Author: Victoria Denault
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Rating: 4.5 stars
Type: Novel in a Series
Provided by Publisher
Blurb: He’ll do whatever it takes to win–on and off the ice.
Luc Richard is the hottest player in the NHL–and it has nothing to do with hockey. His racy relationship with his supermodel ex set the tabloids on fire but nearly put his career on ice. To avoid being traded, Luc agrees to take a break from the spotlight–and from women–and spend the off-season at home in Silver Bay, Maine. It’s the perfect plan… until he reconnects with Rose.
Rose Caplan is tired of being shy, sweet, and safe. She’s ready for passion, romance–and Luc. Having loved him longer than she can remember, she’s finally ready to prove she’s not the same innocent little girl he once knew. Off the ice Luc doesn’t do games, but this new Rose makes him feel like playing a little dirty. If he’s really got a shot at her heart then he’s not just playing to win. He’s playing for keeps.
Review: For some reason, I seemed to have gotten into a groove with these hockey sports romances. And I don’t mean to complain, because most of them are freaking amazing. I haven’t read any of this author before, but after looking at her page I see there’s one already out and one to come so I’m going to be hitting that after I write this.
There’s a lot of history and angst in this romance about friends to lovers. There’s also a lot of family drama. Rose is the youngest Caplan sister, one of the three girls dumped on their grandmother in the quaint little town of Silver Bay, Maine when they were young tweens/teens. Luckily for them, they’d fallen in with the Garrison family, whose Mother had quickly adopted them as her own. Early on, young Rose had fallen into puppy love with Luc.
Luc had been pretty hit or miss with her until his drunken mother had shown up in town. Rose had quietly taken her aside and contained the situation, gaining Luc’s never-ending gratitude and respect. Their mutual friendship had taken off after that, and for Luc, she was his best friend. But for Rose, it was much more–but she was afraid he’d never see her as anything other than the child he’d first met.
Part of the issue for Luc is he doesn’t want to lose Rose. If he screws up the romance, he’ll lose her–and that would be intolerable. Another part is that his hockey career has hit the skids and he’s got to prove to the leadership of the team that he can pull his head out of his a$$ and play up to his potential. He doesn’t think he can have a relationship and a career at the same time–or at least he hasn’t been able to in the past. But maybe it could be different if he was with the right person, someone who really worked with him. He’s too afraid to risk it.
Luc might not have a choice, though. Rose is tired of waiting and she’s decided RIGHT NOW she’s going to make a play. If it doesn’t work, she’s going to Europe at the end of the summer and she might just stay there. If there’s any chance for Luc to convince her to come back and join him in Vegas, he’s got to give it–and her–a shot. Or else he’ll lose her forever.
This was a complicated, sweet and hot read with characters that I grew to really care about. Plus, there’s lots of fodder for future stories with friends and siblings–something a series lover like myself always likes to see. Thanks for the great read!