Melting Away the Ice (Ice Series #1) by Mary Smith

I wanted to continue with my hockey novella reading in honor of the NHL playoffs, so I downloaded this book. I was hoping it was a well-written and thought out as some of the other series I had read, but it wasn’t. That’s not to say it was bad, because it wasn’t. It had a good story line, something a little different but not too different at the same time.

The story follows Sara as she is working to get back to herself before a terrible domestic violence incident. She is drug by her friend Rachel to a hockey game where she meets Lucas Sharp by accident. Lucas is the captain of the Chicago Eagles. He doggedly pursues her until she relents and, with the help of Rachel, gives in and begins dating him. Sara keeps Lucas in the dark for most of the story about her past. The story mainly focuses on Sara and how she is dealing with dating and falling in love. You get some of what Lucas is experiencing, but it strikes me as mainly surface emotion, or a general emotion that one would assume he is feeling through the different events.

I would like to guess this is an early writing, someone new to being an author. A lot of my issues were with phrasing and tense. She wrote in present tense which is always a little jarring at first. Furthermore, she had the Chicago Eagles as the reining team in the league. For some reason that bothers me. I would think it would make for a stronger book if the team was placed somewhere in the middle of the field. Also, I thought the progression of the romance was a little too quick for a domestic violence case. The emotional struggle of recovering could easily have been fleshed out and been more in-depth. But like I said, it felt like the writer was new. So hopefully her books will improve as her skills grow.

My rating:

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A Hockey Player’s Proposal (Oh Captain, My Captain #2) by Lindsay Paige and Mary Smith

This was a good short story. When I first started it, I thought it was going to be a dud, but it turned out alright. The hardest part for me was the author’s used present tense which threw me off a little at first because it seemed choppy and not flowing very well. However, once you got used to it, it didn’t really matter much.

The story follows a NFL captain, Brody, who happens to move next door to a hard-core hockey fan, Selene. The story starts with Brody thinking Selene is a stalker, but as they get to know each other, a romance kindles. The story follows the difficulties of starting a new relationship and explaining the trials and heartaches of the past to a new partner. To top it off, a REAL stalker shows up, add stress and drama to an already complicated relationship. The story keeps you interested, and moves along at a decent pace. There is a lot of sex scenes, but I have definitely read books that were a lot worse. This one actually had a story line and emotional growth in it, which was nice to see in a romance novella. One of my favorite characters was, surprisingly, Bonkers, the hyper, hockey-tv-watching dog of Selene. He was just too cute!

I would recommend this if anyone is looking for a simple summer romance read. There is not a lot of hockey really in it, so hockey fans probably won’t be drawn to it for the sport. The characters are interesting and well-developed, however, the story line wasn’t exactly original. It did a great job though of showing the emotions of the people being stalked which was a nice change.

My rating:

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