Fans of sports romance have reasons to celebrate with this charming friends to lovers tale set in the hockey world. Keep reading to get a tempting taste of End Game by G.A. Mazurke, along with my impressions of it, then add this first installment in the New York Stars series to your bookshelf too!
She’s my lifeline, my rock...When I was billeted with the Bukowskis, I made a mistake.
I didn’t lock Gracie Agnieska Bukowski down.
Instead, like a 16-year-old idiot, I became best friends with her brother, Kow, and now, the family considers me one of their own.
Until her, hockey was my only refuge. So, when I’m traded to the New York Stars, my first move is to change my number to 35. See, we made a vow, one that she might have forgotten, but I haven’t.
Gracie’s about to be swept off her feet.
I’m going to prove to her that not only is she not my sister...She’s my end game.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:
Fans of sports romances have reason to rejoice with this series starter that touches on the many years of friends becoming lovers that's set in the hockey world. It's a long book, one that could've been edited down a bit, but it was an entertaining read that charmed me and put a smile on my face. In a delightful bonus, the glimpses of characters from this author's other series brought all of them together in one big happy family that reflected the family created by the members of each hockey team.
At the start of the story Liam Donnghal's only obsession is playing hockey. Billeting with a Canadian family while honing his own talents though gives him something else to obsess over…his new family’s daughter, Gracie. Theirs is a romance long in the making however with a lot of things happening to them and a lot of changes they undergo. Through everything I found Liam a delicious hero, one who’s experienced some real trauma but who slowly addresses the issues it caused. He was a bit slow in embracing his burgeoning feelings for Gracie, but once he did, he was all in. In tender moments between him and Gracie, they were able to connect as adults in a sweet and sensual transition from friends to lovers.
Gracie Bukowski comes from a hockey family, a family of three brothers who play the sport and parents who support each new player. She desperately wants to make her own mark though and it’s her eventual move to New York that lets her do just that and has her and Liam finally reconnecting after years apart. This time around it’s two grownups interacting, in steamy interludes that included delightfully naughty French talk from Liam, as well as emotional talks and wholehearted acceptance of who they’ve become. Gracie’s a wonderful heroine, outspoken and larger than life! She’s a tell-it-like-it-is woman who’s a perfect match for Liam, especially with him finally working through the issues from his past.
Though this romance was a bit long, the connection between Liam and Gracie captivated me. I loved seeing their romance grow and their protective sides emerge. They protected each other from the harsh world outside and their love became an empowering balm that I was constantly rooting for. Gracie’s family wasn’t the most likable unfortunately and it was their pressure that kept these two apart for so long. As many problems as I had with this family, I still found myself drawn to Gracie’s brother Kow, and would love another glimpse of him. The hockey world was depicted in a thoroughly researched addition to the storyline, a loving homage to the sport that was an entertaining backdrop to the romance of these two friends. With a unique and appealing main couple, a captivating and emotionally engaging romance, and a well-crafted backdrop, readers will find this a sweet and sensual read that will make you smile as well as blush!
My rating for this is an A.
*I got this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.
G.A. Mazurke is the crazy lady behind Serena Akeroyd, crafter of smexy heroes you just wanna lick. While Serena has us expecting dark romance with lots of twists and turns...G. A. is her more mainstream/contemporary personality.
She explores her sweeter side while keeping the sexy we love, where the women fall hard but the men fall harder.
Some of G. A.’s books will cross over into Serena’s universes...so expect a cameo or two from beloved characters, while discovering new bands of brothers, with the banter, the laughs and the tears you are used to.
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