You know when you start reading something that you’re not really sure what direction it’s going to go? That’s the way I felt about this. Some of the more recent contemporary stories have disappointed me so greatly, I find myself cringing more often than not.
While I’ve not read the first story in Kelly Jamieson’s ‘Aces Hockey’ series, I have read a few other works by the same author and that’s 100% why I decided to read this – the author. I’m not a big fan of hockey, but I like sports, and any romance that can smartly incorporate a sport into its plot is a-okay with me. That was the case here, there were actual sport events (with play by play description) that Jamieson managed to work in and make interesting.
Duncan Armstrong is a member of the Chicago Aces hockey team. His best friend and his sister (book 1) are now in a committed relationship, and while Duncan is equally disgusted by this best friend sexing up his sister, he’s just as happy that his sister is making smart decisions. The story opens with Duncan dating a professional model who it seems is a bit of user. She likes the finer things in life that having a professional athlete boyfriend brings her. One day while shopping, Duncan realizes this and does what I consider a classic douche move – he breaks up with the woman on the sidewalk outside of a high-end store. The same night Duncan goes to his favorite neighborhood bar that’s also owned by his teammate. There, he sees waitress Amber Johnson and can’t help but be attracted. I thought a day was kind of a quick turnaround, but hey…
Amber’s the classic beauty herself, she’s tall (part-time model) blonde and young. She’s also smart, kind, and actually a little shy – these are the things that made her likable. She’s a nice girl who has some legitimate hang-ups about dating a professional athlete. Daddy syndrome. Their relationship starts out with them as ‘friends with benefits’. Thank goodness that didn’t last long. But interesting, it turns out that Duncan’s leery too – he’s got a thing about not dating any more models (remember the ex-girlfriend actions), except he doesn’t initially know about Amber’s side gig as a model. She’s also a full time student working on her last year of grad school; she’s got a full plate not including Duncan.
In their lives, independent of each other, Amber and Duncan are quite busy, and they actually have to work at being together. That’s what really captured my sense and sensibilities in this – the work. For this young couple who didn’t have much in common on the surface, they worked at getting to know each other. There were some slips and a few stumbles, but once the communication started flowing and the getting to know each other started happening – it made sense.
If you’re in the mood for a fun, fast read, this is a good one. And yes, there’s quite a bit of sexy times – they’re young after all.
Happy reading folks!
*ARC provided by publisher via NetGalley
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Kelly Jamieson
Release Date: April 19, 2016