NetGalley Review: “Calling the Shots” by Kelly Farmer

Series: Out on the Ice #3

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Steam: 💋💋

Release Date: November 15th, 2022

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CW: mentions of divorce (past), a few instances of misogyny 

Two passionate hockey coaches face off in this rivals-to-lovers romance from Out on the Ice author Kelly Farmer

Retired superstar Regan Lane is known for being outspoken. She’s never been one to keep her opinions to herself. When she lands a head coaching job in the women’s pro league with the Boston Ice, her brash promise to win the championship in her first year shocks no one. Especially not Tierney McGovern, head coach of the rival New York Lady Libertys.

Single mom Tierney knows what it’s like to live in someone else’s shadow, and she won’t let Regan steal the spotlight. Besides, she knows exactly how Regan operates: when it comes to delivering on her promises, she falls pitifully short. At least she did when she ghosted Tierney after their long-ago amazing week together.

As their teams face each other game after game, it doesn’t take long for them to realize their hockey rivalry isn’t the only thing heating up. And that maybe the real victory is in taking big chances on the ice—and off.


I’ve been hearing so much about Kelly Farmer’s books, so when I got approved for this ARC, I was really excited to read it. It’s got so many great things—it’s a sports romance, rivals to lovers, second chances, single mom, opposites attract—and Kelly tied all of this (and more) together to create a really captivating story. I love my hockey romances, so it was really interesting to see this from the coach’s viewpoint instead of the players, especially when both leads as coaches for rising hockey teams.

Regan and Tierney were such well-rounded and interesting characters. Years ago, they had a fling that ended quite abruptly, sending them in different directions. Now years later, Tierney’s gone through a marriage and a divorce and the adoption of a child, as well as coaching the New York Lady Libertys while Regan’s also given up her hockey playing dreams to focus on coaching—moving from the men’s team to the women’s Boston Ice team. And when the two of them cross paths again, they issue a challenge that sets the course for the rest of the book. The story is told through both their perspectives, so you get a lot of what the past was like for them and how they’re handling all these old feelings cropping up again. 

I gotta give credit where it’s due, because the rivals to lovers angle was so well done. Between their shared history and this challenge and the fact that both Regan and Tierney are coaching two of the rising hockey teams in the country; the rivalry is strong. And it’s so delicious too. All that sexual tension and frustrations they feel on the ice, how differently the two of them work and the way they are with their teams and each other. I loved the slow burn of their relationship too. There’s a lot to unpack for Tierney especially, now that she’s got a child to consider when getting involved with someone like Regan. And that’s where their differences come into play. 

Reading this book also got me super curious about the previous two in the series since we get to see those couples a few times. So I’m going to be looking into those really soon. 

Thanks to NetGalley & Carina Adores for generously providing me with an advance copy. I am voluntarily leaving an honest review.

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