Title: Slap Shot
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept
Date of publication: October 17, 2017
Genre: Romance, Sports
Number of pages: 276
POV: 1st person
Series: Aces Hockey
Major Misconduct – Book 1
Off Limits – Book 1.5
Icing – Book 2
Top Shelf – Book 3
Back Check – Book 4
Slap Shot – Book 5
Book synopsis (from Goodreads):
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, but she’s also 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.
Trigger Warning: None
Slap Shot is not your run of the mill romance. I was going to pass this book over because of the blurb. But, I have read and reviewed a few of Kelly Jamieson’s books and they have always been good reads. With that in mind, I requested Slap Shot and was kinda “eh” when I got accepted. All because of the blurb. I was not ready for the feels and the ugly crying that happened while reading this book. My advice to everyone, don’t let blurbs inhibit you from reading books. Because you might pass over a gem.
This isn’t your typical boy meets girl, boy and girl have sex and then they fall in love. Of course, that did happen but there was so much more to Max and Kendra’s relationship. The book is told only from Max’s POV. Some people might not like it but I felt that it was needed in this story. The focus needed to be on Max and his healing. I felt that Kendra’s POV would have taken away from the story. I am glad that the author chose to only have her POV at the end of the book.
Like I stated above, this isn’t your run of the mill romance. Actually, Slap Shot started off with Max only wanting a one night stand. Which turned into something more on Kendra’s part. That is also what made this book work. If it had started off with InstaLove, then Max’s issues wouldn’t have been so real. So again, I am glad that the author went the route that she did.
My heart broke for Max. He was having a very tough time adjusting to his wife’s death and the impact that it had on his life afterward. He fell into a bad place after she died and ended up getting removed from the roster for his hockey team. Listen, if my husband got a cancer diagnosis and died shortly afterward, I would have been a mess too. His emotions ran the gauntlet with Kendra but guilt was the main emotion that ruled him.
Kendra was a bit of an enigma because the book was written from Max’s POV. She had a crappy childhood with a narcissist mother and a father that enabled the mother. She rose above it and went on to become a successful person. She was a psychologist but quit that. The reason is given in the book, so no hints here. She went on to start a company that designed and sold sex toys. I laughed my tush off when I read that. It was a huge first for me to read about someone who does that. I do think that Kendra’s background in psychology was a huge help with helping Max get over his wife’s death.
The sex was hot. Usually, if the author writes one sex scene, the other ones are lacking. It’s almost like all the creative juices were put into that one scene and the rest of the sex scenes are dull. Not with this book. Every single sex scene was hot. They were hot because the author had built up to almost every sex scene. The dirty texts were hilarious. I will never look at an eggplant emoji the same way ever again…lol.
The only complaint that I have about Slap Shot is that I did not know that the Aces Hockey series was connected to the Bayard Hockey series. The only reason I connected them together is that I had read Ben’s story right before I read Slap Shot. I also had an issue with who was shipped off and who finally made the roster. I know Jacob did but I didn’t see Ben’s name on the roster. He was in the final group that made it to the end and then….nothing? Please tell me that he made it!! Other than that, I didn’t have an issue with the actual story….lol.
The ending was charged with emotions, so be ready to cry your way through it. Kendra’s POV does make an appearance during the epilogue. I couldn’t have been more thrilled about it!!
Slap Shot is a romance that will pull at your heartstrings. Emotionally charged the entire book, you can’t help but root for Max in both his professional and personal life. This is a book that will make you cry and cry often. So I suggest tissues and lots of them. This is the 5th book in a series but can be read as a standalone. Which is great for people like me who tend to pick books up mid-series.
Will I reread: Yes
Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes
Age range: Adult
Why: Sex, language, and mild violence
I would like to thank Kelly Jamieson, Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Slap Shot
All opinions expressed in this review are mine and I also received no compensation for this review
**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**