Genre: New Adult Romance
~Blurb~A deliciously steamy enemies with benefits romance.
Declan McAvoy. Voted Biggest Flirt. Highest goal scorer in Kings of Rittenhouse Prep history.
Everyone’s impressed, well except one person…
After a blow out in high school, Makenna Halstead and I were happy to never have to cross paths again. Except life has a way of knocking you straight in the teeth with a puck when you least expect it. She hasn’t just returned to my life, she crashed into it like a wrecking ball...into my college kingdom, into my class, and smack dab into the seat next to mine. My new lab partner to be exact.
For years we hated each other... I may be King on the ice, but she is the Ice Queen. She has no problem calling me out, doesn’t back down, and her piercing blue eyes have me picturing more than than just my arms wrapped around her.
Now we’re stuck with each other and there’s no getting around that fact that we have to work together. My hockey career hangs in the balance. Problem? Oh, yeah.
I can’t deny it. I want her. More than I ever thought I could want a woman. I’ve got one semester–only four months–to convince her everything she thought about me was wrong.
Will my queen let me prove to her I’m the King she can’t live without?
Only one way to find out…
Declan McAvoy is the jock hockey player with aspiration to the NHL. Makenna Halstead is the aloof studious girl with aspirations for Stanford. They are both full of assumptions and misread each other at every pass in high school. But when a turn of events in college throws them together with the same goal, they get the chance to see each other for who they really are.
“I’d entered a different plane where a guy like Declan stood waiting for me outside work like an 80s movie version of a prince.”
Told via their alternating first person POV, the story opens with the tale of these two and their friends in high school as they approach graduation. While included in the ARC I received, this is technically the series prologue, now available as a separate free novella. It’s a lot of introductions to make and follow, but these supporting characters are getting their own books at some point. Then the story jumps back to prom (I assume this is the prologue to the actual book) before moving forward four years in the future to their senior year of college. I’ll admit, I struggled a little in these early parts. And then I struggled with a scene that would have benefited from an editorial deletion. Declan waking up hung-over with another girl, though one he thankfully did not have sex with before passing out, didn’t add anything to the story and just delayed any kind of connection between him and Mak. Aside from being unromantic, it also felt really unnecessary.
But once the story settled into Mak and Declan getting to know each other and working together, the romantic development started to shine through. Though I hadn’t felt a whole lot of chemistry between them prior, that changed once they hit the sheets.
“…beckoning me closer like a siren to the rocks of pleasure, ready to shred me. But I didn’t want to change course now. I couldn’t. She owned me.”
First, wow, how refreshing that the hero feels owned instead of the heroine for once! That line was a nice change of pace. Second, Declan was quite impressive in the bedroom. He’s like the energizer bunny with a rechargeable battery. It was totally hot yet heartfelt at the same time. I might have even been tempted to read those chapters more than once. ;-)
“Watching her come apart was my favorite sight in the world. I’d rather watch her than hockey. I roared out her name and followed her…”
Declan turned out to be a pretty solid guy I adored how he was all in for Mak and didn’t give up once he got to really know her. I also got a kick out of how the tables got turned on Declan; the “ghosted” scenes with the guys was cute.
Both Mak and Declan have some family baggage that they have to work through, but the themes fit the new adult college romance angle.
As for future books, I’m definitely intrigued by Heath and interested in his story. He seemed like he has the has potential to make his girl swoon. I was sorta fascinated by him so I hope his book is hot like this one too. Avery and Emmet’s story would be a pass for me though based off his fall into manwhore land. Everyone else I’m still trying to keep straight. ;-)
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Read the Series Prequel
Maya Hughes is a Jersey girl, no not that kind! And she also thinks it’s super weird to talk about herself in third person :) I’m a romance writer who loves taking inspiration from everyday life, the music I listen to, and the people I know to create stories that sparkle and shine. I’m the mom of three little ones, the wife to an amazing husband and also work full time. Some of my favorite things are cinnamon rolls, white wine, laughing until I can’t breathe and traveling with my family.
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