Review: The Playing Game by Ainsley Booth (Off the Ice #1)


It's been forever since I last read an Ainsley Booth-penned story, and that's due solely on the fact of having little time to read something that isn't scheduled for my blog. Sad, I know, but it's a situation that I am remedying this year. After all, reading out of obligation is nothing compared to reading out of pure enjoyment. So, when I saw Booth's The Girl in the Hockey Jersey on Amazon, I snapped up that free prequel and knew I was going to need to read the full-length novel once it was out. And so here we are; The Playing Game is not only Booth's newest release, but it's also the first full-length book in her new Off the Ice series. (FYI, you don't necessarily need to read the prequel novella prior to reading this series starter, BUT the novella is free and relays the story of how the main characters meet that one fateful nights two years prior.)

The Playing Game is all about a hockey player who, after two years of wondering whatever happened to the woman he shared one unforgettable night with, finds her wearing yet another hockey jersey watching a hockey game involving the Hamilton Highland, aka the team said hockey player is now part of. The hockey player is thirty-five-year-old Kieran Marsh, and the woman in the jersey is twenty-eight-year-old Harper Roberts, a pediatric nurse. Over the past two years, Kieran never forgot that night, and Harper always wished she didn't remember. When he realizes that fate has brought them back in each other's lives, Kieran decides he's taking his shot and playing for keeps, but is Harper ready to take a chance on true love?

Gah! I enjoyed the heck out of this book! The Girl in the Hockey Jersey was a mere sampling of what awaited Kieran and Harper, and goodness, but I so desperately wanted these two to get their happily-ever-after. There was hockey and there was romance; there was heart and there was heat. Kieran is, hands down, one of the most romantic and devoted male main characters that I've come across recently. He was this perfect blend of naughty and nice. Then there was Harper, who was sassy and sarcastic, yet also quite sweet and sincere. From the prequel novella to this full-length novel and even the bonus "ten years later" epilogue, I was immensely invested in Kieran and Harper's story, and I adored every single second I spent getting to know them and falling in love with their tale. The Playing Game easily gets five stars, and I cannot wait for more from Ainsley Booth and her Off the Ice series.

Date Read: 09 March 2023

Learn more about Ainsley Booth.

Purchase The Playing Game on Amazon.

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