Tag Archives: Sports

Stay (WAGs # 2)

By Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

Synopsis

Can you fall for someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch–an anonymous virtual assistant service–is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson. 

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting…until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth–that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

Review

STAY is book 2 in the WAGs series and once again, Sarina and Elle did not disappoint.  The story.  The main characters.  The secondary characters.  I loved it all.

“I was thinking about what you said yesterday at the store.  About how you’ve never really dated?”
“Oh. That.”
“I don’t know, it seems kind of unfair that you’ve never been on a real date.  I thought I’d change that.”

I don’t know how they manage to do it, but Sarina and Elle have an amazing way of writing male leads that are so easy to love, and Matt is no exception.  He’s funny, sweet and a great father to his two daughters.  He’s also good husband material, despite his ex-wife’s claims and the emotional abuse she dumped on him throughout⎯and after⎯their marriage.  Hailey, having recently gone through a divorce herself, was a great match for Matt.  They both lost confidence in themselves when their spouses left, so I felt they were on equal footing when it came to their relationship, and both knew they had to tread lightly.  I loved their online flirting in the beginning, but my favourite scene was when Matt texted Hailey during their dinner date because she was so nervous.  It was the perfect blend of sweet, endearing and hot.

We got a couple of scenes with the hockey WAGs, who are loyal and supportive, and just a great group of women all around.  A special shout out has to go to Hailey’s best friend, Jenny, as well as Mr Dick.  In fact, if Sarina and Elle are reading this review, I’d like to put in a request for Jenny and Mr Dick to get their own story.

STAY is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I get the feeling that Matt’s teammate, O’Connor, will get the next book and, judging by his reaction to a certain woman in this story, it should be interesting.  I’m looking forward to it and it can’t come soon enough.

Stay (WAGs # 2)

My Rating:  

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WAGs Series

Him Duet (Connected Series)

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

He’ll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn’t looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she’s due a little fun. She just hadn’t reckoned on the “fun” escalating so quickly to “out of control.” One minute she’s flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford “Killer” Callaghan can’t believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He’ll track her down because once could never be enough–even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you’ll swoon over. Bonus: Includes the first chapter of Irresistible You, the first full-length book in the Chicago Rebels series.

Review

IN SKATES TROUBLE is the prequel novella of the Chicago Rebels series.  Here we are introduced to Ford and Addy, whose first sexual encounter was definitely…unique.  I loved the fact that they never had sex in a bed.  Not.  Once.

I liked Addy, but she’s still trying to come to terms with the fact that she “allowed” her ex-husband to control her every move while they were married.  Because of this, she got upset (overly, in my opinion) when Ford tried to pave the way for them to be together, out in the open.  I loved Ford.  He’s six years younger than Addy, but he knew he wanted to know her before he’d even laid eyes on her.  Her voice and boldness made him want her.  There’s something to be said about a man who is not afraid of his feelings for a woman; one who is willing to jeopardise everything to be with her.

“You like him. I could tell at the dinner table before you sullied my first-floor guest bathroom with your hot ‘n’ heavy fuckfest.”

IN SKATES TROUBLE is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Ford and Addy.  The other “main” character we were introduced to was Harper, the daughter of the Chicago Rebels owner, and she’ll get the next book.  This story isn’t all sunshine and roses, but for the most part I found it to be a light and enjoyable read.

In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels # 0.5)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Wasted Words

By Staci Hart

Synopsis

Some universal truths refuse to be ignored.

Peanut butter and jelly are a match made in heaven. Spaghetti and meatballs are best friends forever. And guys like Tyler Knight don’t go for girls like Cam Emerson.

She knew from the second she met him that he didn’t belong on her bookshelf, the six-foot-six ex-tight end with a face so all-American, it could have sold apple pie. So she shelved him next to the supermodels and rock stars and took her place on her own shelf — the one with the flannel-clad, pasty-faced comic book nerds. Most of her boyfriends have existed between the pages of books, but rather than worrying over her own lacking love life, she puts all her energy into playing Cupid, using her job at the book bar, Wasted Words, as her stomping ground.

Tyler Knight always looks on the bright side. His career-ending injury turned into a job as a sports agent. A horrible breakup led him to Cam, his quirky, smart roommate who is far more beautiful than she realizes. She’s made it perfectly clear she’s not interested in him — not like that at least — but if she ever changes her mind, he won’t hesitate. Because he doesn’t see the lines she’s drawn between them, as much as she insists that they’re there. Deep down he knows that despite their differences, they’re a match well made.

Review

WASTED WORDS is the first book I’ve read from Staci Hart, and I’m sad to say that I didn’t enjoy it like I hoped I would.  Which is a shame, because the blurb sounded like something I’d really be into: Hot Jock (Tyler) falls in love with Geeky Girl (Cam) who doesn’t know how beautiful she really is.

While I liked Tyler a lot, I found Cam completely unlikeable and it was her behaviour that proved too much to overcome.  She was supposed to be smart and funny, but I found her to be childish, too insecure and downright bitchy when something didn’t go her way.  She thought she knew what was best for everyone, so when they threw a wrench in her plans, she threw a tantrum.  Literally.

Unfortunately, my issues with WASTED WORDS didn’t end with Cam.  It was a slow moving book that became a struggle for me to finish, so much so that I ended up skipping sections without feeling like I missed anything important.  I noticed some thoughts and comments were repeated, as well as several spelling mistakes and missing words throughout.

WASTED WORDS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HFN ending for Tyler and Cam.  It does appear to be a stand-alone, but I know at least one other couple have had a book written about them.

Wasted Words

My Rating:  

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Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…

Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.

Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.

Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.

One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Review

PIPE DREAMS is a second-chance romance between Lauren and Mike, who broke up two years before due to a personal issue Mike had to deal with.  I won’t lie, how Mike ended their relationship years ago was all kinds of wrong, but then I guess there wouldn’t be a story if he had ended things the right way.

“Who’s the only one who really harmed me?”
“I am.”
“Good guess! And two years later I’m still waiting for the only apology that ever mattered.”

Due to Lauren’s cold and unfriendly demeanor in the previous two books, I was worried I wouldn’t like her in her own story.  But after being in her head for a few pages, I wasn’t worried anymore.  We find out why she acts the way she does—and I could certainly understand it—but in this book her demeanor does a complete 180, which is normally great, but I felt it changed too quickly and easily.  I liked Mike; he’s a nice guy and a good dad, but he didn’t make me swoon.  I admired the reason behind his breakup with Lauren, but again, he could have handled it so much better.

Even two years later, one glance at him made her remember how quickly her love had been thrown away.  Like yesterday’s trash.

Just like the change in Lauren’s behaviour, I felt their relationship was rekindled too easily.  Yes, Lauren tells Mike exactly how badly he hurt her, and they don’t come together until the second half of the book (from memory), but they fall into bed and then fall back into a relationship without any real discussion, while making a huge life changing decision.

PIPE DREAMS is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  The story includes flashbacks to when they first dated, and I don’t know why but I had a hard time following the switch between the past and present.  I know it sounds like I didn’t enjoy PIPE DREAMS, but I really did.  It held my attention and Lauren and Mike are both likeable characters.  It’s just that after several days between reading it and reviewing it, these are the points that stand out the most.  We get a lovely HEA for Lauren and Mike, and it looks like we’ve seen some progress in the potential relationship between Nate and Becca.  Nate seems like such a geeky sweetheart and I know I’m not the only one who’d love to see their story.

Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers # 3)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Physis (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 4)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

Finding a new normal is never as easy as it seems.

Phoebe Reede has suffered unimaginable tortures at the hands of her captors. Now home and safe, she can’t let go of the things that happened to her. No amount of therapy or coaxing by her parents can draw her from her shell.

How can she learn to live again, when everything she loved about herself is gone?

**Due to strong language and sexual content not intended for anyone under the age of 18. Some books in this series contain content, including sexual assault and violence, that may trigger emotional distress in some readers.**

Review

I’m going to start this review with a warning that PHYSIS is not for the faint of heart.  What Phoebe endured during her three month captivity is not pretty, and you will read about most—if not all—of it in this book.

I’d gone to America broken-hearted and had come home broken everywhere.

The story takes place two months after BEASTLY, which ended with Phoebe being taken back to Australia by her father, Declan, and leaving Beau behind.  At home with her family, she doesn’t feel safe and is haunted by nightmares, flashbacks and gentle touches.  Most of this story is focused on Phoebe and how she’s trying to live with what happened to her, but it also showed how Phoebe’s ordeal is affecting those close to her.

I didn’t survive three months imprisonment.  My body might have, but the girl I’d been was dead.

Without trying to give too much away, Beau does appear in this book and he’s still as sweet as ever.  He makes his presence known to Phoebe but lets her know that any and all contact with him will be on her terms.  That helped Phoebe heal more than anything else since she got home.

“I didn’t think I’d ever find anyone who I thought was worthy of my Pheebs, but he’s proven himself to be the best man for you.”

PHYSIS is told only in Phoebe’s POV and⎯I think for the first time ever⎯doesn’t end in a cliffhanger.  There are still more books to come in Phoebe and Beau’s story, but for now we ended on a happy note.  To be honest, I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I’m so used to Michelle’s cliffhangers leaving me on the edge of my seat feeling shocked, scared or angry, that this turn of events has me nervous.  Is this just the calm before the storm?  I read PHYSIS in one day and I’m greatly looking forward to PHANTOM, which comes out in June.

Physis (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 4)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series

Destiny On Ice (Boys Of Winter # 1)

By S.R. Grey

Synopsis

Hot hockey superstar Brent Oliver has it all–good looks, charm, dozens of endorsement deals, and a spectacular career.

Uh, nix that last one.

Brent has the talent and skill that should have his career soaring. But something is wrong. He’s lost his hockey mojo and can’t get it back.

Enter Aubrey Shelburne, life coach to the stars.

Aubrey’s worked with some difficult celebrities, but she’s never encountered a guy quite like Brent Oliver.

Or has she?

Seems a reckless night of partying, one that had Aubrey waking up in a strange man’s bed, is about to bite her in the a**. That is, if Brent doesn’t first.

Fighting an off-the-charts attraction, Aubrey and Brent must learn to work together. But it’s not an easy task when they’re at each other’s throats every minute.

Is this relationship a disaster in the making?

Or is it destiny?

Washboard abs and sex toy mishaps aside, Destiny on Ice is a fun and irreverent romp that’ll have you swooning on one page and laughing on the next.

Review

Brent is your typical egotistical manwhore who thinks he’s God’s gift to his hockey team and will never be punished for his bad behaviour.  All that changes when his team brings in a life coach to get his problematic private life in order.  Enter Aubrey, a woman with a heap of experience dealing with difficult athletes and celebrities just like Brent.  It’s lust—and hate—at first sight for both of them, until lust proves too powerful to ignore.

Because I love hockey romances, DESTINY ON ICE has been on my radar for a few months, and I finally had a chance to read it.  While I found it a somewhat enjoyable read, it wasn’t a very memorable one.  It had some humour, but at times it fell flat or felt a little forced.  The conflict towards the end was a little out there, and the resolution seemed a little too neat and easy.

DESTINY ON ICE is told in dual POVs and is the first book in the Boys Of Winter series.  Brent’s line mates—Nolan and Benny—are enjoying the single life in this story, so I assume they’ll each get their own books in this series.

Destiny On Ice (Boys Of Winter # 1)

My Rating:  

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Boys Of Winter Series

Bossed

By Sloane Howell

Synopsis

He’s the boss. But she’s ready to take charge.

Jenny: Job interviews are a bitch under the best of circumstances, but when your potential boss is the world’s biggest prick, that’s when you should simply walk away. It’s just that I need this job so badly—and I’m mesmerized by Ethan Mason’s piercing gaze. Men like him aren’t supposed to exist in real life. But under the tailored suits and GQ looks, Ethan simmers with barely restrained ambition. And no matter how hard I work to fight the attraction, I’m going to get burned.

Ethan: You don’t become a top agent without learning how to close a deal. I always get what—or who—I want, by staying cool and in command. Then Jenny Jackson walks into my office with her lush curves and “screw you” attitude and blows away my intentions of keeping things professional. All I can think about is exploring the perfect body hidden beneath those conservative clothes or shutting her saucy mouth with one hot kiss. Jenny’s worth breaking the rules over—if I can convince her to break the rules for me.

Review

BOSSED is the first book I’ve read from Sloane Howell and I’m sad to say that I struggled with it.  I even considered not finishing it a couple of times, but I pushed through.  It started out okay, but it quickly became boring and repetitive.  I think the biggest issue for me was that Jenny and Ethan’s behaviour was extremely childish.  They would scream, shout and storm away instead of having an actual conversation to sort the problem out.  For the first half of the book, all they wanted to do was push each other’s buttons to see what kind of reaction they would get.  Good or bad, they didn’t care; they just wanted a reaction.  The second half of the book was mostly sex mingled with break-ups and make-ups.  Ethan’s rude attitude right from the start made him hard to like, and Jenny’s over-the-top reaction to everything had me shaking my head.  BOSSED is told in dual POVs, comes with a HEA and can be read as a stand-alone.

Bossed

My Rating:  

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Series

Filthy Coach

By Amy Brent

Synopsis

What do you do when the sexiest bastard to walk on to a football field happens to need your personal services?

Sam Carson is a washed-up ex-quarterback who’s more famous for his drunken brawls and internet sex tapes than throwing touchdowns. So why did my father, the owner of the Atlanta Trojans, hire Sam to be the new head coach? And what part does he expect me to play in this dangerous game? 

ALLIE WINSTON:  I’m a tough chick playing in a tough man’s game.  I’m a sports image consultant.  It’s my job to make undisciplined football players and unfriendly coaches heroes in the public eye.  But when I’m assigned to make Sam Carson look good, I know that I have my work cut out for me.  Especially when he catches me in the shower diddling myself and moaning his name.  I can’t deny my feelings for Sam, but I can’t deny that I’m also part of a game that’s using Sam as a pawn. I can only hope that he never discovers my treachery, because I can’t imagine my life without Sam in my bed.      

SAM CARSON:  I’ll be the first to admit it.  I’m a baaaad boy.  I drink hard, play hard, and screw hard.  And when I drive my Lambo into the back of a truck, my career as one of the hottest quarterbacks in pro football comes to an end.  For the last few years I’ve been a coach.  When I get an offer to be the head coach of the Atlanta Trojans, I know something is fishy.  Then I meet Allie Winston, the smoking hot daughter of the team owner.  I want her and I know she wants me, but I get the feeling that there’s more than just sexual attraction at play.  Allie seems to be playing a dangerous game, and I won’t stop until I find out exactly what – and who – is going down. 

Review

FILTHY COACH is a very quick read, and the first I’ve read from Amy Brent.  Unfortunately, it was a read that didn’t win me over.

Sam was extremely hard to like in the beginning.  There are manwhores, and then there’s Sam, who really doesn’t seem to think very highly of women.  Here are two examples of his thoughts:
1 – Hers was not the tightest twat I’d ever stuck it in, but it did the trick.
2 – I have noticed an increase in age and a degradation of hotness of the groupies who approach me now.
He certainly does not sound like a charmer.  Women aside, he does seem to want to turn his life around, at least career wise.  Did I feel bad for how he was played by Allie’s father?  Yes, I did.

What can I say about Allie?  Not much because compared to Sam, she was pretty forgettable.

In regards to the story and writing, I noticed a few spelling mistakes, and I didn’t like some of the words used for the sexual scenes (c*nt, squirting and oozing, for example).  I wasn’t a fan of the short sentence clusters or the step-by-step descriptions of what the characters were doing.  I was also deeply disturbed that condoms were non-existent, not only because they’ve only known each other for a day, but also because Sam has been a manwhore for almost thirty years.  If these things don’t bother you, then I’m sure you’d enjoy this short story.

FILTHY COACH is told in dual POVs and appears to be a stand-alone insta-love novella.

Filthy Coach

My Rating:  

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The Boxer (Modern Love # 2)

By Piper Rayne

Synopsis

Who knew a bad boy could mend a broken heart?”

What does a girl do after she discovers her fiancé is a cheating bastard?

In my case, I performed the ritual implosion of all scorned women. I drowned my sorrows in cases of white wine, wallowed in gallons of ice cream, and ignited a bonfire to burn away every damn remnant of his existence. Six months later, the only result was a permanent impression of my ass on the couch.

Adventure Dating my friends dared.
A new and exciting opportunity they said.

I thought they were crazy, but I’m not one to back down from a challenge, so I signed up for the entire four-week deal.
That’s where I saw HIM. Lucas Cummings. He isn’t the classic rich boy I usually end up with. The one whose idea of working up a sweat is waiting for his margarita to be served beachside. Nope. He’s a rough and tough bad boy that all fathers warn their daughters about. You know the type. Cocky swagger, chiseled jaw—the ‘V’.

SOLD, I said to myself, until I discovered he was so much more than just a BOXER.

Left Hook.
Right to the heart.

Review

THE BOXER is the second book in the Modern Love series and it begins with Tahlia still reeling six months after learning that her fiancé had been cheating on her.  I liked Tahlia and couldn’t wait for her to meet and fall in love with a nice man, and despite Lucas being a boxer who has no problem throwing her around in the bedroom, he really is a nice guy.  He’s friendly and easy-going and he will do whatever he can to help a friend out of a jam.  I thought their relationship was easy and sweet, but smoking hot in the bedroom.

There are a couple of things that did bother me with this story.  There are three characters that I felt served absolutely no purpose at all, and if they were wiped from the story completely, nothing would have changed.  Those three characters are: Chase (Tahlia’s ex); Quinn (Tahlia’s enemy); and Aaron (an Adventure Dater vying for Tahlia’s attention).  I also didn’t like the sibling rivalry between Tahlia and her younger sister, and even though the reason behind it was explained, I still thought it was weird and a little cruel.

THE BOXER is told only in Tahlia’s POV and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  That being said, I think you’d enjoy it more if you read THE BARTENDER first.  It’s a very quick and easy read that comes with a HFN ending for Tahlia and Lucas, as well as an intro for Lennon’s book, THE BANKER, which comes out in April.

The Boxer (Modern Love # 2)

My Rating:  

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Modern Love Series

Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

By Michelle Irwin

Synopsis

Not all things are exactly as they appear.

Beau Miller thought his happily ever after had returned in the form of the girl with the seafoam eyes. He never expected a second heartbreak at her hand. 

When her father, Declan Reede, turns up with murder in his eyes, Beau discovers that the break-up might not have been what it seemed. He must solve the mystery if he’s to find his girl.  

How can he and Declan rescue their princess when she’s been taken by someone with beastly intentions? And will they make it in time?

Review

After the scary cliffhanger in PHOBIC, I knew I was going to be in for a rough ride in BEASTLY, but I had my fingers crossed hoping that it wouldn’t be as bad as I feared.  Sadly, it was.  But WOW…what a read!  My heart was pounding for four and a half hours straight as I read this non-stop from beginning to end, and this is definitely a book that you’ll be thinking about days later.

“No one cares that Phoebe’s missin’.  It’s like my heart’s been torn from my chest, and no one else realises the world stopped spinnin’ the moment she disappeared.”

I love Beau and he’s totally a keeper, but I will say that I wanted to strangle him for being so dumb.  Obviously we all know who has taken Phoebe, but he had his suspicions and never voiced them.  WTF???  I realise the story would have been super short if he had, but GRRRRRRR!  I felt bad for him when everyone suspected that he had something to do with Phoebe’s disappearance, because he wouldn’t hurt a fly.  I liked the bond he ended up having with Declan and I really look forward to seeing those two build on their relationship.  I think Declan knows that there is no better man for his little girl than Beau.  Although, I was getting an iffy feeling in the scenes involving Beau and Angel, and if Michelle is reading this, I hope she doesn’t go down “that” road.  I mean, I don’t want to tell an author what to do, but please don’t do “that”.

BEASTLY is told only in Beau’s POV and ends in a really sad cliffhanger, so have some tissues handy.  It cannot be read as a stand-alone, so you do need to read the first two books in the series before starting this one.  It’s usually nice to see Declan again, but it wasn’t this time and my heart broke for him when he realised who had his little girl and what had been done to her.  When it comes to Phoebe, we’ve only scratched the surface of what she suffered, and I think we’ll learn more about it all in PHYSIS, which comes out in April this year and will be told in her POV.

Please Note: This story contains scenes/topics that may be triggers for some people.

Beastly (Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story # 3)

My Rating:  

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Phoebe Reede: The Untold Story Series