Readers will be charmed by this tale of an adorkable young woman and the hockey player who sees the woman hiding behind the computer screen. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of Caged by Elise Faber, along with getting my impressions of this eleventh installment in the Gold Hockey series, then be sure to add it to your bookshelf!
God, she was so painfully, awkwardly shy.
Blurting out the wrong thing at the wrong time? Check.
Puking in front of the class when she’d needed to give a speech? Double check.
Critically, embarrassingly unable to summon any semblance of a rational thought when in the presence of an attractive man? Triple check.
And she was surrounded by gorgeous, sexy men on a daily basis.
As video coach for the San Francisco Gold hockey franchise, Dani spent her days wrapped in a technological bubble. She studied tape, prepared clips for the players, and generally avoided other people.
She’d thought he was going to ask her to fix his computer.
Instead, he’d asked her out.
On a date. A date! That didn’t compute. It couldn’t be right. No one asked her out—
And suddenly, Dani thought it might be possible to leave her shy, awkward days behind her.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Through ten previous books I've found the Gold Hockey series to be an entertaining series with characters that have become like family. Though the premise of each book has been familiar, Ms. Faber has lovingly crafted each release to pull readers in wholeheartedly from the first page to the last. This latest release is another satisfying addition to the series, a romance of opposites attracting that sometimes frustrated me while constantly pulling at my heartstrings. The main couple are likable too with a romance that was a slow burn as each had emotional baggage to work through which had me cheering them on every step of the way.
When readers first meet Dani they see a woman with very low self-esteem, painfully low as even interacting with others makes her physically ill. Though she's great at her job, smart and capable, she just doesn't see it which has kept her alone when it comes to relationships. She's got emotional scars from a difficult childhood that have kept her from moving on and it hurt me to see how paralyzed she is when it comes to human connections. With each turn of the page though readers see Dani on her journey to self-improvement. With the sexy hockey star of her dreams in her life she starts taking baby steps that (though frustratingly slow) were oh so satisfying to see. I might've been frustrated by Dani numerous times early on, but I still liked her and could feel a kinship to her. It was a rocky start to her connection to Ethan, but seeing them together was utterly charming. They were a good support to each other, made each other feel emotionally stronger, and in a romance that slowly went from simmering to combustible their interactions had me glued to the pages. Ethan's a star of the hockey team but even he has feelings of inadequacy due to his highly intelligent parents. He doesn't feel like he measures up in their eyes and it's kept a wall between them which has left him leery of love (and trusting others) just like Dani. His issues weren't near as crippling as what Dani experienced but it was still sad to see. It was frustrating too because if only he had actually talked to his parents, so much pain could've been avoided from the start. His feelings though were a way to connect to Dani, so I put my frustrations aside in order to be charmed by their burgeoning relationship. Ethan was a patient man as he's been attracted to Dani for a long time...he was just waiting for the right time. Their pairing showed a couple that grew stronger the longer they were together. They made each other better and as they fell more in love with each other, I fell in love with them.
On a whole this was a well-crafted story that made me smile. It started off a bit rocky, a bit frustrating at times, but this couple still had me on their side from the start. Even though this is a series set in the hockey world, it's definitely teeming with emotions and sexual tension. Dani and Ethan's journey to self-empowerment was fueled by their growing love with action on the ice more of a backdrop this time around which made for s slow burn romance that was both sweet and sexy with a feel good ending. By the turn of the final page I was left smiling and content, ready to return to this entertaining series soon!
My rating for this is a B+
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
USA Today bestselling author, Elise Faber, loves chocolate, Star Wars, Harry Potter, and hockey (the order depending on the day and how well her team -- the Sharks! -- are playing). She and her husband also play as much hockey as they can squeeze into their schedules, so much so that their typical date night is spent on the ice. Elise changes her hair color more often than some people change their socks, loves sparkly things, and is the mom to two exuberant boys.
She lives in Northern California. Connect with her in her Facebook group, the Fabinators or email her HERE.