Book 5 in the Aces Hockey series
Author Kelly Jamieson
Narrated by Alexander Cendese
Published by: Tantor Media
Publication date Jul 18, 2018
Running time 7 hrs 28 min
I voluntarily reviewed an advance readers copy of this book. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted.
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 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.
Contains mature themes. https://tantor.com/slap-shot-kelly-jamieson.html
I like it when a female character has a healthy attitude towards sex, and Kendra sure has that. A sex-toy developer, she knows where all her erogenous zones are. And Max, an athlete returning to training after his wife’s death, knows when he is in “The Zone.” But the two characters have a harder time with the zone surrounding that area we humans usually associate with our hearts. Well, that’s the original friends with benefits plan but we know that, at least in romance fiction, that there’s no such thing as a no strings sexual relationship. It seems like it’ll work, we’re adults, sexually liberated, and blah, blah, blah,…. no matter HOW many times it gets tried, it does not work.
In our society no strings sex is more acceptable for men and it is understood that men have needs where when a woman has needs and fills them she is sometimes considered loose or slutty. Jamieson explores this idea a little in this story.
But the question here isn’t whether Max is committed to hockey and making the team, or whether he ought to be sleeping with someone, the quesrtion is whether he can — whether he’s ready — to move past his grief to embark on a new heart connection with another woman.
I do think this is hard. I hope to never have to experience dating again. I have watched several people date after their spouse died. The issues are huge and not easy. The feelings about betrayal and the fear of future loss,… The questions the other person must ask, and the feeling that the current relationship wouldn’t exist. Jamieson does a pretty good job exploring both the themes of sex without strings and the widower thing.
And, there’s a little less of the language I did not like in the the last book, TOP SHELF. I liked how Max helped his potential competition as he works to get back on his team.
Also, Alexander Cendese, does female voices pretty well. Do men think we all have breathy voices and that all women over fifty sound like Sissy Spacek? He does a better job than many men narrating female characters.
I enjoy the continuity of the series and that the stories are sex-positive for women with whatever body type and without ANY slut shaming. The women all stand up for themselves. I think I liked the earlier books in the series; with those the seminal relationships were set up and now, the relationships are spun off of the earlier books. For this reason the book is not a stand alone, as later books in series tend depend on knowledge of the backstory.