Faceoff * Northbrook Hockey Elite series

She isn’t supposed to want him. He isn’t supposed to want her. But wanting each other is inevitable.

Clint McCarthy has finally achieved his dream of playing for a professional hockey program, and is eager to make his mark with his new team. While getting settled in his new city, he happens across Bree Stone, whom he has known for years, with their respective brothers both being in the famed Belltown Six Pack. But for the life of him, he can’t remember Bree ever looking so attractive. Or being so captivating. Or taking over his every waking thought.

In the middle of her graduate degree, Bree has no time or desire for working on her dating life, or lack thereof, but the impossibly handsome Clint McCarthy coming back into her life makes everything complicated. She shouldn’t be focusing on him, or on them, not when her professional future hangs in the balance. But once she hears about Clint’s past with the Northbrook Hockey Elite program, and where that program stands now, Bree just might find a way to make her career, and a future with Clint, come to life.

My Review

Bree and Clint have brothers who are part of the professional baseball Six Pack friendship. There is a general understanding that siblings or group members really shouldn’t date each other.

Her birthday texts were unfailingly epic.

Instead of having just one older brother, she really had six.

After Clint returns from service in the Marines, he is recruited into a professional hockey team in the same town where Bree is finishing her master’s degree in public administration. They meet again by accident at a basketball game and are blindsided by their mutual attraction. Clint and Bree begin seeing each other every day.

Troubles mount as Clint faces off against hockey players with a personal vendetta against him. News that his old hockey club is going under is especially disturbing and Bree needs to find an internship for the next semester which could take her far away. And how will their brothers and the rest of the Six Pack respond to news about their relationship status? Will being Six Pack siblings put Clint and Bree more in the spotlight than they are comfortable with?

“You don’t want to be the next big thing?”

He shook his head, still smiling. “Nope. Well, if I earn it, maybe. But not as an accessory to the Six Pack, you know? And having them be there is just going to drag the spotlight over to me, and what’s that going to do except bring attention to my playing?”

He sighed, fighting for the words that he hadn’t confided to anyone yet. “I just want to play, Bree. I’ve always just wanted to play.”

The story is interesting. I wish I could give it more stars but somehow I didn’t develop a strong emotional connection to this sweet romance. Perhaps it is because I don’t know sports culture. My family watched a lot of basketball while I was growing up but that was about it besides a few baseball classes and attending one hockey game and a couple football games. Shocking, right? So, I felt just a little lost with the sports conversations at times. Each one was amusing yet even more funny I’m sure to someone who loves sports.

Descriptions of Bree’s classes and internship fascinated me most as I studied and enjoyed accounting in college. I loved Bree and Clint’s relationship as they helped each other succeed. The surprise resolution to the conflicts is heart-warming.

I was confused when a few characters were called by their first name sometimes and by nickname on other occasions. This was especially confusing when those names started with the same letter of the alphabet. Here’s a brief rundown of several characters’ names as a reference:

* Zane Winchester is Zamboni (hilarious!)
* Declan Rivera is Dice
* Trane Jones is Diesel

Something about the hero seemed so natural… The name Clint is so familiar to me, it’s the same as my husband’s, it didn’t register until half way through the book. My husband noticed his name right away as he glanced over my shoulder at the story! What’s not to love about Clint?

My favorite Clint quotes from Faceoff:

“Clint was amazing” (He sure is!)
“I love you, Clint.” 😘

There were only one or two mild swear words in this book which is a pleasant surprise after reading Rebecca Connolly’s previous Regency romance novel My Fair Spinster. Descriptions in Faceoff are exciting. It felt like I was actually present. The characters are also fun. I am curious to see if Bree’s roommates have a relationship with someone in the Northbrook set in future books! If you like sweet and clean contemporary romance or are a sports fan, this may be a great game play for you.

I received a free advanced reader copy of this book. All opinions are completely my own.

You can follow the authors these places!
* Rebecca Connolly * Heather B. Moore * Sophia Summers * Facebook: Swoony Sports Romances

Book Links
* Alibris * Amazon * B&N * Goodreads

Have you ever read a book where a character shared the same name as someone you love? Did it affect how you saw the character?

I hope you enjoyed reading this! What is your take on the story?