Two people burned by love in the past make a bet on the future in this hockey-fueled romance with plenty of action on and off the ice. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Game On by Kelly Jamieson, along with my impressions of it, then add this final installment in the Aces Hockey series to your bookshelf!
Cam Brickley and his pro hockey teammates bet on everything: who can win five faceoffs in a row, who can do forty pushups in less than a minute, who can eat a ghost pepper without puking. But when his buddies bet him he can’t date the same woman—like, say, the hot blonde over at the bar—for two months and not fall in love, he’ll take that bet all day. Then he’ll laugh all the way to the hockey arena, where they’ll be washing his jock straps for the rest of the season, because Cam’s never giving up his bachelor lifestyle.
Olivia Lockwood, heiress to the Lockwood Industries fortune, is used to people using her for her money and family connections. When Cam Brickley hits on her in a club, Olivia’s first instinct is to brush him off. But he couldn’t be using her for her money, since he has more than enough of his own. Cam’s gorgeous and built, and it would be no hardship to go out with him . . . besides, he’d be the perfect spokesperson for the children’s charity she works with. Maybe it’s time for her to start using people.
Cam and Olivia are both in it for something. What they don’t know yet is that they’re playing for keeps.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Things comes to an exhilarating conclusion in this eighth installment in the Aces Hockey series as a bet between teammates leads to a surprising romance between two people burned by love in the past. In their journey to HEA, Cam and Olivia go through a few ups and downs courtesy of her low self-esteem and his fear of failure, but through it all readers can’t help but root for them. By the turn of the final page readers will be left satisfied with their heart warmed and a big smile on their face.
Cam Brickley’s always gotten what he wants. From the moment he was born everything just seemed to fall into his lap without much effort on his part. The only thing that seems to have eluded him is love. He may be popular with the ladies, but nothing ever lasts more than a few nights as he doesn’t see himself as the relationship type. His friends know this and decide to make the ultimate bet with him, but this time around the bet takes an unexpected turn that gives readers greater insight into the sexy playboy. Cam’s a drool-worthy hockey player, confident in his looks and his athleticism, but when it comes to matters of the heart he’s leery of putting his heart on the line because of a duplicitous young woman from his past. It left him with trust issues and it causes him to hurt Olivia when she was counting on him most. He’s clearly a character with imperfections, a bit arrogant at times, but there’s still lots to like about him. He’s kindhearted when it comes to charity and is a master at being fun and flirty. He was a good support to Olivia throughout the story, building up her self-esteem when it comes to her work and her body, which is why his one moment of cowardice disappointed me so much. Despite that one act though I found Cam very appealing and liked him even more for all the growth his character went through in putting his heart and soul on the line in the name of a HEA...both on and off the ice.
Olivia Lockwood’s always felt like the black sheep of the family, never quite as good as her siblings and a disappointment to her parents. While her siblings chose to work for the family business, she forged her own path into creating a foundation to benefit kids. When it came to her looks she felt lacking there too as her weight was an issue for her growing up. As an adult she hears and feels her family’s judgments and it affects her relationships as she’s full of self-doubt. Coming from a family of wealth leaves her feeling even more vulnerable as she’s never sure if she’s wanted for herself or for her money as a past relationship showed her. The moment she meets Cam is the moment she decides to take some control though and throughout their time together there are moments of give and take, moments that had me cheering. She was the one willing to put her heart on the line, the one to give Cam a chance when he knew he did wrong, the one to often be the more mature of the two. There were other times though where she was immature, like when interacting with his friends and feeling left out, which fed into her low self-esteem and had her acting out. That was a frustrating moment and clearly shows her as a flawed character but with imperfections that are easy to relate to. All of which pulls readers further into this story as Olivia’s a likable heroine who just wants to do good in the world and be loved for who she is. In many ways that’s exactly what Cam wants and it’s what ultimately turns their fake relationship into reality.
This was a fun and flirty read from the very start with lots of erotically-charged and witty banter between the two leads, Olivia and Cam were scorching together with encounters that were sexy yet sweet at times too. Under all the fun though was a surprising emotional intensity as both Cam and Olivia were held back by things in their pasts. They both grew throughout this story, were more willing to put themselves out there, and it made their coupling more satisfying to watch evolve. The bet may have seemed silly from the start but the outcome was far from it as it left me satisfied and cheering. That wasn’t the only cheer-worthy thing in this book though as the ending was perfect for the author to bring the Aces Hockey series to an end. Fans of the series will enjoy the numerous glimpses of past couples and have their hearts warmed by seeing all their HEAs continue. New readers will be enticed by the playful interactions between the teammates and ready to start the series from the beginning to learn more about these sexy and dedicated hockey players. With an ending wrapped up in a satisfying bow I look forward to what Ms. Jamieson has planned next and definitely recommend this book to all fans of rom-coms and sports romances!
My rating for this is a B.
*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas.