by Marissa James
Book 1 in the Orlando Storm Series
An NHL rookie.
A baker not looking for love.
And the secret that could break them.
Moving to Orlando was supposed to be about starting over. Figuring out a new life plan. One that didn't involve a relationship.
Then my car broke down and Hunter Rhodes showed up. He walked right up to my car, saw me climbing into the back seat, and caught a glimpse of my panties.
I promised myself I'd never fall for a professional athlete again, especially a hockey player.
But I can't resist Hunter’s sweet and caring nature or the fact that he's effortlessly sexy. It messes with my heart and my willpower. Before I know it, I'm considering stepping out of the kitchen and taking a chance.
Even if I have a secret that could ruin us.
Before I begin, I would like to thank Marissa James for sending me an arc of her debut novel - Hot Shot.
I became aware of this book through instagram, when a favorite bookstagrammer of mine - go follow romantically inclined for some great bookish content - opened up a post where authors could post what their books were about, and interested parties could comment and say they were interested in an arc.
When I saw this was a hockey romance, it sparked my interest.
I love sports romances.
Funny, considering I hate watching sports.
In romance, however, they are winners.
While there were some things I enjoyed in Hot Shot, there were other things I didn't. While I liked the general concept of the story, I didn't connect with it fully. I felt like there were parts that could have been cut out, and replaced with more content of these two getting to know one another on a deeper level. More emphasis on building chemistry between them, because I just didn't feel that.
But my biggest issue with Hot Shot was that I just couldn't connect with Madison.
Frankly, she made me a little mad.
If it wasn't how she dealt with her father, it was her reaction to her best friends - or ex-best friends - feelings that set me off.
How to say this without spoiling anything ...
It's okay to distance yourself from a friend because they're toxic, or they don't treat you the way that a friend should.
It's not okay to be angry and ignore someone because they don't share the same feelings as you.
It's okay to distance yourself, of course. But to do so without saying you need time to get over the hurt of unrequited love, is terrible.
Punishing someone because they don't have romantic feelings for you sucks.
Having other people call that person a terrible person because they don't have those feelings really sucks.
So for those reasons, I just didn't like her character.
My other issue with the book, is the miscommunication trope. Some people like it - I'm not one of them. I can usually get over it if its a realistic miscommunication, and it doesn't take over the whole book, but that wasn't the case here. There were a lot of miscommunications, on both sides, and it was frustrating.
There were things I liked. I liked Hunter. I enjoy when I read a sports romance where the male character isn't your typical cocky athlete. I liked that he was shy, and unsure of himself. I liked the overall arc of how they met, their friendship, and them falling for one another. I think there could have been more emphasis on the friendship. I think it could have been a larger portion of their relationship, so as the reader, we could get that friendly chemistry established first. I think it would have added a lot more angst and longing if Hunter knew who Madison was.
This will be hard to explain without spoiling. I loved how Marissa made me think that two off-screen characters were the same person, only to have that not be the case. Very sneaky.
While Hot Shot was not for me, I know there are other readers who will enjoy this book. It has a sweet romance, and Hunter is loveable. And hey, its a hockey romance. Who wouldn't give a hockey romance a shot? Hot Shot is available now.