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


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!!

Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks: Book 1) by Tracy Goodwin

Ice Hot (New York Nighthawks, #1)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group – Loveswept, Loveswept

Date of publication: March 5th, 2019

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: New York Nighthawks

Ice Hot—Book 1

Where to find Ice Hot: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

The Nighthawks are hockey’s new expansion team. They’re ice hot. And they’re all about the chase.

Christian: They call me a hockey god because I’m a beast on the ice . . . and off. Men want to be me and women just want me. But now that the New York Nighthawks expect me to lead their team to victory, it’s all work and no play. My eyes are on the prize. Until I meet Serena Ellis, a sexy, curvalicious blonde who doesn’t know me from jack. And just like that, I’m hooked.

Serena: I don’t do one-night stands—especially with celebrity jocks who date models. Lots of models. But the god of hockey is a temptation that’s hard for mere mortals to resist. And after the best kiss of my life, I’m ready to throw my one-night stand rule out the window. Except Christian Chase won’t let me. He doesn’t want a one-night stand. He wants it all.

My review:

I noticed lately that I have had a lot of hockey-themed romances in my TBR pile. Which is funny because I haven’t followed hockey in years. All these hockey themed romances are telling me something. They are telling me that I need to turn on the games again.

When I read the blurb for Ice Hot, I was kind of “meh” about it. No lying. I got burned out on alpha males. I also got burned out on women who think that they can handle the alphas but end up becoming submissive.

I surprised when Christian and Serena blew those misconceptions out of the water. While the book did start off with a typical alpha male situation, it turned into anything but. Christian was still very much an alpha male on the ice. But off the ice, when he was alone with Serena, he showed a different side. A side that I wasn’t expecting to see in a book like this. I loved it!!

I thought Serena was awesome!! The whole situation with the Slurpee had me cracking up in bed. But what I liked the most about her was that she was one of the most genuinely written characters I have read to date. I read a lot, so that says something. By the end of the book, she morphed into almost hero status in my eyes.

To the young women out there who are watching this, I have a wish. That you embrace the concept that no one defines who you are but you. No man defines you. Neither does social media. Be yourself. Be fearless. Forge your own path. That’s what I am doing with this video**

The author chose to detail cyberbullying in this review. As well as slut/fat shaming. Serena was at the end of that. She had been at the end of the fat shaming her entire life. Her parents did nothing about it. In fact, her father hired the guy who humiliated her. I thought she was strong and my admiration grew as the book went on.

I was heartbroken when Serena and Christian broke up. Now, I wouldn’t normally be mentioning that but it was huge in the book. I am not going to say why they broke up but I will say that I understood why Christian did it. He wanted to protect Serena and in his mind, this was how he could do it.

The only thing that I found fault with was how the team and management handled Mighty. I know that a hockey team needs to be a cohesive unit. Which is why I didn’t understand why nothing was done about Mighty until the end of the book. He caused so much harm, it wasn’t even funny. I was very surprised that Christian held off as long as he did.

The sex scenes were as emotional and intimate as the book was. The author kept up the sexual tension throughout the book. It didn’t go away at all. Actually, it intensified the deeper Christian fell for Serena. It was amazing to read.

You will need tissues for the end of the book. Thankfully, I had a bunch next to me (I am battling a cold). I started bawling the minute Serena met up with her mother and didn’t start until the end of the book. I loved the epilogue and thought the Slurpee was great!!!

I gave Ice Hot an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. There are triggers. They would be online bullying, face to face bullying, fat shaming, slut shaming and bigotry. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Ice Hot. I would also recommend this book to family and friends.

**This quote was taken from an unedited ARC.

I would like to thank the publishers, the author, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Ice Hot.

All opinions stated in this review of Ice Hot are mine.

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.

Rough & Ready (Lightning: Book 3) by Tracy Wolff

Rough & Ready (Lightning, #3)

3.5  Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: October 16th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Lightning

Down & Dirty—Book 1 (review here)

Hot & Heavy—Book 2 (review here)

Rough & Ready—Book 3

Where you can find Rough & Ready: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Goodreads synopsis:

Sparks fly between a football pro and an ex-WNBA player. But he needs to prove that he’s more than a sports hero if he wants it all in this steamy standalone from the New York Times-bestselling author of Down & Dirty and Hot & Heavy.

Tanner: I may be a baller, but I’ve always tried to do the right thing. Maybe it’s because I’ve been in charge of my four younger sisters for half my life, or because I understand how important it is to be a role model—something I learned from my grandfather, a Southern Baptist preacher who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr. Either way, my pro football career makes it easier to give back, so when a local rec center needs help, I do my best to even the playing field. And not just because Elara Vance, the smoking hot ex-WNBA player who runs the place, has me looking to score off the field.

Elara: Before I got sidelined by an injury, my time on the court taught me that pro athletes are all flash and no substance. Sure, Tanner Green talks a good game and wields a big checkbook, but I’m not buying the whole good guy routine. Still, it’s hard to miss all the good he’s doing for my rec center and even harder to ignore the way one look from him makes me tremble in all the best ways. I just wish I knew if he’s for real. Something tells me a little one-on-one might be the only way to find out. . . .

With their own sweet HEAs, Tracy Wolff’s red-hot Lightning novels can be read together or separately:

And don’t miss her seductive Ethan Frost series:

Or her standalone novel LOVEGAME

My review: 

First impressions are always the best. Every book wants a cover that blows the readers socks off when looking at it. And this cover did knock my socks off, for the most part. Look at the model. He is exactly what I thought Tanner would look like. And he is major eye candy too. But, when I look at the cover, my eyes are drawn to his armpit instead of his eyes. Which is a shame because those eyes are gorgeous. But I can’t keep my eyes off the pit…sigh. I keep thinking “Is he going to turn his head and do a BO check?

Rough & Ready are Tanner and Elara’s story. Elara is a former WNBA player whose career was ended when she suffered a knee injury. The rec center that she runs is her life. When a major backer doesn’t come through with a 15 million dollar donation and gives it to another foundation, Elara sees red. Tanner is a major league football player with a huge heart. Raising his 4 sisters after his parents’ deaths, he has become known as footballs nice guy. His foundation had received a 15 million dollar donation, which he was thrilled about. But when a tall, angry blonde walks into the locker room after a game and tells him off in front of the offensive line, Tanner wants to get to know her better. But Elara has severe trust issues after an abusive past relationship. Can she open her heart to Tanner and let him in? Or will her past not allow her to?

While I love reading about strong, independent women, I though Elara was a witch with a b. I know that 15 million dollars would have gone a long way with her rec center. To use her friend who works with the team to go to a game and then use that pass to bust into the locker room to freak out on him wasn’t cool. Not letting him defend himself wasn’t cool. Everything that she said in that tirade wasn’t cool. She let her temper run her mouth. But, as I got more into the book, the more I began to understand her. Elara was a fiercely independent woman. She was a woman who never fit into any molds that people tried to force her into. Because of that, she has become used to dealing with things herself. So her reaction to Tanner’s supposed “stealing” was normal. Her relationships with her kids at the rec center were sweet and showed a softer side. She also showed a more vulnerable side when she told Tanner about the abuse she experienced. By the end of the book, I was still on the fence about her, though.

Tanner was awesome. Yes, I am “Team Tanner“. He was a stand-up guy. What guy would take on raising 4 girls, all in various stages of being a teenager? His foundation brought sports to those who couldn’t afford it and it was in all 50 states. I thought that he handled Elara’s tirade perfectly. All he wanted was to put pants on and discuss things with her. He did end up discussing things with her but it led to so much more. When he lost his temper, he did it in the spectacular way possible. Also in the most public way possible too…lol.

I didn’t get a romantic vibe from Tanner and Elara’s relationship. There was zero romance. There was no build-up of the relationship. It went from her being mad at him to them being in a relationship. Normally, I would be fine with the lack of build up. But in this case, I was a little disappointed. I wanted to see Tanner woo Elara. I guess he did by donating to her rec center.

Even though the romantic vibe was missing, the chemistry and sexual tension were not. Tanner and Elara had crazy bunny sex everywhere. They were nonstop. What I liked is that the sexual tension didn’t die after their first hook up. Loved it!!

While the main storylines were ended, I did have an issue with the storyline about Elara’s ex being left up in the air. I wish the author had given some sort of ending to it. I did like that Tanner beat some sense into the guy but there was talk about exposing him. Then it was never brought back up. I wanted to know if justice happened.

I did like the end of the book. I liked that Elara and Tanner were able to talk about what happened and continue with their relationship. I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. Like I mentioned in the previous paragraph, the whole storyline with Elara’s ex was left up in the air. I also wanted to see how Tanner’s sisters took to his relationship. I kinda wanted to see more of Tina too. She was sassy.

What I liked about Rough & Ready:

  1. Tanner. He was such a nice guy.
  2. The sex. It was hot
  3. The end of the book

What I disliked about Rough & Ready:

  1. Elara. I thought she was a witch with a b for most of the book.
  2. No romantic vibe
  3. Storylines being left up in the air

I gave Rough & Ready a 3.5-star rating. The book was well written with compelling characters. The sex scenes were hot and I loved the end of the book. But, Elara killed the book for me in the beginning. Even though her character improved, I couldn’t get past the first scene. I also got no romantic vibe. Storylines were left up in the air.

I would give Rough & Ready an Adult rating. There is explicit sex. There is violence. There is language. There are a couple of scenes that discuss being raped and assaulted while drugged. Those could cause triggers. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

I would reread Rough & Ready. I would also recommend this book to family and friends. I would include a note about possible triggers.

I would like to thank Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Rough & Ready.

All opinions stated in this review of Rough & Ready are mine.

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

Bishop (Arizona Vengeance: Book 1) by Sawyer Bennett

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: August 14th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Arizona Vengeance

Bishop – Book 1

Erik – Book 2 (expected publication date: November 6th, 2018)

Legend – Book 3 (expected publication date: February 5th, 2019)

Where you can find Bishop: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Meet the Arizona Vengeance, hockey’s hottest new team. They’re burning up the ice—until a one-night-stand with the coach’s daughter freezes one player in his skates.

Bishop Scott, co-captain. Not too shabby, huh? It’s all part of my fresh start with the NHL’s latest expansion team, and that means new teammates, a new coach, a new city, and a big new contract. Basically, I cannot f***ing wait to show my old squad what they’re missing.

But first, I decide to check out the town before the grind begins. Turns out Arizona chicks are totally smokin’, and I’m fortunate enough to meet one who’s looking for the same thing I am: a night of anonymous, unforgettable, no-strings-attached sex.

Fast forward to the Vengeance arena. It’s the last place I expect to see her again—let alone in her own office. Then bells go off and I finally realize who this girl is: Brooke Perron. My new coach’s daughter. All of a sudden, we’re picking up right where we left off, which means our hands are all over each other. That’s when her dad—my boss—walks in. And before I can get a word out, Brooke’s introducing me as her fiancé.

Sure, she just saved my ass. So why do I get the feeling Brooke’s going to turn my world upside down? Maybe it’s because this fake relationship feels way too real. . . .

My review:

I grew up in NE MA, where hockey and football were the most watched sports in my house. I remember hearing my parents screaming at the TV during any of the Boston Bruins games. Fast forward 20 or so years, and I discover hockey romance novels. I was thrilled. Then I read too much and got burnt out. When I saw that Sawyer Bennett had a new series starting, I debated whether I should read it because I was burnt out on them. I took the chance, and I am glad that I did. This was a GOOD book.

Bishop’s plot was simple. Bishop had been traded from his previous team to a new team in Arizona. While celebrating in a bar pre-season, he meets a smoking hot brunette. Thinking it is a one-night stand, Bishop is floored to discover that his one-night stand works for the team. Deciding that could be a good thing, he moves on the brunette. Only to discover, a few minutes later, that she is his new coach’s daughter. He is soon in a fake relationship with Brooke. A fake relationship that begins to feel all too real.

I didn’t know what I thought about Bishop at the beginning of the book. He was cocky, and he most definitely needed to be taken down a peg. As the book went on, I began to see a different side of Bishop. A side of him that I liked. He saw that Brooke was the type of person who couldn’t say no to someone, and he stepped in to do it for her. The man who he became at the end of the book was a man that I had seen glimpses of in the book. I loved it!!

As much as I liked Brooke, I wanted to shake her. I understood why she told her father that she and Bishop were engaged, but at the same time, I was like, “Whyyyyyy”. Then the whole fiasco with Nannette. I didn’t understand why she couldn’t have told her to leave. I would have thrown her nasty butt out the first time she pulled the crap. What I didn’t doubt was what she felt for Bishop. That came across crystal clear.

The chemistry between Brooke and Bishop was red hot. Even though they had sex within the first chapter, it didn’t take away from their chemistry. Instead, as weird as this sounds, it increased the chemistry. You will not find me saying that again.

Because the chemistry was so red-hot, the sex was insane. What got me was that Brooke was a dirty girl. She was a freak in bed. Which Bishop loved. Because Bishop was as freaky. A match made in sexual heaven.

Let’s talk about Nannette for a minute. I disliked her. She was a witch with a b. The things she put Brooke through were awful. She was the houseguest from hell. I don’t understand why Brooke didn’t boot her sooner. Her confession to Bishop and what she did afterward cemented my dislike for her. I hope that she stays gone from this series.

The end of Bishop tugged on my heartstrings. I will say that I laughed when Brooke’s father confronted Bishop. All I have to say is, “Go Dad“…lol. The end of the book made my heart jump a beat and brought a huge smile to my face.

What I liked about Bishop:

A) A hockey romance that I loved

B) Bishop’s transformation during the book

C) The chemistry and sex. Hot!!!

What I disliked about Bishop:

A) How cocky Bishop was in the beginning

B) Brooke letting people (ie Nannette) push her around

C) Nannette. She was vile

I gave Bishop a 4-star rating. I enjoyed reading this book. It was a quick read with enjoyable characters and hot sexual situations. The beginning of the book didn’t jive with me, as did the storyline with Nannette.

I would give Bishop an Adult rating. There is explicit 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 Bishop. I would also recommend it to family and friends.

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

All opinions stated in this review of Bishop are mine.

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

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**

Marek (Cold Fury Hockey: Book 11) by Sawyer Bennett

3 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: May 22nd, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Cold Fury Hockey

Alex – Book 1

Garrett – Book 2

Zack – Book 3

Ryker – Book 4

Hawke – Book 5

Max – Book 6

Roman – Book 7

Lucas – Book 8 (review here)

Van – Book 9 (review here)

Reed – Book 10

Marek – Book 11

Where you can find Marek: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When the Carolina Cold Fury’s hottest young star gets blindsided by an ex with a scandalous secret, it’s game on.

“One of the best voices in contemporary romance.”—New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne

Marek Fabritis is used to delivering blows, not receiving them. But when he gets tipped off by an anonymous email about his ex-girlfriend, the news leaves him ice cold—and it’s not because Gracen Moore is getting married to a total jerk. It’s the fact that Marek has a three-year-old daughter he never knew about. Now he’s going back home, not to play knight in shining armor but to make damn sure that no man takes what’s his. For the first time, there might be something more important than hockey.

Gracen Moore has always loved Marek. That’s why she let him go so he could pursue a career in the NHL. And that’s why she never told him about Lilly. Only now does Gracen realize that she made an unforgivable mistake. But is that any reason for Marek to crash her wedding and make an epic scene? If the spark that still smolders between them is to be trusted, maybe. Still, Gracen’s not getting her hopes up. Because she knows better than anyone that appearances aren’t always what they seem. . . .

Continue reading “Marek (Cold Fury Hockey: Book 11) by Sawyer Bennett”

On the Line (Milwaukee Dragons: Book 1) by Liz Lincoln

2.5 Stars (bumped up to 3 stars for NetGalley, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Goodreads)

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group, Loveswept

Date of publication: April 17th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Milwaukee Dragons

On the Line – Book 1

Swagger – Book 2

Where you can find On the Line: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Is this man: A) a super-hot NFL player, B) the guy you’re sexting, or C) your new boss?

If you’re Carrie Herron, the answer is all of the above. First Carrie starts exchanging steamy text messages with the sexy single dad she meets in line at the grocery store. Then she lands a job—and a bedroom—as the live-in nanny for the daughter of the Milwaukee Dragons’ newest star. But when Carrie shows up for work and realizes that they’re actually the same guy, she has no choice but to try to keep things professional. After all, Seth Chamberlain is her boss now. Her chiseled, charismatic, oh-so-tempting boss. . . .

After getting traded from Houston to Milwaukee, Seth’s having a tough time keeping his head in the game, let alone setting up his daughter in a brand-new city. So if the only nanny his daughter will tolerate while he’s on the road is the gorgeous, cosplay-loving redhead he’s had his eye on, well, so be it. Surely he can resist Carrie until football season is over. But with her knowing glances and kissable lips driving him wild, Seth must decide whether he’s ready to put everything on the line.

My review:

I went into reading On the Line thinking that it would be a great romance. And it was, for the first chapter. After that, the book bored me. I struggled to finish reading it. There was no zing with the main characters. To me, that is the most important part of a romance novel. The characters have to have a least some attraction to each other. Also, I like it when there are no dropped storylines. I can understand, and deal with, one dropped storyline. Things happen. But when there are more than one, then I start to get frustrated.

Carrie drove me bat-poop crazy during the entire book. She collected more drama than a drama llama. First, she got fired from her job as a science teacher. Then her landlord is selling her apartment. Next, she cannot find a job. She keeps putting off the nanny job that her well-meaning friend keeps offering her. I was irritated with her then. But when she started working for Seth, my irritation levels went through the roof. She should have listened to her BFF or wised up sooner in the book. I did like some parts of Carrie. I like that she dressed up for LARP at Comic Cons.

I liked Seth. If Carrie was a drama llama, Seth was the exact opposite. He was a single parent trying to raise a 13-year-old girl alone. That alone bumped him up in my eyes. Then he met Carrie and I thought to myself “Did you lose your ever-loving mind?” For some, strange, unknown reason, he wanted her. He did try to keep her at arm’s length until the middle of the book. Then it was like he said “Eff this” and started banging her.

Maddy, Seth’s daughter, deserves a mention here too. I alternately felt bad for her and thought she was a spoiled brat. I felt bad for her because she wanted to know about her mother. Any questions she had, Seth refused to answer. No wonder she started to look for her herself. She did have a connection with Carrie but it didn’t stop her from having a fit when she found out about Carrie and Seth. The total 180 that she did on that subject made my head spin.

I felt that there was a lack of chemistry between Carrie and Seth. Everything seemed forced up to sex. It made me sad because the sex scenes were actually pretty hot. I couldn’t get into them.

I had an issue with the dropped storylines in On the Line. There were a few. Carrie’s brother and his connection to Seth. Carrie’s last job. Seth being unsatisfied in his career. I felt that the book could have been so much better if those had been resolved. Because, to be honest, it made the book very hard to read. I feel that those storylines could have helped flush out the plot and the characters.

The end of On the Line was a very typical romance novel ending. The plotlines were brought together and ended in a way that should have satisfied me as a reader. But with the way I felt about Carrie and the lack of chemistry between Carrie and Seth, I kind of groaned.

Now saying all this about On the Line, I am looking forward to reading book 2.

What I liked about On the Line:

A) Carrie LARP’d. I don’t think I have ever read a romance novel where the main character LARP’d. Very refreshing.

B) Carrie’s education background. Came in handy several times in the book.

C) Seth’s dedication to his daughter

What I disliked about On the Line:

A) The book bored me.

B) Lack of chemistry between Carrie and Seth

C) Too many dropped storylines

I would give On the Line a rating of Adult. There are language, mild violence, and explicit sexual situations.

There are no trigger warnings in On the Line.

I would not recommend this book to family and friends. I would not reread On the Line but I would be open to reading other books by the author. I would also be open to continuing the series.

I would like to thank Loveswept, Random House Publishing Group, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review On the Line.

All opinions stated in this review of On the Line are mine.

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

Scoring off the Field (WAGS: Book 2) by Naima Simone

4 Stars

Publisher: Entangled Publishing LLC, Entangled: Brazen

Date of publication: March 12th, 2018

Genre: Romance

Series: WAGS

Scoring with the Wrong Twin – Book 1 (review here)

Scoring off the Field – Book 2

Where you can find Scoring off the Field: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Tennyson Clark is getting a life. First step: quitting her job as assistant to Dominic Anderson, star quarterback for the Washington Warriors, her best friend … and the man she’s been secretly in love with for years. But since the gorgeous, if overprotective playboy has only ever seen her as his BFF, she’s finally ready to relinquish her tattered fantasy and move on. Enter steps two and three: new job and new man.

Football is Dominic’s life, and with his contract soon up for renewal, all his focus needs to be on the game. But Tennyson—dependable, logical Tennyson— is making that next to impossible with her mysterious new job and her sudden interest in online dating. He doesn’t do relationships. But the thought of another man touching her sexier-than-hell curves has him suddenly wanting more from his best friend.

Indulging in hot, dirty, what’s-my-name sex with no strings and lots of benefits is simple, uncomplicated…until it’s not.

Each book in the WAGS series is STANDALONE:
* Scoring with the Wrong Twin
* Scoring Off the Field

My review:

I was excited to read Scoring off the Field. I had enjoyed reading Scoring with the Wrong Twin and I figured that Tenny and Dom’s romance would be next. I wasn’t wrong and what a romance it was.

Scoring off the Field had a pretty straightforward plot. Tenny is Dom’s PA and best friend. She also has been in love with him for years. She decides that she has had enough and that she needs to go on with her life. That leads to her giving her notice to a very surprised Dom. Dom realizes that Tenny means more to him than he cares to realize. But can he convince her of it? Can he make her realize that his feelings for her are genuine?

What made this book fun to read is that the characters had a friendship of many years before they took things to the next level. The ease that they both have with each other made the romance more believable. I like it when the main characters have a history together. It adds a depth to both of their characters that aren’t there if there are two strangers meeting. Dom and Tenny’s relationship was one of those relationships.

I liked Dom, even if I wanted to shake some sense into him for about 90% of the book. He was your typical man. Can’t see what he had until he almost loses it. I didn’t like that he ran hot and cold with her at points in the book. Kept measuring every woman up to his college girlfriend. Again, I wanted to shake some sense into him. His backstory made me want to cry. Having lost a parent the same age he did, I can understand his feelings. I can also understand why he felt the need to protect a young Tenny and how that molded his life.

Tenny was such a doll in this book. She was sweet, kind and she was heads over heels for Dom. I thought that her background was tragic. I can’t even begin to comprehend how a mother could do that to a child. Made me angry to read that. No wonder she had a fear of hospitals!! I also understood why she was afraid to let Dom know how she felt about him. She got rejected when they were in college and she did that. So she wasn’t willing to let herself get embarrassed like that again.

The romance was cute but I wish more time was spent building it up. The book went from Dom and Tenny being best friends to lovers within a few chapters. I kind of felt cheated that there wasn’t any more build up. But, Dom and Tenny were friends before lovers so I can get why the author chose not to have an extended build up. Still, I wish it was there.

The sex was beyond hot. Once the weirdness of being together like that wore off, Dom and Tenny were like freaking bunnies. The sex they had wasn’t boring sex, it was adventurous sex. They did it everywhere. My Kindle was fogging up from the heat those two generated.

The end of the book was great. I loved the way that Dom apologized to Tenny. Talk about perfect!!!

What I liked about Scoring off the Field:

A) Hot sex

B) Relatable characters

C) Dom and Tenny’s relationship

What I disliked about Scoring off the Field:

A) Dom being clueless about how Tenny felt about him

B) Tenny’s and Dom’s childhood

C) Dom’s treatment of Tenny in the hospital.

I would give Scoring off the Field a rating of Adult. There are graphic sex and language. No violence.

There are trigger warnings in Scoring off the Field. They are the death of parents and child abuse by Munchausen’s Syndrome. There are no details given about Dom’s parents’ death other than they died in a car crash. But there are details given about Tenny’s child abuse. So if those trigger you, I suggest not reading the book.

I would recommend Scoring off the Field to family and friends. I would give a heads up about the trigger warning. This is a book and a series that I would reread.

I would like to thank Brazen, Entangled, Entangled Publishing LLC and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review Scoring off the Field.

All opinions stated in this review of Scoring off the Field are mine.

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

Bad Buisness (Bad Boys of Sports: Book 2) by Nicole Edwards

Bad Business (Bad Boys of Sports, #2)

4 Stars

Publisher: Random House Publishing, Loveswept

Date of Publication: March 27th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Sports

Series: Bad Boy of Sports

Bad Reputation – review here

Bad Business

Where you can find Bad Business: Amazon | Barnes and Noble 

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

This player’s got a lot to learn if he wants to score . . . with the boss’s daughter.

Stone: Football is more than a game to me. It’s my calling. Becoming the Dallas Wranglers’ starting quarterback before I retire is a dream come true, but with a few wins under my belt, suddenly everyone wants a piece of me. And even though being in the spotlight has its perks—beautiful women, star treatment, more beautiful women—what really gets me sweating is the watchful gaze of my sexy-as-hell PR coach, Savannah Andrews. The catch? Her father is kind of my boss. . . .

Savannah: In my family, football is big business. When your dad owns an NFL franchise, you learn a thing or two about schmoozing, and from what I can tell, it’s not a skill in Jason Stone’s playbook. Sure, the veteran quarterback is literally larger than life. With broad shoulders, muscles on muscles, and a mouth made for kissing, he may be one of the hottest men in the league—and I should know. I’ve turned down enough players to start my own all-star team. But those guys just wanted to get close to my father. Meanwhile, Stone is getting temptingly close . . . to me.

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “Bad Buisness (Bad Boys of Sports: Book 2) by Nicole Edwards”