Simmering Ice is the second book in the Atlantic City Hustlers series which features, of course, a hockey team! (As you can tell I definitely love hockey romances. Have I made that clear?). I’ve never read anything by this author duo and while I liked this book somewhat, I’m not sure if I will continue with the series.
Alec and Annie have a strong attraction to each other, but they are not sure if they are ready to try a relationship. Alec has not been ready for a new relationship since the death of his wife. He has had short affairs and been happy enough with that. Somehow though, Annie gets under his skin. He loves her competitive nature, her athleticism and the easy rapport between them. Unfortunately, Annie has fairly low self-esteem. Her mother makes her feel awful about herself time and time again (and that was frustrating to see happen). Annie never stands up to her, even when Alec professes his feelings to her.
There were some great things about this book. I really enjoyed the basketball scenes between Alec and Annie. It’s one thing to say a character is athletic but another thing to show it entirely, especially a female character in a romance. Annie really was athletic and her joy in playing basketball and taking care of her body was a really positive element to this story. It’s no wonder Alec admired this quality about her, I did too! On the other side of Annie’s character, I became frustrated with how often she looked down on herself and believed her mother’s cruel words. I know she has had several bad experiences with men but given how well she connected with Alec, I was hoping that would prove to be a way to stand up to her mother.
Alec was fairly generic in terms of a hockey hero. He was great on the ice. He really liked Annie. He does own a cat which I found charming. But overall, he didn’t quite stand out for me as much as Annie and her struggles did.
Overall, I found this story a slow starter and then, a very quick wrap-up. I wanted to see more of Annie and Alec’s courtship and see how some of her fears (not just her mother’s ideas, but that Annie noticed the income disparity between herself and Alec) better addressed. I liked elements of this story but it didn’t quite come together for me as a fully realized love story. However, since it is currently only $0.99 on Amazon for Kindle, I would recommend giving it a try and seeing for yourself. It has a very authentic feel when it comes to the hockey scenes which adds nicely to Alec’s character. This is a book that hockey romance reader may just want to dive into headfirst. You can find out more about Simmering Ice on the Entangled website.
ARC received from publisher for review.
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Tagged: hockey romance