I just couldn’t get into this. There’s a lot of good stuff going on in the story, and it’s got that classic sports romance vibe, but the whole situation with the other guy rubbed me the wrong way. Essentially, the guy that our heroine always thought she’d end up with is in the picture until… uh, very late in the story. Not really in a “love triangle” kind of way, but more in an “interfering just enough to make things feel icky” way. That made it difficult to root for our couple, and I can’t say that I felt the connection. It’s still a quick, sexy read, but it never really won me over.
The story follows Anton and Sylvie, two hockey players. Anton’s career is in jeopardy after one too many scandals, so he’s trying to lay low and stay out of trouble this year. Unfortunately for him, there’s a new women’s hockey team in town, and one of the players catches his eye immediately. Anton feels definite instalust for Sylvie, but she’s too caught up in her complicated connection to his teammate, Bryce, to realize it. Bryce has been stringing Sylvie along for way too long, and she’s not ready to give up hope that he’ll finally be ready to cross the line from friends to lovers. But as Sylvie and Anton spend more time together, her focus slowly starts to shift to him.
I love a good sports romance, so I was really looking forward to this. I just think there was too much going on, so it never felt “romantic” to me. Anton is Sylvie’s second choice, and it felt like she was using the manhoe at times – she literally shifts her focus from one guy to the other within the same chapter. And for a commitment-phobic guy who is determined to stay out of trouble, Anton doesn’t spend much time resisting. The story didn’t slow down enough for us to get those quieter moments; Anton’s playboy past, Sylvie’s inexperience, their growing feelings – those are all glossed over. Add in the drama with Bryce, and it was a lot for one book. The foundation of a great love story is here and the writing style is solid, but this loses points on execution. With a few changes, I probably would’ve really enjoyed this, but it’s ultimately a forgettable read for me. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this forbidden sports romance.
The women’s league is in the house! And Brooklyn will never be the same again for Anton Bayer and the team…
This is my last chance to ditch my playboy reputation and finally fulfill my potential. So I’ve made three rules for our biggest season yet: no boozing, no women, and no scandals.
Especially that last thing.
So who do I befriend on the very first day back at the rink? An amazing female hockey player. I want Sylvie in a way that’s more than just friendly. I crave her. But I have a championship to win, and so does she.
Then she gets her heart broken by my teammate, and I make the foolish mistake of comforting her in the best way I know how. Our night together sets off a string of sins.
Nobody can know about our affair, especially my overprotective teammate. I can’t let anyone see into my greedy little heart. Not even her.
The things I want from her, and the things we’ve already done? If anyone knew, there’d be bombshells.
Contains: a defenseman with dreamy blue eyes, a female goalie with bad ideas, a major battle of the sexes and a swimming pool scene…
Long after daylight arrives, I lay stretched out in my bed, my eyes shut, fighting off the reality of morning.
My thighs ache, probably from yesterday’s workout. But I’m also deliciously sore in some places I didn’t know I could be sore.
Behind my shuttered eyelids, the night isn’t over yet. If I stay in this dreamlike place, I can relive each thrill that Anton gave me. Each stroke of his magic hands across my bare skin.
As first times go, I realize I’ve hit the jackpot. His obvious skill and devotion to female pleasure make me a very lucky girl.
But that wasn’t last night’s biggest surprise. It wasn’t just the thrills and chills. It was the heady emotional journey that we seemed to take together. His kisses tasted as hungry as mine. His touch was reverent, his words desperate.
Maybe it’s all in my head. A girl can imagine a deep connection that isn’t really there.
I’m a pro at that, actually.
But it felt so real. Even after the last groan and gasp had passed, Anton’s kisses didn’t stop. As I floated down from the extreme high of sexual pleasure, his lips continued to trace my neck, and gentle hands smoothed over my hips and down my back.
That part—the aftermath—was just as beautiful to me. I’d never wanted it to end.
Eventually, he’d gotten up to visit my bathroom. I’d heard him running the sink and washing up. Then I’d braced myself for his departure. His team began an eight-day road trip this morning. It’s not like he had a lot of extra time to share.
But he hadn’t thrown on his clothes and left. Instead, he’d come back to the bed, straightening out the covers we’d tossed around during our sex fest.
Then he’d lifted the covers and slid in beside me.
Feeling blessed, I’d rolled to meet him in the middle, where strong arms wrapped me into the sweetest embrace.
We hadn’t spoken much. I’d felt too dreamy for casual conversation. And I don’t know what I would have found to say besides wow and thank you and please feel free to do that again.
My silence had also prevented me from blurting out the news that the whole experience had been a first for me. That’s nobody’s business but mine. And Anton doesn’t need the burden of dealing with my strange life choices.
I didn’t want him to know, because it would have changed everything. He didn’t baby me. His brand of aggressive, bossy, emotional lust was a real eye-opener.
But only metaphorically, because I refuse to open my eyes.
Although I’d already cheated once, when I’d rolled over to discover that Anton had left me a note—short and sweet and just as perfect as our night together.
Sylvie—you are a sleeping beauty. There aren’t words to describe last night. Except maybe “Wow.” I will call you tonight. —A.B.
And there was a smiley face. When I’d read the note, that smiley face had matched my own.
“Sylvie,” comes Fiona’s voice through the door, followed by a knock. “Are you still in bed?”
“Yes. So?” I cover my eyes with one arm, as if the extra barrier could prevent the day from arriving.
“Get up. We have to go to brunch.”
I search my memory for anything related to brunch and come up empty. “Why? Shouldn’t you be at work?” I stretch lazily.
“It’s Sunday. Get up. You have twenty minutes to shower and get dressed.”
“Or else?” I do not understand the urgency.
“Or else I will combust from all the questions I have for you.”
Uh-oh. Fiona seems to know that I wasn’t alone in my bedroom last night. Maybe she heard Anton leave. But I’m not about to tell the whole team about my wild night. “It’s just going to be you and me at brunch, right?”
“If you don’t get up, I’ll start inviting other people.”
“No!” I throw off the comforter. “Fine. I’m getting up.”
About the Author:
Sarina Bowen’s contemporary and LGBT romance novels have hit the USA Today bestsellers list over a dozen times. Formerly a Wall Street derivatives trader, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University. She lives in New Hampshire with her family, nine chickens, and far too much hockey gear.
She would be honored to connect with you at http://www.sarinabowen.com
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