Listen guys, I don’t know much about hockey. I know there is a puck. And skates. And ice. I know there is something called a power play, but I don’t know what is so powerful or playful about it. I know that live games can be fun when you have a beer in one hand, a giant pretzel in the other, and players fighting on the ice. That is about how far I can stretch my hockey knowledge, but somehow Elle Kennedy (and Sabrina Bowen) have made this sport a large topic in my reading this year.
Good Boy is the first book in the Kennedy/Bowen WAGs series which follows the wives and girlfriends of professional hockey players. This series is more mid-20-something-ish when compared to the Off-Campus Series (The Deal, The Mistake) which is new-adult-college-ish. I think that is why this book appealed to me so much because I fit into the sweet spot of the demographic. Most new adult feels too young, and a lot of the romance I have read in the past feels too mature. Good Boy follows Jess Canning and Blake Riley (I could write a post on the horrible names in romance novels). Jess is the uptight, black sheep of her family who has had trouble settling on a career (a lot of her issues could have been fixed with Xanax), and Blake is a hot-shot ladies’ man with a large penis. If I had a dollar for every time one of these ladies was shocked at how bigs these dudes shafts were, I would have enough money for a pack of condoms. (I mean who wants to read about the girth of a small one, though?)
I believe this is a companion novel to a previous duology that centers on two gay hockey players which I am VERY interested in reading because I liked their interactions with the main characters in this story. You don’t have to reach those first books to grasp Good Boy. This isn’t a high fantasy series we’re talking about. The authors provide plenty of unnecessary backstory for the characters, so you will stay well informed.
The opening scenes are of a wedding which was odd because I thought this whole book was going to take place at a wedding, but we quickly move to the place that all Americans look at wistfully now-a-days…Canada. The home of hockey and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s abs.
Jess hates everything that Blake stands for, and Blake wants to prove her wrong. Let the sexual frustration and banter begin! The banter and witty, sometimes sloppy, writing of Elle Kennedy is something that I have come to enjoy. I have tried to read some other romance novels this year, but nothing can compare to her. I really want to try some of her hockey-less novels. Let me know if you have read them and what you think.
Kennedy is also great at building sexual tension and creating satisfying releases….. She doesn’t sugar coat the sex, and she doesn’t place rose petals* on the bed because millennials don’t have time for rose petals. (We’d rather spend our time and money on avocados.) She still creates a level of intimacy and emotion that feels fresh and new like young love.
*Edit: For some reason I wrote “rose peddles” in an earlier version. I must have had a stroke.
My biggest gripe–the cover. Guys. I hate this cover so much. It looks like an advertisement for bestiality. Just put another disembodied male torso on the cover like all of Kennedy’s other books. The whole dog thing is going to be a theme threaded through the series based on the cover for the second book which I don’t completely understand. The dog storyline takes up max 5 pages, so don’t come in thinking that you’re going to get Marley or Fido.
But it was the humans that I fell in love with, and they’ll keep me coming back for more.
Four out of five disembodied, male torsos.