Hot Flashes and Hockey Slashes by Marika Ray and Sylvie Stewart
Contemporary Romance/Romantic Comedy
October 26, 2023- Self-Published
Review by Angela
I’ve been begging for more mid-life, Gen-X romance, so when I spied this book while doing a new release post I decided it was right up my alley. Honestly? They had me at hot flashes.
The FMC, Olivia, is in her forties, a successful shoe designer, and divorced. She has a good life and her adult children are doing well. Her only problem is that her ex-husband is getting married and has invited her to his tropical wedding. Despite deciding that she will not attend, her daughter (and her daughter’s college roommate) have hatched a plan for her to not only attend–but to do so with a hot boyfriend.
Which is where Roman comes in.
Roman is a pro hockey player close to retirement. Only he can’t make up his mind to bite the bullet and announce. Despite his nagging injuries and status as the oldest player on the team, hockey is his whole life and he is unsure about giving it up. Then his daughter calls him and asks that he be the +1 to her roommate’s mom on a wedding trip. Determined to get back into her good graces and spend some quality time with her, he accepts.
I will admit to being really, really unsure about Roman when I first started this book. He’s arrogant, brash, and way too handsy with Olivia when he first meets her. She has no idea who this dude is and is just learning of her daughter’s plan to acquire a date for her, and he keeps calling her honey and invading her personal space. I kept thinking about what I would do in that situation and I can assure you I would have been a bit more forceful with him.
Yet, I kept reading. and he grew on me.
I enjoyed the frank talk of changing bodies and changing lives. Olivia is going through menopause and dealing with everything that comes with that–hot flashes, scattered thoughts, and trouble sleeping. Roman is aging in a sport where new blood regularly comes enters the league. They both are trying to connect with their older kids. I loved their playful banter. All the poking, prodding, and shenanigans kept me smiling. Roman is really into Olivia, and she realizes she is attracted to him as well. They have a sexy relationship that quickly turns from wariness to all-out open-door love scenes. But I think the thing I liked the most was how compassionate and thoughtful they were to the challenges in each other’s lives.
The HEA is well done and I enjoyed seeing them make changes that would enable them to be together. Now I am all excited for the second book in this series, which I *think* releases in April of next year.