The Trailblazer by Gina Azzi

Rating: 4/5
Tropes: Second Chance; Childhood Sweethearts; Hockey Romance; Marriage of Convenience; Slow Burn
PoP: 62%
Series: Boston Hawks Hockey Book 7
POV: Dual 1st Person

It is always wonderful to go back into the Boston Hawks world.  Declan Yaeger has been one of those characters that we haven’t really heard too much about.  He keeps his private life extremely private, and what entails is something you don’t expect.

Vivi, Genevieve Kelley, is being forced to marry per her grandfathers will if she wants to keep control of the charitable foundation that she runs. We find out that Dec and Vivi were childhood sweethearts that broke up the summer before they went to college and Dec never truly understood why.

These two are destined to be together, but time, distance, and some stubbornness of both their parts has kept them apart.  When you learn what Vivi went through on her own, and her reasons behind why she made the choices she did you feel for her.  She was an 18-year-old girl who was a little lost in the reality that she was living.  Declan, too, you understand the choices that he made because he was an 18-year-old boy.

When Declan hears about the fact that Vivi is going to marry someone, he drops everything, leaves his hockey game and goes home to a place he hasn’t’ returned to in the 7 years since he left. If she is going to marry anyone it is going to be him. What follows is a wonderfully written story of love, loss, and growth for two people who are meant to be together.  I enjoy the way in which Gina Azzi writes these two because, while scared of their emotions in some ways, are open and honest with each other.  I love the fact that they communicate in ways that they didn’t when they were younger, and it allows misunderstands and mistakes to be worked through not become larger issues.  This is a different take on the marriage of convenience trope, but it was really well written and thought out and can’t wait to see what happens next with the Hawks.