Tag Archives: Sports

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:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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

Going Hard (Steele Ridge #2)

By Kelsey Browning

Synopsis

Slick sports agent Griffin Steele is living the highlife in Los Angeles, far from the shadow of the North Carolina mountains where he grew up. But when his hometown falls on hard times and needs his help, Grif reluctantly agrees to commute between coasts. He never expects the lush scenery, in the form of pretty tomboy Carlie Beth Parrish, to be such a temptation.

After an impetuous one-night stand with Grif Steele fifteen years ago, hardworking blacksmith Carlie Beth has tried to make a living and raise her daughter in the hometown she loves. Then, too-sexy-for-his-Rolex Grif blows back into town like the perfect storm, making Carlie feel less like a thirty-something mom and more like an infatuated teenager.

When a stalker targets Carlie Beth, Grif can’t help but step in to protect her. But once he discovers the fourteen-year-old secret she’s been keeping from him, will he embrace the truth or will he turn his back on Steele Ridge and Carlie Beth forever?

Review

Going Hard is Griff’s story and I loved his romantic connection with Carlie and what a secret she has for him.

My favorite moments was when everyone finally put all the pieces of the puzzle together with Carlie’s big secret.  Aubrey was a beautiful character for me and I hope she continues on in the other stories for the other brothers. I thought the emotions showed by Aubrey and Carlie were well played out by the author. Griff reaction to the secret helped me connect to him.

One brother who stood out for me was Britt as he really intrigues me, he is a very closed book.

I actually had the whole mystery component pegged down to two characters and was totally wrong!  This part of the story was interesting and helped connect the brothers back together when they went into protection mode.

This story does flow well and kept me engaged between the family reconnecting and also solving the town issues.  At times I did think there were so many characters and I was just keeping up with who was who.

Griff’s mother was simply beautiful in engaging with Aubrey and starting to build family connections.

I am already looking forward to reading the next installment, however, I have to stop myself jumping to favourite characters as all the books are available.

The author ended this story really well and I hope we get to see a wedding and more babies for these two long lost lovers.

Going Hard (Steele Ridge #2)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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Rebel (The Renegades # 3)

By Rebecca Yarros

Synopsis

She’s Penna Carstairs.
The Renegade they call Rebel.
FMX-treme Magazine’s sexiest female athlete of the year.
There’s no rule in extreme sports she hasn’t broken,
No gender barrier she hasn’t demolished.

She’s the woman I met in a bar in Vegas.
The woman I illegally BASE jumped for.
The woman I spent one insane, incredible night with.
But now I’m screwed.
Or rather…not screwed.

Because the woman I can’t get out of my head is the one woman I can never touch again.
I’m Dr. Cruz Delgado—the youngest professor on this campus,
And Penelope Carstairs just walked into my class.

Review

As with the previous two books in The Renegades series, REBEL was an enjoyable read full of action and romance.

I’d never felt that kind of chemistry with someone before, and with Penelope I’d been a moth drawn to the flame she was—wild, beautiful, and hypnotically irresistible.

I really liked Cruz and Penna, and I liked that Penna found someone who was almost as adventurous as she is.  I loved the connection they had from the first moment they met, and how they both tried—and failed—to fight that connection when they discovered that Cruz was the new professor in Penna’s class.

While I did enjoy REBEL, I felt that most of the story moved a little slow for me, at least until Cruz left the ship.  Prior to that, a lot of the story was focused on Penna.  Penna trying to recover mentally from her sister’s near-deadly actions from the first book.  Penna trying to get her confidence back.  Penna getting ready for her world-record trick.  After Cruz left the ship, the story moved a lot faster, which was good but was also a bit of a shame because that’s where most of the action happened.

REBEL is told in dual POVs and while it is part of a series, it can be read as a stand-alone.  This is the final book in The Renegades series, and as such, we were gifted with a beautiful epilogue that takes place five years into the future and gives fans a glimpse of what’s been happening in the lives of the Renegades.  It was a perfect ending.

Rebel (The Renegades # 3)

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon | iBooks

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The Renegades Series

Puck Love

By Carmen Jenner

Synopsis

Stella Hart is the hottest thing in country music. For ten years, she’s been Nashville’s darling. She’s pure, sweet, and a positive role model in an industry rife with scandals, sex, and sequins. Men want to own her, women want to be her—everyone wants a piece of her, and Stella? Well, she wants out.

As the center for the Calgary Crushers, Van Ross isn’t afraid of the spotlight, but he doesn’t much like it either. Despite his reputation as a player, the NHL’s bad boy lives for only two things: the game, and his younger brother. That’s why when he comes across a country music superstar seeking refuge at his home in the Canadian Rockies, he’s not too happy with the media shitstorm this surprise houseguest brings.

With a nationwide manhunt, paparazzi dogging their every move, producers of a reality TV show baying for blood, and a record label desperate to see their “good girl” returned safely home, Van and Stella’s lives are snowballing out of control.

While Van would like nothing more than to show the purest of them all how well he handles his er … stick, Stella is no puck bunny. Nor is she as innocent as she’d have the world believe.

With chemistry like theirs, tension runs high on and off the ice, but the end game is the same for both players: line up the puck, take the shot, and score. If only their hearts understood the play.

Puck fame and fortune.
Puck right and wrong.
Puck love.

Review

PUCK LOVE is the first book I’ve read from Carmen Jenner, and overall I found it an enjoyable read.

“Van, what happened to my panties?”
“I took one look at them and they just disintegrated into thin air. That happens quite a bit when I’m around.”

I liked Van.  Yes, he could sometimes be a bit of a pig, especially to Stella before they started sleeping together, and he came on to her pretty damn strong, but I did find humour in some of his comments.  I loved watching him with his little brother, Emmett, who has Downs Syndrome and who he clearly loved very much and would do anything for.  I know there are a few readers who hated him because he “cheated”, but since he and Stella were broken up at the time and he put a stop to it very quickly, I don’t consider what he did cheating, so I’m not going to hold that one scene against him.

I liked Stella, but I don’t really have much to say about her other than she suffered from severe panic attacks when performing, but was suddenly cured after starting a relationship with Van.  This was a woman who was questioning her entire career and life choices, but when the time came to return said career, she did so very easily and was suddenly loving it.  I guess I just don’t understand how getting a boyfriend can change how you feel about your job.

I thought PUCK LOVE was written well.  I didn’t notice any spelling or grammar mistakes, or any inconsistencies, and it did hold my attention pretty well.  That being said, there were a few things that slightly bothered me.  We never found out how the paparazzi discovered where Stella was hiding.  The first half (ish) of the story takes place in the span of a few weeks, but after that the story takes huge skips in time, ranging from one month to four months.  After feeling their connection build in those first few weeks, it was hard trying to feel that connection continue when they were apart for months at a time.  Lastly, Van and Stella had a huge conflict around the middle of the story, so I thought it was odd to add another conflict at the 90% mark, especially when it was just a misunderstanding and was resolved within a couple of pages.  It felt a bit pointless to me.

PUCK LOVE is told in dual POVs and is currently a stand-alone.  However, that could change as Van’s friend and Stella’s manager seemed to have a little something going on in this story, but in regards to Van and Stella, they got their HEA.

Puck Love

My Rating:  

Buy Links:  Amazon

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