Slick’s Review – Slap Shot (Aces Hockey #5) by Kelly Jamieson

Pack full of emotion, an outstanding plot, and characters that grab worm their way into your heart, Kelly Jamieson’s Slap Shot is exactly what I look for in a romance and 5 stars of perfection. ~ Slick, Guilty Pleasures 

My name’s Max Hall, and I need to f***. As a pro hockey player who’s been away from the game for over a year, my libido has picked one hell of an an inconvenient time to come roaring back to life.

After my wife died from a rare form of cancer, sex was the last thing on my mind. Same with hockey, the other love of my life. Now, after fifteen months of eating too much, drinking too much, and generally just feeling sorry for myself, I’m facing a steep uphill battle to get my ass in shape and play my way back onto the Chicago Aces.

So I’m not looking for a relationship. Just sex. Yeah, I know how that makes me sound. But the truth is, I’ll never love another woman the way I loved my wife. When I meet a sexy bridesmaid at my teammate’s wedding, I decide to scratch that itch. A fling with Kendra Armstrong in her posh hotel room could be just what the trainer ordered.

Not only is Kendra smokin’ hot, she’s dynamite in bed—one of the perks of being a sex toy designer. Since she lives in New York anyway, we agree to keep things casual, no strings attached. The arrangement is perfect . . . until one of us falls in love. And it’s not me.

I have thoroughly enjoyed each and every book in Kelly Jamieson’s Chicago Aces series, but Slap Shot has a bit of an added bonus and two of her characters from her New Adult Bayard Hockey series make cameo appearances giving readers a bit of a look at what the future of the Aces might look like. Slap Shot takes a realistic look at grief and Ms. Jamieson does a fantastic job as a young widower tries to get back to his life in all ways; trying to regain his spot on his team by working hard, moving forward without forgetting his past, making mistakes, accepting happiness, and yes…falling in love again. At times heart breaking, at times frustrating, at times joyful, and at times sexy this was a book full of hope and new beginnings and my favorite book in this series to date.

Fifteen months after Max Hall’s wife passed away from a rare form of cancer, and following a bout of depression, and the inability to care about anything in his life including hockey Max is working with a new trainer and is determined to be in the best shape he can by training camp. At one of his teammates wedding’s Max suddenly finds him interested in sex again, something that hasn’t happened in a very long time, but the bride’s cousin Kendra Armstrong catches his eye despite the fact she is nothing like his usual type and perhaps that’s exactly what he needs.

I appreciated that upfront these two both wanted sex, period. They talked and given they live in different states and both are dedicated to their careers they were mature enough to agree to enjoy each other’s bodies fully and say good-bye. But, one night turns into two and then a weekend they don’t plan, and before long they have friends with benefits type of arrangement going on and soon were sharing their personal histories and their current lives. Given that Kendra was a therapist turned sex toy designer and company owner she was very in tune with her sexuality and astute in understanding Max’s grief and his dedication to getting healthy and earning his place back on his team. I like that she treated him like a man, she didn’t try to “fix” him, she didn’t offer platitudes but did try and help him when he asked or seemed to be struggling. While Kendra was smart and self sufficient she had some baggage that made her a bit vulnerable. I loved that Max was interested in her business, that he appreciated her drive, and that he was protective of her when it came to dealing with her family. While the parameters of their relationship changed over time, they never really discussed it leading to quite a bit of upheaval. I couldn’t help but respect the fact that despite being at odds, they both truly wanted what was best for one another proving they were both in deeper than they even intended to be.

One thing I really loved was watching Max push himself to the limit to get healthy and back to his team. I especially loved the scenes with the young players from Bayard College and those with his current teammates who more than wanted to see him healthy and happy again. It is this camaraderie that makes these books so special and entertaining.

Pack full of emotion, an outstanding plot, and characters that worm their way into your heart, Kelly Jamieson’s Slap Shot is exactly what I look for in a romance and 5 stars of perfection.

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