Book Review: Stay (WAG #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

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It’s been a long time since I’ve done a review! I really gotta get back into the habit of it!

To start, I was super excited for this book because I really love Sarina and Elle‘s partnership! Plus, any reason to have another glimpse of the ‘Wesmie‘ couple is a good reason to continue reading the series! I had every intention of reading the book and writing a review of this prior to its release…while we can plan, plans can also change.

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32967547Genre: Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Published Date: June 2oth 2017
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Synopsis: Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it’s against the rules for her to check his file, she’s 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting… until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He’s still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won’t show her pretty face.

But it’s nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can’t fix. Hailey can’t resist the offer. Matt can’t resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn’t have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

**ARC courtesy of author in exchange for an honest review**

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What you can always expect from Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy is lots of laughter and hot hockey players!

What worked for me:

The writing. Sarina and Elle have yet to fail me when it comes to their writing. They are hilarious and steamy, mixed with lots of lovely sexy banter, and this book definitely has all that! The duo has done it again, cracking me up at every possible opportunity they get, and laughter is always a good reason to read.

Matt Eriksson. He is just a downright nice guy, with an incredibly hot body and is obviously gorgeous to look at. A little rusty when it comes to dating, which is pretty adorable. He has a wonderful sense of humor and I appreciate that he didn’t start sleeping around after his divorce. Rather, he was quite careful about getting involved with women. It might have something to do with trust issues after his divorce, especially since he still has to deal with his overly dramatic ex-wife, especially when it comes to their twin daughters, that he completely adores; yet it also shows a respectful side of him in considering the feelings of his partner if he ever got back into a relationship. He was someone with a lot of warmth especially when he was dealing with his kids and Hailey (as she is also getting back into the dating game). What is there not to like about him?

Wesmie. I think this couple totally makes this series worth reading! I swear I love seeing locker room interactions involving Wes, and I love it when Jamie makes an appearance!

The mysterious Mr. Dick – MrEightInches. OMG seriously…Mr. Dick cracked me up! I was hoping for more requests from this particular client and all his ‘not-safe-for-work‘ requests! I totally loved the scene where we eventually discover the client’s true ‘identity‘. I really enjoyed this side story it definitely provided a whole lot of comic relief.

What didn’t work for me:

Sadly, Hailey was not a standout. Hailey should really standout, she was smart, independent, and successful; so what happened?! She’s 29, divorced and single for the first time since…she she was of a datable age. She has been with the same man since the beginning of time, and their relationship just didn’t work out; despite all that it shouldn’t make her a complete idiot around men. I’m not sure why they made her out to be so weak around Matt, sure he’s attractive but I wasn’t a fan of her reaction to him. I wish she had a little more backbone when it came to her encounter with him. I really wanted to like her, but her character just fell flat for me.

Kara (the Ex-wife) – I’m soooooo over horrible exes! Perhaps I’ve been reading too many books with horrible exes, but Kara’s character was obvious only just there for comparison sake, allowing readers to see Hailey as the better choice for Matt. She was just over the top unlikable: she didn’t trust him while he was on tour to stay faithful; she couldn’t understand his career; she didn’t even like the sport which he played; and etc. (would be going into spoiler territory to list them all out). She even goes somewhat psycho-mom on him when it came to their twin daughters and didn’t appreciate her ex-husband’s new girlfriend spending time with her kids. In effect, Hailey just came out looking a whole lot better: she’s a huge fan of the sport and the team; she’s a lot more understanding; great with the twins; etc. It just seems a little too easy making the exes into horrible women, therefore the cause of the broken relationship, and in turn enhances the personality and character of the heroine. With all that said, I’m wondering if there would be a possibility where the ex was normal, or where two people just end up with an amicable break up, and just admit the love wasn’t there anymore. Although, I guess, the hero would definitely need something traumatic or a little more dramatic in his past relationship to have some relationship issues to shake things up between him and his current love interest. I would love to see a chill ex one of these days…

Overall:

I was really looking forward to this book and was super excited when I was granted a copy of the ARC! There was definitely more things I liked about the book than dislike, and while I totally appreciate the laughters, the steamy moments and the swoon-y hot hockey players, this one fell just a tiny bit flat for me. As you might notice, I didn’t highlighted any particular quotes, usually I would have some embedded all over my reviews. Yet when I prepped for this review I realized I did not highlight anything in particular while reading and that is rare for me. It was a fun read but nothing really stood out during the reading process. It wasn’t a bad read, but it wasn’t their best work.

Would I recommend this? If you’re looking for something easy to read and is able to puts a smile on your face – this is the book for you. It’s low angst mixed with a lot of humor. Would especially recommend it, if you love the Wesmie couple and Blake & Jess couple, and wanna know how they’re doing, this book has lots of lovely snippets of them.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve written a review…I hope this all makes sense. Although, have you read the book? What did you think about it? Do you agree or perhaps you disagree with my view? If you’ve not, would you give this book a try? Would definitely love to hear from you!

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Photo used in banner is by Isabela Kronemberger on Unsplash. The picture of this dog is just adorable…and it sorta reminds me of Rufus, Matt’s dog, different breed from the one on the cover but just as adorable.

Book Review: Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen

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Josh and Caleb are incredibly adorable! This is a rerelease of Sarina‘s previous work originally titled, In Front of God & Everyone. It was first published when she was still a new author and had published it under another name. It didn’t gain much attention then which she felt was a shame, so she is rereleasing it with a fresh title and a fresh new cover!

Continue reading “Book Review: Goodbye Paradise (Hello Goodbye #1) by Sarina Bowen”

Mini Review: Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

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I love Jamie and Wes in Him, and when it was a duology, OF COURSE I had to read Us! I’d read the book awhile back, so this review is pretty late. Should have done it sooner to put out a full-length review, but because it’s been something, gonna do a mini review instead. At least with reviews…it’s never too late to put one out! Continue reading “Mini Review: Us (Him #2) by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy”