holly and hockey bootsRating: 2.5 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK
Length: Novella

Adam Sieger is an out and proud goalie for a minor league hockey team. He’s comfortable in who he is, and happy to be playing the sport he loves. After a game, at the meet and greet, Adam meets Cason Reyes and his brain shorts out. Cason is so beautiful, Adam accidentally makes up a Christmas party just so he can see Cason again. Unfortunately, he can’t pull together a party on such short notice. But instead of telling Cason the truth, he continues to say the details are not finalized yet.  He’s so drawn in by Cason that he doesn’t want to admit he’s a liar and have Cason leave. But Adam can’t keep up the charade forever, and when the truth finally comes out, he loses Cason. But a Christmas miracle in the form of well-meaning friends and relatives will give this pair a second chance.

Okay, so I was intrigued by the blurb on this one, and since it was a Christmas story featuring hockey, I decided to give it a chance. Unfortunately, just about everything failed to work for me. The premise was over the top and unbelievable, the writing style wasn’t for me, and the important parts of the plot were glossed over and sped through.

Adam is this book’s one saving grace. He’s adorable and a complete dork, and it totally works. He’s the narrator, so we got to see his inner quirks. He’s a goalie, so he has his rituals for every game. And he owns the fact that he’s just a little bit weird. So his characterization was fun, and I enjoyed him. Had this been a different story featuring him, I probably would have enjoyed it. But as it was, as much as I thought he was a fun character, it wasn’t enough.

First off, the style of writing wasn’t for me. The first person narration was fine, but I didn’t enjoy the way it went from regular first person past, to Adam speaking directly to the reader. It felt choppy and disjointed. And then there were long sections where the characters just…info dumped themselves all over each other. Having just met, there were long paragraphs where they just told each other their whole life stories without much provocation. It just didn’t work for me. Not to mention, the chemistry between the characters was lackluster at best. After that initial meeting where Adam sees Cason, the spark died.

The prose was, in turns, juvenile and over the top. Part of that, I suppose, was Adam’s quirky way of thinking. But when there were random lines like “the way his yellow-brown skin rested against my umber flesh was enticing” that yanked me out of the story because they were incongruous to the greater narrative. And when I saw Cason described as a “Latina man” I was instantly taken aback by its incorrectness. That’s something that should have been corrected in the editing stage, if not caught by the author in the first place.

All of this coupled with a poorly paced plot left much to be desired. While there were a few shining moments in Adam, not much else works. Ultimately, I’d have to recommend giving this story a pass.

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