Tag: Hockey

Review: On the Surface by Kate Willoughby

Posted November 26, 2018 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: On the Surface by Kate WilloughbyReviewer: Holly
On the Surface (In the Zone, #1) by Kate Willoughby
Narrator: Dee J. Adams
Series: In the Zone #1
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication Date: April 14, 2014
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Purchased, NetGalley
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 272
Length: 10 hours and 2 minutes
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After "Bottlegate," he's traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he'll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who's never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim's autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can't get her to see beyond what's on the surface, they'll never last longer than a single season…

I requested this book from NetGalley back in 2014 because it’s a hockey book and I love hockey romances. Then I left it languishing for all these years. I’m trying to make a dent in my TBR pile, so I bought the audiobook for my commute. This was a sweet contemporary romance featuring a hockey player and a nurse.

Tim Hollander is nearing the end of his prime in the NHL. After an unfortunate incident with a water bottle, he’s been traded from the Chicago Blackhawks to the San Diego Barracudas. After some initial frustration over the move, he decides to look at this as a fresh start. He puts his all into training and settling into his place on his new team. When a fan gets physical with a woman at his first signing event, Tim doesn’t hesitate to take the guy out. Even though it was the right thing to do, the Barracudas’ PR department isn’t happy that he’s already making trouble. They ask the woman, Erin, if she’d be willing to do a press conference to support Tim.

Erin Collier isn’t interested in hockey at all, but the doctor she’s crushing on at work is. When she sees some players signing gear outside her favorite lunch place, she figures she’ll get in good with the Doc by bringing him a signed hat. When the jerk in front of her starts making trouble and talking smack, she can’t help but call him out. She never expected him to push her down, or for sexy Tim Hollander to come to her rescue. She’s happy to help him out at the press conference. When he develops food poisoning shortly thereafter, she can’t leave him alone. They end up becoming friends and spending a lot of time together. Tim wants more from her, but Erin isn’t sure she’s interested in a relationship.

I really loved the first half of this book. The hero was super adorable and I loved how into the heroine he was. He was just an all around stand up guy. He didn’t play games or present himself to be something he wasn’t. He was just a dude who plays hockey. I loved him. The meet cute between him and the heroine was kind of fun, and I really liked watching them get to know each other.

Toward the middle of the book I started to get kind of anxious about the final conflict, then a little impatient for it. Toward the 3/4 mark the book fell apart. The angst of “I don’t want kids/Oh no, I do” was frustrating. Part of this may be my own personal feelings on the matter (WHY MUST EVERY COUPLE IN ROMANCE HAVE KIDS OT BE HAPPY!??!), but I was so ready for it to end. I wish the kids conflict hadn’t existed.

The hero was sweet and I enjoyed the romance, but that kid thing really killed a lot of my enjoyment.

Had that part been removed, I’d probably give this a 4.25. As it is, I have to give it:

3 out of 5

In the Zone

three-stars


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Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate Meader

Posted April 2, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: In Skates Trouble by Kate MeaderReviewer: Rowena
In Skates Trouble (Chicago Rebels, #.5) by Kate Meader
Series: Chicago Rebels #.5
Also in this series: So Over You (Chicago Rebels, #2), Undone By You (Chicago Rebels, #3), Hooked On You (Chicago Rebels, #3)
Publisher: Self-Published, Kate Meader
Publication Date: May 1st 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 158
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Goodreads
three-stars

A USA Today bestseller.

He'll give her what she needs . . .

Addison Williams isn't looking for romance, but when she encounters an eavesdropping stranger on an adjoining hotel balcony, she figures she's due a little fun. She just hadn't reckoned on the "fun" escalating so quickly to "out of control." One minute she's flirting with a whiskey-graveled voice in the dark, the next that same voice is telling her to do things. Hot, wicked things.

Cup-winning hockey player Ford "Killer" Callaghan can't believe he let the anonymous woman who blew his mind slip away into the night. He'll track her down because once could never be enough—even if discovering her identity places her strictly out of bounds.

Stolen kisses. Secret hook-ups. Deliciously forbidden in every way. Can a passion that started in the dark find a lifetime of love in the light?

Originally published in Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology, this sexy prequel to the Chicago Rebels hockey series features an older, curvy woman, a younger, driven hero, and a happily-ever-after you'll swoon over.

I picked up this book because I requested the third book of this series for review. I wanted to really dig into this series since I’ve been seeing such good reviews of the series as a whole all over Goodreads and other blogs.

In Skates Trouble is the short story that kicks off the Chicago Rebels series and it was a really quick read for me. I enjoyed what I did read but the experience came with some drawbacks.

So, Addy Williams is in Chicago and staying at a hotel when her friends come over to hang out and they get to talking about men and dating and sex on her hotel balcony. They’re all talking and laughing it up, not knowing that hockey star Ford “Killer” Callaghan is listening in on their talk from the next balcony over and he’s heard everything. He’s immediately interested in one of the voices. The sexy voice that is complaining about how her ex couldn’t please her in the sack and things get real interesting once Addy’s friends (cause, of course, it was Addy’s voice that Killer loved, duh) leave because Killer and Addy get real friendly and…that’s it.

The next day, Addy shows up at her friend’s house for dinner and she’s still thinking of last night’s steamy solo action with help from her neighbor when she’s brought face to face with…that voice. The voice that belongs to the guy that talked her to an out of this world orgasm, a guy that she thought she’d never in a million years meet face to face.

Addy’s ex-husband owns the hockey franchise that Ford plays for and a whole lot of complications arise as they try to figure out where to go from here.

As I said, this was a really quick read so everything happened at what felt like, warped speed. They went from helping each other masturbate on their hotel balconies to OMG, I need you, I love you and I want to spend forever with you in seriously, the blink of an eye. Everything happened so fast and it wasn’t quite believable to me but it did set up the rest of the series for me and I enjoyed that.

Ford was an interesting character who stood out to me in this book. Of everything, I think I’ll remember him the most. He’s younger than Addy but he knows his mind and heart. She’s worth figuring out their complications and I liked that.

Addy, on the other hand low key rubbed me the wrong way for most of this short story. From the way that her and her friends talked on the balcony (I had an attitude about their attitude while they were talking and the way that they spoke about men in general), to the way she was with Ford, and then the whole “don’t call her a plus-size model” thing, this story wasn’t long enough for me to completely get her though in the end, I didn’t hate her. I actually came to like her. She just…took some getting used to.

I’m interested in continuing this series and despite my issues with the heroine and the insta-love, this was still a pretty decent romance so I’m looking forward to jumping into the next book.

Chicago Rebels Series

Grade: 3 out of 5

three-stars


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