Shut Out by Kelly Jamieson
Series: Bayard Hockey #1
Publication Date: June 7th 2016
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The Bayard College hockey team isn’t where Jacob Flass thought he’d be a season ago. He was a rising star in the Canadian major junior league, cruising toward a spot on an NHL roster—until a single disastrous night on the town brought it all crashing down. Now he’s out of options, except for playing well, studying hard, and staying away from girls. He’s not supposed to be flirting with the hottest, sweetest chick he’s ever met. But how could he possibly stay away?
Skylar Lynwood knows that Jacob is out of her league. She’s just trying to go with the flow, which isn’t easy when six feet and four inches of total hockey hunkiness is making a play for her one moment, then giving her the cold shoulder the next. Skylar’s head tells her that this rugged athlete isn’t worth her time, but her body says something altogether different. Risking her heart for Jacob may be the craziest thing she’s ever done . . . but she won’t let him shut her out.
Jacob Flass was playing in the Junior League in Canada (where he’s from) but after an incident where he’s accused of rape (that he was not involved in) he’s kicked off his team. Even though no charges are filed Jacob and his friends are made an example. His hopes and dreams are quickly going down the tubes but his parents and coach find a solution to let him keep playing. He’ll head to New York to a college there who wants him despite the scandal. He agrees and heads off to Bayard University to become a sophomore.
Skylar is a sophomore at Bayard and her goals for the year include getting straight A’s and that’s about it. The previous year one of her best friends committed suicide and she’d failed two classes. She’s pre-med and though it’s really hard for her she keeps on because she determined to be seen as a success by her parents.
Skylar meets Jacob at a party and they hit it off so much that they almost end up in bed together but Jacob knows he has to keep his nose clean and on the straight and narrow in order to stay in the hockey program so he turns her down. She’s not happy with being rejected so when they see each other again at the school’s pilot training program to educate students about sexual harassment, sexual assault, stalking and to promote a non-violent campus. Jacob isn’t comfortable with the program due to his recent past but he ends up learning a lot from the program. Skylar and Jacob work out their differences and at yet another party Jacob asks Skylar to be his pretend girlfriend to keep the puck bunnies away from him.
What starts off fake soon becomes real but they both keep telling themselves that it’s not. As the year goes on Skylar opens up to Jacob about the previous year with her friend and his suicide and her emotions are all over the place. Jacob gets scared and tries to stay away from Skylar but he finds he just doesn’t want to. Of course when Skylar finds out about Jacob’s past it may be over even though he doesn’t want it to be.
This was an interesting story. I liked how the author wove the story around Skylar and Jacob with their past and present colliding – even though as a reader we didn’t know it was happening until the end and how big of an issue it really was to each of them. It was cool to see it all unfolding.
The romance in this story was pretty wrapped up in the sex life of the pair. While it was sexy and fun I wish there had been a bit more connection out of bed in the earlier part of the book. It was all light and fun until near the end and it was almost too much. I realize that this is how Jacob perceived things as well and that’s when he got spooked because his fun had turn “real” but IDK, I just needed something more in the earlier parts of the book.
The story ended up being pretty good and I’m definitely interested enough to read the next in the series when it comes out. I always love hockey romances so I can’t pass it up! 🙂
Rating: 3.5 out of 5