Title: Shots on Goal (Stick Side #3)
Author: Amy Aislin
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: January 7th 2020
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 330 pages
Reviewed by: Belen
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Recently traded to the newly formed Vermont Trailblazers, professional hockey player Roman Kinsey needs to focus on helping the team win games and filling the stands, not on the blond, bespectacled part-timer who works at the library he volunteers at. He knows all too well that outing himself equals heartache and ridicule…or worse.
Cody Evans, psych major and grad school hopeful, notices everything and thinks too much. But he doesn’t know what to think when he sees Roman reading to kids. The rugged hockey player just doesn’t look like the type. But it stirs something in him, something he’s never felt before.
When the library is threatened with closure, Cody enlists Roman’s help. As they get to know each other better…much, much better…they realize that they have more in common than books. But Roman’s keeping a big part of himself from his team, and giving in to his feelings for Cody might be more than he’s willing to risk.
Full disclosure, I don’t even know how I apparently skipped book two, The Nature of the Game, but thankfully it didn’t impact my enjoyment reading Shots on Goal at all. Also, I have purchased The Nature of the Game and will be definitely reading it.
BUT! On to the review of book three in the Stick Side series Shots on Goal, an absolutely lovely one-sitting read that I couldn’t power through fast enough. Something about the way Aislin writes makes me forget how much I usually dislike a book that has big time jumps, or an emotionally-stunted hero, and just got me to settle in and enjoy it.
I loved Cody from the beginning, but it definitely took me time to warm up to Roman. Luckily, there’s a good dose of hurt/comfort/healing that got me there pretty quickly and I was very happy with the way their romance plays out.
I’m always delighted if I find a quote or a life lesson in a book, and there’s this line in Shots on Goal that felt like it slot a missing puzzle piece in my life:
“My problems don’t invalidate yours.”
And isn’t that the truth? How many times have you found yourself not wanting to “burden” someone else with something happening in your life because “they have it worse” or “they’ve got their own problems”? That line just shook me to the core and had me take a moment to put the book down and really take personal stock, but I felt like it was an epiphanous moment of clarity for me personally.
It’s no secret I’m a sucker for a romance centered around hockey and I really, really enjoyed this. Shots on Goal got me out of my own head for a few hours, gave me a little insight into relationship dynamics, and while it wasn’t perfect, it was fun, sweet, and lovely, with a great happy ending, and just what I needed.