I picked this book up randomly last night because I was drawn to the premise and I started reading the first few pages out of curiosity and never stopped until the very end! It’s safe to say that I enjoyed it and was quite invested in these characters’ story which was a sweet, heart-warming romance about a forty year old heroine who just got out of an ugly marriage, and a famous, sexy (younger) professional hockey player who fell head over heels for her and made it his mission to prove to her that she was the only one for him…
Before anything, here’s the official blurb:
When newly divorced Kate Adams is approached on the sunny deck of a California hotel by hockey star David Burke, and he invites her to dinner, she almost says no. He’s obviously younger than her. And charming. And drop dead gorgeous. But there’s also something sweet about David, so Kate—who hasn’t done anything spontaneous in a very long time—accepts his invitation.
It is, after all, her fortieth birthday.
However, a real romance with thirty-year-old David, whose picture is in the gossip pages as often as it’s in the sports pages, is out of the question. No matter how much she wants him, it’s just too risky.
But meeting Kate has been David’s lightning strike. She’s the one for him, and he has no intention of giving up on her.
So while Kate guards her fragile heart, David sets out to win her over with the same determination that drives him on the ice.
And he’ll break every rule in the book if he has to.
David is one of those special book heroes whose pure devotion to the heroine is downright heart melting. I really loved his character and admired how far he was willing to go to prove to her that she was the only one he wanted… forever. I really liked that he was perfectly willing to admit when he made a mistake and had no problems going to any lengths to make up for it. I also appreciated that despite his playboy past, his devotion to Kate was never once brought into question. It was plain to see that she was it for him. All he had to do was convince her of that too.
What had started as a bet, and was supposed to be a simple one-night stand, had become much more. This woman mattered to him. At some point, David had stopped thinking about himself and started thinking about her. Her vulnerability, her openness, her intelligence were at the heart of what he felt, but there was more. It was the way they connected.
They understood each other.
Having spent the last ten years married to a manipulative, cunning, controlling and at times abusive husband, Kate naturally was extraordinarily wary about trusting anyone — let alone a famous hockey star who was known for leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. While there were times when I got frustrated with the way she kept pushing David away, the more you read, the more you saw why her trust was so broken. I did sometimes get frustrated with the way she wouldn’t trust him, but at the same time, I could see where she was coming from. And I really liked that she was very successful career-wise and stable on her own. Even though he was this famous sports star, it was almost a situation of him being out of his league with her instead of the other way around which made for a really interesting dynamic.
David was falling for her, and his biggest fear [was] that he wouldn’t measure up. He had to make sure he did everything right. He had no room for error with a woman who’d been through so much.
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. Admittedly, I found it a little cheesy in places but at the same time, I feel like it was so heart-warming that I just kind of made a decision that I just would accept it for what it was without judgement. It’s fairly predictable too, but I dunno… sometimes you just need this kind of book, y’know? It was a romance that made my tummy flutter and I swooned and cared for the characters so all in all, I was happy.
“I’m trying to figure out why you’re upset.”
Oh, my God! David, I’m ten years older than you. I have a seventeen-year-old daughter!”
He casually sat on the edge of a desk and put his jacket on the desk next to him.
“You don’t want to date a younger man?”
“It doesn’t bother you?”
“No. Not seeing you again bothers me a lot more.”
The only thing that I definitely feel would have improved the book was the inclusion of sex scenes. Given that this was a legit Adult romance, I felt like it was a little out of place to have fade-to-black bedroom scenes. However, I still bought David and Kate’s relationship and connection. I believed in them. It was clear how much they both cared for each other and I really enjoyed watching them slowly build trust.
Up until now, he’d kept the women in his life at arm’s length, but not her. Kate, he wanted to draw in, keep close. He couldn’t explain it, but as she held onto him, it was like she grabbed onto a piece of his heart and he knew he was never getting it back.
The story is told in third person but also in a way that gave both David and Kate’s perspectives so you really did get both sides of the complete story. While most of the book is focused on David and Kate’s growing relationship, there is also considerable attention to Kate’s home life. She has a seventeen-year-old daughter with whom she had a strained relationship thanks to her ex-husband’s manipulative nature. So that’s another big part of the story. This wasn’t just about romance, it was also about finding self-worth, the strength to stand up for yourself, and the value of family.
It reads as a complete full length standalone so you get the whole story in one fell swoop with no waiting. It’s a fairly long novel of 400+ pages, but I read it in one evening and really enjoyed it!
Rating: 4 stars. Standalone contemporary romance.