Yummy beach thinking

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On the Brink Kate Willoughby out June 28th

I finished this book a little while ago. I should have written my reviews then, it would have been a simpler review: ‘Kate Willoughby’s latest has been written for hockey fans to hit the beach with, it’s a yummy, sweet, fun and easy read’.

However, a few weeks later I’m kind of rethinking.

Yep, it’s yummy, sweet and fun. And it was easy to read – that’s the author’s trademark after all. But maybe I got her trademark wrong. Maybe Ms Willoughby gives us sweet and easy whilst she grabs you when you’re not expecting it. Bit naughty hey?

I should have known, she did it with Tim and Joe!  Because I’m still thinking about Hart and Jeremy.

The essence of the story is whether Hart can accept himself as gay and if he can, should he hide it? This is especially difficult given his potential partner’s open nature (think poster boy!).

What is the impact of having a hidden life?  Hart isn’t an idiot, as a top athlete he knows the potential impact of keeping such a secret on his athletic performance.  Can the hidden you, be the best you?

There will be plenty of people who feel that none of this should matter, Hart should join Jeremy’s poster boy status.  Yet, an athlete’s life is very finite. It also takes a level of complete dedication that most of us can’t comprehend. The story is set in the past but today we have nutters in the U.S. worrying what bathroom you use. So, must you be the poster boy just because you want to play hockey? It’s your dream. Is it anyone else’s business? What would you do?!

My only criticism is that if you read the series you’ll get more Hart including his family interactions and the ending of his story. I would have loved to have this woven in here for a longer novel. But on the plus side we’ll get another Barracuda book sooner. Silver linings and all that!

Go grab the latest Barracuda book, hit the beach and enjoy!  Thinking allowed but not essential!

I received an ARC in return for an honest review.

having & eating your cake

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Under the Spotlight by Kate Willoughby out December 14th

I have to say upfront I love a good sports romance, and Kate Willoughby is fast becoming a new absolute fave.  She knows her hockey and what makes a swoon worthy hero.

Joe and Christine are a really interesting couple.  Joe is a guy who wants to do the right thing by his lady. But the lady he chooses to go the distance with comes with a whole load of challenges.  Clearly, I don’t want to give the game away (like my pun?!) but they are two people focussed on their careers yet wanting love all the same.

As alpha boys go, Joe is definitely up there.  He is a hockey god after all!  So, how does a modern alpha boy or rather man deal with it when his lady’s career is so important to her.  Add in the fact that whilst she’s about to hit it big, being a little older and a sportsman he knows his days are numbered.  Can he go from super athlete to playing second fiddle?

It’s tough. Should you prioritise your hopes and dreams for your beloved?  And should they expect you to?  Of course, coming up with the platitudes are useful here (not!).  But the truth, as all us career girls (god how I hate that term!) know is that compromise is the only way forward.  For the majority of couples compromise is often about the practical stuff – money, travelling, prospects, child care etc.  Yet if money is no object and you’re both at the top of your game – would you or should you compromise?  And if so, who does it?

I think its called having your cake and eating it.  Is it possible?  And when it comes to super couples should it even be?  Made me wonder do Brad and Ange compromise?  What about George and Amal?  I bet they do.  Its just from the outside it seems so charmed.

That’s what made this a great read.  Ms Willoughby’s is an innovative take on the problem.  I love her fresh style, and there’s a level of honesty in her character development.  Joe in particular was easy to like, Christine probably took more effort, but I think that was deliberate.  And there’s no hiding that this author really is a hockey fan.

It’s fun, sexy, sweet and thought provoking, well above the normal sports romance.  Usually I’m not a fan of the epilogue, but this one was just perfect!

It can be read alone but I wouldn’t – go get the others and immerse yourself in Kate Willoughby’s Barracudas!

Oh and don’t forget that cover- talk about cake and eating it!

Thank you to netgalley for an ARC in return for an honest review