Tag: Sports Romance

Guest Review: Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer Snow

Posted October 6, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Guest Review: Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer SnowReviewer: Tracy
Maybe This Christmas by Jennifer Snow
Series: Colorado Ice #3
Also in this series: Maybe This Summer
Published by Forever
Publication Date: September 26th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 352
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Goodreads
three-half-stars

All wrapped up . . .

One more game. That's all that stands between NHL star Asher Westmore and a major career milestone. But then his brother bashes him against the hockey boards, sidelining him for months. Over Christmas holidays, no less. If staying off the ice doesn't drive him crazy, staying with his family will. The only bright spot amidst the mistletoe and twinkle lights: His best friend, Emma, is a physical therapist. And working out with her improves his body and his spirit.

One last time. Emma Callaway was in trouble the minute she and Asher added benefits to their friendship. How is she supposed to resist a funny, caring guy who makes her toes curl? Her heart was safe while he lived in a different state. Now that he's back home recuperating, though, it's only a matter of time before she blurts out her feelings. Emma's only hope is that with a little holiday magic, she'll get the best Christmas gift of all.

Asher Westmore is completely focused on hockey.  He plays professionally for the Devils and though he injured his ACL he keeps playing.  His brother Ben, who also plays professionally for a rival team, received an award for playing 1000 games.  Asher is at game 999 and he’s not about to sit out because of an injury. He wants the same award his brother received.  He’s very competitive with Ben. Instead he plays through the pain and self-medicates.  During his 999th game he’s hit and goes down.  He is taken into surgery for the ACL and is told that recovery is 8-10 weeks.  He’s bound and determined to play his next game which is 6 weeks away.  He can only do that if he gets help from his best friend, Emma.

Emma was once as focused on her career as a snowboarder as Asher is on hockey.  Unfortunately a stupid mistake on her part and a severe injury changed all of that.  She is now a physical therapist and is focused on getting her doctorate.  Emma loves Asher than more than a friend and when they started making it friends with benefits, she was thrilled.  Asher, however, keeps pushing her to get back onto the snowboarding circuit and she just isn’t going there again.  Emma wants to be with Asher forever but Asher has no intention of taking his focus off of hockey for one minute – even for a woman that he thinks he might be falling in love with.

This was a cute story that I enjoyed reading.  I liked Emma a lot and admired her determination to go as far as she could in her chosen field of physical therapy.  Asher…I never truly liked him until the end of the book.

Emma and Asher had been best friends for years but had been sleeping together for the last couple of years.  Even though they were sleeping together I found it very strange that these supposed “best friends” couldn’t talk to each other.  Emma hadn’t told Asher about her acceptance into the doctorate program in Florida (they lived in Colorado) and Asher kept his mouth shut about his feelings on Emma giving up snowboarding for good.  He never voiced to her his thoughts that he wouldn’t settle down until after his hockey career was done, which wasn’t slowing down at all (except for his injury of course). I guess I felt if they had been such good friends they could have talked to each other.  There was a decided lack of communication between them and that started to grate on my nerves.

Asher was just so bull-headed that he annoyed me for much of the book.  He was very self-centered and it was hard to like him.  When he finally started pulling his head out of his ass he was a much better person.

I have to say that they were cute together when they were just being together and not worrying about other things in life.  It was easy and comfortable but still exciting and sexy.  I liked the way Snow made their time together special in a lot of ways.

Overall it was enjoyable and a sweet Christmas story.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Posted September 21, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly
Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #3
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2), Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: May 2nd 2017
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

A goalie has to trust his instincts, even when taking a shot to the heart…
Mike Beacon is a champion at defending the net, but off the ice, he’s not so lucky. A widower and a single father, he’s never forgotten Lauren Williams, the ex who gave him the best year of his life. When Lauren reappears in the Bruisers office during the playoffs, Beacon sees his chance to make things right.
Lauren hates that she’s forced to travel with the team she used to work for and the man who broke her heart. There’s still undeniable sexual tension running between her and Mike, but she won’t go down that road again. She’s focused on her plans for the future—she doesn’t need a man to make her dreams of motherhood come true.
Lauren plays her best defensive game, but she’s no match for the dark-eyed goalie. When the field of play moves to Florida, things heat up on the beach.
One of Mike’s biggest fans doesn’t approve—his teenage daughter. But a true competitor knows not to waste the perfect shot at love.

Pipe Dreams is book two in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series, a spinoff of The Ivy Years NA series. I think it’s my favorite of the series to date. Pipe Dreams is a second chance love story that hit all the high notes with me.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Lauren, since she was pretty uptight in the previous books. I really came to enjoy her. Mike was a solid, stand-up kind of guy. He was easy to like, and to trust. I didn’t love the flashbacks in this story, but that comes down to a personal preference. I’d rather be told the backstory then get it in pieces via flashbacks.

Mike’s team, Lauren’s developing friendship with the WAGs (wives and girlfriends) and her co-workers, all of it really came together and made for a great read.

Bowen continues to hit big with this series.

4.25 out of 5

four-stars


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Guest Review: Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin Vayden

Posted May 11, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 3 Comments

Guest Review: Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet & Kristin VaydenReviewer: Tracy
Block & Tackle by Elise Faber, Stephanie Fournet, Kristin Vayden
Published by Blue Tulip Publishing
Publication Date: March 13th 2017
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors), Contemporary Romance
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four-stars

Offsides by Elise Faber

Job title:
Executive Assistant for CEO of Prestige Media Group

Job description:
(1) Deal with a massive amount of emails.
(2) Schedule conference calls and meetings with top athletes and other hugely important people.
(3) Pick up dry cleaning and food, consult on tie selection, make dinner reservations, and book flights . . . basically act as a wife-on-steroids.
(4) THE IMPORTANT ONE: Do not, under any circumstances, fall in love with Devon Scott—demanding boss, former NHL player, and all-around gorgeous specimen of the male persuasion.

Job performance:
Failing.
Absolutely failing at number four.

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Life couldn’t be better for Charlie Woodruff.

After a year of holding out, she’s finally landed the job she’s always wanted in the city of her dreams. An apartment she can afford and new friends at work make the transition easy.
When she meets a gorgeous stranger who makes her laugh and steals her breath, it seems like the icing on the cake...

Until Charlie discovers he’s a client.

Hutch Barlow — newly drafted wide receiver for the Oakland Raiders — looks like an avenging angel, hangs on her every word, and is completely off-limits. The trouble is he also refuses to take “no” for an answer.

And if she’s being honest, Charlie doesn’t want him to.

But seeing him means she could lose everything — including her heart.

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Everything about Ava screams off limits.
To want her is to invite disaster.
To pursue her is to risk my job.
To kiss her might cost me my best friend.
But all those risks seem small in light of the first problem.
She hates me.

To her I’m a sell out, choosing to advance my career rather than protect my biggest client.
Her brother.
And my best friend.
She hasn’t spoken to me in over a year, but that ends now.
Because I’m done with holding back.
To hell with the consequences.
Wish me luck . . .

Offsides by Elise Faber

Devon is a retired hockey player and now the CEO of Prestige Media Group.  Becca is his temporary assistant while his regular assistant is on maternity leave.  Devon is hot for Becca but knows that he shouldn’t get involved with an employee – even a temporary one.  Becca has got it bad for Devon but as much as she wants him her life is too crazy to get involved with him.  Her mother needs medical care and Becca works two jobs to try and pay the medical bills.  She’s also got an angry ex that is messing with her and is more than dangerous to both Becca and Devon.

This was a sweet boss/employee story.  Devon doesn’t hold out for very long before he’s giving in to his desire for Becca but I loved the sexual tension between the two of them.  I liked a lot about this story – the dialogue, the story, the passion between Devon and Becca – it was just a good read.

Story rating: 4 out of 5

 

Off Guard by Stephanie Fournet

Charlie has finally started the job of her dreams.  She’s recently moved to San Francisco and is out running when she runs into a fellow runner.  They hit it off and she thinks that maybe this guy might be someone she can really like until she finds out his name, Hutch Barlow, and realizes who he is, new wide receiver for the Oakland Raider, and that he’s a client of her boss.  Prestige Media Group – her new employer – strictly forbids employees from dating clients.  Charlie tries to get Hutch to understand that she can’t see him but Hutch refuses to take no for an answer – showing up at her apartment with dinner and his irresistible charm. Charlie finds herself falling in love with Hutch but she knows that she can never be with him as she’s not willing to sacrifice the career she’s always wanted.

This was an adorable story.  I loved Hutch’s persistence with Charlie even knowing that she was off-limits to him.  He just liked her so much and was willing to give up a lot to be with her that it warmed my heart.  I think a lot of people would have thought he was ridiculous but I found it romantic and lovely.  Fournet has a way with words and she did a great job writing this story.

Story rating: 4 out of 5

 

Off Limits by Kristin Vayden

Markus and Bryce were college roommates and best friends.  Bryce got drafted into the NFL and Markus got hired by Prestige Media Group and becomes his agent.  Bryce has a twin, Ava, who Markus has been in love with for forever.  He wants nothing more than to make Ava happy but she hates him because she thought at one point in Bryce’s career that Markus was selling out and taking a risk with Bryce’s life.  Bryce has gotten a concussion but recovered and went back onto the field.  Ava believed that Bryce’s life was on the line if he got hit again but he was fine.  Five years later Ava still hates Markus – or at least acts like she does.  She can’t resist the man for long as she’s always had a thing for him. Markus should stay away from his best friend’s sister but he just can’t do it once she finally forgives him.

Unfortunately this was my least favorite of the three stories.  I didn’t feel the chemistry between Markus and Ava as I felt I should.  I also didn’t feel the whole forbidden love thing that the whole anthology was based on.  There were some decent parts of the story but overall I didn’t care for Off Limits.

Story rating: 3 out of 5

 

Overall book rating: 3.75 out of 5

four-stars


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Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina Bowen

Posted January 31, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 4 Comments

Joint Review: Hard Hitter by Sarina BowenReviewer: Holly and Rowena
Hard Hitter (Brooklyn Bruisers #2) by Sarina Bowen
Series: Brooklyn Bruisers #2
Also in this series: Rookie Move, Rookie Move, Hard Hitter, Rookie Move, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams, Pipe Dreams (Brooklyn Bruisers, #3)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: January 3rd 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 336
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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four-stars

From the USA Today bestselling author of Rookie Move comes the second novel in the series that s hot enough to melt the ice.

He s a fighter in the rink, but he s about to learn that playing nice can help you score...

As team captain and enforcer, Patrick O'Doul puts the bruise in the Brooklyn Bruisers. But after years of hard hits, O'Doul is feeling the burn, both physically and mentally. He conceals his pain from his coach and trainers, but when his chronic hip injury becomes too obvious to ignore, they send him for sessions with the team s massage therapist. After breaking up with her long-term boyfriend, Ari Bettini is in need of peace of mind. For now, she s decided to focus on her work: rehabilitating the Bruisers MVP. O'Doul is easy on the eyes, but his reaction to her touch is ice cold. Ari is determined to help O'Doul heal, but as the tension between them turns red hot, they both learn that a little TLC does the body good..."

Rowena: Hard Hitter is the second book in Sarina Bowen’s Brooklyn Bruisers series and it features Captain Patrick O’Doul. We first met Patrick O’Doul in Rookie Move. He was one of Leo’s new teammates and he hit on Georgia, Leo’s girl. I don’t remember much else about Patrick, aside from he helped make Leo feel more comfortable transitioning to a new team.

Patrick is the team enforcer and over the years, his body has taken some beatings. He’s coming off a wrist injury and his hip is acting up but every night, he goes out on that rink and he fights whoever needs fighting.

I’ll admit that when I first heard that Patrick was getting his story told next, I wasn’t all that excited. I’m not sure why that was since I didn’t hate Patrick, I just didn’t really think much about him.

Well…I love him now. Ha!

What about you? What did you think of Patrick and the rest of his book?

Holly: I really liked Patrick. He was quiet and intense and private. I kind of expected some deep dark secret or tortured past after the way he acted about being touched.

Rowena: Something more than the deep, dark secret about his parents? I liked the way that Bowen handled Patrick’s issues in this book. He’s had a pretty rough childhood and he had some hangups about them but he wasn’t saddled with those issues. He was an adult. He wasn’t this angsty hot head who lashed out at every turn or anything like that. He ignored them for as long as he can and then he fixed them. I dug it.

Holly: No, I just meant that I expected there to be something, and I was right. I dug the way his issues were handled, too. I thought there might be more angst over it, but he just handled his business.

I’m kind of on the fence about the heroine.I didn’t dislike her, but she isn’t my favorite Bowen heroine.

Rowena: Ari isn’t my favorite heroine either and she got on my nerves throughout the book but not nearly as much as Georgia did in Rookie Move. My thing with Ari was that she taught all not judging and how to listen with your heart in her yoga classes but holy cow did she turn into the biggest judger of all judges when Patrick lands himself in trouble. That annoyed the snot out of me…even if she did buy him a coffee maker.

Holly: I didn’t like how she turned her back on him either. I get being angry, but her reaction was over the top.

Rowena: What did you think about all of the crap that Ari went through with her ex-boyfriend?

Holly: I don’t know how I felt about Ari’s boyfriend troubles. It didn’t seem like she made very good choices when it came to him. Not calling the cops on him, agreeing to meet him alone, etc. I wasn’t impressed.

Rowena: I think that was part of my gripe with Ari. How dumb she was where Vince was. Why did she wait so long to tell the Security guys at the Bruisers about everything that was going on? For someone so smart, she sure was dumb a lot.

View Spoiler »

Rowena: I’m not all that into yoga so I didn’t think that I would care much about Ari and what she did for a living but damn…can you imagine working as a masseuse to all of those hot guys? Getting paid to rub down all of those yummy hockey players every day? I’m low key jealous. Ha!

Holly: Omg, girl. I need some of that in my life.

Rowena: I would have married all of them if they asked me…and I would start every appointment with a foot rub so those marriage proposals would keep rolling in.

Are you looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story?

Holly: I am looking forward to Beacon and Lauren’s story. I like this world and I’m definitely glad we’ll see more.

Rowena: Overall, I enjoyed the story and the romance between Patrick and Ari. At least, when Ari wasn’t being a dumbass and I really liked Patrick. He was a complete dreamboat.

My grade for this one is 4 out of 5.

Holly: I liked the romance, too, as well as the additional time with the team. I didn’t love Ari on her own, but I did like her with Patrick.

I’m giving it a 4 out of 5 as well.

Final Grades

Holly: 4/5
Rowena: 4/5

four-stars


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Review: Playing the Player by Amy Andrews

Posted January 30, 2017 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Playing the Player by Amy AndrewsReviewer: Holly
Playing the Player by Amy Andrews
Series: Sydney Smoke Rugby #3

Publication Date: January 30th 2017
Pages: 171
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
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three-half-stars

After a long history with crappy guys, high school teacher Em Newman is going man-vegan. Four months of revirginization has opened her eyes to her doormat imitation but, baby’s got spine now, and some smooth-talking—even if he is sinfully hot—rugby player, won’t be adding her as a notch anytime soon.

Lincoln Quinn loves rugby, women, and poker. And he likes to win at all three. When his team mates bet him he can’t break through Em’s resolve, he’s more than up for the challenge. But this lady has a shoebox of stipulations before she’ll even go on a date with him, much less use that mouth for kissing instead of giving orders.

Something’s gotta give but this time Em’s not settling. And Linc’s questioning everything he ever knew about matters of the heart.

Playing the Player is the third book in Andrews’ Sydney Smoke Rugby Series. I didn’t read the first two and I didn’t feel like I missed anything because of it.

This was a cute contemporary romance. Linc is an unabashed player, on the pitch and off it. He loves women and has no intention of ever settling down with just one. But he wouldn’t mind settling down for the night with Em Newman, the best friend of the soon-to-be wife of one of his teammates. Em is h-o-t, and her refusal to give in to their mutual attraction just makes him want her more.

Em decided she needed a break from men once she realized she was hopping into bed with them in the hopes that they’d fall in love with her. Four months of celibacy has give her a new sense of self, and, okay, maybe the series need for an orgasm. But she knows better than to hook up with Linc. She’s done dating guys who want nothing more than a roll in the hay. If only he wasn’t so attractive..and funny..and sweet.

Linc starts out planning to get Em into bed, but it isn’t long before she’s wormed her way into his heart. Can the confirmed bachelor

Let me just say, I loved how honest Em was with herself. She had daddy issues and ended up falling into bed with any guy who showed her even a bit of affection, because she wanted someone to love her. she recognized what she was doing and took a step back to reevaluate her life and her choices. She didn’t apologize for her past, or beat herself up over it, she just moved on from it. I really liked that.

I expected Linc to be a womanizer, but that wasn’t really the case. He wasn’t picky about who he took to bed, but he wasn’t a jerk about it. He liked woman and sex, and didn’t apologize for it. He was really sweet to Em, and I really enjoyed watching him open up to her.

The final conflict was pretty contrived and didn’t really work for me. They had pretty much hammered out their issues until, bam. I’d have preferred if it hadn’t been included.

Still, the story was sweet and I liked the romance. I’ll plan pick the first two books up soon.

3.75 out of 5

three-half-stars


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