Reviewed by May
Favorite Quote: Sandra glanced furtively toward the living room, then back to Erin. “I know he’s good looking and that, but I bet he’s the selfish sort who heaves himself on top of you like a great walrus. Then it’s a few pokes and he’s done, rolling off you with a burp and a fart until he falls asleep.”
Two years ago Rory, living large in New York City as a hockey star with the Blades (author’s fictional NHL team) and high on his rising star he dumped his fiancée. He hadn’t been home in the two years prior to that, and Erin had issued the ultimatum that brought reality crashing down. Totally crushed, she is finally getting herself back on her feet and her life moving forward.
Rory just decided that breaking up with Erin was the worst mistake of his life, and he flies to Ireland to spend the summer there, help coach a kids soccer camp, and get his girl back. He is determined and never considers that she might not want him or that he might fail.
Erin is preparing to bust loose from her small town. With her mother having her do all of her work running the family B&B, she can hardly wait to be gone. She’s completing her degree in Art History in her bedroom via computer courses and plotting her departure. To say she is surprised and dismayed at Rory’s reappearance would be an understatement. From the start though it’s clear her strong feelings and that she hasn’t truly moved on (or seriously dated anyone) is what has her upset, and that she has to fight her feelings. At least Rory makes it easier with his bad attitude.
Rory took his time sauntering down to the pub. His grandmother was worried about the rest of the town jumping him when he walked in, but that was the furthest thing from his mind, probably because it was so ridiculous. Four of them could try to take him down, and they’d be the ones to wind up in a ditch moaning in pain, not him. Not only that, but any choice words they threw his way would be a piece of piss compared to the trash talk he’d gotten on the ice. He knew he was a shit for dumping Erin. But at the time, he felt cornered. Never in her life had she given him an ultimatum, and it caught him unawares. It was the first time she really pushed him, and he reflexively pushed back.
I have read and enjoyed several of this series centered around the fictitious New York hockey team the blades, but I’m sorry to say I did not enjoy this one. My problem had little to do with the writing or story, and was almost entirely that I disliked the main characters. I love a big strong alpha man, but this guy, the heroine, and their interactions just hit on my every nerve. What is described as confidence and determination really rubbed me the wrong way. He seems to think that showing up and claiming he’s sorry makes it all ok. That he never seems to get how strongly he affected the lives of his loved ones, or how deeply he hurt Erin bothered me. It also bothered me that he seemed to have an “oh just get over it” attitude.
Easy to do when you’ve been living large and making millions back in New York City where women are lining up to sleep with you.
Being dumped shattered Erin’s heart, but I felt that could have been a really good thing and taken to create an interesting relationship transition and growth. They are no longer the boy and girl infatuated, but grown man and woman ready for a lasting adult relationship. Unfortunately Erin never did move on, date other guys, or try to get over Rory. Not really, which means she’s still pretty much in the same place as when he left, just more weary.
I did enjoy that while he is a hockey player, none of this book has to do with hockey or attending games and team practices and whatnot. I really liked the ‘off season’ aspect of the story. The majority of this story takes place in their small home town in Ireland, with a rich cast of supporting characters who throw some curves into the plot and keep things interesting. The story really does have a strong focus on the main couple as they eventually reunite.
At this point to explain in more depth what was hitting my buttons (in bad way) I would have to get into spoilers and I don’t want to do that. So I will end by saying that overall I think fans of contemporary romance and specifically the reunited high school lovers trope may enjoy this significantly more than I did. The story is fast paced and the writing is light and easy to follow.