Some games are hotter off the ice…
Sofia Phillips feels cursed. Her father cheated on her mother, her boyfriend cheated on her — she’s done with dating. A summer work-exchange program in Finland is the perfect escape. But instead of gaining experience as an athletic trainer, she’s cleaning toilets. Awesome. The trip is a disaster, and even better, she meets Kyle Bennett. In the sauna. Naked.
Sexy hockey player Kyle was the star right wing for an NHL team. But after an accident killed his wife and left him injured, Kyle has appreciated the “therapeutic” benefits of booze and puck bunnies. Now in Finland for the summer, he’s coaching in an elite hockey-training camp for teens. When Sofia’s grandmother decides to set her up with a nice Finnish man, Sofia recruits Kyle as her make-believe boyfriend. Neither expects their first kiss to sizzle. And neither expects, while stranded on an island during a storm, to have a scorching night of passion.
But as their charade, and then their attraction, develops into something deeper, the past comes back, threatening to destroy them. They must decide if their feelings for each other are strong enough to survive — or it will be game over.
Once again, I read this book with Cátia @The Girl Who Read Too Much, so head to her blog in the next few days to check out her review of this book.
I really enjoyed the writing on this book, it flowed well and the voices of the 2 protagonists were very different, which was wonderful (especially considering that the last one I had read with dual POV hadn’t accomplished this).
I really liked both main characters too, they were both very flawed, but somewhat trying to overcome what had happened to both of them, which made them strong and vulnerable. Their relationship starts as friends and evolves to something more – initially friends with benefits – but they both soon realize that they want more of each other, but they’re so haunted by their own pasts, that they’re super scared to move forward. Though it starts with a mutual attraction, the romance is a slow burn, and I really liked that they spent a lot of time with friends and family.
Joni was a character that I didn’t appreciate, I hated that even though he thought that Sofia and Kyle’s relationship was serious, he still kept making moves on her, and taking advantage of her friendship and blissful ignorance. I wanted to slap Sofia and make her see how wrong that was. Unfortunately this is something that doesn’t get resolved by the end of the book, and that pissed me off. I thought Sofia should have confronted him in some way, not only for what he did, but also to make it clear to him that she was choosing Kyle – not that there was ever any doubt about it!
The ending felt a bit abrupt to me, I wish we had one more chapter or at least an epilogue to actually see them adjusting to a life they both didn’t know they wanted or needed.
Other than the ending and Joni, this book is a pretty awesome NA romance, with a twist that I didn’t see coming (at all, though Cátia did!). It has little hockey in it, because Kyle is coaching and he can’t play himself, which was a bummer. With that said, I would recommend it if you’re into the NA genre 😉 .