Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Slap Shot by Kelly Jamieson

My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.

After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect... until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 5
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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
M/F Romance
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

This is the first book that I have read in this series and I wish that I had gotten to read them all. I never felt that I was missing anything, so I don’t believe that you need to read the others in order to enjoy this one.

Max is just getting back to his old self. After a devastating loss, he is setting a goal to get back on the ice and get the Stanley Cup. We get to watch him go through a grueling process of getting back in shape and mentoring new players who want to make the team.

Kendra is a successful woman who is now on to her second career. She began as a therapist and knows that everyone goes through grief and loss in a different pattern. She meets Max at a wedding and sparks fly.

Max and Kendra’s romance is a whirlwind until it’s time for them to come back to reality – Kendra lives in New York and Max doesn’t. They continue with their friends with benefits and when someone changes the rules, they have to decide if they are going to fight for their relationship.

Max struggles with his guilt and Kendra struggles with knowing what her place is.

I really enjoyed their story and thought that it was fairly well developed. You could feel the change in the relationship and know that something was coming to head.

This is the fifth book in the series – and I would recommend that you read them in order to get the full story, especially before this one. My only disappointment is that the blurb gives away too much as far as I am concerned. But luckily I dove in blind, knowing that I wanted to get Max's story fresh, and have just read it before reviewing. I say this mainly because in the book the fact of his wife's death, and how he reacted, comes out naturally and is worked beautifully into the story, so it is a shame to know all that before being able to read it.

Max has been a peripheral figure for a few books due to his wife's illness, and I am sure that their story caused a few tissues in readers' hands – it did in mine. But this book brings back hope and a second chance at his career, and possibly at love. His dedication to getting back into the sport is not matched with an intention to love – in fact, he deems it to be a betrayal of his past.

This story works beautifully, mixing together so many elements of the perfect sports romance. Plenty of training and hockey; lots of family and friends; and a couple of people who, in spite of many issues, work out what it is that is important in their lives.

Thank you, Ms. Jamieson, for writing the perfect story for Max.

I’ve been waiting for Max’s book (with a box of tissues ready) since the first book in this series. Even from a distance, his grief had me in bits in the earlier books. In his own story, he is a year on from his wife’s death. He’s putting his life back together. He is desperately trying to earn back his place on the Aces. And then, he bravely hooks up with a bridesmaid at a friend’s wedding.

I loved following Max’s intense pre-season training regime in this book. The focus on the pre-season fight for roster places gives readers a fresh spin on the competitive excitement of a sports story.

I also loved that Kendra designs sex toys – and that she unapologetically talks about her job. She is feisty and independent and I warmed to her more than I have to some of the women in this series. She’s also in an impossible position, struggling to respect Max’s wife and his grief while also attempting to build a new relationship with him.

Probably because of Max’s terrible loss, this book feels more mature and more complex than earlier books in the series – it’s a more substantial read with complicated, grown up characters. I think it’s my favourite story yet.

3.5 Stars

I've been waiting for Max's story. He's been through so much and I wanted to see him get his happy ending after all the sadness he had to deal with. Kendra was so perfect for him too. She is exactly the right combination of a well put together woman and a woman who is very colorful and not afraid to be who she is.

There was some really hard parts with Max dealing with the loss of his wife, but overall I really liked the story and the character growth we got to witness. Plus, it was interesting to see the vast majority of the story written from his point of view so we can really get a sense of what emotions he is dealing with.

However, I have say that while I have loved every other story in this series, this one was just really hard for me to sink into like the others. I can't exactly say what it was because I did like the characters and the plot line, but I found that I had to convince myself to pick up the book and read when normally I have a hard time putting down Ms. Jamieson's books.

Also Available in the Aces Hockey Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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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.

Book 3
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Top Shelf post.

Book 4
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our Back Check 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

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Slap Shot (Aces Hockey #5) by Kelly Jamieson to read and review.

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