When I heard about the Hot on Ice hockey anthology, I pre-ordered it immediately, just based on the premise: an NHL team wins the Stanley Cup, and as each member of the Rajun Cajuns (!) has his day to celebrate with the cup, it works its magic and helps bring them love.
Sports romance fans – is that a brilliant idea for a collection?
So when this book was delivered to my Kindle last week, I started reading right away. I’m about half way through, picking and choosing stories at random, so far, this anthology has really blown me away.
Here’s what makes this anthology special – each story is feels unique, by different authors and with very different tones, and yet they’re tied together by the team’s story (some characters make cameos in others’ stories) and by the Stanley Cup handler, Edwin. And this makes the anthology as a whole work beautifully. I found some stories with a more traditional sports romance feel and others that took me by surprise in the best ways possible.
Go into this anthology with an open mind, and I promise you’ll be rewarded.
The collection has some authors that are familiar to me and some that are new. This review just focus on a few stories, but every story I’ve read so far was well worth my time.
I went straight for Kim Golden’s Under the Midnight sun, about a Swedish player, injured, who makes his way back to Umeå and gets a second chance with the woman he left behind. This story very deftly and smoothly takes on her experience as an Eritrean immigrant in Sweden, her struggles and achievements and the happiness love brings. Don’t miss this one.
Kimberly Kincaid’s Deep Check about a player returning to his hometown to face a tough past is a perfect first story for this collection. It’s just what I’d expect from a sports romance in all the best ways.
Lena Hart’s Courage was one of those stories that took me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting a marriage-on-the-rocks story, and Hart handles the topic so well. Mason Courage is promoted to head coach just as his wife files for divorce. What proceeds is a sexy, tender and emotional tale of the very realistic challenges of balancing family life with an extremely demanding career.
There are plenty more stories to discover of all kinds – for example, male/male romance isn’t my go-to genre, but Robin Covington’s Free Agent is fantastic. I highly recommend it.