“There weren’t any fireworks or choreographed dance mobs. We didn’t even kiss because she was nursing the baby at the time. It just happened, like everything else we do. We just happen.”
I think that quote is supposed to be a romantic description of this strangers to friends to lovers romance, but it’s more of a literal description for me: it just happened. I’ve read (and enjoyed) more than 15 books by Ryan, but this was a truly forgettable read for me. This series of almost-standalones has been uneven overall, and this one might be the weakest link. I loved the premise – a playboy reformed, showing his sweet side to a woman who is pregnant with another man’s baby, with a little neighbors to lovers thrown into the mix. I also appreciated that there was no OW drama, the father is completely absent from the story, and it is (kinda/sorta) a slow burn. However… I was super bored. The relationship remains superficial throughout, and the story flies by so fast that the whole thing just feels glossed over. It didn’t feel romantic. I had no emotional investment in the relationship, and that didn’t change at any point in the book.
The story follows Saint, a playboy hockey player who has been told to clean up his act. Saint has always been a bit of a troublemaker, and he’s willing to try anything once. Without his favorite vices – women, booze, and partying – Saint has a lot of extra time on his hands. So when Saint meets his very pregnant neighbor, he’s all too happy to help her out. Saint and Kinley start spending plenty of platonic time together, though attraction simmers beneath the surface. Kinley will be a mom in a few short months, and that’s just one of the complications to a potential future together. But Saint soon discovers that spending time with Kinley outside of the bedroom is not a hardship.
I’ve been reading this series from the start, and I was always curious about Saint’s character, especially after the last book. We’ve seen his hidden romantic side and that intrigued me, despite his playboy exterior. Unfortunately, the execution here doesn’t live up to that intrigue. The whole book is pretty sedate, and this couple is missing both the swoon AND the steam – there’s no chemistry. There are also so many unresolved threads and much of the story barely scratches the surface. We get a bunch of vague descriptions of domestic scenes, and that’s about it. There’s nothing that I necessarily “hated,” but there’s also not much that’s romantic (or even memorable) for me. Ryan has acknowledged that she’s a little burned out, and this book makes that very obvious. Here’s hoping that she gets her groove back soon. I received an early copy and am voluntarily leaving a review of this friends to lovers romance.
A smokin’ hot new standalone romance from New York Times bestseller, Kendall Ryan.
Price St. James, hockey’s favorite bad boy needs to clean up his image—or face suspension.
What could be more wholesome than helping his new neighbor Kinley? She’s beautiful, funny and newly single. (Score!)
There’s just one problem. She’s also the team captain’s sister.
There are rules about this kind of thing.
But rules were made to be broken…
Contents include: A dreamy AF hero, a bad boy trying to be good, a good girl who likes him naughty, oh, and a bun in the oven.
Start the series today!
I didn’t particularly love the romance in The Rebel (you can read my 3-star review here), but it does work well as a series starter. You could certainly skip The Rebel and still enjoy the rest of the series, but it provides some insight into the characters. Totally up to you!
Six years ago, Eden barged into my life and turned everything upside down. We spent one scorching-hot night together, and then she disappeared into the sunset with the golden jock everyone adored. Which makes sense, right? A girl as beautiful and brilliant as Eden Wynn doesn’t end up with a rebel like me.
I expected them to live happily ever after, but that’s not what happened. She’s back in my life—and tempting me like no one else has. And while I’m certain I’ll only tarnish her shine, I want her.
I’d heard the old notion that one night held the power to change everything. I just never believed it.
I’m public enemy number one.
Turns out, the East Coast is protective of their hockey team and very vocal about not wanting a young female owner. Well, too bad, because this team is all Grandpa Wynn left me, and I have no intention of walking away.
Enter my new head of security, Holt Rossi. My history with him is . . . complicated. Chemistry reignites between us while the world waits for me to stumble.
He’s supposed to protect me—but who will protect my heart from him?
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