Series: Hockey Hotties, #1
Release Date: June 29th, 2021
The one adjective used to describe my entire hockey career. I prefer to call it hard work, at least I did until my game went to complete crap. I haven’t scored in eight games and my team owner is talking about trading me.
I’ve never believed in superstitions. Never needed one. I suppose I was “lucky” in that way. But now the best way to refer to me is desperate. I’d wear the same socks for an entire year just to be the high-scoring center I used to be.
Imagine my surprise when after spending New Year’s Eve with a woman, I score a hat trick in the next game—that’s three goals in one game for you non-hockey lovers. Now, I have to track her down and bribe her to do it again before every game. Get your mind out of the gutter, I’m not talking about it.
I find her and when I get to know her better, I end up spending more time thinking about her than my game, but she’s made it clear she wants no part of me. She’s going to learn that I didn’t become a professional hockey player without having to fight for what I want.
I have a new favourite Piper Rayne hero. And not just because he’s handsome as all get out, but because he is just…everything. No lie. So, if you read Countdown to a Kiss, then you’ve already met the three main characters in the Hockey Hotties series – Aiden, Maksim and Ford. That novella set up all of their stories and the women that are going to cut them at the knee and make them trip over their skates and fall in love. The first of those hotties is Aiden Drake, who is everything I have always loved about my book boyfriends.
Aiden has always been the luckiest guy when it comes to hockey and as the captain of the Florida Fury, he not only needs to lead his team, he needs to win every single time. Or his entire career is on the line, especially with the trades coming up. And because he’s always been lucky, Aiden has never believed in any of the hockey superstitions that most players have. Except, he meets a woman on New Year’s Eve and when he goes in for a kiss, she tosses her glass of wine in his face and runs off. And the first game he plays in the new year delivers goal after goal and suddenly Aiden believes that he’s found his lucky charm. Except the woman happens to be the very same that is dating his agent. And my absolute favourite thing about Aiden? He’s not like other athletes, he’s charming and kind and genuine and honestly just a really good guy. Every now and then, it’s nice to meet a pro-athlete in romance that is not a manwhore, right?
“She looks so organized and poised, I want to go all animalistic on her and dirty her up. If only she were mine.”
Saige Fowler is a guide to the sports stars. She’s good with social media and provides the best service to ensure that athletes don’t post the wrong things online to get them booted from their teams and questioned by their fans. And she’s very good at her job. But when she’s seduced into almost kissing the most handsome man she’s ever met, Saige throws her glass of wine in his face and makes a run for it. Only to discover later that he’s a famous athlete and he now needs her assistance every single time he has a game. Saige has a rule – she won’t date her clients and she won’t date athletes and since they’re both the same thing, she’s been able to follow her rule pretty clearly. Till Aiden shows up and upsets the balance that she’s worked so hard to maintain all this time.
You know what I loved the most about this relationship? Aiden wants Saige, but he knows that she’s with someone else, so he steps back. All he needs from her is that she throws wine in his face before every game and he’s willing to fly her out anywhere he’s going just to make that happen. And when it starts to get difficult to balance it, he offers her his social media to take over so that she’s working for him and travelling with him at the same time, while he’s also getting to play hockey and win. Aiden doesn’t keep any of the reasons why he needs these wins a secret from Saige and she gets it. While she’s keeping a pretty big secret from him, it’s not the end of the world for either of them. But they’re constantly honest and open with each other, which makes their relationship so amazing.
“Promise you won’t break me?”
“Promise,” he says softly. “As long as you don’t break me.”
Don’t even get me started on how hot these two are. It’s a slow burn, because Aiden is waiting for the right time and waiting for Saige to give him permission. But the sexual tension and the desire coursing through their veins is so hot. Every interaction, every smile and touch sets them both on fire. But taking their time becoming more than just friends really strengthens the relationship because they become friends and they lean on each other through the good and the bad. And my god, once they just throw caution to the wind, everything gets even hotter. Piper Rayne have always been good at writing steamy scenes, but I think they knocked it out of the park with Aiden and Saige, and it’s probably also because of all this sexual tension they’ve built up over time. But it’s so damn good.
And as always, there’s the friendships that are so nicely woven into the story. We’ve got Maksim and Ford who are the perfect balance to Aiden’s good guy vibe. And we’ve got Tedi who is the perfect friend to Saige’s calm persona. You’ll also meet some favourites from the Rooftop Crew series, because if you paid attention to one of the last few books, we got to meet Aiden there for a brief moment.
“If I don’t have you, none of the rest of it even matters. You are my life. Hockey is just what I do.”
Not only is Aiden my new favourite Piper Rayne hero, but I think this book might be one of my new favourites of theirs. I can’t wait to see what kind of trouble Maksim and Ford get up to when their books come out later this year! And if you haven’t yet, make sure you get your copy of Countdown to a Kiss (it’s absolutely free right now!) to get a proper introduction to these hockey hotties and their wonderful ladies!
Thanks to Piper Rayne and Wildfire Marketing Solutions for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.