Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Top Shelf by Kelly Jamieson

Whether it’s a clutch goal or a cocktail, nothing beats “top shelf.” In this novel from the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series, a fun-loving jock and an ambitious career woman mix business with pleasure.

Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart.

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Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The third book in the Aces Hockey series is a return to the Kelly Jamieson I enjoy. The author gave us intriguing glimpses of Jared Rupp in the first two books, but his story is even better than I hoped for. Not just a hockey player, Jared spends his down time running a bar and restaurant. There is a maturity to Jared that we haven’t seen in the players in the first two books and I really liked the complicated man.

Sidney is a perfect match for Jared. Jaded and more than a little cynical, she is an entrepreneur in her own right. The attraction between Jared and Sidney is hot, but both of them are practical and neither wants to deal with a relationship. I loved watching two very pragmatic characters fall for each other against their better judgement.

Once again, there is very little hockey in this hockey romance. As a fan, I would love to see more focus on the game, but this is definitely a romance series about characters who just happen to be hockey players.

The relationship between Sidney and Jared is very sexy. They both felt older than the characters in the first two books and Sidney is a stronger, more independent character than the women in the earlier books. There are still a few romance clichés in this book, but they are mitigated by enough cynicism and realism to keep my attention. This isn’t my favourite Kelly Jamieson book but it is my favourite in this series so far.

I have to say I felt like this book almost didn't fit in with the first two in this series. The characters seemed much more mature while dealing with their own business and other things in their lives. However, that being said, I did enjoy the story. We got to briefly see the other characters from the previous books off and on in various scenes. Just like the first two books, there is actually very little hockey, which is both good and bad. I do have to say that I enjoyed the hockey scenes that were included in the book as they helped the reader connect to Jared's passion for hockey, and then at other points showed where the relationship was between the two of them.

Sidney had a terrible relationship that she was recovering from and I wish we would've kind of dwelled a bit more on that part of her story since it was such a big deal to her, or it was in her past. I felt like it was simply stated that this big thing happened and then we quickly moved on.

All in all, I have to say that I liked Sidney for Jared and I liked the sparks between them as they tried to play their 'game' with each other without falling for one another.

5 highly charged and emotional stars

This is the third in the series, and I would highly recommend that you read them in order – each one features a new couple, but the stories continue through the books. I am assuming that you have read the previous books in my review.

Truly this book took me from some really sad lows and tears to some lovely humour; and through some jolts in the road, to some delicious, hot and steamy happiness. Reading more of Max and Ariana's story was going to be difficult, we knew that from the last book – but it didn't make it any easier. Seeing it from Jared's point of view was still devastating. I certainly needed a tissue or two. Beautifully done, Ms. Jamieson, beautifully.

Sidney was a fabulous addition to the cast – dynamic, slightly fragile, yet sassy and excellent at her job. She was the perfect match for Jared, even if they persuaded each other to play a game. Watching them was painful at times, but having faith in the author is a romance reader's particular type of kink. Add in some great friends on both sides, some super hockey moments (and some painful ones), and a cute little dog, and this worked for me!

Really good, emotional book, with just enough of everything – I recommend you have a tissue to hand, and a cool drink for the hotter moments.

This is a super fun and sexy read, I’ve really enjoyed this series!

Jared Rupp is a hockey star and also owns a sports bar/restaurant. Sidney Frayne has her own company helping bars/restaurants with their image and drink menu. Upon entering Jared’s bar, Sidney is unimpressed with the menu and unknowingly winds up convincing him she’s the woman for the job of revamping his place. Jared’s attraction to Sidney is unlike anything he’s ever experienced before, but when her ideas about his bar don’t line up with his own, things become rocky. Sidney isn’t looking for a relationship, but with Jared things happen before she realizes it…

I love that this is such a fun read that sucks you in from page one! I love a novel that has a great best friend “side kick” and this one definitely has one in Frankie – she’s hilarious and always has Sidney’s back… she needs her own book. ;-) The downside of this book – the bedroom scenes. Though the book does have its steamy moments, it’s very repetitive and I found myself skimming through them. I’m still giving this book a solid four stars though, and I can’t wait for Kelly Jamison’s next release.

Also Available in the Aces Hockey Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Major Misconduct Blog Tour.

Book 1.5
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Off Limits post.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our Icing post.

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.

Connect with Kelly

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Google+  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Top Shelf (Aces Hockey #3) by Kelly Jamieson to read and review.

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