Tag Archives: Sports

Slap Shot (Aces Hockey # 5)

By Kelly Jamieson

Synopsis

My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.

After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.

Review

I hate to say it, but I struggled with SLAP SHOT. It did not engage me and despite skimming through several chapters towards the end, it still took me four days to finish reading this book.

Character wise, I can’t say much about Kendra other than she was nice and was way too good for someone like Max. I can however say quite a bit about Max, and not for good reasons. This is a man who lost the love of his life, yet I found I didn’t like him and felt no sympathy towards him at all. He constantly blurred the line of his sex-only relationship with Kendra, yet she was the one who ruined a good thing when she thought he’d be willing to take what they had to the next level. And for a man who claimed he’d never love another woman as much as he did his wife, he certainly had no problem making unflattering comments about her when comparing her to Kendra.

Story wise, I found it quite repetitive, with most of the story being made up of three things:
1 – Max discussing his training, his diet, and listing all the food he eats;
2 – Max and Kendra meeting up, having a copious amount of sex and then parting ways; and
3 – Max consumed by guilt for spending time with Kendra and being happy with her.

I really wanted to like this story. I really did. But not liking Max and finding the story too repetitive prevented me from doing so. SLAP SHOT is told in Max’s POV, except for the epilogue which is told in Kendra’s POV. While it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone, though I did have trouble keeping up with the scenes that involved all the previous couples from this series.

Slap Shot (Aces Hockey # 5)

My Rating:  

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Aces Hockey Series

Undone By You (Chicago Rebels # 3)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

Dante Moretti has just landed his dream job: GM of the Chicago Rebels. And screw the haters who think there should be an asterisk next to his name because he’s the first out managing executive in pro hockey. He’s earned the right to be here and nothing will topple him off that perch—especially not an incredibly inconvenient attraction to his star defenseman, Cade “Alamo” Burnett. Cade has always been careful to keep his own desires on the down low, but his hot Italian boss proves to be a temptation he can’t resist. Sure, they both have so much to lose, but no one will ever know…

As Dante and Cade’s taboo affair heats up off the ice and their relationship gets more and more intense, they’ll have to decide: is love worth risking their careers? Or is this romance destined to be forever benched?

Review

UNDONE BY YOU was a sweet, hot and enjoyable read, one that fits in nicely with the Chicago Rebels series.

Dante is the newly appointed, openly gay GM of the Chicago Rebels. Cade is one of the team’s defensemen, who is in the closet and not ready to let the world know who he really is. Knowing that Dante is someone he can trust, Cade seeks him out, and after a bit of a rough start, the pair embark on a secret relationship.

I loved Cade and Dante, as individual people and as a couple. Dante is older and serious. Cade is younger and the life of the party. Together, they just worked. Despite Cade being in the closet, I loved how open and honest he was with Dante. Again, that’s because he knew he could trust Dante, so he was never afraid to hide his thoughts or his feelings from him. I absolutely loved that about him.

UNDONE BY YOU is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it could be read as a stand-alone. It is a novella, one that focuses mostly on the M/M romance side of the story. So if you’re expecting to read several scenes about games, the team, or get more insight into the sister-owners, you might be disappointed. I’m not saying those things aren’t in this story, because they are, there just isn’t a great deal of it. UNDONE BY YOU comes with a happy ending, and I absolutely loved, loved, loved the epilogue.

Undone By You (Chicago Rebels # 3)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Want You (The Garner Brothers # 2)

By Stacy Finz

Synopsis

The smart and sexy Garner brothers have turned Glory Junction into California’s hottest extreme sports town—and a thrilling adventure of the heart is always part of the deal . . .

The savvy CEO behind his family’s outdoor sporting empire, TJ Garner has his choice of women. But the only one he wants is way out of bounds. Deb Bennett has been his brother Win’s on and off girl since they were teenagers. And Deb’s still waiting for Win to quit fooling around and realize she’s The One . . .

Deb carves the ski slopes and rides the rapids like a champion—it’s getting her every day life in order that’s the real challenge. When she turns to Win’s big brother for financial advice, TJ spontaneously offers the hard-working waitress an executive job at Garner Adventure. To Deb’s surprise, the job is a blast—and so is working for TJ. She always knew he was a heartthrob, just like all the Garners, but he’s charming and attentive too. Of course, given the choice between him and Win there’s no contest—or is there? . . .

Review

WANT YOU is the second book in The Garner Brothers series, and as much as I was looking forward to reading it, it didn’t grab me as much as I was hoping it would.

I liked TJ and Deb; they’re both very nice people who are hardworking and sacrifice for their families. But I didn’t love them, and quite often they annoyed me. TJ harbors quite a bit of jealousy towards his younger brother, Win, especially when it comes to Deb and his failed Olympic dream. He says he’s over losing his spot to Win, but clearly he’s not because he brought it up several times throughout the story. Deb has a very low opinion of herself and was constantly saying how she was never good enough, smart enough or sophisticated enough for someone like TJ.

Apart from the above—and that Deb is highly unqualified for the job TJ gives her—I don’t remember much else about them because Win stole the show, and not in a good way. Several scenes in this book are told from Win’s POV as he struggles with a personal matter, and it distracted from the story that really mattered, which is obviously TJ’s and Deb’s.

While WANT YOU is part of a series, it can easily be read as a stand-alone. The romantic relationship is a slow build, with TJ and Deb not having sex until the 74% mark. That’s not a bad thing; just something I thought worth mentioning. I felt the conflict was resolved too quickly, but it comes with a HEA and a sweet epilogue.

Want You (The Garner Brothers # 2)

My Rating:  

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The Garner Brothers Series

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

By Sarina Bowen

Synopsis

You’d think a billion dollars, a professional hockey team and a six-bedroom mansion on the Promenade would satisfy a guy. You’d be wrong.

For seven years Rebecca has brightened my office with her wit and her smile. She manages both my hockey team and my sanity. I don’t know when I started waking in the night, craving her. All I know is that one whiff of her perfume ruins my concentration. And her laugh makes me hard.

When Rebecca gets hurt, I step in to help. It’s what friends do. But what friends don’t do is rip off each others’ clothes for a single, wild night together.

Now she’s avoiding me. She says we’re too different, and it can never happen again. So why can’t we keep our hands off each other?

Review

Like every other Sarina Bowen fan out there, I have been waiting for Nate and Becca’s story since we met them in the very first Brooklyn Bruisers book, ROOKIE MOVE back in September 2016.

Nate and Becca are both very easy characters to like. Becca is sweet, loyal, friendly, fun-loving, outgoing, giving and hardworking. She’s very well respected by everyone in the Bruisers organization, from the players to the office staff. Nate is intelligent and generous, but also a little socially awkward, which is absolutely adorable. Although, I will say he seemed more take-charge and less socially awkward in this book than I remember him being in the previous books.

The sound of her voice occasionally gives him goosebumps. When she laughs, he feels it in his chest.

After trying to ignore their attraction to each other for the past seven years, you will definitely be rooting for them to finally get their happily ever after.  But therein also lies some frustration, because a lot of this book involves watching them circle around each other as they try not to cross that line, and then circle around each other again after they do finally cross that line.  Which I understand. I really do. Because Nate is Becca’s boss, so not only does she have to deal with a power imbalance, she also has to worry about how her co-workers will see her if she starts sleeping with the boss.

BROOKLYNAIRE is told in dual POVs and while some of the events in this story take place in PIPE DREAMS—the previous book in the series—it can be read as a stand-alone.  It also includes flashback chapters that give us glimpses into how Becca came to work for Nate, and how they became friends before he was rich and famous, which I really enjoyed. I especially liked the way those chapters were written, as though the characters were speaking in a slightly medieval tongue. Overall, Nate and Becca’s story is a slow build, friends-to-lovers romance, that is a wonderful addition to the Brooklyn Bruisers series.

Brooklynaire (Brooklyn Bruisers # 4)

My Rating:  

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Brooklyn Bruisers Series

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

The offseason is heating up for one Carolina Cold Fury heartbreaker who’s eager to make nice with the girl next door.

No one plays like Reed Olson, whether it’s hockey season or not. After back-to-back NHL championships, he’s craving a little R&R. Reed leans to a specific type—blond, busty, and interested—and fortunately he has a little black book full of options. So why is it he can’t stop dreaming about the new girl who just moved in next door? A certified brainiac, she seems to want nothing to do with the hard-bodied athlete.

Josie Ives desperately needs something her celebrity neighbor obviously doesn’t: solitude. Reed is everything she imagined—a little too good-looking, with a body that puts Greek gods to shame. But she didn’t expect he would also be funny and charming. Josie knows she’s the opposite of his type, and that’s fine with her. Still, the chemistry between them is undeniable. Their newfound friendship certainly has its benefits, but she’s starting to wonder if opposites really do attract.

Review

REED is the Cold Fury story I’ve been waiting for since reading MAX, book 6 in the series.

“We’re friends, Josie. The benefits are very good. So good I don’t need benefits from anyone else. Your benefits are the only ones I’m interested in.”

Reed comes across as a bit of a jerk in the beginning. He has a revolving door of blonde models warming his bed, and other than making sure they get off, he doesn’t care about them at all. He doesn’t even want them talking to him. He wants to get off and then get gone. But then he met Josie and slowly became a man I could very easily fall in love with. Considering he’s never had a meaningful relationship before, he did an amazing job of wooing Josie. He was sweet and romantic, and because he had no experience in dating before Josie, it made all his attempts even more special. My favorite scene was when he was upset about burning dinner, because all he wanted to do was make her a nice meal. It was very swoon worthy.

“Why do you want to slow it down?”
“Because I like you, Josie, and you’re not a notch in my bedpost.”

I can’t say much about Josie other than I thought she was smart, level-headed and the exact opposite of the women Reed usually surrounds himself with. She does battle with some insecurities about being with Reed, because she’s been hurt before and she knows she’s not his normal type, but she doesn’t shove her insecurities in your face every five minutes, which I greatly appreciated.

“I don’t know if I can be everything to you, Josie. But I want to be everything that I can possibly be. I want to be exactly what you need.”

I know there are quite a lot of readers out there who are avoiding this book because they’ve heard that Josie has sex with Reed after hearing him have sex with other women. I’ll admit, I was a little worried about that too when I heard about it, but it ended up not bothering me at all. It’s not like Josie hopped straight into Reed’s bed after hearing him; it’s weeks into their growing friendship before they become physical. Besides, they’re both grown ups and are fully aware that the other has had sex with other people before. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to read it, I’d say give it a go, because I don’t think it’s as bad as people are making it out to be.

REED is told in dual POVs and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone. Though they didn’t affect my overall enjoyment of the story, I did have two minor issues: the conflict is a bit weak and the story ends abruptly. I turned the page—after the previous chapter ended on a sex scene—only to discover that I was at the end of the book. That being said, I really enjoyed watching Reed and Josie get to know each other and become friends, before finally becoming more.

Reed (Cold Fury Hockey # 10)

My Rating:  

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Visit Sawyer Bennett:  Click Here


Cold Fury Hockey Series

Team Player: A Sports Romance Anthology

Synopsis

Hot jocks. We love them all.

Sexy baseball players. Intense footballers. Sweaty MMA fighters, and sizzling hockey hotties. Score!

The good news? Eleven bestselling authors have gathered to give you a set of stories focused on the men we love most—sports heroes. We bet you’ll love this thick…book.

The bad news? The men in these novellas don’t actually exist.

*This anthology does not contain calories, just eleven original, never-before-seen stories by the following authors: Adriana Locke, Mandi Beck, Charleigh Rose, Kennedy Ryan, LJ Shen, Meghan Quinn, Rochelle Paige, Ella Fox, Kate Stewart, Emma Scott, and Sara Ney. We aren’t responsible for melted devices.

Team Player:
Adriana Locke (Cross)
Charleigh Rose (Yard Sale)
Ella Fox (Out of Formation)
Emma Scott (One Good Man)
Kate Stewart (Sweeping the Series)
Kennedy Ryan (Full Court Press)
L.J. Shen (The End Zone)
Mandi Beck (Sin Bin)
Meghan Quinn (Back in the Game)
Rochelle Paige (Slapped Into Love)
Sara Ney (Switch Hitter)

Review

Team Player is full of hot short romance stories.  My favourite of this book was The End Zone by L J Shen.

My thoughts on The End Zone in particular.

Story flows well with quick introduction to two main characters Sage and Jolie meeting as neighbours. We are then taken to college and their friendship. Being a Novella it is a fast and solid build-up to the magic moment.

Jolie was very easy to connect with and her feelings for Sage were extremely heartfelt. As a reader, I definitely became invested in them connecting in a physical and emotional manner. Sage had humour and also great alpha characteristics.

We are given drama from other characters that keep you entertained and I loved the ending, tied up perfectly. I actually could read a whole book on these characters.

Quote:  “One pulls, the other pushes. One wants, the other gives. One loves, the other hurts.”

Team Player: A Sports Romance Anthology

My Rating:  

Buy Links Amazon

So Over You (Chicago Rebels # 2)

By Kate Meader

Synopsis

Isobel Chase knows hockey. She played NCAA, won Olympic silver, and made it thirty-seven minutes into the new National Women’s Hockey League before an injury sidelined her dreams. Those who can’t, coach, and a position as a skating consultant to her late father’s hockey franchise, the Chicago Rebels, seems like a perfect fit. Until she’s assigned her first job: the man who skated into her heart as a teen and relieved her of her pesky virginity. These days, left-winger Vadim Petrov is known as the Czar of Pleasure, a magnet for puck bunnies and the tabloids alike. But back then… let’s just say his inability to sink the puck left Isobel frustratingly scoreless.

Vadim has a first name that means “ruler,” and it doesn’t stop at his birth certificate. He dominates on the ice, the practice rink, and in the backseat of a limo. But a knee injury has produced a bad year, and bad years in the NHL don’t go unrewarded. His penance? To be traded to a troubled team where his personal coach is Isobel Chase, the woman who drove him wild years ago when they were hormonal teens. But apparently the feeling was not entirely mutual.

That Vadim might have failed to give Isobel the pleasure that was her right is intolerable, and he plans to make it up to her—one bone-melting orgasm at a time. After all, no player can perfect his game without a helluva lot of practice…

Review

SO OVER YOU is the second book in the Chicago Rebels series—third if you include the prequel novella—and I was really looking forward to this second-chance romance between Vadim and Isobel.  After getting a taste of their story at the end of the previous book, I was certainly intrigued.

Sadly, I didn’t feel much of a connection between Vadim and Isobel and, to be honest, the anger they both felt towards the other was unwarranted.  Isobel is angry at Vadim because he now has a reputation of pleasing the ladies, but he didn’t give her an orgasm the one time they had sex when they were teens and she was a virgin.  Vadim is angry at Isobel because her father kept him from playing in the NHL for years after he caught them together, even though he knows she had absolutely nothing to do with her father’s actions.  Both of them are also guilty of unapologetically interfering in the other’s life without discussion or consideration…for their own good.  They act out of love, but both situations could have been handled so much better and in a much less controlling way.

So it might sound like I didn’t enjoy SO OVER YOU, but I actually did, though my favourite parts of the story didn’t have anything to do with Vadim and Isobel as a couple.  I enjoyed watching the sisters interact and continue to forge their relationships, although we didn’t see as much of it in this book as we did the previous book.  I hope we’ll see more in Violet’s book.  I enjoyed how we were set up for the next story, which will be about Dante (the team’s GM) and Cade (one of the players).  A M/M boss/employee hockey romance?  Yes please!  I enjoyed the side story about Vadim and his mother, who have been separated for fifteen years.  Their interactions were heartbreaking and the most emotional part of this story.

SO OVER YOU is told in dual POVs, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  It comes with a HEA for Vadim and Isobel, as well as a HFN ending for the Chicago Rebels.

So Over You (Chicago Rebels # 2)

My Rating:  

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Chicago Rebels Series

Van (Cold Fury Hockey # 9)

By Sawyer Bennett

Synopsis

Score one for the Carolina Cold Fury hockey team as a stone-cold badass melts for a woman who makes his blood run hot.

As one of the league’s toughest enforcers, Van Turner is ruthless on the ice. He plays hard because it’s the only way to channel the rage boiling inside, and a reputation as an A-hole is better than everyone knowing the truth. Van has spent his entire life running from a secret that’s kept him from getting involved in relationships—or accepting lucrative deals with East Coast teams. Then the Carolina Cold Fury makes him an offer he can’t refuse . . . and Van meets a woman he can’t resist.

Simone Fournier is the stubborn one in her family—and that’s saying something, considering her brothers are two of the Cold Fury’s biggest stars. Simone gets what she wants, and what she wants is Van. Still, there’s a part of him Simone can’t reach, no matter how hard she tries. In private, he’s all fire and passion. In public, he freezes her out. Van may want to push her away, but Simone won’t let him go that easily. Because this time, she’s playing for keeps.

Review

After meeting Van in LUCAS, I was very curious about him and wanted to read his story.  Though I’m not sure why, because he was rude and not likeable at all, but something about him caught my attention.  Spoiler alert, he’s still rude in this book, but overall I liked him.  When you hear about what happened in his past and the demons that still follow him today, it’s no wonder he is the way he is.

While I liked Van, I can’t say the same for Simone, and for two main reasons.  Firstly, she’s very sexually aggressive towards Van.  I’m all for women owning their sexuality and going after what they want, but she wouldn’t take no for an answer and her behaviour honestly made me uncomfortable.  Secondly, I found her to be contradictory on a few occasions, the biggest example is when it came to her relationship with Van.  She says she’ll be patient, that she’ll happily take whatever he can give her and that she’ll always be there, but just a few hours later she’s doubting him and then leaves him the very next day.  Her only saving grace is that she did stand by Van when she learnt of his past, when most people probably would have walked—or run—away.

VAN is told in dual POVs, comes with a HEA for Van and Simone, and while it’s part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  I am disappointed that this is the second Cold Fury story in a row where I haven’t liked the lead female character, and I hope this isn’t a theme that will continue.  That being said, despite not liking Simone—and thinking the blowjob scene with a sweaty Van right after he finished mowing the lawn was gross—I did like VAN.  I enjoyed reading it and it easily held my attention, which lately has been a hard thing to do.

Van (Cold Fury Hockey # 9)

My Rating:  

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Cold Fury Hockey Series

Time Out

By Jill Shalvis

Synopsis

NHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his offseason volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend—and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy…

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry— they burn very, very hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty, too…

Review

Sadly, TIME OUT was a DNF for me.  I don’t like starting a book and not finishing it, but I found I just couldn’t continue on after chapter seven.  I tried to get into it, but I wasn’t feeling the characters, their chemistry or their story.  Despite that, I would try reading from this author again.

Time Out

My Rating:  

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Breakaway Hearts (Kelly Brothers # 2)

By Crista McHugh

Synopsis

Can he melt her frozen heart?

Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night.

Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he’s out to sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice?

Review

BREAKAWAY HEARTS was an lovely read, one that was mostly lighthearted but at times will also require you to have some tissues handy.  It’s a second-chance romance between Ben and Hailey, who had a one-night-stand nine years ago that resulted in a pregnancy.

“I don’t mind waiting for you, Hailey. You’re worth waiting for.”

I loved Ben, who is super sweet and a real romantic.  All he had of Hailey from their one night together was the note she left him with, and he kept it in his wallet since the morning after.  Not just because it was from her, but also to serve as a reminder to never let something special slip through his fingers ever again.  He even signed with his current NHL team because he met Hailey at one of their games and he had hoped he’d see her in the crowd again.  He was so easy to like and he’s the complete opposite of a jerk manwhore.

I liked Hailey too; she is a strong woman who has experienced the worse kind of loss…the loss of a child.  She is not one of those women who kept her pregnancy—and son—a secret from the father.  She tried, more than I think any woman would have, to tell Ben about their son until he passed away.  Her feelings towards Ben were realistic, ranging from anger, to lust, to confusion and doubt, and you’ll feel them all right along with her.

The conflict was predictable and I felt it was resolved too quickly when Ben came for Hailey at the end.  While Ben is an absolute sweetie, I was disappointed with how he confronted the person responsible for keeping his son’s existence and death from him.  There was no yelling, no angry outburst and no threats.  Just a few sentences and then he left.  If there’s a situation that warrants a violent explosion, that was definitely it.

BREAKAWAY HEARTS is told in dual POVs and comes with a HEA for Ben and Hailey.  It is the second book in the Kelly Brothers series, but it can be read as a stand-alone as each book in the series is about a different Kelly brother.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series and I’m hoping we’ll see a little bit more of Ben and Hailey, because I want to see them have some more happy times.

Breakaway Hearts (Kelly Brothers # 2)

My Rating:  

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Kelly Brothers Series