Series: Ice Knights, #3
Published by Entangled Publishing. LLC (Amara) on 22nd June 2020
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I never meant to say a word, not one single word.
But I did.
And now, because of my blog, everyone knows that Ice Knights hockey star Ian Petrov’s best friend and fellow player is actually his half brother—hello, hockey Hall of Famer dad who couldn’t keep his jeans zipped.
That wouldn’t be such a big deal if Ian knew. He didn’t, and boy howdy is he pissed. And who is he most mad at? Oh sure, he’s upset with his dad and former best friend/brother from another mother, but most of his ire is with me. It’s definitely a case of hating the messenger.
And what could make it worse? How about the two of us being trapped together in a remote cabin after a massive blizzard. Neither of us can leave. Just us, the snow, his resentment, and OMG sexual tension so thick it would take a snowplow to break through it.
I’ve got to get out of here before I do something even dumber than I’ve already done and kiss the sexy, snarly grump with his misplaced anger and perfect pecs. That would be the worst, the absolute worst. That’s why I’m not going to do it. Nope. Really. So why can’t I stop imagining what it would be like?
Loud-mouth, or rather, big-mouth hockey blogger Shelby Blanton is the one responsible for Ian Petrov’s current grievances with his half-brother (and former best friend) and his cheater of a father who’d left a trail of affairs in his wake, even if it was an accident. Trapped in a media scandal with his ego bruised, his pride in tatters and his closest friendship in the drain, Ian Petrov has little going for him at the moment. Worse yet, it’s the person whom he blames for his predicament who’s slowly getting under his skin for a different reason.
Avery Flynn’s ‘Loud Mouth’ is premised on the idea that Shelby and Ian start out as sort-of enemies, get snowed in and stuck together in an AirBnb rental accidentally…until attraction overwhelms the initial tension which is worked out more in bed than anything else.
Both Flynn’s protagonists do carry the weight of their own familial issues in some ways, though it’s Ian’s daddy issues—tied into the whole sport of hockey—that come to the forefront. Shelby however, stands out as a statement-making female lead character in her own right: with shaven sides, gap-teeth and 6-years sober, carrying an undercurrent of distrust of women like her mother who fell in love way too easily.
My issue really, was with the pace with which Shelby and Ian suddenly fell into bed to work out their bubbling sexual tension; the shift from enemies to heavy-breathing and lust-ridden desires was seismically sudden when their mutual hostility melted away in what felt like 5 minutes. Without some kind of gradual buildup, their relationship development felt rushed and surface-level, with the emphasis on releasing pent-up attraction (and the subsequent infatuation) instead of emotional deepening and simply getting to know each other past the furtive but desirous looks. That Flynn wrote them falling in love after several mind-blowing orgasms didn’t seem too believable because what they had between them didn’t seem to be accompanied by a solid base of friendship and emotional openness.
I hadn’t read the previous books before embarking on this one—show me an enemies-to-lovers book and I’m full on pouncing on it, which was my abrupt entry really, into Flynn’s ‘Ice Knights’ series. But the story is not a hard one to follow, more so because it’s written with punchy sass, a brisk pace that moves the plot on without languishing too much on inner monologues and angsty, drawn-out moments.
In fact, ‘Loud Mouth’ skirts the angst and opts for quick and light resolutions that made me wonder at times if the issues present at the start of the book were more swept under the carpet than put to bed. But the bottom-line is pretty much this: if the rom-com thing is what you need right now, then this certainly delivers.