Series: Hockey Hotties, #3
Release Date: September 21st, 2021
CW/TW: Parental neglect, mentions of alcoholism, parent in an assisted living centre
Being the heir to Jacobs Enterprises, I’ve been around fake people my entire life. I promised myself a long time ago that I wouldn’t change for anyone. Which is the only reason I’m a professional hockey player who lives on the beach and does as he pleases without answering to anyone—except my father.
And now, my daughter.
Being a single dad wasn’t in the plan but after a one-night stand who took off after the baby was born, this is my reality.
My dad’s been harping on me to quit hockey and join the company for years and now that I’m a father, he’s only intensified his efforts. Until he makes me a deal I can’t refuse.
Insert Lena Boyd, the Jacobs’ family PR rep. She’s beautiful and intelligent and not at all the woman for me—ask anyone.
My dad needs us to act happily engaged and sell the idea that we’re in love. If we’re successful I won’t have to join the family legacy—ever. Of course, I agree.
That’s when things get complicated. I thought I had her all figured out until I found out there was more underneath her judgmental sneers and eye rolls. It feels like everything is coming together for the future I really want—with Lena—until my past ruins everything.
Man, how do Piper Rayne do this every single time? I’ve been so excited for Ford’s book and they did not disappoint! At first, I thought this was the end of the Hockey Hotties, but we’re getting three more books, so I’m not that sad anymore. But let me just say that while Aiden is still my favourite Florida Fury player, Ford comes in a close second and I am all about more covers featuring hot men laying around shirtless in bed.
As always, if you read Countdown to a Kiss (It’s a free novella!), then you know that Ford Jacobs’ and Lena Boyd’s relationship started with an unplanned kiss at midnight. A kiss that neither of them have been able to get out of their heads. Lena is the PR person working for Ford’s family business and every time he does something stupid or gets caught with his pants down, she’s sent to wherever he is to clean it all up. And Lena is very good at her job. Ford is the playboy of the team, he’s wild on the ice and in bed and he’s got women from all over the country fawning over him. But when he gets the call that he’s now a father, suddenly his life changes. It becomes something else and something he never expected.
In case you haven’t figured it out yet, this is a fake relationship single parent romance. But what I loved about the fake relationship trope was that they weren’t doing it because they were trying to save themselves, but because it was what they had to do to help his father. But like all fake relationships, things start to feel real and when you throw in a meddling family and an adorable baby, it’s impossible to ignore those feelings.
“There’s too much at stake. I don’t want to just take her, I want to have her. And more than once.”
Lena and Ford have sort of an enemies to lovers vibe, because she’s always cleaning up his messes and she’s getting tired of it while he’s trying to shake her off, but she keeps coming back. But as he says at one point, he never really dislikes her, he just enjoys teasing her. And I loved that! I really enjoyed their push and pull, the banter and the way they riled each other up. I definitely loved watching Lena make Ford fall to his knees because he can’t help himself around her anymore.
Their chemistry is beautiful, of course, after all this messing with each other that sexual tension is through the roof! It’s purely physical at first, especially for Ford who is so captivated by all the parts of Lena he’s starting to see now that they’re in a relationship. And the physical parts of their relationship definitely set your kindle on fire. I think that’s something Piper Rayne enjoy doing – surprising you with smoking hot steam when you least expect it. But the closer they get to each other, the more they let the other in. Lena’s already been part of the Jacobs family chaos for a while, so there’s nothing new to her to learn about Ford, but it is still so beautiful to watch them come together and make their relationship work. And they’re no longer doing it for his father, they’re doing it for each other.
Special mention for the Jacobs’ family. In all the time we’ve known Ford, it’s been easy to hate his father for the pressure he’s putting on his son. But we finally get to meet Ford’s mother and his two sisters and see that side of the family and see how much love flows through that family. I am very curious to see how Imogen and Morgan play into these books, because I have a feeling that’s going to happen in some way or the other.
Faking it with #41 is a low angst, high steam, high frustration, single parent, fake relationship sports romance. You get to see the two couples from the previous books because Aiden and Saige and Maksim and Paisley are too good to pass up. And you get a little bit of a sneak into what’s coming next, which has me super excited!
Thanks to Piper Rayne & Wildfire Marketing Solutions for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.