Friday, February 9, 2018

Jen's Reviews: On the Edge of Scandal and Fire on the Ice

Today Jen has a double dose of Tamsen Parker for you. Both of these books came out on the 6th, so we figured we'd throw the reviews together, too.

Remember, since FIRE ON THE ICE is a Royal Pick, come back on February 22nd for a chance to win an ecopy of your own!

On the Edge of Scandal by Tamsen Parker
Publisher: Swerve (February 6, 2018)
Series: Snow and Ice Games, 3
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Sports

Bronwyn Perry is the star of the US women’s hockey team, and she and her boyfriend Brody Hill have been hockey royalty since they’ve been in high school. Brody unexpectedly fails to make the men’s team but still comes to Denver to support his girl at the Snow and Ice Games. Or so Bronwyn thinks.

Ash Levenson is the coach of the women’s SIG hockey team. His primary responsibility is to keep his team happy, healthy, and primed to win. Though he’s close in age to his players, he’s been doing this for a while and mostly, it’s easy to keep his eyes on the puck. He’s always been able to discard any crush he might have on any of the women he’s coached…until Bronwyn.

When Bronwyn and Brody’s romance comes to a very public and very ugly end, Ash has to get his star player’s head back in the game and ready to dominate on the rink. Which may mean spending a little time off the ice… 

Where to Buy*:
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Reviews for Parker's Books:

Jen's Review:

In this installment of the Snow and Ice Games series, our heroine is Bronwyn Perry, a key member of the USA hockey team. The hero is her coach, Ash Levenson. This kind of power difference is usually a hard pass for me, but I liked these characters so much that this book largely worked for me (It helps that she’s 22 and he’s only 28). The SIGs start with Bronwyn dating her long term boyfriend, but they have a very public, very ugly break-up. Bronwyn turns to her coach for emotional support and of course that turns into something more. Honestly, this book was great for me until the last quarter. They have a fight, but it feels more manufactured to separate them than a truly believable turn of events. But I’d like to talk about the real deal-breaker, which might be minor to some, but it was major to me. During the key moment of the gold medal hockey game, the narration switches to Ash’s point of view. I will die on this hill: if your heroine is an athlete, her greatest accomplishments and cruelest defeats MUST be told from her point of view. I cannot even tell you how disappointed I felt when this moment was stolen from Bronwyn and given to Ash. I love heroines and I want books where women own their own accomplishments and stories, and this, for me, was an unforgivable stumble.


Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker
Publisher: Swerve (February 6, 2018)
Series: Snow and Ice Games, 4
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Sports | F/F

Blaze Bellamy is the bad girl of the short track speed skating world. Looking like a roller derby bruiser when she’s not in her Team USA uniform, she’s an unlikely American heroine. She’s got a punk attitude to match her provocative dress and her dyed hair, and she’s determined to get onto the front pages of the papers regardless of how she has to do it.

Maisy Harper is the workhorse of the Canadian women’s figure skating team. Serious, modest, and above all, polite, Maisy would prefer to win her victory on the ice rather than in the press, and is exasperated by Blaze’s antics. When she’s not lusting after her anyway. After they both failed to make the medal podium at the last Snow and Ice Games, they drowned themselves in gin—and each other.

Despite their hookup being drunken, they both harbor fond memories of their night together and are keen for a repeat. But they’ve got different ways of going about getting what they want, and Blaze’s willingness to go to any lengths for the spotlight could ruin any chance she has with Maisy.

Where to Buy*:
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Jen's Review:

Fire on the Ice as a title is 100% truth in advertising---because this book is HOT and I enjoyed every minute of it. Blaze Bellamy is a speed skater and Maisy Harper is a figure skater. 4 years ago, they had a brief but intense affair at the SIGs, and they’ve both been waiting for another chance. Because they have a previously established sexual relationship, they jump right into it...and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that almost the whole first half of this book is their sexual exploits.  Have I mentioned how hot this book is? It’s interesting, because rather than sex building intimacy between Blaze and Maisy, their chemistry keeps them at arm’s length. Why bother talking about their feelings when they could be busy having orgasms? Maisy is introverted and prefers to keep her affairs quiet, while Blaze is 100% extroverted and very open about her sexuality (she identifies as poly) and her need for attention. I wasn’t sure that Tamsen Parker could make me believe that these two could make it work outside of the bedroom, but I found myself rooting for them, and the HEA feels satisfying while respecting both Maisy and Blaze’s needs and personalities.

Content warning: Maisy’s parents are controlling and homophobic, and that’s a well-explored part of her personality and character.

4 1/2 STARS!

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Jen received an e-ARC of these book from the publisher, via NetGalley.

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Thanks for the reviews, Jen! 

I haven't read this series yet -- though I have all the books waiting for me -- but I did skim the sex scenes for FotI? Um. Yes. SO DAMN HOT. 

Have you read Tamsen Parker?

Or do you have a favorite winter sports/Olympics romance?


Until Next Time,

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