Win Big (Wynn Hockey: Book 3) by Kelly Armstrong

Win Big: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: November 19th, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Wynn Hockey

Play to Win—Book 1 (Review Here)

In It to Win It—Book 2 (Review Here)

Win Big—Book 3

Where you can find Win Big: Barnes and Noble | Amazon | BookBub

When your name is Wynn, victory’s the only option…

Everly Wynn: As the only daughter in the Wynn family of hockey heroes, I never shared the ice with my brothers—or the approval they got from my father.
And that was before the scandal that ruined my life at sixteen.
Now that I’ve put all that behind me and built a successful career, the last thing I need is another hockey player in my life.
Especially one like Wyatt Bell.
He’s an arrogant, fast-living party boy. I hate how he gets by on his good looks and charm.
So why can’t I get him out of my mind?

Wyatt Bell: Life is short, and you’ve got to live it to the fullest. I learned that the hard way.
So on the ice, I always play to win, and on the town, fun and flirting are my game.
Because it’s better to laugh your way through the pain than to let them see you’re hurting—but I’ll never stop wishing I could find someone to share the real me with.
Something about Everly Wynn makes me think she could be the one.
But all she sees is a hockey jock hooked on good times.
If she didn’t take herself so seriously, maybe she would take a chance on being happy.


First Line:

They say that everything happens for a reason

Win Big by Kelly Jamieson

My Review:

I was excited when I read the blurb and saw that this was Everly/Wyatt’s story. Everly was an immense presence in Theo and J.P.’s books, and I couldn’t wait to read about her. I wasn’t disappointed.

Win Big’s plotline was well written and flowed well. The author was able to keep my attention focused on the plot through the entire book. Lately, I have found my attention wandering when reading. So, for a book to keep my attention is a good thing.

There are dual POV’s in Win Big. I am not an enormous fan of dual storylines. I get lost when reading them. My attention wanders, as I mentioned above. But the author did a fantastic job of switching between Everly and Wyatt’s POV.

I loved Everly in Win Big!! She was larger than life presence in the previous two books. She did get on my nerves in J.P.’s book, and honestly, I was expecting the same in this book. So, imagine my surprise when she came across as a normal girl with typical issues. I loved it!!

I loved Wyatt also. I will say that he had some significant baggage when he was getting involved with Everly. I wish that his relationship with Owen/Heather was explained earlier. I thought the same thing Everly did. Other than that, I loved him!! He stood up for her when Everly’s blast from the past came roaring back into her life. There was so much he did for her in this book, and that made me love him!!

Win Big is book 3 in the Wynn Hockey series. It can be read as a stand-alone book, but I highly suggest reading the first two books. There is a crucial storyline that is interwoven in the book. It is explained, but it’s better to read from book 1. That way, there is no confusion when reading about Bob’s problems.

Speaking of Bob’s issues, I loved how Everly, her brothers, her nieces, and nephews came together to try and solve it. I did feel bad that Everly’s digging made her face some painful truths about what was going on with Bob. The scene where they confront Bob and his two older sons was well written, and well, it made me cry.

Everly and Wyatt had some insane sexual chemistry going on. What I liked is that the author built that chemistry up to an explosive release. And yes, that is my way of saying that they had some unbelievable sex.

The end of Win Big was emotional. I am not going to get into it, but I will say that I am excited to see who the next couple is going to be.


I would give Win Big an Adult rating. There is no sex. There is mild language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Win Big. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

In It to Win It (Wynn Hockey: Book 2) by Kelly Jamieson

In It to Win It: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Publication Date: July 23rd, 2019

Genre: Romance

Series: Wynn Hockey

Play to Win—Book 1 (Review Here)

In It to Win It—Book 2

Win Big—Book 3 (expected publication date: October 1st 2019)

Where you can buy In It to Win It: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Book synopsis:

Wynn family bonds bend but never break. . . .

“Kelly Jamieson is an auto-buy for me.”—Carly Phillips

JP Wynn: I admit, I’ve made some bad choices—on and off the ice.
Now all I want to do is show my team I can control my emotions while I’m playing and redeem myself with my family, especially with my brother, Théo.
I hate that I hurt him and I’m determined to stay out of trouble. 
But the hot bridesmaid at Théo’s wedding is tempting me into another bad decision.
A little flirting and a hook up with Taylor seem harmless . . . until Manny Martinez jumps me on the dance floor and starts beating the crap out of me.
And just like that I add one more bad decision to my résumé. 

Taylor Hart: I always thought hockey players were hot. Now I think they’re crazy.
Manny broke my heart when he got traded to another team and left without even a goodbye.
Then he showed up at my best friend’s wedding. All I wanted to do was show Manny that I was over him.
And the groom’s sexy brother, JP, seemed more than willing to be my distraction.
But after the way everything went down, I want nothing to do with any of them. 
Easier said than done. Especially when Lacey’s new brother-in-law is always around. . . .
And I keep thinking about the wedding night, when we snuck away to his room for the best sex of my life. 

USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson’s epic Wynn Hockey series can be read together or separately:
PLAY TO WIN
IN IT TO WIN IT


First Line:

I should have known a Wynn family wedding wasn’t going to go off without drama.

In It to Win It by Kelly Jamieson

My Review:

JP is the bad boy of the Wynn family. His wrong choices have affected not only his personal life but his career. He is determined to stay out of trouble. Then he meets Taylor, a bridesmaid at Theo’s wedding. Taylor knows about JP and his reputation. But that doesn’t stop her from hooking up with him at Theo and Lacey’s wedding. It also doesn’t stop her from being surprised when her ex attacks him during a dance. She has enough on her plate without having to deal with a bad boy. She is determined to avoid him. But fate won’t allow that. Taylor and JP are thrown into situations that require them to be together. Will they have their happily ever after? Or with JP’s temper and bad choices drive Taylor away?

I wasn’t too sure if I liked JP when the book started. He was cocky, and he went after Taylor. When he got into the fight with Manny, I did an eye roll. It was typical of how he was portrayed in Play to Win. Then the author did something I wasn’t expected. She started turning JP into a character that I began to sympathize with. He was wracked with guilt over what happened between him and Theo. He was trying to keep his temper in check. His character growth throughout the book was terrific. By the end of the book, I loved him.

Taylor, I didn’t like. She used JP to make her ex jealous and then got mad when JP defended himself. She was judgey about him. There were parts of the book where I was eye-rolling and thinking to myself “Seriously? What does he see in her?” I did feel bad for her when her parents separated. But when she snooped and had that confrontation with her mother, I was horrified. Her character had almost no growth throughout the book. I did think that JP could have done better than her.

Even though I didn’t like Taylor, I felt that she and JP had major sexual chemistry and sexual attraction. The scenes leading up to them having sex (at the beginning of the book) were smoking hot. The quickie they had during the wedding was amazing. The author then cut the sex off and built up that sexual tension, which made for a fantastic sex scene when they finally went at it.

The end of In It to Win It was satisfying. I liked how everything fell into place for JP and Taylor (even if I couldn’t stand them). The author did a great job of wrapping up their storyline as well as a couple of the secondary ones. I also liked how the author set up Everly and Wyatt’s story. Which I can’t wait to read!!


I would give In It to Win It an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread In It to Win It. I would recommend it to family and friends.

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**

Play to Win (Wynn Hockey: Book 1) by Kelly Jamieson

Play to Win: A Wynn Hockey Novel by [Jamieson, Kelly]

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 19th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Wynn Hockey

Play to Win—Book 1

In It To Win It—Book 2 (expected publication date: July 23rd, 2019

Where you can find Play to Win: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | BookBub

Synopsis:

Meet the Wynns—a hockey dynasty built on family, money, and drama. From USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson, the first novel in a new series is a total win-win.

“Kelly Jamieson is an auto-buy for me.”—Carly Phillips

After an injury forced Théo Wynn to give up professional hockey, he turned to his second love: numbers. Now, as the general manager of his grandfather’s NHL team, the Los Angeles Condors, Théo is dying to prove to the rest of his family—especially the brother who betrayed him—that he’s just as successful as the rest of them. If only Théo had a gorgeous woman on his arm to complete the picture. . . .

Lacey Olson needs to get out of Las Vegas right now, thanks to her no-good, crooked brother. When a handsome stranger who’s out partying with friends comes to her rescue in the cocktail lounge where she works, they strike up a conversation that leads to a crazy plan: her leaving with Théo for L.A. tomorrow. A few drinks later, the idea gets even crazier: a quickie marriage that works for both of them.

But back in California, Lacey immediately turns Théo’s precise, well-ordered life into one big beach party. And before long, she’s tempting him with her smart mouth, sexy body, and sunny charm. The last thing Théo needs is a real relationship to distract him. Because he only plays to win. . . .


My Review:

When I saw that Kelly Jamieson had a new series out, I was pumped. I was disappointed when the Aces Hockey series ended. I was also wondering when the next series was going to start. So, when I saw the book up for review on NetGalley, I pounced on it. I am glad that I did. Play to Win is an excellent start to what I hope is going to be an excellent series.

Theo Wynn was forced to give up professional hockey after an eye injury. Not to be deterred, he became the GM of an expansion hockey team based out of Las Vegas. Theo’s grandfather approached Theo with a job offer. Become the GM for his hockey team, the California Condors. Theo accepted the offer but was aware of the backlash that it would cause. When he meets Lacey and hears her story, Theo has a proposition for her. Become his “fake” wife to show his family that he made it. But can Theo keep Lacey at arms length? Or will he fall for her?

Lacey Olson is between a rock and a hard place. Her brother has stolen all the money in her checking account and disappeared. He also tries to pimp her out to his bookie to pay off his debt. She wasn’t expecting her brother’s bookie to show up at her job in a cocktail lounge. She wasn’t expecting the cute customer she was serving to step in and comfort her when she gets fired. She also wasn’t expecting to accept Theo’s crazy proposition. Or have a quickie Vegas wedding. Can Lacey go through with the charade? Or will she fall hard for Theo?


I liked Theo even if I thought he was too uptight. I understood why he didn’t want to jump in the pool with his clothes on. But I didn’t understand why he was so anal about suitcase packing. His horror in watching Lacey pack was amusing. I did enjoy watching his character grow in this book. He went from an uptight, grudge holding guy to a more laid back version of himself. Lacey was good for him.

I loved Lacey. She was one of the most easy going, go with the flow characters that I have read. Not that she didn’t have issues. Because she did. It was the way that she chose to deal with her issues that endeared her to me. She chose to look at the sunny side of things. Even her relationship with her brother (who I didn’t like). But, she wasn’t a pushover. She ruled when she met Theo’s ex. I did a “You go girl“.

Theo’s family wasn’t perfect. They were dysfunctional. Of course, not every family has a suggested gold-digger. Or sons’ suing their father. Or brother’s stealing girlfriends. But that’s what made this book fun to read.

Unfortunately Lacey’s family was all too realistic. Having an addict in your life is draining, emotionally and financially. The author was able to capture it perfectly.

I liked that Play to Win is a romance that didn’t have Instalove. Sure, Theo and Lacey got married the night they met. But the author chose to make up for that by having them build their relationship. Loved it!!

The sex scenes were steamy, once they had sex. I did roll my eyes when Theo and Lacey made the “no sex” pact. That screamed that they were going to have sex, but not right away. When they finally did bump uglies, it was explosive. I also liked how the author had Theo be on the receiving end of something kinky. That sex scene was through the roof!!

I loved the ending of Play to Win. Handsdown, it was one of the better endings that I have read. The talk that JP gave Theo was epic. What Lacey was knitting was epic. Actually, I was laughing my fool head off at that. Then I went to google it. Note to self: Never google that again. Images are forever seared into my brain. But it was the epilogue that made the book. Loved it. I also loved how it set up Book 2. Which I can’t wait to read.


I would give Play to Win an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Play to Win. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Play to Win.

All opinions stated in this review of Play to Win are mine.


Have you read Play to Win?

What are your thoughts on it?

Do you like reading about dysfunctional families?

Let me know!!

Game On (Aces Hockey: Book 8) by Kelly Jamieson

Game On (Aces Hockey, #8)


4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: January 15th, 2019

Genre: Sports, Romance

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 (review here)

Playing Hurt—Book 6 (review here)

Big Stick—Book 7 (review here)

Game On—Book 8

Where you can find Game On: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Cam Brickley and his pro hockey teammates bet on everything: who can win five faceoffs in a row, who can do forty pushups in less than a minute, who can eat a ghost pepper without puking. But when his buddies bet him he can’t date the same woman—like, say, the hot blonde over at the bar—for two months and not fall in love, he’ll take that bet all day. Then he’ll laugh all the way to the hockey arena, where they’ll be washing his jock straps for the rest of the season because Cam’s never giving up his bachelor lifestyle.

Olivia Lockwood, the heiress to the Lockwood Industries fortune, is used to people using her for her money and family connections. When Cam Brickley hits on her in a club, Olivia’s first instinct is to brush him off. But he couldn’t be using her for her money since he has more than enough of his own. Cam’s gorgeous and built, and it would be no hardship to go out with him . . . besides, he’d be the perfect spokesperson for the children’s charity she works with. Maybe it’s time for her to start using people.

Cam and Olivia are both in it for something. What they don’t know yet is that they’re playing for keeps.


My review:

This was a bittersweet read for me. I had come into the Aces Hockey series late in the series (Slap Shot). But, I enjoyed the series from that point on. I got to see Hallsy, Chaser, and Nick get their HEA’s. I was left wondering who was going to be the next one to fall. When I saw that it was Brick, I went “Yes!!” I liked his character and couldn’t wait to see who he fell in love with.

I thought that the bet that Brick made with his teammates was immature. I didn’t like that he could potentially be playing with someone’s feelings. So, I was a little “eh” when he went on the first couple of dates with her. I figured that everything that happened on those dates was karma for the bet. Then Brick did something that surprised me. He told Olivia about the bet. He did it early on in the book. I thought it was awesome. Olivia did react the way I figured she would (who wouldn’t have). Then, in another move that surprised me, she decided to help Brick win the bet. I was like “no way“.

Let’s talk about the first two dates they had. I thought that the location of the first one was original and made me wonder if there is such a thing. It is a great way of getting to know someone. Take them and play a board game. I did feel bad for Olivia and Brick after the date. I have been on a lot of dates Not lately, though. Been in a relationship for 15 years. I have never had someone get sick at the end of the date. I also have never gotten sick at the end of a date. I am glad that Olivia did the right thing and let Brick stay at her condo. Poor guy would have been puking all over the Uber home. The second date went about as well as the first. A walking tour of Chicago and then dinner. What happens. Brick somehow ends up cracking his head on the floor and then Olivia dumps her drink in his crotch. For the record, I have had the drink dumping happen to me. Poor Brick…lol. The ribbing he took from the guys the next day made me die laughing in bed.

I liked Olivia but she did get kind of annoying after a while. She kept bringing up that she never felt that she measured up to her brother and sister. Which caused issues with her self confidence. While I understood it hurt, it did get old after a while. I did think that her work at her nonprofit was fascinating. I wish that it was featured a bit more than a couple of scenes at her office and the celebrity appearance Brick made.

I liked Brick. I liked that he was honest with Olivia. I liked that he made sure she knew that feelings were out of the question for him. I liked that he was a goofball. But he did annoy me towards the end of the book. He handled the situation with Olivia badly. I do wish that the Ashley substory was explained earlier in the book. Because, until it was, Brick looked like a huge jerk. After that explanation, I went “Well, no wonder he didn’t seriously date anyone.” I wouldn’t have if I had been put through that.

The sexual attraction and chemistry that Olivia and Brick had. It was off the charts hot. I loved that the author kept amping it up. I also liked that Olivia and Brick didn’t have sex right away. So, when they did, that first sex scene was smoking hot.

Speaking of sex scenes, the author kept the heat on with them. I loved it. I loved that Olivia was a bit wilder than the other girls in bed. Plus the lingerie she wore. Fantastic!!

The end of the book was bittersweet. I am not going to get into it but I had tears in my eyes. The author did a great job of bringing each character in the previous books and highlighting them. What got me was what Nick said to his brother Aleks. I was also sad that this was going to be the last book in this series.


I would give Game On an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is mild violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be mental illness.

I would reread Game On. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.


I would like to thank the publisher, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Game On.

All opinions stated in this review of Game On are mine.

Big Stick (Aces Hockey: Book 7) by Kelly Jamieson

Big Stick (Aces Hockey, #7)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 23rd, 2018

Genre: Romance

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–review here

Playing Hurt—Book 6–review here

Big Stick—Book 7

Game On—Book 8–expected publication date January 15th, 2019

Where you can find Big Stick: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment – take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem – because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him – around the house, that is. First, he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


My review:

I want to clue you all in for my first paragraph. Usually, when I say that, it is because the book has made me bawl my eyes out or it sucks. Well, in this case, it is neither. This clue is about the timeline of the book. I am going to assume that most of you have read the earlier books in the Aces Hockey series. Big Stick’s plotline coincides with Playing Hurt’s. Actually, Big Stick starts off with what was mid-book for Playing Hurt. What clued me in? The party where Nick met Jodie was one of Chase and Jordyn’s first dates. Then little hints of their relationship showed up in Big Stick. Like when they broke up and Nick had that talk with Chase. It was mentioned in this book after it happened. So, if you are reading Big Stick and happen to see Chase and Jordyn’s names come up, don’t be “WTF“. The author chose to start Nick and Jodie’s story around the same time. It was also a smart move on the author’s part. That would make me look into buying the other books in the series.

Playing Hurt is Nick and Jodie’s story. Nick is a loner. He is a grouch. He hates little kids (his words, not mine). He wants to be left alone. Nick is still dealing with the death of his brother, 3 years later. A death that he feels responsible for. He figures that he is better off keeping to himself. Then he meets Jodie. Jodie is the complete opposite of Nick. She loves to socialize. She is the complete opposite of a grouch. She likes to surround herself with people. She also has a 2-year-old daughter. After a disastrous run-in at a party hosted by Hallsy and Kendra, Jodie is left with the wrong impression of Nick. When Jodie decides she is outstaying her welcome at Hallsy and Kendra’s apartment, Nick makes her an offer. Live in his coach house for minimal rent until she can get on her feet. What could happen? Well, hot monkey sex and falling in love. But can it last? Can Nick decide that he needs Jodie and her daughter in his life or will he let them go?

The two main characters, Nick and Jodie, were complete polar opposites. Since this is a romance novel, they were going to get together. But man, they were like night and day. Nick was serious and kept to himself. Jodie was not serious and loved to socialize. If this was going to be a real-life couple, I would say that their relationship wouldn’t have lasted for very long. But it did. The author, somehow, made them being opposites work in their favor. He was able to come around to being more social and she tried being a bit more serious.

I will say that I loved Jodie’s daughter. I wanted to reach through the screen and squeeze her. Her reaction to Nick was hilarious. “A big giant” was one of the best lines in the book. I also loved her “face fur” comment. That sounded like something one of my kids would have said about their father. I did feel bad for what happened to her in the book. I would have had the same reaction as Nick.

Jodie and Nick had some serious chemistry going on. Sparks flew when they first met. I had a mental bet going on with myself (so sad, huh) about how long it would take for them to start having sex. I lost the bet. They actually held out longer than I thought they would have. Speaking of sex, it was hot. So very hot. My only complaint is that they went bareback so soon after becoming “friends” (hint). I eye-rolled at that. Other than that, I enjoyed the sex scenes. The butt play scenes were my favorite. Only because few authors go there. It’s like its taboo to do it.

I like how the author chose to discuss Nick’s issues. Suicide and depression are hard to write about and I thought she did a great job at handling it. Aleks story was heartbreaking and Nick’s guilt over not being there for him was even more so. I liked seeing Nick coming to realize that to get on with his life, he needs to get over Aleks death.

The end of the book was great. I had thought that Nick was a jerk to end things the way he did with Jodie. I understood that he was scared to death but still, he could have had more finesse. I loved the talk that Hallsy had with him. Love, love, loved it. It was stuff that Nick needed to hear, no matter how hard it was to listen to. I am not going to talk about the end of the book. Let’s say that I was pretty happy with what happened. What Zyanna asked Nick in the epilogue made my heart melt.


I gave Big Stick a 4-star rating. This was a sexy, fun read with some serious topics discussed. The author handled the topics of depression and suicide tactfully. She handled the aftermath tactfully too. I loved the ending and the epilogue.

I would give Big Stick an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is mild violence. There are also trigger warnings. They would be suicide and depression. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 or who is triggered by the trigger warnings read this book.

I would reread Big Stick. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would give a heads up about the trigger warning.


If you or anyone you love is depressed or thinking of suicide, please don’t. Contact a friend, a doctor or call the National Suicide Hotline (1-800-273-8255). You matter your life matters.


I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Big Stick.

All opinions stated in this review of Big Stick are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**


Have you read Until We Are Free?

Love it? 

Hate it?

Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

Playing Hurt (Aces Hockey: Book 6) by Kelly Jamieson

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 17th, 2018

Genre: Sports, Romance

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 (review here)

Playing Hurt – Book 6

Where you can find Playing Hurt: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

He’s playing hurt. She’s laying low. And they’re both flirting with disaster.
 
“Kelly Jamieson is my go-to author for hockey romance.”—Jami Davenport
 
Chase: The last thing I’d ever want to do is let my team down. After overcoming my bad-boy reputation, I was dominating on the ice. But things aren’t going so well this season, and even my parents think I’m partying again. Now I’m really worried about my career. The only bright spot in my life is the Twitter flirtation I’ve struck up with pop princess Jordyn Banks. Turns out she’s a huge hockey fan—and she’s willing to wager a date on her favorite team. . . .

Jordyn: Even though I’m an L.A. fan now, I’ve always had a soft spot for the Aces, since I grew up in Chicago. Then I lose a bet to Chase Hartman, and suddenly I’m up close and personal with a pro athlete who’s anything but soft. Not only is Chase the hottest guy I’ve ever met, but he’s also secretly super sweet. As if I had time for a relationship . . . yeah, right. But when I suddenly have nothing but time on my hands, he’s the only one who understands. Now, with both of our careers at stake, Chase is tempting me to put my heart on the line too.

My review:

I needed to read Playing Hurt. I needed to read a romance where I didn’t have to use my brain to figure out complex plots/relationships. I was able to relax and enjoy reading this book. Which is something I haven’t been able to do in a long time!!

Playing Hurt is the 6th book in the Aces Hockey. This book can be read as a stand-alone. While the other characters from the earlier 5 books are in Playing Hurt, they do not take over the book. Which is something I liked.

The plot of Playing Hurt was cute. Chase starts flirting with Jordyn over Twitter. Eventually, they go on a date after she loses a bet to him. Sparks fly but nothing happens. It wasn’t until Jordyn suffers a vocal injury that lays her up for a year that she reconnects with Chase. That is where the story takes off.

Image result for stubborn men memes

I liked Chase, even if he was a stubborn SOB. Why was he stubborn? Well, he refused to go to the Dr and checked out. Even when he was in obvious pain. So yeah, that was the one part of him I didn’t like. Everything else, I loved. He was romantic (hello, surprise trip to Aruba!!) and more importantly, he knew how to communicate. Well, except for his injury. I did feel bad for him. His parents were jerks. Withholding love because he wanted to quit hockey as a child. That was awful.

I loved Jordyn. She was down to earth. She was sweet. She knew how to hold her own with Chase. My only issue with her was that she was almost too nice. There were a few points in the book where I wanted her to do something naughty to spice up her character. She was almost too sugary sweet. But that aside, I loved her. She was perfect for Chase. She was the ying to his yang.

The romance part of this book was sweet. I loved how the author chose to keep their relationship on a slow burn for the first half of the book. It made the chemistry between them insane. Sparks flew when they interacted. Be it Twitter, text, face to face or phone. And in turn, those sparks made for some pretty intense sex scenes.

I loved the end of the book. While it was your typical happily ever after, I had no issue imagining Chase and Jordyn lasting in real life.

What I liked about Playing Hurt:

A) Chase and Jordan’s Twitter romance

B) How romantic Chase was

C) How realistic their romance was

What I disliked about Playing Hurt:

A) Chase being so stubborn. I wanted to smack him upside his head

B) Jordyn being sugary sweet.

C) Chase’s parents

Image result for happily ever after gif

I would give Playing Hurt an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is language. There is some very mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings for Playing Hurt.

I would reread Playing Hurt. I would recommend this book to family and friends.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Playing Hurt.

All opinions stated in this review of Playing Hurt are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Long Shot (Last Shot: Book 3) by Kelly Jamieson

Long Shot (Last Shot, #3)

3.5 Stars (rounded up to 4 for Amazon, Barnes and Noble, NetGalley and Goodreads)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: February 27th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Series: Last Shot

Body Shot – Book 1

Hot Shot – Book 2 (review here)

Long Shot – Book 3

Where you can find Long Shot: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A haunted beauty inspires a Navy SEAL turned playboy bar owner to change his ways in this tender and sensual novel from the bestselling author of Hot Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Waitressing at a tequila bar on the beach in sunny San Diego may not be what Reece Kirkwell wants to do forever, but for now it’s perfect—other than the flashbacks to the tragedy she caused in Boston. And the fact that one of her bosses is a domineering, first-class manwhore who’s as stubborn as he is sexy. If he’d just listen to her, she could double his business. But it would also mean getting close to someone, and that’s a risk she can’t afford.
 
Cade Hardy’s partners at Conquistadors are like his brothers, but he’s the money man trying to keep them all afloat. To blow off steam, he’s been sleeping around a little. The last thing he needs is business advice from their crazy-hot new waitress. Cade can’t figure Reece out. She’s smarter than she lets on, and she doesn’t hide her disgust for his active sex life. But after he recognizes her PTSD symptoms, Cade is determined to save her . . . unless she saves him first.

Trigger Warning: references to a mass shooting, PTSD

Continue reading “Long Shot (Last Shot: Book 3) by Kelly Jamieson”

Slap Shot (Aces Hockey: Book 5) by Kelly Jamieson

Slap Shot (Aces Hockey #5)

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

Where you can find Slap Shot: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

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

Continue reading “Slap Shot (Aces Hockey: Book 5) by Kelly Jamieson”

Cross Check (Bayard Hockey: Book 2) by Kelly Jamieson

Cross Check (Bayard Hockey, #2)

Title: Cross Check

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: July 25th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 252

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: Bayard Hockey

Shut Out – Book 1

Cross Check – Book 2

Where you can find Cross Check: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A party girl and a clean-cut college hockey player discover that they’re not so different in this sexy, soulful Bayard Hockey novel from the bestselling author of Shut Out and the Heller Brothers series.

Ella Verran has three goals this semester: get off academic probation, repair her relationship with her friend Skylar, and take some responsibility for her life. All of which are hard enough without hot, snobby hockey player Ben Buckingham around to distract her. Ella can’t stand Ben, and she knows the feeling is mutual. But he’s best friends with Skylar’s boyfriend, so he’s always around—taunting and tempting Ella in ways she never thought possible.

As the star forward of the Bayard College hockey team, Ben has goals too, like playing well enough to land a spot on an NHL roster. Ben is perfectly poised on the ice, so why can’t he keep his cool around Ella? Her wild behavior rubs him in all the wrong ways—and a few of the right ones. But as they skate around each other, Ben learns that there’s more to Ella than her bad reputation. And when the line between love and hate starts to blur, he can’t resist crossing over and sweeping her off her feet.

Trigger Warning: Suicide, Rape

Continue reading “Cross Check (Bayard Hockey: Book 2) by Kelly Jamieson”

Hot Shot (Last Shot: Book 2) by Kelly Jamieson

Hot Shot (Last Shot, #2)

Title: Hot Shot

Author: Kelly Jamieson

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept

Date of publication: May 16th, 2017

Genre: Romance

Number of pages: 235

POV: 3rd person

Series: Last Shot

Body Shot – Book 1

Hot Shot – Book 2

Where you can find Hot Shot: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A former Navy SEAL and current bad boy bar owner learns to trust a free spirit in this steamy novel of unexpected romance from the bestselling author of Body Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Marco Solis knows that if he gets too close to people they disappear. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was fourteen, his fiancée married someone else while he was in the military, and now his business partner’s spending more time with his girl than with Marco. For better or worse, that’s how Marco meets Carrie Garner. She’s legitimately model-hot. She’s also a nut—a wild, artsy, unapproachable nut. So why is Marco so interested in cracking her shell?

Although Carrie Garner is a natural in front of the camera, her dream is to make it as a photographer. Soon she’ll be heading to Spain for design school, and she’ll miss her best friend, Hayden, like crazy. She’ll even miss Hayden’s boyfriend, Beck—but she won’t miss Beck’s partner, Marco. Bossy, brooding, and annoyingly sexy, Marco really pushes her buttons, though he obviously wouldn’t mind pushing her buttons in an up-against-the-wall, hard-and-fast kind of way. The craziest part is if Carrie lets him do that, well . . . she may never want to leave.

My review:

Hot Shot is the dreaded 2nd book in the Last Shot series. If you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know my feelings about starting off reading 2nd books in a series and how I keep punishing myself by not looking the title up on Goodreads or Amazon before I ask for it from NetGalley. It is not often that I get the 2nd book in a series that actually could be read as a stand-alone. Fortunately for Hot Shot, it can be read separately. Which I wasn’t expecting how heavily the main characters from Body Shot are involved in Hot Shot. 

Marco was such a complex character and yes, I used the word complex in a romance novel. He had some deep-seated issues that I didn’t expect a former SEAL to have. The biggest one is his fear of abandonment, which stemmed from his parents being deported back to Mexico when he was 14, him losing track of his younger sister while being bounced from foster home to foster home and then his fiancé deciding to cheat on him while he was on deployment. So, it was understandable that he was uptight and didn’t trust people outside of his SEAL brothers.

He was also probably the single sexiest character that I have read to date. I seriously wish that I could make him jump off the book pages into my life, that’s how much I loved this character. He was funny (the one-liners were hilarious and “Occupying Vagistan” stands out the most even though he didn’t say it), brutally honest about what he wants from Carrie and omg, he talked dirty during sex. Like legit dirty talk, use your imagination…trying to keep this review Amazon PC….lol. Besides that, he was also kind and very fair…..read the book to find out what I mean. So, the perfect man.

In a way, Carrie was just as complex as Marco. Her issues, though, were more than she didn’t feel that she fit into her family. Her brothers and sister were all businesspeople/lawyers, as were her parents. I actually didn’t like Carrie’s mother or sister, at all. The way they talked to Carrie’s grandmother, a free-spirited ex-burlesque dancer, made me fume while reading those scenes. No wonder Carrie felt the way she did about her modeling career and her budding photography career. Ugh, made me so mad.

Out of all the characters in all the books I have read, I think I related to Carrie the most. I loved that the author wrote her as this slightly raunchy girl who wasn’t afraid to go after her dreams…even if it meant leaving loved ones behind. I think, if she was real, I could be BFF’s with her (move out-of-the-way, Hayden…..lol).

Let’s talk about the sex scenes. Oh. My. God. They were beyond hot and I loved that Marco was a dirty talker. But even more, I loved that Carrie wasn’t the type of girl who just laid there and let the guy do all the work. Which made those part of the books burn.

The storyline with Carrie’s niece was pretty sad, not that I think about it and again, my dislike for her sister grew. But, I loved what came out of it and how it was resolved.

I will say that the end of the book had me in tears. I think I ugly cried from Hayden and Beck’s wedding to the epilogue. Oh and by the way, I thought the epilogue was probably the best part of the book. I am looking forward to seeing what Cade’s book is going to be like. Seeing that he is a manwhore, I can’t wait to read his story (the girls showing up at the bar was hilarious…btw).

How many stars will I give Hot Shot: 4

Why: Oh where do I start. This book was funny, sad and sensual….all rolled up into a wonderfully written story. What I wrote in my review doesn’t even begin to explain the book so it would be better if you all just read it instead. The only reason why I didn’t give it five stars is because of Carrie’s family. I couldn’t stand them.

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Explicit sex, explicit language. No violence

**I received a free copy of this book and volunteered to review it**