by Kelly Jamieson
Happily ever afters aren’t just for fairy tales. In this heartfelt novel, a retired athlete must become a father to the daughter he never knew—just as he discovers the power of love with a woman who reignites his passions.
Drew Sellers is drowning in broken dreams and empty beer bottles. Hockey was his world, until a bum knee reduced him from superstar to has-been. Then he learns that, thanks to a one-night-stand back in college, he’s the father of a preteen girl with major issues. Her protective aunt sees right through Drew’s BS, but “Auntie P” is no stereotypical spinster. With her slender curves, toned legs, and luscious lips, she has Drew indulging in fantasies that aren’t exactly family-friendly.
At another point in her life, Peyton Watt would have been all over a cocky alpha male who pushes all her buttons like Drew. Right now, though, she needs to focus on taking care of her niece during her sister’s health crisis, all while holding down a job and keeping her own head above water. Besides, Drew’s clearly no father of the year. He’s unemployed. He drinks too much. And he’s living in the past. But after Peyton gets a glimpse of the genuine man behind his tough-guy façade, she’s hooked—and there’s no going back.
Drew is at a crossroads in his life – his hockey career is over and he has no idea where he’s going to go next. He’s wallowing in self-pity and just treading water. And then he finds out he has a 12 years old daughter he never knew about and he’s got to decide whether he is ready to part of her life. It’s not easy for him, especially since her mother is facing a serious health crisis so whatever decision he makes has to be made soon.
Peyton is kinda at a crossroads of her own. Her job is in NYC but her sister and niece need her in Chicago. She’s doing the best she can to juggle caring for her sister, helping her niece, and keeping up with her work. Bringing in a former hockey player with lots of baggage just adds to her load. Especially when there are sparks between them that are hard to ignore.
This is an emotion packed book – between the health issue, the newly found dad, work problems, life problems, tween problems … there’s a lot going on here but Jamieson keeps it real. While I doubt a lot of people ever have to worry about a long-lost child appearing, there are all sorts of forks in the road that we have to face. These are very relatable events and they are delivered in a way that draws you in, keeping your heart engaged & your tear ducts on notice 🙂 These people aren’t perfect and they make mistakes along the way, but they face things head on, do the best they can and work it out. We should all hope that we have their strength, courage, and heart when we need them.