Review: Scoring off the Ice by Stacey Lynn (2020)

Ice Kings, Book #2

Heat Factor: These are some horny 20-somethings

Character Chemistry: Sure! It’s fun! But also they’re in their early 20s…

Plot: Young hockey player loses virginity to puck bunny, and his cute neighbor finds a baby left at his door 11 months later.

Overall: I think my favorite thing about this book is that the hero is Danish.

I have been scoping out all of the audiobooks on NetGalley lately, and this one looked kind of light and fun, so I snapped it up. And it is light and fun! So I guess if you’re in the mood for a new adult, surprise baby, hockey romance, I don’t need to give you any more information?

If you do want more information, here it is:

Because this is an audiobook, I’ll start with the narration. (Standard reminder that I listen at 1.5x…) It’s a dual narration story with alternating(ish) 1st person POV. Meg Price narrates the Paisley POV, and James Cassidy narrates the Mikah POV. Cassidy reads Mikah with an accent, which was the number one reason that I picked up the audiobook after listening to the sample. The accent might not actually be Danish (I know nothing about Cassidy, who could very well be a master of Danish, but I do know some Danish native speakers), so I’ll just say that it was good enough that I bought it? His voice is also nice and warm. Price also has a lovely, melodic voice, and she sometimes introduces a little Southern twang when Paisley is reaching her roots, which was fun. The one critique for Price’s reading is that she seemed to alternate between “Mike-ah” and “Mee-kah” pronunciation, which was frustrating. It would have been frustrating enough if she’d just stuck with “Mike-ah” the whole way through (because most European languages use “i” with a long “e” sound), but the alternating indecision was just WUT inducing. 

Now that that’s done, let’s talk story. 

Mikah has been all hockey all the time since he was a child (not necessarily by his own choice, but getting into the NHL was his way of getting out from under his father’s hyper-critical thumb), so he was a virgin until his 23rd birthday, when his teammates encouraged him to get busy with a puck bunny. So he did. The book begins about 10-11 months later when his baby gets dropped on his doorstep. Short story: Mikah has only been with one woman because after he lost his virginity he decided that sex was all very good, but he was a monogamous type of guy, and focusing exclusively on hockey sort of precluded dating. But he still ended up with a baby. 

Paisley, who is house-sitting for her extremely wealthy uncle while he’s on a long-term foreign business assignment and she’s in grad school, lives across the hall from Mikah and has been ogling him since she moved in. Then, one evening, she hears something strange, and when she goes to investigate, she finds a baby left in his infant seat in front of Mikah’s door. It’s a really good thing she used to work as a childcare provider, or this romance might never have happened!

Mikah is completely overwhelmed and out of his depth, and Paisley is a safety net for him. She’s calm and comforting and kind. So when Mikah’s teammate and his wife come over to help Mikah with getting his life sorted, the first roadblock arises when Paisley is effectively warned off because – of course – Mikah doesn’t need someone inserting herself in his life just for his wealth. But they’re able to get past that roadblock when Mikah is at the end of his rope and walks across the hall like, “OMG, you said you’d help me. I haven’t changed clothes in 3 days and I’m covered in spit-up. I NEED HELP. PLEASE HELP ME.” And then they have a really sweet, caring relationship which is most of the fun of the light and fun of this romance. 

Line break for maybe spoilery comments…

Which is why the black(ish) moment in the end is so weird. We could see the problem in the rear window, getting closer and closer, but the way Mikah handled the situation didn’t, to me, seem to jive entirely with the relationship that he and Paisley had built. Then too, Paisley being like, “I can’t believe this, and even though I think I understand what’s happening, he broke my trust, so obviously this relationship is going nowhere” before a 180 of, “NVM, it’s all good” made me super confused! It felt a bit rushed.

But overall I had a good time with this book, which didn’t rely on tropes or characterizations that I”ve been finding frustrating lately. It was a nice break from some of the smut drama I’ve been reading.

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

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Protagonists in their early 20s

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