The so-bad-they’re-good alphas of hockey’s Chicago Aces are back in this emotionally charged novel of sex, love, and second chances from the bestselling author of Top Shelf and the Heller Brothers series.
Tanner Bennet hates weddings. They just remind him that he simply isn’t cut out for any kind of healthy, committed relationship—never has been, never will be. After getting rejected by the girl he thought was “the one” all those years ago, he made a huge mistake and married the wrong person. Now that the divorced heartbreaker has reluctantly agreed to be a groomsman for one of his NHL teammates, the last thing he expects is a chance at redemption with the one that got away.
After Marc Dupuis of the Chicago Aces hires wedding planner Katelyn Medford, she discovers that her big break comes with a twist: a reunion with her college sweetheart. The way she dumped Tanner still haunts her. Eight years—and three broken engagements—later, Katelyn knows she’ll never have that kind of innocent, wide-eyed passion again. Still, she and Tanner soon generate enough body heat to burn up the sheets. And even with Tanner’s career with the Aces up in the air, Katelyn’s wondering whether the time is right to let him in for real.
Actual 4.5 stars.
I love a good sports romance and Back Check by Kelly Jamieson ticked all my boxes. This is a riveting second chances love story that packs plenty of emotional punch. Loved Tanner and Katelynn’s romance and it had me hooked from the first page until the last.
Tanner has pretty much given up on women after his disastrous marriage (and subsequent divorce) to a gold digger. Katelynn had been his college sweetheart and he thought she was the one but when he got signed for a New York team she refused to move with him and he forced himself to leave her in the past.
Katelynn has been engaged three times but always calls it off because she doesn’t love the guy enough. Tanner broke her heart in college when he left for NY. They had a heated row and he left and they never spoke again and she feels like he just ran away without facing up to the situation they were in, without giving her a real explanation.
Fate intervenes and they find themselves reconnecting when Lovey hires Katelynn as her replacement wedding planner. Very quickly our couple realize that they never got over one another and they rekindle their romance.
I loved this story! Loved how it didn’t take too long for them to get it on because the sizzling hot chemistry and soul-deep connection they shared continued to burn bright. How could any couple ignore that for long? Of course, the path of true love never runs smoothly, and Tanner lets her down again before recovering in spectacular fashion. That video, with his teammates cutting in, had me in stitches. It was beautiful and heartfelt and it gave me all the feels.
I really enjoy the worldbuilding in this series and love how we got to meet up with some of the other couples. I have only read Sidney and Jarod’s story (which I didn’t enjoy as much as this one) but I’m intrigued to read the earlier stories.
The balance between the hockey and romance was perfect, the banter was humorous and emotional, and the romance scenes were perfectly written. Tanner was swoony worthy in the extreme and I loved Katelynn’s independent career-woman streak. As an aside, Tanner’s dad was a total ass.
I loved that epilogue even if it was a little cheesy, but I love seeing our couples get their HEA.
Overall, this was a fantastic addition to the Aces Hockey series and one I would recommend if you enjoy well-written sports romance.
Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.