Review: Game Plan by Amy Aislin (Vancouver Orcas #1)
Note: An advance reader copy (ARC) was provided by the author via Neon Rainbow ARC Reviews.
Amy Aislin's got a new series, and she's starting things off on a high! Game Plan is book one in her Vancouver Orcas series, and this hockey romance is about second chances, family, and of course, hockey, but not in college or the NHL. Instead, the Orcas are the affiliated AHL team for Vancouver, and its new head coach is thirty-eight-year-old Matt Shore, a former skills coach for the NHL team who had hoped he'd be promoted to head the team but was brought in to take over his hometown AHL instead. He's tasked to bring the team up from its pitiful last place finish in the previous season, and while it won't be a cakewalk, he's looking forward to the challenge. Matt, however, didn't expect an even greater obstacle to come in the form of his ex--the one ex that he's never quite gotten over...the one who truly broke his heart. But there isn't any available game plan to prep Matt to deal with thirty-eight-year-old antiques runner Pierce Langley-Brown--not when Pierce's son happens to be part of Matt's AHL team and not when his heart still wants him.
This second-chance romance had everything I wanted: some angst, some wit, and a whole lot of rediscovery of feelings and emotions. I appreciated the fact that there was a fair amount of hesitation and wariness between the main characters. After all, the way things ended left Matt shattered, and Pierce was somewhat lost, even though it was his decision to walk away. I liked seeing these two rebuild the foundation of their relationship, and while it was clear they weren't meant to be "just" friends, going from exes to friends was an ideal (re)start. Theirs was going to be a complicated rekindling, what with Matt being Pierce's son's coach, plus the Jason himself and his having no idea that his dad and coach were an actual couple once upon a time. That being said, I was glad that there wasn't any unnecessary drama from Pierce's ex-wife. Amy Aislin has instead penned a story of taking a stand for your person and your relationship and finding a balance when it comes to the things and people who matter most. And hockey, too, of course! 4.5 stars for Game Plan.
Release Date: 04 April 2023
Date Read: 29 March 2023
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