As the NHL playoffs began back in May, I started reading a handful of hockey romance novels. Needless to say, once I started I was sucked into the hot, sweaty world of hockey heaven. I figured I’d save you all a lot of time and give you the reviews of some of the favorites I’ve read this year.
Elle Kennedy’s Off Campus Series
The Deal – book 1 in this series
I loved this book. The witty banter between Garrett and Hannah (Wellsy) was delightfully refreshing. The pacing was well done and the plot was carefully crafted.
I thought the author did a really good job capturing Hannah’s trepidation but strength in overcoming her past. I loved how tender and compassionate Garrett became over the course of the book. The development of their friendship, to friends with benefits didn’t feel rushed. I really couldn’t put this book down and finished it at about 5:30 this morning.
Great job Elle Kennedy. This was the first book of yours I’ve read and I can’t wait to get my grubby little paws on your other books, including the next in this series!
If you love New Adult and are tired of many of the tired and clichéd books currently out there, give this one a whirl. I promise you won’t be disappointed
The Mistake – book 2 in the series
I didn’t love this book as much as The Deal, but it was still a light, fun read. The witty banter that I came to enjoy in the first book was there, but for some reason I didn’t quite click with Logan and Grace the same way I did with Garrett and Hannah in the first book.
The story revolves around Logan and Grace. Logan is the hot hockey player that can hook up with any puck bunny that crosses his path. When he meets Grace, the quiet studious girl he makes a stupid mistake that pushes her away. He spends most of the story trying to get back in her good graces. I enjoyed how Kennedy handled Grace’s virginity and didn’t make her a naïve sexual scaredy cat. I wished the pair was together more than they were apart. All in All, a fun romantic read.
Lynda Aicher’s Power Play Series
Game Play – book 1
I really enjoyed this one. The story revolves around Samanatha, an former Olympic hockey player who’s searching for a life after Hockey. Dylan Rylie plays for the Glaciers and is in a pivotal year of his career. The pair meet up during a meet and greet and end up falling in bed.
The story was just the right amount of romance and sports. I particularly loved that the heroine was a strong athlete and not some random hookup. The plot moved nicely and while Sam ran away at times when I didn’t really understand her motivation, but Dylan was amazing and way more patient and forgiving than I might have been. Just a nice fluffy hot read. Looking forward to the next in the series.
Back In Play – book 2
This is the second in the Power Play series, and it was an okay read. It felt more like a stand alone book than part of a series, which disappointed me a little bit since I really enjoyed the first book in the series and the characters.
This book was about Scott, the captain of the Glaciers and Rachel a mild mannered school teacher who happened to be visiting Minnesota for a wedding when she meets the famed hockey player. Scott is getting old for his sport and has had one too many injuries to his knee, causing him to be addicted to Vicoden. The owner of the Glaciers can read between the lines and decides not to renew Scott’s contract partially because of this.
He leans on Rachel to help him kick his habit in hopes of being able to return to the Glaciers for one last run for the Cup. He stays with her for the summer and their insta-love is all flowers and roses until he decides to go back to Hockey.
The story was pretty predictable, but well written and the characters were well rounded and likeable. I didn’t fall in love with this pair like I did in Game Play with Dylan & Samantha.
Penalty Play – book 3
I really liked this book, almost as much as the first one, which I fell in love with. My only beef with this one was by about 2/3 of the way through, the heroine got so in her head and whiny, that I found myself skimming most of Jaqui’s POV because of it. Just a little too heavy handed for me. I did like Henrik quite a lot and how patient and kind he was. I enjoyed that he was more of a relationship guy and not a ‘player’ like the previous heros in the series.
All in all a nice fun read, especially if someone’s really into Hockey player stories, like I am right now.
Pilots Hockey series by Sophia Henry
Delayed Penalty – book 1
I enjoyed this book quite a lot. The story revolves around Auden, a girl raised by her Russian grandparents when her parents died when she was young and Aleksander, a star Russian hockey player for the Pilots. Auden is hired to be Aleksander’s translator even though he doesn’t really need one. He just doesn’t like talking to the media. Their relationship changes quickly to romantic and did feel a little bit rushed. The perspective of two adults still grieving the loss of a loved one was well done. I loved how solid Aleksander was as a character. All in all, a nice read, although not very steamy and with limited hockey time. Still curious to see what the next in the series holds.
Hometown Players series by Victoria Denault
One More Shot – book 1
One More Shot is an angsty little tale about second chances. The story revolves around Jordan and Jessie, childhood friends who tried to take their relationship to the next level. Unfortunately miscommunications abounded and they ended up breaking each other’s hearts.
Six years later they meet again, and Jordan is hell bent on getting Jessie back and making up for his past mistakes. Filled with meddling families and witty dialogue.
I really wanted to love this story, and I liked Jordan and Jessie’s characters, but their issues seemed a bit contrived. All in all, a nice little read. I am really looking forward to book 2 in this series, as I liked Luc’s character quite a bit.
Atlantic City Hustlers series by Veronica Forland and Susan Scott Shelley
Simmering Ice – book 2
Simmering Ice is one of those stories that I really wanted to love, but ended up just being an average read for me. Annie, a physical therapist runs into professional hockey player, Alec when the team comes to the hospital she works at to do some community service to visit sick children. The attraction between the pair seems a bit instantaneous and far fetched.
Annie just got out of a bad relationship and Alec’s attraction to her is curious. Her insecurity is causing her to question everything. Alec lost his wife to cancer and is trying to move on, and Annie is the perfect person to do that with.
My main issue with the story was that Annie was too much in her head and made assumptions that felt forced. All in all, it was a bit predictable, but a nice enough story.
Cold Fury Hockey Series by Sawyer Bennett
Ryker – book 5
This story is about Ryker, aka “Brick”, the goalie for the Cold Fury Hockey team and the newest and only female GM in the NHL, Gray Brannon. Gray also happens to be the daughter of the CEO of the team.
The team and much of the media believe that Gray is way out of her league and has no business being a GM because she’s a girl. No one cares that she was an olympic hockey player and one of the top scouts for the team before becoming the GM.
Brick is the super single dad to two adorable daughters. I found much of this story to be completely unrealistic. The complete lack of professionalism between Gray and Ryker was astounding, not to mention how perfect and/or cliched to the point of eye rolling.
Just an average read for me.
So there you have it. If you’re looking for hot, sweaty athletic men, you’ve come to the right place. Pick one of these great reads up, and you’ll be hot under the collar.
Until next time,