We’re already halfway through 2022, so I’m taking the time to reflect back on my 15 favorite books of the year so far. If you’d asked me six months ago, this probably wouldn’t have been the Meghan Quinn book that I expected to make this list! She is an excellent writer who usually has a book on my Best of lists, but I wasn’t sure that this dynamic was going to work for me. But it SO did! This playboy hero has a lot of work to do on himself, and it’s only once his one night stand with his best friend’s little sister results in a pregnancy that he gets his act together. I loved the combination of humor and heart (and heat!), and it quickly won me over. You’ll find my original review and some quotes from the book below!
WOW! I wasn’t sure that I was going to like this smooth-talking player at the start, but I was feeling the swoons in such a MAJOR way by the end. This book is a JOURNEY; a slow tearing down of walls and insecurities. MQ carefully navigates the complexities of a hero who honestly doesn’t know what love feels like. I really, really LOVED Eli by the end of this book, and he undergoes an incredible transformation along the way. It’s heartwarming and heartbreaking in equal measure, with tense and steamy moments paired with humor and tons of forced proximity. I adored the awkward roommates/parents-to-be dynamic, and this felt so very unique. I’ve never read a romance quite like it, and that is always a win for me. The more I read, the more I loved it, and I was caught up in my swoony feelings by the end.
The story follows Eli, a pro hockey player who has earned his reputation as a one night stand kind of guy. The thought of commitment and relationships terrifies him, so Eli does everything he can to avoid them. Except… there’s one girl he could see himself wanting for more than a night. Unfortunately, she’s his best friend/teammate’s very off-limits sister, Penny. When Eli and Penny run into each other at a bar on his birthday, Eli decides to be impulsive and give in to the feeling. No one was ever supposed to know that they shared one steamy night together, but when Penny announces that she’s pregnant, it’s a game-changer. Strong-armed into moving in with Penny and taking care of every pregnant craving, Eli’s life undergoes a major overhaul. And… he doesn’t hate it.
This easily has more steamy scenes than any book I’ve read this year, but it’s a slow burn at the heart of it – certainly a slow emotional burn. The sexual tension is ratcheted up to new heights, and I loved seeing Eli change and grow throughout the course of the book. He fights his feelings the whole way through, and it should’ve been too much. But I just loved him. Give the man a hug, he is starving for affection – playboys always seem to fall the hardest, and that is definitely the case here. The situation perfectly suited his backstory, and I loved how the forced proximity required these two to fight through so many situations where they would’ve otherwise given up. It actually felt like one of MQ’s least angsty books as I was reading it, but looking back, the angst is just scattered in a different way. It’s one of those books that takes a little while to settle into, but it gets deeper and richer as the story progresses. One of my new favorites from MQ, and that’s saying a lot.
DUET narration alert! The audio is fantastic, a definite enhancement to an already great story. I loved getting both voices in every chapter, which lended itself perfectly to a story where both characters are in nearly every scene together. While dual narration is fine, duet narration is my favorite and something I seek out in my audiobooks. Here’s hoping we get more of them from MQ. Combine that with two excellent narrators, and you’re in for a good time. And this will keep you busy for awhile! The runtime is over 14 hours, so it’s not a story you’ll get through in a workday… nor is it really appropriate for the office, lol. There’s a LOT of heat in the back half, so I can’t recommend this as a workday listen, but maybe you could listen to the first half in public? Maaaybe. Regardless, it’s still one of the best audiobooks I’ve listened to this year, made even better by one of the best stories I’ve read in awhile.
I knocked up my best friend’s sister.
Figured I would get straight to the point because how it happened is a mere snippet of the story I have to tell. The real meat and potatoes is what happened after.
Let’s start with how she decided to inform me and Pacey the news . . . together. Imagine that nightmare. I was going into what I thought was a hockey marketing meeting and then BAM! I’m going to be a dad and my best friend/teammate is attempting to imprint my face with his fist.
It wasn’t pretty.
Threats were tossed around, friendships were revoked, and then I was marched up to her apartment, suitcases in hand, and forced to live with her so I could take care of her every need. Given how much I’ve pined for the girl, you would think that wouldn’t be a hardship. Wrong.
This is my one shot to win my teammate back. Pacey is the only family I’ve got, so hooking up with his sister isn’t a mistake I can make twice . . . despite the fact that she’s pregnant with my child.
But with every mood swing, every pair of pants that doesn’t fit right, and every late night run to find the perfect donut, I’m finding it harder and harder not to fall for my best friend’s little sister.
Especially when she kisses me…
Start the series today!
Easily read as standalones, but the hero of Kiss and Don’t Tell is Eli’s best friend/Penny’s brother.
From USA Today bestselling author and the author of The Highland Fling, comes a brand new hockey romance about a wayward traveler falling in love with her ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. Steamy and unapologetically witty.
Five hockey players, a cabin in the woods . . . and little old me, Winnie Berlin.
Sounds like the start of a fantasy, right? But it’s not. It’s my reality.
It all started when I got lost in the middle of the Canadian Rockies. A wicked thunderstorm sent my car mud sliding into a ditch and for a girl whose survival skills involve finding the nearest Starbucks, I was in deep trouble.
Forced to abandon my car in search of help, I stumbled upon a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Soaking wet, irritated, and in desperate need of a hot shower, I knocked on the door for help only to be greeted by five boisterous, burly, and insanely attractive men.
Not just men.
Professional hockey players.
I hit the motherload of fantasies, right? Wrong.
Because as it turns out, one of them is my ex-boyfriend’s half-brother. And when I end up crashing in their spare bedroom for the night, things take a very unexpected turn.
I’m not sure any amount of survival skills can protect my heart from Vancouver Agitators star goalie, Pacey Lawes. But as long as we kiss and don’t tell, maybe everything will be okay . . .
About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling Author, wife, adoptive mother, and peanut butter lover. Author of romantic comedies and contemporary romance, Meghan Quinn brings readers the perfect combination of heart, humor, and heat in every book.
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