Author: Nana Malone

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology

Hot on Ice: A Hockey Romance AnthologyHot on Ice: A Hockey Romance Anthology by Avery Flynn, Robin Covington, Kimberly Kincaid, Nana Malone, Virginia Nelson, Xio Axelrod, Christi Barth, Andie J. Christopher, Kim Golden, Lena Hart, Desiree Holt, Robin Kaye, Katie Kenyhercz, Heather Long, Kate Meader, Angi Morgan, Susan Scott Shelley, Misty D. Waters
Series: Chicago Rebels #0.5
Published by Avery Flynn on March 21st 2017
Pages: 1800
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
three-stars

Get ready to fall in love with the smokin’ hot hockey players of the New Orleans Cajun Rage. After this season’s Cinderella run all the way to the Finals, these heroes have won the Cup—and now your heart is the goal.

‘Hot on Ice’ follows every single team member of the fictional New Orleans Cajun Rage after they’ve won the coveted cup and how the cup, like some magical catalyst, helps bring them get to their HEA that some feel (rightly so, to be honest) they don’t deserve. By the end of the book, I found it somewhat amusing that entire hockey team has found love, as though the cup has helped guaranteed success in their love lives as well.

Like every anthology, the quality of writing varies quite significantly and it can be quite an experience sorting through all of them, like finding gems in a huge haystack. There were some stories that I enjoyed (and found believable) more than others because of the stylish and more sophisticated way of writing, as well as how well some authors handled the typical romance tropes in them. Some others, well…I did find them cringeworthy.

The ARC I received felt like it was in its ‘developmental’ stage though; the formatting didn’t always work in my laptop or my e-reader (I don’t use a Kindle, maybe that’s why) for several chapters and there is still some editing work (grammar/spelling, for instance) that needs to be done to make the final version a more polished one.

*ARC kindly given by the authors
(always grateful, mind)

three-stars

Hit & Miss Groom by Nana Malone and Misty Evans

Hit & Miss Groom by Nana Malone and Misty EvansHit & Miss Groom by Misty Evans, Nana Malone
Series: Hit Wedding #2
Published by Beach Path Publishing on February 2nd 2015
Pages: 161
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
two-stars

Marketing Program Manager, Vanessa Rodriquez, is driven to succeed and keeps the finish line in sight at all times…until one unexpected pit stop at her best friend’s wedding sends her skidding off course. Sleeping with Alex McIntyre wasn't supposed to make her feel this way—scattered, unfocused, and in need of another sexual tune-up. If only he didn’t make her feel so alive.

Alex can’t resist the beautiful Vanessa any more than he can resist his need for speed as an amateur race car driver. Even though she claims to hate him, she keeps coming back for lap after lap in his bed. When he ends up moving in next door to her, their sexual chemistry turns to deep desire. Ready to go full throttle, he convinces her to be his grid girl on—and off—the track. Van, however, puts on the brakes.

If Van can just course correct, it’ll be smooth sailing toward her goals. Or will it? Alex is smart, sexy, and way too much of a distraction, but maybe she needs to shake up her world and do the one thing she swore she’d never do…follow her heart. Will she risk it all to cross the finish line? Or will she and Alex crash and burn before they have a chance at love?

The battle of the wedding couple’s best friends is what I’d like to call this book, which isn’t really in any way that much of a standout save for the unusual occupation and hobbies that the lead characters have going for them. A meeting at a wedding turns explosive and while the sex is steamy, no-holds barred and hot, ‘Hit & Miss Groom’ is pretty much a tale of two characters wary of emotional ties coming together in a way that isn’t unexpected at all.

My rant here, as I suspect, has much to do with my intense dislike of manwhores and players and my inability to get over their ‘one-and-done’ throwaway attitudes written which I personally think has been treated with so much disrespect especially in fiction. All it took was a short period of time for Alex to turn from manwhore to committed man to potential husband and fiancé and that change for me, is like a flip of a switch, akin to a personality transplant that’s too difficult for me to take in. Convincing Van is an uphill battle – and rightfully so – until he scares himself away and breaks it all off by being a general arse after a long treatise about wanting more than a casual fuck. The grovelling begins, but not after he has some sort of personal revelation that he is in fact, able to do a committed relationship…because it only takes the right woman that he finds irresistible and very very good sex to change his mind.

*cue massive eye-rolling*

And frankly, it’s difficult to swallow when I’ve always been planted in the camp that really thinks that a leopard can’t change its spots. That Alex, like many other players, somehow erases those spots and wears a new coat of whiteness so easily that I’m nearly wont to reject the HEA that follows. Like Vanessa, I couldn’t shake the impression that he was a farce, and unlike her later, that impression never quite changed. I thought that the only thing saving the story was Van herself who was a strong female lead, whose flawed consistency at least, led to me cheer for her and the big girl panties she never failed to pull on when Alex as a lead failed so badly up until the end.

Maybe it’s precisely these flaws – the revolving women, the player changed – that draw such readers to books like these. I’m getting tired, though. Tired and so wary of stereotypes, of characters who blithely walk the straight and narrow paths of these tropes because of mass appeal.

two-stars