Review: Tomboy by Avery Flynn

Reviewed by Sara

I have been thoroughly enjoying Avery Flynn’s Hartigan series and was thrilled when the most recent book in the series, Tomboy was released in February.

ER nurse Fallon Hartigan loves her friends and would do just about anything for them, but when her friend Lucy needs her to help a sick client, she thinks twice. It’s not that Fallon doesn’t want to help, it’s just that Lucy’s client is the most hated man in Harbor City, Zach Blackburn. The newly acquired defenseman for the Harbor City Ice Knights cost Fallon’s team a mint to bring on and then has not only turned out to be a dud on the ice, but he’s also got a major attitude problem. Fallon puts aside her love of the Ice Knights and her dislike of Zach to help, but ends up way over her head as a paparazzi takes her picture leaving Zach’s and that, plus Zach’s sudden upswing in hockey abilities has her thrust into the spotlight as Zach’s lucky charm. While Fallon is able to work her newfound fame to her advantage, what’s not advantageous are her feelings that seems to be changing where the bad boy hockey player is concerned.

Zach Blackburn never started out to be the bad boy of hockey, he just wanted to play. Unfortunately, he learned the hard way that it’s best not to trust and that sometimes the people that care for us the most can hurt us the worst. When Fallon comes into his life, he does everything he can to push her away, but her resilience, her wit and her indomitable spirit make it difficult for him to keep away. As their attraction grows, Zach has to decide if he’s willing to trust Fallon or if he’s going to let the his past get in the way of what could be a fantastic future.

The Hartigan’s series has been a complete joy for me to read and Tomboy is no exception. Avery Flynn does such a great job taking female characters who are outside the norm. They aren’t traditionally pretty, they’re plus size, or, in Fallon’s case, a tomboy, and gives them the role of heroine. This in itself is great, but what Avery Flynn does that is extra special is that she avoids the make-over cliche and doesn’t pit her characters against the traditional heroines. Fallon isn’t special because she’s, “not like other girls.” She’s special because she’s unique, funny, smart and kind. I love that Fallon, like Lucy and Gina from the first two books in the Hartigan series, doesn’t have to change and that she isn’t competing in some imaginary competition with other female characters.

It would have been pretty easy for Flynn to have mentioned Fallon’s looks and limited how they affected the story to simply Fallon’s relationship with Zach, but thankfully she doesn’t. Love may be blind, but it’s easy to see how a person’s appearance that’s considered outside of the traditional standards of beauty is often fodder for ridicule and derision. In Tomboy,  Flynn takes into account Zach’s celebrity and includes the backlash Fallon faces at the hands of the Harbor City media and Internet trolls. This adds a level of genuineness to the book that takes it from a fun and sexy read to something thoughtful and more than a little uplifting.

Along with what I’ve mentioned above there were so many other elements that I loved. As a Canadian, I know what it’s like to live in or near a town obsessed with hockey/a specific hockey team (Go Leafs!), and Flynn has brilliantly captured what that’s like in Tomboy. I love that Fallon has actual work responsibilities just like a real person. My only real complaint, which isn’t much of a complaint, is that I wanted Tomboy to be a bit longer. I would have loved to have seen Tomboy’s villains get their comeuppance and a bit more of the romance between Fallon and Zach.

Tomboy is a fun, sexy and thoughtful Romance. I look forward to the next book in this great series.

Rating: A

Click to purchase: Amazon

Tomboy
by Avery Flynn
Release Date: February 18, 2019
Publisher: Entangled Amara

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