Review: “Dream Maker” by Stacey Lynn

Series: Las Vegas Vipers #2

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 🔥🔥🔥

Release Date: March 8th, 2022

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CW/TW: gaslighting

Hooking up with my best friend’s little sister is one thing, getting drunk and marrying her in Vegas is another…

My team just won the Stanley Cup. I should be out on the town celebrating. Instead, I’m nursing a broken heart, courtesy of my ex-wife.

Next thing I know, I’m waking up with my teammate’s sister in my bed wearing a rock the size of the Grand Canyon on her finger. Neither of us remembers saying, I do… but turns out the marriage is as real as the diamond on her finger.

The press is going crazy. The team is pissed. And her brother… well he just might kill me. So, at the advice of my agent, we do the only thing that makes sense—make a plan to stay married until this madness blows over.

It might have started out fake, but Gabby is the one making my dreams come true and showing me what real love is.

Now I just need convince her to stay my wife forever.

 

This might only be my second Stacey Lynn book, but I can say that she handles familiar storylines so differently from everyone else that it makes the reading so interesting. We met Gabby briefly in Game Changer as Garrett’s little sister, but we didn’t know much else about her. And there’s Joey (we need more heroes named Joey!) who is Garrett’s teammate and friend. And when you put these two together on a drunken night in Vegas, what do you get? A shotgun wedding that turns into a marriage of convenience and a friends to lovers situation that takes something we all know and love so well, but with a spin.

Joey and Gabby are great leads, they’re both so interesting with so much to offer through the course of the story. Joey’s five months fresh off a divorce with a woman that he found cheating on him after a game and Gabby’s struggling to make sense of her life. The two of them are drawn to each other, but only when they’re in the same room and otherwise their lives go on as normal. I liked that it wasn’t a case of them pining for each other for years before they took that shot, but more of a truly accidental case of getting married while under the influence. When a video of their wedding gets posted on the internet, they decide to do something about it. With Gabby’s mother breathing down her neck and being a bit of an issue for a good part of the first half and Joey’s team not wanting any bad press; the two of them agree to fake it till they make it.

“I might have always been a look before you jump kind of person, but this time, I was certain I jumped right into someone who would always catch me.”

Their relationship was so wonderful to watch. I liked that it was awkward at first, but their friendship evolves the whole thing into something more. I liked that it was a learning curve for both of them and every step of the way, they were figuring each other out. I enjoyed seeing them fall in love, because sometimes we just assume they did, but the gradual build up of their relationship really did it for me. Plus, Joey is such a charming and swoony hero that I really enjoyed how much attention he paid to Gabby, ensuring that he put her first even when they were still figuring each other out. I appreciated that Gabby didn’t expect anything drastic to happen in her life because she’s now married to a professional athlete, if anything her girl next door personality is still very intact and in complete contrast to everything about Joey, which was so great.

Nobody will ever say this about a romance novel, but I strangely enjoyed the conflict. I liked the reasons behind it and I really loved how it was handled. I will not give anything away, but just know that when you think something is going down route A, it changes course and picks route B instead and it works so beautifully for this story. I liked Garrett in his book, but most of the time, I wanted to smack him in this one because he was not being the same guy we met in Game Changer, but I loved that we got to see him through eyes that didn’t belong to Lizzie.

All in all, this one was read in a single sitting and I am so curious to see happens in the next book because that little teaser at the end? Not enough!

Thanks to Stacey Lynn & Valentine PR for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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