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Moving on from cowboys … to hockey players so I think that’s an OK trade.

*****

Scoring Off the Ice

Ice King series

by Stacey Lynn

Blurb:

Sometimes scoring off the ice leads to the greatest rewards.

I’ve had only one goal in life since I first strapped on a pair of skates—make America’s pro hockey league.

I left Denmark. I made it to the top. Now, I’m determined to be the best. No distractions. I eat, sleep, and breathe hockey.

Until my birthday when my teammates convince me to live a little.

But living a little takes on a whole new meaning when less than a year later I’m confronted with a crying baby on my doorstep, drooling on a note that declares he’s mine.

Suddenly, I’m a single dad in way over my head.

There is no playbook for situations like this.

Luckily, I have Paisley.

My gorgeous neighbor, my long-time crush, and now—my savior.

She’s there any time I need her.

Helping. Guiding. Gazing at me with those green eyes that make me feel capable of this after all.

With her at my side, I’m quickly learning there’s more to life than winning a hockey game.

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*****

Excerpt:

“Who are you?” I don’t like calling her the woman. I’ve wondered her name for months since she started appearing in that doorway so close to mine.

She turns to me and in her arms is the baby. She’s holding a bottle and the baby is drinking. Quiet little sounds come from it and she grins down at the baby in her arms before tilting her head at me.

“What?”

“You. What is your name?”

“Paisley. Are you Mikah?”

She must want money if she knows my name. Perhaps she’s a fan. A puck bunny—that’s what my teammates call the girls who follow players and only want one thing from them.

“How did you know?” I wish she wasn’t so pretty. Sometimes it hurts to talk when all I want to do is look at her.

She points to an envelope on the table. The note.

“It’s on the outside. I didn’t know if it was your name or the baby’s, so I took a guess. Are you… are you okay?”

“A stranger shows up at my door with a baby in her arms, saying it’s mine. How okay am I supposed to be?” I wander to the table while I ask.

I’m surprised by her gentle laugh.

“I suppose this isn’t your typical Friday night.”

She is funny. If I didn’t think I might throw up, I might laugh. No. This is not my typical Friday night. Mine are for resting. Not life-changing drama.

I say nothing and grab the envelope. I stare at it for a moment. Perhaps if I do not open it, I can pretend this didn’t happen. My fingers shake as I tear it open.

The envelope is larger than normal and thick and I’m careful as I pull out several folded papers.

The top one is the most important though as I instantly see my name, written in scrolling black ink.

MIKAH,

His name is Angelo.

*****

Review:

Scoring Off the Ice is a sweet, slow-build romance about a couple of strangers (who have been long-distance lusting after each other) getting thrown into sending time with each other thanks to an unexpected bundle of joy. Time spent with baby Angelo allows Mikah and Paisley to get to know each other and to finally figure out if their attraction to each other can turn into something more.

I didn’t realize that when I chose this one that it falls into the New Adult category. I don’t usually read these – I’m a woman of a certain age (*snicker*) and I tend to just not connect with the characters or their situation. And while this one was better than some I’ve read, I did feel like the ending was a little rushed and handled poorly by the characters.

You knew going in that there was definitely going to have to be some baby-mama drama, and there was, but Mikah handled it very poorly and I felt that Paisley forgave him a little too easily. It was in the last 10% of the book, so since it happened at the end that’s what I left with instead of the many enjoyable pages of Mikah learning to be a dad and Paisley & Mikah getting to know each other … but I do think maybe a little more attention should have been given to the issue.

This one is getting a lot of positive reviews so just because NA is not my cup of tea doesn’t mean that it isn’t a good read. Lynn is a strong writer and her storylines are solid with interesting characters. I enjoyed getting to know both Paisley & Mikah and I’m definitely intrigued by some of Mikah’s older teammates so I’ll be giving other books in this series a go.

*****

Author Info:

Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble, she loves being able to turn her vivid imagination into a career that brings entertainment and joy to her readers. Focused on sports romance and emotional, small-town romance, she also loves stretching herself in different genres.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Connect with Stacey:

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*****