Title: Center Ice
Series: Corrigan Falls Raiders #1
Author: Cate Cameron
Release date: 5/19/15
Publisher: Entangled Crush
Summary from Goodreads:
The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…
Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.
But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.
Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…
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This book has so many things that I love, all rolled into one little book. Contemporary romance? Check. Young adult? Check. Hockey? Triple check. I knew I had to read this one the moment I saw the cover (I know, I know). I'm glad that the story inside is just as cute as the cover represents it to be.
Center Ice is a really sweet book. We meet Karen and Tyler, who tell their story from both sides, as the book flips between each of their points of view. They're absolutely adorable together, and I enjoyed every minute of watching them fall deeper in love. Tyler is a hockey player with NHL goals in mind, and I loved him. Karen, well, I didn't like her much as her own character. She did a lot of things that made me sigh, and I found it hard to connect with her. That said, I liked her with Tyler as a couple, so I wasn't horridly put off by it while reading. I appreciated the overall depth of the characters- this book is more than just a sweet romance. There's a lot of other issues working here such as reputations, family struggles, and pressures for perfection. This made the book a lot more realistic for me, and I appreciated it.
I absolutely adore hockey (Go Blackhawks!) so I really liked that it was a focal point of this book. I don't just mean that in regards to Tyler being a stellar, NHL bound player in the plot of the book. The author seems really well researched on the sport, it sounded like it was written by someone familiar with hockey, not someone just using it as a plot device. There was slang and details that I really enjoyed.
I think that this is a really good romance for fans of hockey or sports themed romances, as well as contemporary romance. I'd place it somewhere between YA and NA for age range. I'm told that this is the first book in a series, and though I had some issues with Center Ice I would definitely continue on with the next book in the series.
I received my copy in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
Cate Cameron grew up in the city but moved to the country in her mid-twenties and isn't looking back. Most of her writing deals with people living and loving in small towns or right out in the sticks - when there aren't entertainment options on every corner, other people get a lot more interesting!
She likes to write stories about real people struggling with real issues. YA, NA, or contemporary romance, her books are connected by their emphasis on subtle humor and characters who are trying to do the right thing, even when it would be a lot easier to do something wrong.
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