A star hockey player trying to clean up his act finds himself immediately attracted to a woman who wants nothing to do with hockey players after her most recent hurtful break-up in this tug-of-war romance full of sexual tension. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of In It To Win It by Kelly Jamieson, along with my impressions of it, then add this second installment in the Wynn Hockey series to your bookshelf!
Wynn family bonds bend but never break...
I admit, I’ve made some bad choices—on and off the ice.
Now all I want to do is show my team I can control my emotions while I’m playing and redeem myself with my family, especially with my brother, Théo.
I hate that I hurt him and I’m determined to stay out of trouble.
But the hot bridesmaid at Théo’s wedding is tempting me into another bad decision.
A little flirting and a hook up with Taylor seem harmless . . . until Manny Martinez jumps me on the dance floor and starts beating the crap out of me.
And just like that I add one more bad decision to my résumé.
I always thought hockey players were hot. Now I think they’re crazy.
Manny broke my heart when he got traded to another team and left without even a goodbye.
Then he showed up at my best friend’s wedding. All I wanted to do was show Manny that I was over him.
And the groom’s sexy brother, JP, seemed more than willing to be my distraction.
But after the way everything went down, I want nothing to do with any of them.
Easier said than done. Especially when Lacey’s new brother-in-law is always around...
And I keep thinking about the wedding night, when we snuck away to his room for the best sex of my life.
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MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
As a fan of sports-fueled romances I was immediately drawn to this book and its deliciously flawed hero. Add in an outspoken heroine and you get an emotional tug-of-war that will keep readers cheering this combustible couple on with every turn of the page. Though this book can definitely be read on its own, the anger and disappointments directed towards this hero will make more sense when you see where he and his family first had their falling out. Even if you don’t read the previous book you’ll still find yourself falling for this rough around the edges hero with a heart of gold.
JP Wynn has always struggled to get what he wants, always had to work a hundred times harder than his brother Theo to achieve his goals. It’s led to frustrations and bad choices from him and has him now seen as the black sheep of his family. After his most recent debacle with his brother’s girlfriend he’s feeling especially disappointed in himself and is in the process of trying to better himself. After fights on the ice led to suspensions he’s also training harder than ever to curb his temper and be the star player his team needs. He’s a work in progress when readers meet him, self-deprecating in admitting his faults and his harsh views of himself made me want to hug him a time or two. Yes, he’s made some mistakes, but not everything he feels guilt over was his fault. There were times he was his own worst enemy, taking on more of the blame so others could save face, and it was a reflection of how big his heart truly is. To the world he shows a fun and flirty side, but with family he always seemed to be making amends for something he feels guilty for and it infused each familial interaction with greater depth. When it came to love and sex it’s clear that his initial attraction to Taylor was of the erotic variety. He was looking for just a bit of fun, with the pages going up in flames each time they were together. More intense feelings slowly emerged the more they interacted with each other and it wasn’t until later on that I became fully invested in their pairing. JP might not have been seen as the perfect hero, but he was perfect in my eyes and a highlight of this story in my opinion.
Taylor Hart’s had a rough time of it lately too with having to move home due to financial issues, dealing with the changes in her parent’s lives, as well as her own sad dating life courtesy of a hockey player who broke her heart. It has her wanting to forget about everything, just enjoy her friend’s wedding, but the moment she locks eyes with JP her life will change irrevocably. It’s a combustible connection from the start between her and JP and it leads to a weekend full of erotic encounters that she saw as revenge towards her ex but that ends in a fistfight between JP and her angry ex. Seeing Taylor be so manipulative early on was very disappointing and it affected how I saw her throughout the rest of the story. Though I appreciated her seeing all the good in JP from the very start, I didn’t appreciate her using him and being angry at him for her ex’s behavior. Despite my issues with her Taylor’s still a strong-willed heroine with a crackling connection to JP, one teeming with sexual tension. She’s outspoken at times and gives as good as she gets in her interactions with JP. She’s got a small group of girlfriends, the closest being Theo’s new wife Lacey, and I enjoyed their playful scenes and strong support of each other. On a whole she was a good match for JP, but on my list of heroines there are others who left a more indelible mark.
This was a satisfying addition to the Wynn Hockey series and I enjoyed getting to see the family again and am especially pleased that Theo and JP got their brotherly vibe back as their scenes were extremely heartwarming due to their honesty. The balance between action on the ice and off was nicely done too as the hockey world was vividly depicted to make my pulse pound during games before putting a blush on my face during JP and Taylor’s sizzling encounters. These encounters were nicely spaced to keep them fresh and readers longing for more in a connection that built slowly while taking them both down a winding road to HEA. Along with a memorable main couple readers get to see an equally appealing cast of secondary characters that promise more sexy and sporty stories to come!
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.
Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season!