Book Review

Book Review: Outscored (Rinkside in the Rockies #3) by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

Whitney is a seasonal decorator who meets hockey player Gavin while shopping for gnomes at a flea market! The two hit it off immediately. Whitney is so cute and unique. I love her job-getting to decorate homes and businesses for a particular season or holiday sounds so exciting! She’s great at what she does with her routine client base, but doesn’t know how to put herself out their for new business which is getting her some flak at work. Gavin is the team captain, and he’s more than ready to be back on the ice after a traumatic and painful injury. He doesn’t want to let anyone down or seem weak, or like a failure. They encourage each other while struggling with their own anxieties and worries and dealing with past relationship failures.

Their friendship and romance felt so real and sweet. I love all their fun quirks, inside jokes, and the chemistry they shared.  The romance is swoony and heartwarming but like every relationship, it comes with its fair share of drama, conflict, and misunderstanding. This book is also the perfect romantic Halloween read due to a super sweet scene at Gavin’s Halloween party!

I adore Aven’s books, and this is no exception! Especially since the heroine is a redhead named Whitney! 😉 Check this one out if you enjoy reading romance, hockey themed books, or fun, lighthearted novels with a happy ending!

Thank you to the author for my copy of this book!

Uncategorized

Free Book Alert! Sugar and Ice by Aven Ellis

Josephine Rossi has recovered from a broken heart, but has vowed that she’s all about the desserts now as a recipe tester for Bake It! Magazine. Cheesecake never breaks your heart. Unless it cracks on the top, but still, it tastes amazing if you bake it just right. She knows what to do in the kitchen as far as making luscious desserts. Men? Apparently she’s not so good at figuring them out, so she refuses to bother. Josephine knows it is safer to stay in the kitchen than to take another chance with her heart.

Denver Mountain Lions forward Cade Callahan is passionate about hockey, but is also about finding love. He thought he had it once, but a disastrous romance last holiday season has him keeping his heart in check. While he’s fearless on the ice, he’s guarded with his heart. Cade is determined history won’t repeat itself again. He won’t let his guard down until he’s certain he’s met The One.

However, Cupid’s arrow might just strike when these two least expect it. When an oven goes out, and a cheesecake for testing has to be baked, and Cade just happens to live in the same building with a working oven…Well, things other than cheesecake might just heat up in the kitchen. Can these two passionate people learn to trust their hearts again? Can love override fear for Josephine and Cade? And will they find the combination of sugar and ice is the sweetest one of all? 

One of my favorite authors, Aven Ellis, has a free book on Amazon today! Sugar and Ice, book one of the Rinkside in the Rockies series, is a hockey romance that is oh-so-sweet and will be the perfect book for Valentine’s Day reading!

This couple will steam up both the kitchen and the ice rink! I love JoJo and Cade, and I think you will too if you enjoy fun, contemporary romances!

Click here for my review!
Click here to get it on Amazon!

 

Book Review

Book Review: The Bottom Line by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

 

Aven Ellis takes readers back to Chicago and to the world of the Chicago Buffaloes hockey team. This time around, Taylor Hartigan has quit her job that made her miserable and moved back to her hometown in beloved Chicago and cute Canadian Hunter Riley has just been traded to the Buffaloes.

They are both struggling with big life changes and feeling like failures, but can’t forget the moment they shared over a year ago when Hunter broke the glass at a game right in front of Taylor, making her spill nachos ALL OVER HERSELF!

Taylor and Hunter are PERFECT for each other. They understand how hard each other wants to work for what they want, they uplift and encourage each other, they have fun, and the building romance is so swoon worthy! They don’t want to let this relationship fail like they feel they have both failed in their careers, but can they realize they can be successful both in their work and in love?

As with all of Aven’s series readers get to follow up on couples from other books. I love seeing how their relationships are flourishing and seeing what they’re in to now! If you’ve enjoyed Aven’s Chicago on Ice series you will love this one.

 

The Bottom Line releases October 17th.

Pre-order it on Amazon now, and read more about it on Goodreads!

Thank you SO MUCH to Aven for an advance copy of this novel.

Book Review

Book Review: Reality Blurred (Rinkside in the Rockies #2) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Aven Ellis’s newest novel brings readers back to the Rockies with Reality Blurred!

We’re introduced again to Denver Mountain Lions hot Belgian Maxime, and America’s Sweetheart Skye in a fun twist to Ellis’s usual hockey romances! Skye was on the TV show “Is it Love” where the whole world saw her have her heart broken. I loved the reality show aspect to this novel! Skye is outgoing and of course has the paparazzi always trying to sneak a picture at her worst while she’s trying to get over the humiliation from the show. She’s bubbly and fun, and determined to prove she’s more than a failed reality star. Maxime is more reserved and hates being in the spotlight even though he’s a successful hockey player.  Maxime is such a sweetheart, especially when he would speak in French to Skye!

I truly loved seeing their relationship develop. Maxime saw Skye in Brussels at her lowest right after “Is it Love” and felt he missed out on an opportunity to get to know her, but they both have baggage from failed relationships that bring a lot of pain and hurt into their lives! But can two opposites come together over a love for chocolate sprinkles, put their past hurts behind them, and find love again in the Rockies?

If you’re looking for a sweet, funny, romantic read, definitely check this one out when it releases tomorrow, February 14! It will be the perfect Valentine’s Day read! While this is book two, you can start with this one and go back to the first one, Sugar and Ice!

I received an ARC from the author to read and review! All opinions are my own. Thank you, Aven!

Add it to your Goodreads shelf!

Pre-order before tomorrow on Amazon!

Read my review of book one, Sugar and Ice!

Book Review

Book Review: Breakout by Stephanie Kay-4 Stars

Breakout is a sweet but steamy hockey romance!

Penny met Ethan in Italy after she dumped her fiance for screwing around with other girls. They divulge very little about their personal lives to each other but spend their days touring the country and exploring each other…

Imagine Penny’s surprise when she runs in to Ethan at a bar in her hometown. He’s confused as to why she ran out without a goodbye in Italy after all the chemistry they had between them, but Penny doesn’t want to have anything to do with him as her trust in men has been broken. Ethan tries to prove to her what they had in Italy can be more than just a fling, but can Penny find it in her heart to open up and let him in?

I really enjoyed the developing romance and obstacles we see Penny and Ethan overcome as they’ve both been hurt in relationships before. This was a quick but fun and sexy read! This is my first book by the author and I can’t wait to read more from her.

Book Review

Book Review: Playing Defense (Dallas Demons #5) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Aven is back with another Dallas Demons hockey romance! In Playing Defense we meet Swiss stud JP and oreo obsessed fitness model Reese! Being that this is another installment in the Demons series, we get to catch up with all of our fave couples which I love!

After an intense fitness shoot Reese is tired and sweaty but dying for a burger and Oreo shake and unexpectedly ends up sharing fries and onion rings with JP…only to start the convo by telling JP she normally bathes before going out! Thankfully that doesn’t scare him away and the dates just get better and better!

All of the cute little surprises and fun adventures JP and Reese do for one another is simply adorable, their chemistry is HOT, and the relationship just seems to flow perfectly like they were always meant to be, but they do have to work through their fair share of conflicts and problems. JP is OVER women and relationships. He wants to fall in love, get married, and have kids, but all the women he meets aren’t ready for anything serious. Reese doesn’t want to open her heart after being hurt, she knows the “love” her parents had wasn’t real so she just doesn’t want to let anyone close to her. Can Oreos, Turkish coffee, disdain for ice cubes, and fun graphic tees pave the way for these soul mates to realize their love is real?

I received an ARC of Playing Defense from the author. My thoughts and opinions are my own. 🙂

 

Book Review

Book Review: Save the Date (Chicago on Ice #3) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Luca is a hockey goalie obsessed with constantly trying to improve his game. Collins is an events planner, and she does a great job, but her heart is in working with horses.

The two hit it off instantly at a mutual friend’s engagement party. After a few dates, it’s obvious they fit together perfectly. Collins tries desperately for Luca to see that he is already great at what he does and shouldn’t devote so much time to training and nothing else. Luca has his mind made up that he will help Collins’ dream of working with horses come true. But between Luca’s unwavering hockey dedication, and Collins’ fear of hurting Luca like she did with her last boyfriend, can the two of them overcome the obstacles and believe their love is real and meant to last?

This book gave me butterflies. Every single one of Aven’s books seems to be a favorite, but honestly, Luca and Collins’ story is in the top spot at the moment! The easy way they joke between each other over Collins’ love of pumpkin spice and seasonal flavored treats, and the fact that Luca loves every single freckle on Collins’ face (that her mom desperately wants her to cover) to the more intimate moments-the heat between these two is enough to melt the ice but the sweet romance just warms your heart.

Save the date for this winning romance-it releases 5/17/17!!

I was gifted a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you Aven!

Book Review

Book Review: On Thin Ice by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Yay, a new one by Aven Ellis!

This is another installment of the Dallas Demons series. “On Thin Ice” tells the story of Nate Johannson’s younger sister Holly, and Matt “The Wild One” Rhinelander. Matt is a huge party boy, always with another model on his arm in Instagram and Tumble (Haha!) (Tumblr) pictures. Holly loves to stay in and work on her fantasy novel or sticker in her planner while wearing one of her many crazy socks out of her impressive collection and a comfy Harry Potter shirt. She has social anxiety a secret she has kept from everyone,  the complete opposite of Matt, who loves being wild in a crowd. But she’s had a crush on him for two years! She knows she will never live up to his dating expectations-she’s no glamorous model. But maybe the Matt everyone sees isn’t who he wants to be? No one knows he’s been hurt as a child-abandoned by his parents, and hockey helped him flourish, but when he becomes a famous player, his parents suddenly come around and want money.

When Matt and Holly begin spending more time together, the chemistry is undeniable. Matt is helping her through her anxiety worries, and she’s trying to keep him out of trouble with the team by not being so wild. But big brother Nate is determined Matt is no good for Holly-in fact, she just needs to tame him so that he isn’t cut from the team. But Holly knows that Matt and her belong together for more than that. Can Matt believe someone can love him and see inside his heart, and believe he’s not just trash? Can Holly get past her anxiety, and routine of scrutinizing her every move, worrying she’s not good enough?

Like all of Aven’s novels, the characters and relationships are believable. The girls in the story are ones you just see yourself being besties with, and the guys are just swoon-worthy. I loved reconnecting with past characters and meeting new ones that will hopefully get their own love story next! 😉

Thank you to Aven for gifting me a copy of this novel!!!

Book Review

Book Review: Trivial Pursuits by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

 

trivial pursuits

TriviaPlayOrPass!: Who writes the best contemporary hockey romance novels?

What does a tattooed, cat loving, elementary school volunteering, sexy black haired hockey player and a beautiful platinum blond, jewelry making, Zingers addicted, kale loving girl have in common? The addictive online trivia game, TriviaPlayOrPass! It was fate that brought them together one day at an after school program. They realized they had been playing against each other in TriviaPlayOrPass! Landon loves the witty, sarcastic fun he was able to have with Livy over the trivia questions, the fact that she saw LANDON, the goofy, trivia addict and not LANDY, the flirty, popular hockey player. Livy can’t believe she’s been playing THE Landon Holder in TriviaPlayOrPass!. On the game, they were just two people who’d never met, having fun over some trivia.

Connectivity thus far has been my favorite Aven Ellis novel, but I fell HARD in love with Landon and Livy. Livy had sworn off the athletes, those players who can’t keep their eyes on one woman, after having her heart ripped out in college by a boyfriend, but after one date with Landon, she knows he’s different. Yet she can’t force her feelings of her past out of her heart and mind, and that comes up to hurt both her and Landon a couple times. His dad hurt his mom when Landon was younger, and he vows to never treat a lady like that. He basically doesn’t date but has one night flings that mean nothing- no commitments, no settling down, until he finds Livy. So they both have pain when it comes to relationships, and it takes awhile for them to push their fears aside, but they realize they can’t be without each other. Livy wants to make a career out of making jewelry, and it was so sweet to see Landon be so supportive of her, and helping drive customers to her business.

Aven’s books have this wonderful quality about them, that allows you to simply lose yourself in her world, and find yourself smiling to yourself, sometimes shedding a tear, while reading. Her books are literally the BEST thing, like eating a cupcake with the perfect cake to frosting ratio, on a sunny and breezy Saturday with no cares in the world.

I loved that  we get to catch up with Bree (married and pregnant!) from Surviving the Rachel, and of course Beckett and Aubrey from The Aubrey Rules. If you’re looking for a wonderful romance that will leave you with a smile on your face for days, pick up one of Aven’s books right away! Trivial Pursuits is book two in the Chicago on Ice series and releases April 20, 2016!

 

*I received a copy of this novel from the author. All opinions are my own!*

 

Book Review

Book Review: Breakout by Aven Ellis- 5 Stars

breakout

While Texas is known for loving football, Lexi Stewart has always been drawn to the ice. Hockey is her passion, and she wants nothing more than to pursue a career in video editing for the home network of the Dallas Demons hockey team.
Lexi has an editing job for a corporate account, but it’s not fulfilling. Nor is her dating life, despite having the so-called help of The One Online Dating Service. Lexi knows there has to be more for her—on both fronts. She’s ready to take the next step, but it doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen anytime soon.
Until a flying puck changes everything.
Niko Xenakis is the new Dallas Demons TV producer, and he’s looking to make his mark in his new role and hopefully work his way back to his hometown of Baltimore. But once he meets Lexi, he might just change his mind on what he wants for his future . . .
But the road to love is never easy, complicated by the fact that they both carry emotional baggage from the past in their hearts. Can these two “breakout”of the past to find love in the present?

 

The third book in the Dallas Demons series is just as romantic and funny as the previous two! Lexi is trying to achieve her dream of editing hockey for Total Access Total Sports when one day, the answer to her dreams literally crushes her against the bleachers to save her from a runaway hockey puck! From the start I was in love with Lexi and Niko. Lexi is such a headstrong woman who, like I always say about Aven’s female main characters, is someone I want to be friends with. She grew up in Dallas with her adoptive parents, who are well off, but Lexi has paved her own way and never relied on their money, and by whom she is loved and adored by.  Lexi is surrounded by loving, encouraging people, like her best friend Kenley, and second mother, CiCi, but deals with feelings of being abandoned and left unloved since her birth parents gave her up. She is a wonderful friend, has beautiful red hair, an eclectic collection of pj pants, is passionate about hockey, and pursuing her dream job. Niko is Greek, with Mediterranean sea blue eyes, and a Greek tattoo that peeks out from his dress shirts. Niko comes from a completely different background than Lexi. He grew up working in his parents bakery in Baltimore without any encouragement from them to pursue his dream of producing. They expect him to work in the bakery and marry a “nice Greek girl.” He has always felt like he is not good enough and a disappointment to his family.

So the two each bring some baggage to the table. Like all of Aven’s novels, as in real life, this isn’t a perfect-nothing-goes-wrong romance. Lexi and Niko have fights, there are mis-communications, but they always work things out. Lexi has to deal with a “reality show reject” at work who has eyes for Niko. Niko  needs to stop thinking of himself as the son who lets his parents down and realize he is worth love, from the right woman. As I’ve said before, I don’t think any couple can top William and Mary-Kate (Connectivity) but Niko and Lexi are coming in at a close second! This book will make you laugh, cry, and wish with all your heart that things start to fall into place for Lexi and Niko soon! The little gifts that Niko brings Lexi, like finger-less gloves for working in the office, and her favorite Gingerbread Latte, are so sweet and thoughtful.

The supporting characters are awesome as well- I really loved CiCi in this book. She is still nosy, but loves Lexi like a daughter and will do anything to help her and Niko stay together! And Kenley is such a great best friend. She’s always there with some yummy chocolate and to offer advice, especially when Lexi doubts herself.

The setting, besides the romance, is one of my favorite aspects of this book as it’s set around the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love looking at Christmas lights and just being surrounded by the magic of the holiday season, and it’s always great when Starbucks brings back their red cups! 🙂 Another fun and memorable aspect of Aven’s books are the attention to detail. For example, how Lexi wears Jo Malone Wood Sage and Sea Salt perfume (I need to smell this!!) and applies her Bite Rhubarb lip crayon before her date. I LOVE little details like that, it helps me to really envision the character.

I love this book with the intensity of a thousand suns. There’s only one thing I disliked about Breakout- the fact that it had to end! I’m thankful for the epilogue-the fact that there wasn’t a cliffhanger and it was just so beautiful and romantic. Now I can’t wait for On Thin Ice and Trivial Pursuits, some upcoming releases by the author! As always, a huge thank you to Aven for gifting me this novel. Breakout releases November 4th on Amazon!!