Season's Schemings: A Holiday Hockey Rom Com

Katie Bailey

If you look at the list of books reviewed on this site, you will notice that while most of the books have a romantic element in them, actual romance novels are few and far, far, far, far, far between.

Recently though, it has been, bring on all the holiday romance novels in the world for me to gobble up!

What is happening? I need a woman with a sword, dammit! 

Okay. Okay. 

It’s not that bad.  

Truthfully, it was needed. I needed a reminder that books can just be good. They can be fun. They can remind you of love, while making you ugly cry with joy. Books can be soft, without trigger warnings, or traumatic triggers, or people dragging themselves over hot coals to achieve some impossible goal. I like those books, but even I can admit, my mind did benefit from reading much lighter fare.

By the way, I am weird. In case you have not picked up on it before. This is me declaring it. Why? Well… I read books where people are killed viciously, children are stolen, families torn apart, and I do not cry.

A happy romance novel where everything works out to perfection? There was a constant flow of tears on my face. From the silent tears to the ugly heaving. 

In fact, I cried progressively uglier from about 50% to the end of this book. When all the words were done, I was weeping with happy tears. It was such a stellar conclusion to a smashing love story.

That said, a few things you should note. This book follows the most popular tropes on sale in bookstores right now. The cover is even that shade of romance blue that is drowning all the book covers in this genre these days. Recognised tropes explored in this release are sports romance, ice hockey to be specific, mixed in with fake marriage, one bed, and sweetened with, ‘he falls first’. Forced proximity and a crappy ex who dumps the fmc, Maddie, on television just adds to the fun.

All very familiar. And my expectations going in were low actually, and I half expected to label this one a dnf on my Kindle Unlimited list.

Ha! The joke was on me! 

Even with the expectation of how these tropes play out, the author created a fresh perspective that drew me in emotionally. She made me like each character. I wanted these people to be my friends. Reading the end was sweet but painful, because it meant I could not hang out with them anymore.

As for the villains, they were served their comeuppance in full measure. All well deserved and thoroughly earned. How it played out reminded me of the scene from “Deliver Us From Eva”, where Eva ran into her ex with his new lady, and just as they were making her feel horrid, LL Cool J shows up and shouts out his friend the Mayor. That was the energy of the last 50% of the book. Hence my joyful ugly crying, LOL!

It was perfection. The mmc, Sebastian, stood up for Maddie whenever her ex or her parents tried to belittle her. And having him do that constantly taught her she did not have to take their bull. It did my heart good watching her grow and learn to stand up for herself and, by the end, defend him, too. Katie Bailey wrote the characters of Sebastian and Maddie to fit so well together; you cannot feel anything but happiness when it all works out. 

So even though it made me cry a lot. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It also played out during the holiday season, from Thanksgiving into the New Year, making it a timely release.

If you need a shot of that good stuff, love mixed with trust, and some deserved revenge thrown in, get this one today!

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