* * * 3/4
Her biggest fantasy is about to become a reality. . .
Jed West is Mr. Hockey. The captain of the NHL’s latest winning team, the Denver Hellions–and the hottest player on the ice—at least according to every magazine. .and Breezy Angel. Breezy has been drooling over Jed at games for years, and he plays a starring role in her most toe-curling fantasies. But dirty dreams don’t come true, right?
Then Jed saunters through the doors of her library, a last minute special guest for a summer reading event, and not only is he drop dead gorgeous up close, his personality is straight up swoon-worthy. He even comes to the rescue when she has an R-rated “Super Book Worm” costume malfunction. But when he mistakenly assumes she’s more into books than pucks, she’s too flustered to correct his mistake. And then comes a big kiss, followed by a teensy-tiny problem. Jed’s dating policy is simple: Never date a fan.
So what’s a fangirl going to have to do to convince her ultimate crush that he’s become less of a perfect fantasy, and more like the perfect man. . .for her?
Source: advance e-galley provided by publisher in exchange for an honest review
Yowza!! Have the cover gods smiled upon Lia Riley! You're forgiven if you get lost in Mister Hockey's intense gaze and take a while to open the book. I stared and I may have sighed. Okay, I DID sigh. Can you blame a girl?
I've read so many sports romances lately, particularly hockey ones that I wondered what would be different about Mister Hockey. It seems that most of the male athletes tend to be categorized as egocentric, players, arrogant, while the women despite themselves fall helplessly for that. Don't get me wrong - I enjoy reading them all, especially how these athletes grow and become more evolved, but I take particular delight when I read about one that goes against the grain. Jed is that kind of athlete. I don't take him for a saint but he's a decent guy with strong principles and who's currently at a crossroads in his career. Jed's being interviewed for a podcast by an incredibly smart and assertive reporter when she out of the blue asks a huge favour of him. The reporter's sister who is a librarian needs someone from his Hellions organization to fill in as a guest reader at her library because their coach couldn't make it. No big deal, he can step in to save the day for a group of young kids. When he arrives he comes face-to-face with the most stunning woman he has ever seen - Breezy. He assumes that she's not a hockey fan hence, doesn't know who he is. Bonus points! If he peeked inside her office though he'd realize he's mistaken. Not only does she love the sport, she's his biggest fan with all the memorabilia to prove it. Breezy can't believe that she's standing in front of the man who has had a starring role in all her fantasies. So like most women when in this situation she's flustered. Worse yet, a horrifyingly embarrassing wardrobe malfunction has Jed covering for her - literally. Once again, we are all Breezy when she hastily leaves the library running to the sanctuary of her home. Bat wait! In her haste she's run off with his car keys which Jed shows up later to retrieve. One thing leads to another ... and with all the sexy vibes and googly eyes ... you can imagine what happens next.
It's an unusual set-up but it's entertaining. Jed and Breezy get on amazingly. The only thing that could ruin this is that they're both hiding secrets. Well actually, it's just Breezy who still hasn't come clean that she's his number one fangirl. While she's debating when to tell him the truth, Jed's facing his own dilemma regarding his health and next career move. What they do have in common, and what I sympathized with, is the entire sibling-comparison thing. Breezy gets on well with her sister but it's their mother who is constantly comparing the two sisters and pointing out Breezy's "lack of". She thinks she lacks ambition or wonders if Jed can really be attracted to Breezy when her sister is the more slender, conventional beauty. Breezy is a strong woman but it still hurts to hear a mother knock her body image. And Jed has always felt he's been in his brother's shadow and is still reconciling his success with his brother's reality.
I thought Mister Hockey was a sweet whirlwind romance with both Jed and Breezy being a fun pair. I ate it up and finished it within a day. I know I'm repeating myself when I say how I honestly enjoyed that Jed was a more down-to-earth kind of guy than an Adonis-like pro with a wild past. Breezy, who's simply too adorable and open-hearted, is also rather silly at times which makes me want to be besties with her. Jed and Breezy together make me smile and I hope they do the same or you.