Tag Archives: hockey romance

Review: Head Coach by Lia Riley

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Today I am participating in the blog tour for Lia Riley’s Head Coach, the second book in her Hellions Angels book series. This story features Hellions’ coach Tor Gunnar and sports reporter, Neve Angel. They had chemistry in book one and that is explored to the full extent in Head Coach.

This review is going to be a bit abbreviated because I’m recovering from carpal tunnel surgery and being on a computer still hurts a bit. Suffice it to say that I really enjoyed Neve and Tor’s romance. They do not hit it off easily but the animosity between them is clearly hiding something deeper. Neve is looking for a relationship but doesn’t feel like she will ever find someone. She doesn’t particularly see herself as sexy or super attractive to men which is unfortunate because she has a lot of great things going for her. I liked her ambition and her love for hockey.

Tor isn’t looking for a relationship. After his marriage ended, he kind of put love on the back burner, to concentrate on his daughter and his job as coach. Neve is a surprise to him, particularly how hard and fast he falls.  Their banter and rapport really takes off as the book continues.

Head Coach is a great hockey romance. I’m enjoying the Hellions Angels series immensely and I’m looking forward to book three, Virgin Territory, out in March 2018.

head coach

Head Coach by Lia Riley
Series Hellions Angels
Genre Adult; Contemporary Romance
Publisher Avon Impulse
Publication Date November 21, 2017

Neve Angel’s life is all work and no play, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. One of Denver’s top sports reporters, she’s fought hard to make it in a male-dominated world, and she won’t back down from a fight with anyone–not even the Hellions’ gruff head coach, Tor Gunnar. Her hostile relationship with the icy Scandinavian is the stuff of local legend.

Tor Gunnar hates dealing with the media; at best, they are a nuisance and at worst, a distraction. And no one distracts him more than the scrappy, sexy reporter who gets him hot under the collar. When he wins a not-so-friendly bet with Neve, he decides it’s high time they either kiss or kill each other, and invites her as a date to an out-of-town wedding.

But what happens when enemies become lovers? Will they be able to smother their sizzling attraction, or is it time to start playing for keeps?


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GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Three winners will receive an ebook copy of Mister Hockey. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 12/1/2017 @ 1159pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.

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Chapter One

Stuck in a Rut?

The billboard’s tacky font splashed across the image of a blonde woman dressed in a corset, high-waist underpants and garter belt. Neve Angel scowled through her windshield at the rest of the tagline.

Shimmy into a Whole New You!

BEGINNER Burlesque Classes at The Twirling Tassels

“Humph.” Neve tucked an escaped strand of hair back into her bun. Ms. Blondie could pop an egg in her perfect pout and suck it. Since quitting figure skating at the age of eighteen, she had developed an allergy to glitz and glamor, favoring low-key personal grooming.

Fake lashes were out.

Foundation contouring? Negative.

Waxing? Please. She wasn’t a masochist.

These days the word pragmatic carried far more value for her than pretty, thanks very much. Flicking on the radio, she relaxed her shoulders as a familiar guitar riff filled her ’78 wood-paneled Jeep Wagoneer. She had an unabashed love for classic cars and classic rock, and Tom Cochrane was a guy who knew his stuff. Life was a highway, except forget the part about driving it “all night long.”

Or driving anywhere for that matter. Satan would ice-skate through hell before this insane gridlock budged.

A silver Prius inched forward until it practically dry-humped her bumper.

Meep! The driver leaned on a wimpy-sounding horn.

Honking under these conditions was a ballsy move, akin to sitting in the last row of an airplane and standing when the cabin crew disarmed the doors—a good way to tempt ordinary citizens to commit murder.

The driver beeped again.

“Use your eyes. There’s nowhere for me to go!” Neve glanced to the rearview mirror and gazed at the distinctive red cursive on the Prius’s license plate.

A California driver. Surprise, surprise. She’d bet the loose change in the bottom of her purse that this chick was a Bay Area transplant, relocating her traffic problems to Denver along with skyrocketing home prices. The whole West was getting Californicated, from Nevada to Montana, Texas to Colorado.

The horn beeped a third time. She fisted her insulated travel mug and then took a careful sip. Madam Prius better thank her astrological chart that Neve had hot coffee within arm’s reach because otherwise things could get ugly.

A minute passed.


Blessed silence reigned.

After blowing up her bangs, she pulled an everything bagel from the flimsy paper bag on the dashboard, cramming it into her mouth. In a parallel universe, Alter-Neve woke with ample time to prepare a nutritious breakfast, perhaps an acai bowl topped by sliced bananas and kiwi fruit or Greek yogurt and granola, Instagram-worthy concoctions bursting with enough omegas and fiber to make any Prius driver water their home herb garden with organic tears.

But in this world, Einstein Bros. and a dark roast had to do the job.

She brushed stray poppy seeds and flecks of dried garlic off her charcoal pants with a muffled sigh. Charcoal, i.e., dark grey . . . not black. Her somber closet palette might be as cheerful as a funeral home, but it never required expending mental energy at seven a.m. trying to coordinate funky colors or mix and match patterns.

From her roadside perch, the burlesque model appeared amused, as if she knew Neve ate the same humdrum breakfast day in, day out and dressed in the same humdrum wardrobe. Or that while she might have an impressive LinkedIn profile, that didn’t translate to a social life worth posting over.

Neve poked out her tongue at the model’s image. This low-maintenance duckling had grown up to be . . . if not a preening swan, a confident duck.

She had a good—scratch that, great—career as a sports columnist for the Denver Age covering the hockey beat, and her life was too consumed by deadlines to bother with extra fuss. Work was the priority, and as for her biological clock . . . well, it could keep right on ticking. She had another baby to grow, her side hustle, a podcast—Sports Heaven—that kept climbing iTunes rankings; she had even been featured in their New and Noteworthy section last month.

Rut-shmut. By any measure, Neve was doing great in her career and living her best life. Except her smirk faded as she glanced to the console clock. She’d risk missing the puck drop if traffic didn’t improve soon.

Hopefully, the Hellions would get a much-needed win tonight. After their recent back-to-back championships, it appeared the team’s days in the sun had fallen into one serious shadow. The roster had been shaken ever since the unexpected retirement of captain Jed West last summer. This season had started as a big disappointment for Denver fans, and worse, whispers of NHL labor disputes were gaining traction. For the past few weeks, trusted sources had even uttered the dreaded term lockout—a word that kept her up at night restless and fretting.

Fingers—and toes—crossed that the powers that be would navigate through the negotiations and get the league back on track. During the 04–05 lockout, the whole season was cancelled—the worst possible outcome. Stadiums sat empty. Fans grumbled. Refs and arena workers forwent paychecks.

She shuddered, mentally elbowing away the terrible idea. Hopefully this time around, cooler heads would prevail.

And as for the Hellions, there was another place where cooler heads needed to prevail. Maybe if their goalie would practice a little Zen meditation and quit getting players sent to the penalty box every damn ga—

Meep! Meeeeeeeeep! Madam Prius hit the horn as if she’d face-planted on the steering wheel and died.

Tension migrated from Neve’s neck, making the slow climb to her temples. The first throbs of a headache emerged. Between lockout worries and this racket, she might spontaneously combust. To release steam, she rolled down the window and flipped the Prius the bird before grabbing her phone off the passenger seat.

Ignoring the new—and so far unlistened-to—mindfulness podcast her friend Margot had recommended, she clicked on Byways, the popular navigation app that relied on community-sourced traffic updates to create the fastest routes. It needed to get her moving before she found herself arrested for disorderly conduct.

She plugged in the Hellions stadium address and an avatar of a pitchfork blinked from a quarter mile ahead. Her tummy performed a flawless triple-axel jump.


She took a deep breath and issued herself a stern reminder. There had never been any official confirmation that Rovhal30 was even male, but in her mind, he was six feet of strapping sexiness, lounging behind the wheel of a black Subaru Outback—a ginger-haired Ewan McGregor doppelgänger. Not Trainspotting Ewan either. Not even Moulin Rouge! Ewan. No . . . straight-up Obi-Wan Kenobi Attack of the Clones Ewan, with the shaggy hair and delicious beard.

One thing was for certain, the pitchfork avatar meant that Rovhal30 was a Hellions hockey fan.

Or a devil worshiper who lives in his mom’s basement hand-feeding his pet bull pythons.

The pitchfork didn’t budge. Rovhal30 was stuck in this traffic too. She sucked in her lower lip, debating: To message or not to message? That was the question.

No point glancing to Burlesque Blondie for advice. The model would just shimmy her tassels in a “you go, guuuurl” affirmation.

Eenie, meanie, miny . . . ugh. Fine. She was doing this.

About Lia Riley

After studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.

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Review: Mr. Hockey by Lia Riley



Hey friends! It’s time for another hockey romance review. I’m quite pleased to say that I really, really enjoyed Mr. Hockey by Lia Riley. Firstly, it features a librarian (a children’s librarian at that!) who happens to be a major fangirl for hockey. I can relate to being a fan of SO MANY THINGS, hockey included. This is only the tip of the iceberg as to why I really liked the heroine of Mr. Hockey, Breezy (not her real name, a nickname that I admit it took awhile to get used to).

Breezy is leading a children’s program at the library when she gets the bad news that her guest reader, the captain of the Denver Hellions, has to cancel his appearance because he’s stuck in a different state. Enter Neve, Breezy’s sister, and the man she is currently interviewing for her podcast, Jed West, Mr. Hockey himself. He is also Breezy’s dream guy. The man she crushes on and owns tons of merchandise related to him. She knows it’s a tad overboard but hey, we all have those kinds of crushes (mine is Tyler Hoechlin). Unfortunately, a minor wardrobe malfunction sends Breezy running to her car while wearing Jed’s raincoat.

Cue Jed tracking Breezy down at her house where he plays handyman and is pretty much the sweetest guy around. Like, I am falling hard for him at this point so it’s no wonder Breezy has a super crush. Of course, this is Jed West. There is no way he would look at her seriously. Fortunately, he does take her seriously and before she can blink, Breezy is spending time with Jed, getting to know him beyond his media persona. And he’s even better than she could have ever dreamed.

Jed is really enjoying spending time with Breezy. She just makes him feel happy and relaxed. Unfortunately for him, he doesn’t realize that Breezy has been holding back on just how well she knows him. When Jed finds out that Breezy has been a fan all along, will he end the burgeoning relationship?

I really liked the unexpected way these two came together. It was a very sweet meet cute. Not only does Jed help with unexpected roof leaks, but he meets Breezy’s mom and grandma in one fell swoop. It has all the makings of a great romantic comedy which I really liked.

I liked Breezy a lot and related to her. Unfortunately, much like myself, she comments on her bigger body a bit too much for my tastes. I know it’s realistic but I also like a more body positive outlook in my romance books overall. That is probably my biggest qualm about Breezy. Otherwise, I liked how she fought for her library and her job. I liked how her funny personality and some of her snappy remarks to Jed. These two have great chemistry from the moment they meet.

While things worked out a little too tidily in the end, I can’t fault this too much because frankly, I enjoyed this book from start to finish. This is my first time reading Lia Riley and it will not be my last. I’m already looking forward to book two, Neve’s story.

Mr. Hockey is available now! Pick up your copy today if you enjoy romance books. The hockey angle is just a bonus!

Mister Hockey

Mister Hockey
Hellions Angels #1
By: Lia Riley
Releasing July 11, 2017
Avon Impulse

Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .
Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions—and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?
Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.
So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?

Follow the Mr. Hockey virtual tour! | Goodreads | Goodreads Series Link




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Jed West’s stomach curdled faster than overheated hollandaise sauce as he squinted at the menu for Zachary’s, Denver’s most popular all-day breakfast hangout. Ghost-like shadows haunted the specials list, blurring the descriptions for peanut butter French toast, country fried steak benedict and sweet potato pancakes.  Ah, shit. Not fucking now. There went the prices too–the dollar signs and numbers blurring until barely legible.

No point blinking. He knew the drill. Jaw tight, he reached for his orange juice, took a swig and waited. Short bouts of double vision had dogged him ever since Game Seven, the pattern the same. After a minute or two, his focus would snap back to normal as if nothing had happened. Until then, he needed to follow one of coach’s favorite axioms: “Suck it up, Buttercup.”

Who cared about the damn menu anyway? He pushed it to one side, having already ordered the “Manwich”, chorizo and eggs smashed between a jalapeno cheddar biscuit–the kind of breakfast that wanted to kill you in the best kind of ways–and crunched ice. Too bad the cubes didn’t pass on their chill, because this. . .situation for lack of a better word, was getting under his skin and it shouldn’t.

No–Scratch that. It couldn’t.

Unexplained double vision wasn’t a walk in the park, but facts were facts. And the ugly truth was that if he didn’t quit batting his lashes like Scarlett O’Hara with a fly in her skirt, The Post’s toughest sports columnist would glance up from across the table, mistake his tic for a cheesedick wink, and go Lord of the Flies on his nut sack.

At least for the moment, Neve Angel was occupied. She hunched over her digital voice recorder, dark bangs obscuring her sharp gaze as she fiddled with the control settings. Her lips moved to the upbeat Buddy Holly song piping over the sound system while she plucked a mic from her messenger bag. His vision came back online in time for him to read the orange button pinned to the front.

Had a Ball at The Rock Creek Testicle Festival.

Christ, looked to be an authentic souvenir too.

Slamming his knees together, he forced a grin, the one that had potential endorsements lined up around the block, eager for him to shill everything from vitamin infused coconut water to shaving cream. He unwrapped the paper napkin from around the fork and knife, and began tearing the corner into neat strips.

No doubt the eye thing was fatigue-related, an inevitable toll from the grueling NHL season and subsequent hard-fought playoffs. Everything would be all right in the end. If it wasn’t all right, it wasn’t the end.

“You plan on telling me what’s up with Mount Napkin Shreds?” Neve leaned her elbows on the recycled wood tabletop, a signal they were shifting into interview mode. Her brows arched beneath her thick-cut bangs. “Nervous about being in the hot seat, princess?”

“Yeah, terrified,” he answered laconically, not missing a beat. Hiding his true feelings behind a mask of confidence was a reflex; it came with the territory of having the “C” stitched on the front of his jersey. A good captain never showed fear to an opponent. “A jackal’s bark is worse then it’s bite.”

“Jackal? Don’t tell me you’re using Gunnarisms now.” She rolled her eyes. “And I’d so wanted to enjoy my bagel without gagging.”

The Hellions Head Coach, Tor Gunnar, had a reputation for dismissing the press as “jackals.” He fostered a tense relationship with journalists, in particular, the tiny woman sitting opposite. Neve had run a piece on his divorce a few years ago. He retaliated by refusing to call on her during press conferences. Neve hit back with increasingly critical op-eds. Their mutual enmity had devolved to the stuff of local legend.

LiaAfter studying at the University of Montana-Missoula, Lia Riley scoured the world armed only with a backpack, overconfidence and a terrible sense of direction. She counts shooting vodka with a Ukranian mechanic in Antarctica, sipping yerba mate with gauchos in Chile and swilling fourex with stationhands in Outback Australia among her accomplishments.


Review: Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Pipe Dreams by Sarina Bowen

Brooklyn Bruisers #3

The Brooklyn Bruisers hockey series by Sarina Bowen is turning out to be, well, so far it’s mostly a hat trick for me! Each book keeps getting better and better. I was super excited for Mike and Lauren’s story because I really liked the excerpt at the back of the previous book (Brooklyn Bruisers #2 Hard Hitter). And the rest of the book definitely lived up to that excerpt for me.

Lauren and goalie Mike Beacon had a very serious relationship. They started off as friends when Lauren started working in the office of the Brooklyn Bruisers. That friendship was filled with longing until it finally exploded with passion. Mike leaves his wife after discovering she cheated on him. He plans on a divorce, tough as it may be. But then life throws him a major, major curveball with his wife’s health. Needless to say, Mike had to make some very tough decisions on short notice and that meant ending his relationship with Lauren.

Does he tell her this when it ends though? Well, if you’re thinking no, you’re right. One day they are planning to move in together, the next, Lauren is devastated. And now that the Brooklyn Bruisers are in the Stanley Cup play-offs, she is forced to be around Mike once again since the team owner’s usual assistant is suffering from a head injury. Lauren is not thrilled at all.

Mike however sees this as a chance to set things right with Lauren. But, like most men, he doesn’t quite realize just how difficult that will be. Lauren is almost done with college. She is a business woman to be reckoned with and her current boss, and Brooklyn Bruisers team owner, Nate, realizes this. He wants her to shine in his organization and put her new skills to use. I really loved seeing Lauren thrive as a professional. She has been working hard to build a career for herself and it is obvious she is respected at Nate’s organization, even if she is a bit abrupt with her coworkers sometimes. Lauren has a hard shell protecting herself, with good reason.

That being said, I really enjoyed seeing Mike put himself out there to woo Lauren back. He has big dreams of a happily-ever-after with her, FINALLY, and he is not going to sit back any longer. Seeing her again, traveling with her for games, he is reminded of one of the most painful decisions of his life, but also, that maybe he is being granted a second chance. Mike is not looking this gift horse in the mouth.

Mike is actually just an all-around nice guy. He is a single father now to a thirteen-year-old. He makes every effort to be part of her life and have her be part of his. But now he is ready to make some changes. Lauren is hesitant to let him back in again but I felt like she soon realized the reward was far greater than the risk. That being said, I really liked that she didn’t just jump at the second chance. Lauren knew a happy ending isn’t guaranteed but Mike manages to show her that this time around, nothing will stand in their way.

Couple this great romance with a great hockey team and it’s just a win-win all around. Sarina Bowen continues to write male characters and friendships that shine. There is camaraderie but there are of course quite a few scenes of the guys razzing on each other.

Pipe Dreams also lays out a few clues for Nate and Becca’s potential romance (I hope anyway!). It certainly whets the appetite for their story.

Pipe Dreams satisfies big time. This is my favorite of the series so far and I feel like everything really connected. The hockey scenes, the romance, the characters, it all felt cohesive and well done. Though there are quite a few secondary characters in this book (from the previous installments), I feel Lauren and Mike’s story shines through it all and provides a satisfying and deeply powerful romance. Any reader can pick this book up and fall in love with their story, whether they are new to the Brooklyn Bruisers team or not.

Pipe Dreams is available May 2!

ARC provided by publisher for review.

Other reviews:

The Book Reading Gals

The Romance Reviews

FMR Book Grind

Review: Hawke by Sawyer Bennett



Hawke, Cold Fury book #5

I am REALLY excited to be participating in in the review tour for Sawyer Bennett’s newest book, Hawke. I have been SO EXCITED to tell everyone about how much I enjoyed this new hockey romance. This is book five in Bennett’s Cold Fury Hockey series. One of the things I most enjoy about this series, besides the sexy leading men, is that each book really does standalone incredibly well. While the characters are friends with each other, Bennett is a true master at keeping focused on the main couple which makes her stories exciting and romantic. Hawke is all that and more.


Hawke and Vale have a tempestuous past together. Their love was all consuming but unfortunately it ended badly for both of them. Of course, the infamous romance novel trope, lack of communication, was largely to blame but don’t let this dissuade you from reading. Sawyer Bennett carefully moves past this idea and explores the larger issues surrounding Vale and Hawke’s break-up and now, hopefully, their reconciliation.

Vale is incredibly hardworking. She is currently working two jobs to help support her dad as he gets experimental treatments for the cancer decimating his body. She will do anything to make sure he gets better and that includes working day and night. Unfortunately, one of her jobs puts her right back in contact with Hawke as he is now playing on the Cold Fury hockey team and she cannot avoid him. Their chemistry is as strong as ever though and Hawke cannot put Vale out of his mind. Now that she is front and center in his life again, even just as part of the hockey staff, he needs to know what happened to make her push him out of her life. Hawke is determined to get answers.

Hawke is painfully in love with Vale. Yes, he turns into a bit of a jerk playboy when she dumps him, but he has never let go of his feelings for her, much to his own chagrin perhaps. I loved how having her in his life again left him reeling. Of course, he makes a few dumb mistakes along the way, like potentially setting up a hook-up with another woman. That left a bit of a bad taste in my mouth I will say but it didn’t ruin the story for me. Hawke sets out to prove to Vale that he wants her in his life again and along the way he proved to this reader that he was willing to go the distance.

I really admired Vale’s strength in the face of her father’s disease but more importantly, I admired her relationship with her dad. There is such joy in their interactions. Vale and her dad are not only father and daughter, but they are good friends in the best way a parent and child can be. Likewise, I really enjoyed Vale’s friendship with Avery, her best friend. Even though they were limited to phone calls and texts, these two had each other’s backs, especially when it came to Hawke and the past. Second chance love stories are some of my favorite kinds and Hawke lives up to everything I had wished for it.

Vale and Hawke start off as young adults passionately in love. Passionate perhaps being the key. As the story takes off, their lives are in better control and while there is still a shared passion, the maturity and depth their relationship has gained from their time apart shows through. Sawyer Bennett always astounds me by just how well she can make me fall apart for her stories and characters and this is the case yet again in Hawke.

Hawke is one sale today. All the links to your favorite e-tailers are below so go forth and purchase a copy. I think you will thank me!


Title: Hawke (Cold Fury, Book #5)
Author: Sawyer Bennett
Release Date: March 15, 2016

The New York Times bestselling hockey series featuring the Carolina Cold Fury continues as the team’s most notorious party animal gets blindsided by the one that got away.

Off the ice, elite defenseman Hawke Therrien enjoys his fair share of booze and good times. And why shouldn’t he? He’s worked his way up from the minor leagues and made himself a star. The only thing Hawke misses from that life is the pierced, tattooed free spirit who broke his heart without so much as an explanation. She’s almost unrecognizable when she walks back into his life seven years later—except for the look in her eyes that feels like a punch to the gut.

Vale Campbell isn’t the same girl she was at twenty. As crazy as she was about Hawke, her reckless behavior and out-of-control drinking were starting to scare her. She had to clean up her act, and that would never happen with Hawke around. Cutting him loose was the hardest thing Vale ever had to do—until now. Because she’s still crazy about Hawke. And if he could ever learn to forgive her, they just might have a future together.

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25775928-hawke


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About the Author:


New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author, Sawyer Bennett is a snarky southern woman and reformed trial lawyer who decided to finally start putting on paper all of the stories that were floating in her head. Her husband works for a Fortune 100 company which lets him fly all over the world while she stays at home with their daughter and two big, furry dogs who hog the bed. Sawyer would like to report she doesn’t have many weaknesses but can be bribed with a nominal amount of milk chocolate.

Sawyer is the author of several contemporary romances including the popular Off Series, the Legal Affairs Series and the Last Call Series.

Connect with Sawyer:
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Review: Major Misconduct by Kelly Jamieson (Aces Hockey #1)

I’m excited to be part of Kelly Jamieson’s tour for her new hockey series, kicking off with the first book, Major Misconduct. Marc and Lovey (yes, that is her name. Took me a bit to get used to while reading) have great chemistry from their first meeting until the very end when Lovey makes a big gesture to prove to Marc that he is part of her heart.

Lovey has crashed on her brother’s couch, literally, as the book opens. She made the decision to move to Chicago to start a new business and well, she needs her big brother’s help until she finds a place to live. Sharing a space with Duncan (her brother) isn’t the problem. It’s sharing the space with his roommate, Marc, that is proving to be a bit of a challenge. Marc is responsibility personified. He is the team captain and wants to lead by example. He is also proving to be a major distraction for Lovey.
Marc is such a great guy. He may seem like a bit of a party-pooper but it is clear his teammates really respect him and the example he sets. Hockey is his career and he wants to be successful. It is really nice to read about a hockey hero who isn’t so much into partying and instant gratification with women. Marc has just gotten out of a two year relationship so he’s a bit at loose ends when he meets Lovey. The attraction is instantaneous but the team has a rule about dating each other’s sisters. It’s a no-no. So when Lovey and Marc start fooling around but hiding it behind Duncan’s back, well, it is clear that things can’t end well.

Kelly Jamieson kicks the Aces Hockey series off with a great couple. I loved the energy Marc and Lovey brought to each other. It really made their love story sexy (of course) but they complemented each other in the ways each most needed. Marc definitely needed a wee bit more fun in his life and Lovey needed someone to really believe in her and challenge her to be her best. Lovey is a great female character all on her own though, make no mistake. She’s only twenty-four so I felt like her “wanderlust” as her brother kind of frames it, was perfectly fine. Everyone is learning about themselves in their twenties, more power to Lovey for trying to find her passion.

Major Misconduct is a nice combination of sweet romance and spicy erotic love scenes. It’s the first book I’ve read by Kelly Jamieson but it won’t be my last. I’m excited to read about Duncan. Major Misconduct is available now! Read below for a fun excerpt and be sure to add it to your Goodreads account if you haven’t yet.

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Aces Hockey #1
Kelly Jamieson
Releasing Oct 13th, 2015


In Kelly Jamieson’s seductive new Chicago Aces romance—perfect for readers of Sawyer Bennett and Toni Aleo—a fun-loving free spirit tempts an uptight hockey star into opening himself up to love.

As the captain of the Chicago Aces, Marc Dupuis is all business. The apartment he shares with his teammate and best friend, Duncan, is a refuge from the pressures of fame. But when the sexiest woman he’s ever seen interrupts his early morning coffee wearing only a skimpy cami and matching panties, Marc can’t exactly say he minds. Their chemistry is off the charts. Unfortunately, this girl’s no random puck bunny. She’s Duncan’s little sister—and she’s moving in.

Lovey Armstrong could stare at Marc’s chiseled abs and listen to his French-Canadian accent all day. She just has no idea what’s going on inside his head: When he’s not charming her pants off, Marc makes a Zamboni machine seem warm and cuddly. Lovey knows the team’s bro code says no messing with sisters, but all these mixed messages are hard on a girl’s self-esteem—especially since she’s finally getting her new life together in Chicago. She decides he’s worth another shot . . . because if anyone can melt the ice around Marc’s heart, it’s Lovey.



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Kelly Jamieson is the author of more than thirty contemporary romance novels. She’s a married mother of two who lives a very ordinary life outside of her imagination. She likes coffee (black), wine (mostly white), and shoes (high!). She also loves watching hockey.
Marc chuckled all the way to the Land Rover dealership, annoying the hell out of his teammate and roommate.
“What the fuck is so amusing?” Army snarled.
“If she wasn’t your sister, I’d call you pussy-whipped.”
“Fuck off.”
Marc laughed outright. “Just never seen you so outclassed, dude.”
Marc smirked.
“What am I supposed to do?” Army demanded. “Turn her out onto the streets of Chicago?”
“Of course not. And she knew that.”
“She didn’t even tell me she was coming.” Duncan rubbed his forehead. “Christ. She quit her job. Just when she seemed to be settling down. Last I heard, she had a pretty serious boyfriend too. Guess that’s over.”
A boyfriend? Not fucking likely, the way she’d been looking at him. Marc shot Army a sideways glance as he drove. “She does this often?”
“Eh. She quits. She gets fired. She flits from one job to another like a fucking hummingbird. One boyfriend to another. This guy she was seeing actually lasted more than a few dates. Now all of a sudden she wants to move to Chicago. Jesus.”
“She’s young.”
“She’s not that young. She’s twenty-four. Only three years younger than us. She needs to settle down.”
Marc nodded. “Yeah, but think, man, we were on our own when we were teenagers, basically. We were playing and living in an adult world before we could even drink legally. Pro hockey makes you grow up fast.”
Army sighed. “Yeah. True. Heh. Especially you, Captain Codger.”
Marc rolled his eyes at the nickname. It didn’t bug him as much as it had at first. He knew the guys liked to jerk him around, but they did it with respect. And he’d earned the reputation of being serious and responsible, on the ice and off. That was him, and it was important to him to take his career and his responsibilities seriously.
Army shook his head. “I’ll let her stay for a while, but seriously, she’ll have to find her own place. Don’t worry.”
Marc shrugged. “I wasn’t worried.”
That wasn’t entirely true. Army’s little sister was smokin’ hot. At first Marc had thought his roommate had a hot chick visiting him and he’d been all Whoa, way to go, dude, but when he’d learned she was Army’s sister, he’d backpedaled fast. He couldn’t get out of there before she’d jumped up and rushed at him with a fucking dazzling smile, so goddamn gorgeous he couldn’t get his feet to move and could barely string two words together. Her smile was luminous, all white teeth and dimples and glowing face. Long, wavy red-gold hair gleamed in the sunlight and, fuck him, even though she’d been wearing clothes that covered her from chin to toes, her body was stellar—a soft blue sweater outlined high, firm tits and a small waist that curved into round hips. He couldn’t see her legs, but they were long, her snug black pants revealing slender thighs.
Shut it down, man.
She was Army’s sister and therefore waaaay the fuck off-limits.
And that was why he was maybe a little worried about her living with them. Just a smidgen worried. But hey. He was Captain Codger. He had no issues with self-control, self-discipline, or being responsible. He could easily ignore a hot babe living in the apartment with them. No problem. No problem at all.
Army’s phone pinged and he peered at the screen. “Great. An email from my mom warning me Lovey’s on her way. Thanks, Mom.” He shook his head as he tapped a reply. “She wants me to make sure Lovey’s okay in the big city. Jesus.”
Yeah, Lovey seemed like she was going to be okay.
They arrived at the dealership and while Army signed the paperwork, Marc wandered around looking at the vehicles, trying to ignore the attention from the staff, male and female. The receptionist approached him for an autograph.
“You’re my favorite player.” She let out a breathy laugh. “I watch all the games.”
“Yeah?” He obliged by scrawling his messy signature across the Land Rover pamphlet she held out, adding his jersey number beneath it. “You watch that last game against Philly?”
“Of course! You guys played great.”
He stuck his tongue into one cheek and nodded. “Thanks.” They’d sucked. They’d lost three-one, probably their worst game so far, another game added to their losing streak.
“D’you speak French?” Her eyes widened.
“Mais oui.” He grinned.
“That is soooo sexy.” She stared at him.
Câlisse. He resisted the urge to sigh and smiled instead. “Merci.”
“I love your accent.”
He wanted to frown. He barely had an accent. He’d been raised by a Francophone mother and Anglophone father, and although his education had been all in French growing up in Quebec, he spoke both languages fluently. Maybe there was a bit of an accent. Whatever.
“Hey, Armdog,” he called to his friend. “I’m gonna head out. Meet you at the Sin Bin?”
“Yeah. Be there soon.”
Pre-Order OFF LIMITS (Aces #2)
Releasing Nov 17th, 2015

Review: Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

Him by Kennedy and Bowen

Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

Him is the story of two hockey players, both on the verge of graduating from college and entering the adult work force for the first time in their lives. They both believe they are destined for hockey greatness, but as they reconnect, dreams and destinies start to change a bit.

Jamie Canning and Ryan Wesley were best friends all throughout their summers at hockey camp. They did everything together, including numerous hijinks and practical jokes. They also did EVERYTHING in the bedroom, or at least, started to. And that is what ends their friendship, though Jamie does not understand it at all. He just knows that his best friend stopped talking to him cold turkey, with no real reason that he can tell. When they meet again at the hockey national championships in college, they reconcile, a bit anyway. Ryan (aka “Wes”) wants one more chance to reconnect with Jamie before he is off to Canada and his first chance as a NHL player. Back to camp he goes and soon, sexual feelings are growing again between these two.

The feeling of leaving a book completely satisfied and happy for the characters is increasingly rare for me. But Him does it completely. This is the best kind of m/m romance. MUCH hot sex but strong character development too. I loved the dual point of view, hearing from both Jamie and Wes about the complications in their relationships, and the feelings they inspire in each other.

I also really, really liked the setting. Lake Placid and their hockey camp was just a lot of fun to read about. It was very inspiring seeing these two talented men inspire and work with teen boys to build their skills. The hockey knowledge of the authors is impressive and truly built a detailed setting in my head as I was reading. I’d love to visit the Lake Placid area some day now. The local tourist bureau should hire Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy to do some promo for them because I’d visit if I could see hot hockey players!

Wes and Jamie are the stars of this book and it shows as their characters develop throughout the story. Jamie is incredibly confused about his sexuality because to say he likes being with Wes is an understatement. Jamie also acknowledges that breasts still work for him though. There are numerous reviews of this book on Goodreads gushing about the characters and I honestly agree. Jamie and Wes are just great. They both still have their fuck-up moments but I truly feel like they grew with each other during their time at camp. Wes in particular is sometimes a cocky guy about his talents but around Jamie, the image that Wes was forced to project could be wiped away and he could just be himself, safe with his best friend and lover. It was really comfortable for them together.

Him proved to be everything I craved and needed in a m/m romance with a hockey backdrop. Vulnerability, joy, strength, intense sex, and blazing emotions. Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy got it exactly right in this book. This is a collaboration that works on every level and the reader is the true winner here because we get to enjoy an outstanding story.

Him is available tomorrow, July 28, at all e-retailers. I’ve got my finished copy pre-ordered and can’t wait to read it again.

ARC provided by authors for review.

Other reviews of Him:

The Bookpushers review Him

Will Read for Feels reviews Him

Three Girls & A Book Obsession reviews Him

Review: Simmering Ice by Veronica Forand and Susan Scott Shelley

Simmering Ice by Forand and Scott ShelleySimmering 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.

Other reviews of Simmering Ice:

Bookaholics Not-So-Anonymous reviews Simmering Ice

Cocktails and Books reviews Simmering Ice

The Sassy Bookster reviews Simmering Ice

Cover Reveal: HIM by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

It’s here, it’s here! Yell it from the windows, the cover for Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s New Adult m/m hockey romance is here! Check it out:

Him by Kennedy and Bowen

Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen

Him releases July 28, so it’s coming up! Here is the oh so tantalizing blurb:

They don’t play for the same team. Or do they?

Jamie Canning has never been able to figure out how he lost his closest friend. Four years ago, his tattooed, wise-cracking, rule-breaking roommate cut him off without an explanation. So what if things got a little weird on the last night of hockey camp the summer they were eighteen? It was just a little drunken foolishness. Nobody died.

Ryan Wesley’s biggest regret is coaxing his very straight friend into a bet that pushed the boundaries of their relationship. Now, with their college teams set to face off at the national championship, he’ll finally get a chance to apologize. But all it takes is one look at his longtime crush, and the ache is stronger than ever.

Jamie has waited a long time for answers, but walks away with only more questions—can one night of sex ruin a friendship? If not, how about six more weeks of it? When Wesley turns up to coach alongside Jamie for one more hot summer at camp, Jamie has a few things to discover about his old friend…and a big one to learn about himself.

I am a big fan of these writers and I cannot wait to see what they do when they work together. Something tells me it will be fabulous. And hey, maybe you should add it to Goodreads, just to show how excited you are to read it!

You can learn more about these authors at any of their various social media sites. I have to say, I don’t sign up for a lot of newsletters or “like” too many authors on FB anymore but both of these writers have been worth it because I just love learning what projects they have coming up.

Sarina Bowen


Elle Kennedy


I will leave you with two small teasers. Until July 28!



Review: One More Shot by Victoria Denault


One More Shot is a new hockey series (the Hometown Players series) from author Victoria Denault. It features Jordan Garrison and Jessie Caplan, two best friends torn apart by their growing feelings for each other. When the story begins, Jordan is well, he is a bit of an asshat honestly. He’s drunk and in bed with a random women. I will admit, story beginnings like this do not do much for me, no matter that I know the story will end with a happily-ever-after for the main couple. That being said, you will quickly learn how Jordan has let himself fall into these behaviors. It helped me understand his character more and at least try to make peace with his decisions.

When the story started with flashbacks to Jordan and Jessie’s past, that is where my interest definitely picked up. These two were best friends growing up in their small hometown in Maine. Jessie came from a rather dysfunctional family. She raised her two younger sisters essentially because the aunt they lived with was rather neglectful. She had a lot on her shoulders at a young age and Jordan was right by her side helping as much as he could. His family became her family. They were such good friends that Jessie did not want to risk developing feelings for him in case the friendship suffered. But feelings grow between them, as things are wont to do between young adults, and soon Jessie loses her virginity to Jordan. Unfortunately, this is where trouble starts to brew too.

The book continues to switch back and forth from the present to the past. It’s not always a smooth One More Shot by Victoria Denaulttransition but it definitely kept me hooked so kudos to Denault! Jordan has re-entered Jessie’s life after the death of her Aunt Lily. He has arrived for the funeral though he is reluctant to see Jessie. The majority of the story explores their lingering feelings for each other as adults and how much things have changed but yet remained the same between them.

It took me a bit of time to really became involved in Jordan and Jessie’s love story because they were both behaving somewhat immaturely at the beginning. But once they finally meet again and reconcile some of their past mistakes, I warmed up to them as a couple quite a bit. I also really liked learning about their family, Jessie’s two sisters, and Jordan’s warm and welcoming family. I liked how fierce Jessie’s sisters were in their protection of her. These three were very tight-knit and it showed in all their actions. Jordan is not the only pro hockey player in his family, which seems convenient but actually opens the door for some interesting conversations with his brothers.

Overall, One More Shot, had its ups and downs for me. I think when it comes down to it, I felt rather blah about the book. I don’t LOVE it but I also didn’t HATE it by any means. It was just an okay read for me. The excerpt at the back though sounded promising for the next book in the series so I will probably see what book two in the Hometown Players series has to offer.

ARC provided by publisher for review.

Other reviews of One More Shot:

Ramblings from this Chick reviews One More Shot

Nestled in a Book reviews One More Shot

More information about One More Shot:

ONE MORE SHOT by Victoria Denault (June 2, 2015; Forever Yours E-Book; Hometown Players: Book 1)

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true. Jordan is determined to take two.
Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with-Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.

Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.

Buy the book!







VictoriaDenault_Mary Costa PhotographyAbout the author:

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey. You can find Victoria at her website, Facebook, on Twitter and at Goodreads.

Treat Yourself: COVER REVEAL…One More Shot by Victoria Denault

I am VERY into sports romances but hockey romances in particular are my favorite. It must be the Minnesotan in me. I’m excited today to share the cover for a new hockey romance series that will be published one June 2, the first book in her Hometown Players series. It seems to be an e-book only at this point.

One More Shot by Victoria Denault

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true. Jordan is determined to take two.
Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with-Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart.

Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she’s staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can’t tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.

VictoriaDenault_Mary Costa PhotographyAbout the author:
Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.
I haven’t read this book yet so I can’t say for sure if it’s going to be amazing or not but it sounds really good! If you’d like to pre-order it to have it on your Kindle/Nook/Tablet/Reader on June 2, you can use one of the following links:
Pre-Order Links:
I’m also offering up a pre-order myself because I can’t help but get behind a new hockey romance series. No fancy widgets here but if you’d like to be entered in for a pre-order, please leave a comment on this post telling me your favorite sports romance. (And don’t worry if you’re comment doesn’t immediately appear. I have comment moderation on.)
Contest is open through the end of April!