From the first Chicago Aces book I read, Kelly Jamieson is always a must read for me. And let me say, she did not disappoint in this book. While this book was not on ice hockey heavy, I did appreciate that readers were able to see the other side of professional hockey. The business side and contract negotiations side…and the stress. As readers and sports fans we see somewhat of the glamorized side of hockey, not the side where they don’t know where they will actually be living and playing for the next few years of their lives.
Hunter and Kate were college friends. Both played college hockey and their friend groups gew close. It seemed like there was always a series of missed chances for the pair, and an end of college vacation in Mexico brought them together. Fast forward years and Kate is an up and coming sports agent and Hunter is an up and coming hockey star. Hunter, needing an agent, reaches out to Kate. From the get go you can feel like these two cannot just remain friends. I loved, loved, loved their first meeting after college. Also, I ADORED the easy friendship and chemistry these two had. Jameison did an amazing job of showing how the pair were friends first, and later more. Both Hunter and Kate are feisty in their own way and have really amazing chemistry. And as we have come to appreciate in Jamieson’s books there is humor and lots of fun banter….and some quirkiness to her characters.
Readers were able to get a glimpse into the other side of a professional athlete’s lives as they not only keep their bodies in tip top shape, but also work to get the best contract for themselves and their long term benefit. It really opened my eyes to how difficult it must be for athletes as their contracts are coming up, impending moves and trades. Along with the close relationships they often have with their teammates.
Like in previous Bears books mental health and the struggle of dealing with a traumatic event were a recurring theme. I really appreciate how she didn’t shy away from these sometimes difficult topics, especially in men. There is often a stigma and how she addressed it and how their families and partners encouraged them to heal and handle the trauma was just as important as the trauma itself, in my opinion.
If you haven’t read any of Kelly Jamieson’s books I HIGHLY recommend all of her books!