just the right amount of undeniable chemistry that the characters both try to ignore but can’t. She developed an incredible friendship between Brandon and Harper. She gave these characters so much depth and made me fall in love with their story and this book.

He was in love. He, Brandon, the biggest commitment-phone of all time, a self-proclaimed bachelor for all eternity. He didn’t want to settle down. He didn’t want to be shackled to one place and one woman. Except that now, he could think of no better fate than to spend the rest of his life bound to Harper.

Was this filled with gratuitous sex scenes? Nope. But the few that it did have were absolutely scorching and just added to the story. It’s not quick paced or filled with twists and turns. It’s a slow burn that’s paced just right to truly make you fall in love with the characters and the town of Destiny Falls. There was nothing even a little ordinary about either one of these characters and I absolutely loved all the secondary characters.

This was my first book by this author and I can definitely tell you that it won’t be my last. This book is easily read as a standalone (I started with this book and had no problems keeping up with the story), but I’ll definitely be going back and reading the rest of the series now. I hope that Melissa gives us Kayla’s book next because that set up was just too delicious to miss.

If you’re looking for a friends-to-lovers romance that’s different from the norm, a romance to fall in love with, and characters that you won’t soon forget, this is the book you need to be reading. I’m so glad that I did.

#NewRelease & Review: ★The Friend Zone★ by @Kris10Callihan

The Friend Zone (Game On #2)
Author: Kristen Callihan
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release Date: May 5. 2015

Gray doesn’t make friends with women. He has sex with them. Until Ivy.
The last thing star tight-end Gray Grayson wants to do is drive his agent’s daughter’s bubblegum pink car. But he needs the wheels and she’s studying abroad. Something he explains when she sends him an irate text to let him know exactly how much pain she’ll put him in if he crashes her beloved ride. Before he knows it, Ivy Mackenzie has become his best texting bud. But then Ivy comes home and everything goes haywire. Because the only thing Gray can think of is being with Ivy.

Ivy doesn’t have sex with friends. Especially not with a certain football player. No matter how hot he makes her…
Gray drives Ivy crazy. He’s irreverent, sex on a stick, and completely off limits. Because, Ivy has one golden rule: never get involved with one of her father’s clients. A rule that’s proving harder to keep now that Gray is doing his best to seduce her. Her best friend is fast becoming the most irresistible guy she’s ever met.

Which means Gray is going to have to use all his skills to get himself out of the friend zone and into Ivy’s heart. Game on

Buy Links

 Excerpt

The backs of his fingers skim up my arm, raising goose bumps on my skin. “Nice top.”
Even though it’s thirty degrees out, I chose a black silk tank that hugs my waist but gathers loosely over my breasts. A tie around my neck holds the top secure. That I am braless is not lost on him. He stares at my stiff nipples as his fingers drift to the bow at the back of my neck and give it a little flick. “Take it off.”“W-what?”“Let me see those sweet tits you’ve been teasing me with since you walked in the bar.”“I—” My breath catches. “No. I’m not taking my clothes off for a stranger.”

He doesn’t look away. “But you want to, don’t you? You want me to look at you.” He bends his head until his lips are at my ear. “You’re dying to expose yourself, to let me see those pretty pink nipples.”

My skin draws tight. I struggle not to sway into him.

He leans back, his attention on my top again. “Untie the bow.”

“Someone might come in.” Despite our play, my fear of getting caught is real, though not completely unwelcome.

“They won’t. I took care of it.”

I believe that. Gray would cover all the bases. In his own way, he’s as much of a planner as I am. But I can’t think of him as Gray now, not when he’s doing this for me.

His fingers are back, skimming over my inner arm, teasing the edges of my top. “Just a little peek.”

My breasts ache so badly, they’re hot, heavy, the silk covering them an irritant. With shaking hands, I reach up. The fabric tugs against my neck then comes free. It slithers over my skin like a caress.

He sucks in an audible breath as my breasts are exposed. I see myself through his eyes, sitting half-naked in this dim back room, my nipples puckered, my breasts quivering with each shallow breath I take. The vulnerability of it feels naughty, forbidden, and I nearly whimper.

A noise of pure satisfaction leaves him. Not bothering to lift his gaze from my breasts, he reaches out, runs the tips of his fingers over my nipple. I’m so sensitized now the touch sends a bolt of pure, searing lust straight through me. I flinch, clench my teeth to keep still.

He hums, strokes me back and forth as if he owns me. “So pretty.” He grazes me again.

“You like that, sweetheart?”

Eyes closed, I bite my lower lip and nod.

I feel him move. The wet flat of his tongue drags over my nipple. My eyes fly open on a strangled cry. He grins up at me, his mouth hovering at my breast. It isn’t his usual cheeky grin but something more wicked. “Mmm. Delicious.”

He takes a step closer, and I swallow convulsively. Gray’s voice lowers. “I wonder where else you taste good. You want to show me, sweets?”

I’m practically panting now. My hair swings as I give my head a hard shake. He leans in, trailing the blunt tip of his finger up the curve of my breast. I nearly yelp when he gives the stiff peak a quick, crude pinch.

His smile is pure male smugness. “Lift up your skirt and show me where you’re wet.”

Review5 stars


You are the happiness I never realized I needed.

Have you ever started a book and from just the first few pages known that you have a 5 star on your hands? You know what feeling I’m talking about. The permanent goofy smile, the warm and fuzzies in your stomach, the I’ll-just-read-one-more-page-and-before-you-know-it-you’re-done, book butterflies kind of feeling. That’s exactly what happened to me. Now I loved The Hook Up and I was equal parts dying and dreading this book. Why? Because it’s hard to follow up on a book that you loved. But honest to gawd, I think I loved this one even more. Why?

1. There was Gray

If you love the manwhores but hate about reading all their conquests and about them generally being a giant douchebag for most of the book until they hit their epiphany, well my picky friends, meet your holy grail hero. Gray was absolute perfection from the very start. Well, don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect perfect. But there were NO other women. None. Not even flirting. But oh was there texting. Which brings me to my next reason.

2. The banter/texting.
Oh. My. Gawd. The texting!

If you don’t have a goofy grin on your face reading each of the texts between Ivy and Gray, we’re not reading the same book. Seriously.

3. Ivy
I loved her. No seriously. I loved her. She was sassy, sharp-witted, 6ft of awkward dancing awesome. I just loved all her quirky imperfections and the fact that she wasn’t your typical dainty tiny heroine.


And, God help me because the truth is Ivy has become a craving in my blood, racing through me hot and thick.

Clearly Gray had no issues with that.

4. The friends-to-lovers trope
Gah. Just gah. I think this may have been my favorite friends to lovers romance I’ve read this year. That slow burn, that sizzling sexual tension. Perfection. I loved that their friendship was what developed first but with a clear underlying of attraction. And if you follow my reviews than you know I love me my slow burn. Why? Because when it finally implodes, it’s bound to be delicious…

And for my curious fellow perverts out there, yes there’s a verra good dose of steam here. I got two words for you: Bar. Scene. You’ll see.

So in case my list of feels wasn’t clear enough, I loved this book. I loved everything about it. Even the little thing that happens towards the end. To me, it fit the story and just added a little more depth to the characters and their romance.

Kristen Callahan hit it out of the ballpark once again. (Get it? Sports metaphor. Ha!) And I absolutely cannot wait for more in this series. Like maybe, hopefully, fingers crossed, Dex? I do love me those lumbersexuals.

Would I recommend this book? Hell yes! Read it, fall in love with the characters, laugh like a loon, and not regret a perfect second of it.

 

New Release & Review: ★The Mistake★ by @ElleKennedy

The Mistake (Off-Campus #2)
Author: Elle Kennedy
Genre: New Adult Romance
Release: April 28, 2015

He’s a player in more ways than one…
College junior John Logan can get any girl he wants. For this hockey star, life is a parade of parties and hook-ups, but behind his killer grins and easygoing charm, he hides growing despair about the dead-end road he’ll be forced to walk after graduation. A sexy encounter with freshman Grace Ivers is just the distraction he needs, but when a thoughtless mistake pushes her away, Logan plans to spend his final year proving to her that he’s worth a second chance.

Now he’s going to need to up his game…
After a less than stellar freshman year, Grace is back at Briar University, older, wiser, and so over the arrogant hockey player she nearly handed her V-card to. She’s not a charity case, and she’s not the quiet butterfly she was when they first hooked up. If Logan expects her to roll over and beg like all his other puck bunnies, he can think again. He wants her back? He’ll have to work for it. This time around, she’ll be the one in the driver’s seat…and she plans on driving him wild.


He absolutely makes me nervous. He’s John fucking Logan, one of the most popular guys at this college. And I’m Grace fucking Ivers, one of thousand of girls who are crushing on him.

You know what I love? A sexy bad boy. Know what I love even more? A good grovel. What else? A sassy and sharp witted heroine that makes the sexy bad boy work for it. So this book? My golden trifecta.

If you’ve read The Deal, then you remember Logan, Garrett’s best friend and roommate and also the poor bastard that manages to get a crush on Garrett’s girlfriend. Seemingly Logan has it all; his choice of girls, a promising hockey future and infamy on campus. But deep down everything is not quite so perfect. His promising hockey future? A mirage that he perpetuates to his friends because of a secret he hides. His pick of girls? Irrelevant because he can’t have the one he wants. But then knocking on the wrong door changes the course of his life when he meets Grace Ivers.

Grace Ivers is an introverted freshman with a mild case of OCD that’s as endearing as she is quirky. Prone to babbling when she gets nervous, I knew just after a few short lines that I’d love her. Her internal dialogue never failed to bring a goofy smile to my face.


I’ve given handjobs before, plus a few blowjobs that I know were a huge success because…well, semen and all that. but I don’t have enough experience to consider myself an expert penis-wrangler or anything.

What starts out as an unlikely friendship quickly turns into something more. Unfortunately before Logan realizes just how perfect Grace is for him he manages to fuck things up so perfectly there may be no fixing it.

I’d say this book is split in two halves; 1. Pre-monumental fuck up and 2. Post-monumental fuck up. And in between those two there’s one deliciously perfect grovel. As much as I liked Grace in the first half of the book, I absolutely loved her in the  second half. She’s a lot more assertive and self-assured in the second half. She really grows into her own and becomes that much more endearing.

To be honest seeing how Logan was crushing on Hannah in the last book and beginning of this one, I was afraid that he’d be “settling” for Grace. But that was never the case, not at all. As a matter of fact, I loved how the author handled that situation. I seriously loved every page of this book. The humor and banter between the guys (and my beloved manwhore Dean) was pure gold.


Just out of curiosity, what constitutes a ‘nice cock shot’? I mean, is it the lighting? The pose?”
“Well, the trick is, you’ve gotta keep the balls out of it.”
“Seriously,” Dean insists. “Balls aren’t photogenic. Women don’t want to see them.”

As for Logan, let’s just say my lust love for Logan never wavered. Well it may have shaken slightly at one point but boy did he make up for it.


Trust me, baby, you’re the only woman I want. The only one who gets me going.”

Everything the man said and did had me feeling all warm and lusty inside.

There was the one “friend” of Grace’s, Ramona, that I wanted to punch in both ovaries and then not-so-gently push her off a bridge because hello twat alert! I was glad to see that Grace wasn’t such a pushover with her later in the book as she was in the beginning, but hopefully Ramona never gets a book. I swear every time I read her name all I could think of was crazy Ramona from Real Housewives and I wanted to reach through my kindle and throttle her.

True story 😉

Aside from that, I really loved this. Logan was absolutely swoon worthy. I loved him and Grace together. I loved him in general. Sure you get another hero with “daddy issues” but I couldn’t find it in me to care.


Belonging. It’s the only way to describe the exquisite rush of sensation that washes over me. His lips BELONG on mine.

If you loved The Deal, I’m almost positive that you’ll love The Mistake. I know that I sure as hell did and I absolutely cannot wait for the next book. I’m hoping it will be my manwhoring Dean. If the set-up in this book is what I think it is then his book is sure to be one verra interesting read.

Review: ★Game Play★ by Lynda Aicher

Game Play (Power Play #1)
Author: Lynda Aicher
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Length: 248 Pages
Release Date: February 16, 2015

 One night, one time, nothing more.That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.

One night, one time, nothing more.

Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

There was nothing like battling a strong opponent. Nothing she’d found at least. And nothing had tested her like Dylan Rylie since she’d left the game- off the ice or on.

This was my first book by Lynda Aicher, and I can definitely tell you that it won’t be my last. I really clicked with her style of story telling and of course the fact that I’m a huge hockey fan didn’t hurt either. It’s clear from Lynda’s writing that she’s either a fan of the sport herself or she’s definitely done her share of research, so even if you’re not a fan of the sport, you will have no problems understanding it after you read this book.

What first intrigued me about this synopsis was the fact that Samantha, the heroine, is a hockey player herself and a damn good one. Unfortunately the female professional team just isn’t as lucrative or promising as the male one. So no matter how much love Samantha has for the sport and her career in it, she knows that she has no future with it. Forced to give up on her dream, especially after as much success as she’s had in it has certainly left her with her share of bitterness.

So when she sees Dylan Rylie, a Glacier’s defenseman, practicing on the same rink as her one night, she issues a challenge and proceeds to wipe the floor with him, much to the shock of everyone around them…including Dylan. There is a good amount of pent up sexual tension surrounding them, and when a drink at the bar after turns into one fiery encounter on a desk, sparks definitely fly. But while they decide on this being one night only, especially since Samantha plans on leaving in 6 months, Dylan isn’t as convinced to let it go at that. Convincing his coach to hire Sam as his trainer after she more than proved her skills on the ice, Dylan and Samantha’s relationship turns into one giant complication.

So why only 3 stars? Two reasons really. The biggest one being Samantha. She drove me a little crazy with her constant back and forth and bitter mentality. Her treatment of Dylan was almost callous at times and Dylan was an absolute sweetheart, which made it all the worse. I couldn’t connect to her “hangups”. Her belief that her father always wanted a boy and her constantly trying to live up to it just didn’t really seem solid enough reasoning. Especially since there wasn’t enough backstory on that end to really support her thoughts, or at least not to the extent that it was made to be. I understood her drive to succeed and be independent in her own right, but it also didn’t excuse her lack of support (or at least I found it to be) towards Dylan. At times I found myself thinking that Dylan was just too good for her.

The second reason was Dylan. Now here’s the thing, he was a total sweetheart and that would probably really work for many reasons. I like my heroes to be total alphas, and he just didn’t give off that vibe to me. Maybe a gamma at best? I found Samantha to be the more intense and in control of the two as far as their interactions went. I suppose I just wanted a little more ‘presence’ from Dylan, if that even makes sense. Sure he was sexy and funny, but he just lacked a certain intensity that I’ve come to like in my heroes. I didn’t really connect with his party boy “image” either. Yes, we’re given reasons for this particular facade, but it just never made sense to me. Could be I missed something? For whatever reason, those two things combined did wane my enjoyment of this book quite a bit. While the story is original, sexy, and entertaining, I often found the characters to me lacking for me. I will happily read the next installment in the series and definitely look forward to getting to know more of the Glaciers players.

Copyright © 2015 · Dirty Girl Romance

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