He stared at it for so long she felt foolish and dropped it. “This isn’t Would You Rather, Harper. It doesn’t have to be an either-or choice, a fulfilling career or a happy personal life.” He cupped her face with both hands, searching for Lord knew what. Whatever it was, he wouldn’t find it. “I’m asking you to be a little bit brave here. Lean on me. Let me love you. We both get what we want.”
This was the first book I’ve read by this author. There are several hockey books out, in fact I read and reviewed one earlier this month. I don’t think there was anything specific in the blurb that drew me in, but I was pleasantly surprised. Especially because this book is pretty darn sexy. Way sexier than I imagined it might be.
On the outset, it seems like this is a fairly standard issue hockey romance. Harper, the heroine, has become the co-owner of a hockey team with her estranged sisters. Remy, the hero, is a disgruntled hockey player, disgruntled because he got traded to the Chicago Rebels, the worst team in the league. Remy is feeling his age and really wants this year to be his best. Harper is determined to be the best team owner that she can be and that definitely does not mean getting involved with one of the players. For me, the thing that really set it apart was the connection between the two main characters, the sexiness, and Remy’s overall lovableness.
Harper and Remy have instant chemistry and Meader did a really good job building the tension with the two characters. It takes a little while, but once they decide to give in to their attraction, the payoff was worth it. There is even a scene where they are playing a video game while having sex.
Harper is a little prickly, as she didn’t have the best childhood and her previous romantic relationships weren’t great. It takes her some time to really trust Remy and his feelings for her. Harper is also working on building a relationship with her estranged sisters. Remy comes off as a jerk at the beginning of the book, but his gruff exterior melts away and we get to see plenty of his squishy insides. Remy has a great relationship with his sisters and his whole family.
The conflict was a little predictable but it worked. I really enjoyed the way that Remy didn’t give up on Harper. I really liked Remy and they way he wanted to stand by Harper as a partner and not take away from her ability as a woman to run the hockey team. There was definitely some underlying issues of outsiders not believing in Harper’s ability to run a male hockey team. One issue I did have with the book is that even though Harper wants to be treated as an equal and fights to dispel the misconceptions of a woman running a hockey team, there is still some usage of words like skank and bitches when referring to other women, particularly women that were showing interest in Remy. This rubs me the wrong way and feels like a mixed message. But I also know that people aren’t perfect, not in romancelandia and certainly not in real life. It is just something that sticks in my craw and always feels a little lazy, to describe other women in books as skanks because they flirt with the hero.
Otherwise this was a really enjoyable book. It was sexy as hell. The author dropped some bread crumbs for future couples and I am already interested in them. There is a novella in this series that introduces the series and characters, but I didn’t feel like I was missing anything by not reading it. I believed in the love story and happy ever after for Remy and Harper. I look forward to future stories in this series.