Note: This ARC was provided by the author via Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review.
Jillian Quinn is a new author to me, but I was happily impressed with my first read, Parker, which also happens to be the first novel in her Face-Off sports romance series. We're introduced to Alex Parker, a gifted professional hockey player whose life has been spiraling out of control ever since his beloved father passed away. When the puck bunny he hooks up with turns out to be the granddaughter of the team owner, Alex's agent--who owns one of the most successful and prestigious sports management companies around and also happens to be his godfather--is left with no other option but to have him traded to another team. From a Stanley Cup contender, Alex is now with the Philadelphia Flyers, a team with a less than stellar win-loss record. Not only is he stuck with a new team, but he's got himself a babysitter of sorts in the form of former basketball player turned agent Charlotte Coachman.
There's a reason why Charlotte Coachman prefers to be called "Coach" or "Charlie", but the last thing she wants to do is share her life story with someone like Alex Parker. She knows all too well what too much alcohol can do to a person, but she's been tasked to keep an eye on the troublesome and troubled hockey player. She's already got him pegged as a womanizing lush, but there's a side to Alex that she seems to be unable to resist. However, she's got rules and fraternizing with a client, even if he isn't directly hers, is at the top of that list. But trying to pretend she isn't attracted to him becomes more difficult the more she gets to know him. With both their careers on the line, neither one of them can risk getting more attached than they already are to one another. But what if the one person they need to stay the farthest away from turns out the be the only person that actually completes them?
I appear to be reading more hockey romances since the new year rolled in, and it's funny how much I adore this trope since I've never actually watched an entire hockey game live or on television. My only knowledge of the sport is based on The Mighty Ducks movie franchise (which I adored) and the romance books I've read. Sad, I know, but I've promised myself this year that I'm going to try and watch a game online (ice hockey isn't really popular sport here). But I digress. Parker is the latest hockey romance that I've read, and I found myself easily liking the no-nonsense, tell-it-like-it-is Charlotte (yeah, I don't really feel like calling her "Coach") and the broken bad boy player that is Alex. They may not have been the kind of match that people around them could see getting together, but they were exactly what the other one needed and wanted, though Charlotte's wanting Alex was her deep secret.
There was a bit of an enemies to lovers things going on between the two main characters, especially since Charlotte was making it clear from the get-go exactly how little she thought of Alex and his drunken, sexual shenanigans. But I did like the transformation that their relationship goes through and how they both unintentionally are just there for each other while truly making the effort to get to know one another better. There were one thing, though, about the story that bothered me: the reaction of Mickey Donoghue, Alex's agent and Charlotte's boss, when news broke about Alex and Charlotte's relationship. Maybe he was concerned about the reputations of these two people who meant a great deal to him, but had he been more observant, he would have realized just how much better they were after they got together. Other than that, I liked Parker and give it 4.5 stars. ♥
Release Date: 15 February 2017
Date Read: 15 February 2017
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