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Hard Fall

(St. Louis Mavericks #1)

4.42  ·  Rating details ·  582 ratings  ·  159 reviews
The St. Louis Mavericks are having the best season in team history. On pace for a pro hockey record, the unexpected death of their captain and star player knocks them off course in ways they never expected.


My world was turned upside down the day Ben Whitmer died. Best friends since junior hockey, Ben was like a brother to me. My voice of reason and a grounding force
Kindle Edition, 350 pages
Published September 14th 2021 by Silver Sky Publishing, Inc.
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Carole (Carole's Random Life)
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Oh, I had a good time with this one! If you have followed my reviews for any amount of time, you probably already know that I am a sucker for a good hockey romance. What can I say? So when this book made its way to me and I saw that it was a hockey romance set in my hometown, I knew that I would have to give it a try. This story grabbed my heart early on and I couldn’t wait to see how everything would work out.

Wes and Hadley have kno
Jo - •.★Reading Is My Bliss★.•
Ben and Lauren have the kind of love that other people are jealous of. They met in college and were married soon after graduating. They now have two adorable children and Ben is the team captain of the St. Louis Mavericks. Life could not be better… until it is tragically taken from them…

Wes is Ben’s best friend and teammate. When he receives the devastating news of Ben and Lauren’s death he feels like the ground has given out from under him. It simply cannot be true.
Hadley has been best friends
Pretty good story...I almost teared up a couple of times. But something was a little off for me regarding Wes and Hadley’s relationship. They went from long time hate to lust rather quickly (especially Hadley)...don’t get me wrong, I generally liked Wes, but Hadley sometimes annoyed me.
I enjoyed meeting Wes’s teammates, so hopefully there will be books for them. And oh yes, little Annalise was a pistol!
Jessica Alcazar
These two ladies are magic! #truth

This is one of those storylines that can go off the rails quick if the wrong choices are made and if I could scream into a bullhorn right now how ridiculously on-point every choice these ladies made for this story were, I’d do it in a heartbeat. They are magic, both as individual authors and a team. I am seriously blown away by this story. Not so much because I don’t expect greatness from these ladies, but because they had me on an emotional roller-coaster that
Aug 24, 2021 rated it it was ok
Disappointing read

I was super excited to read this book as I won it as part of a Goodreads giveaway. It really pains me to write this review as I enjoy Brenda Rothert's books as a whole (this is my first time Kat Mizera).

Characters: D
My first impression of Wes was unfavorable. The very first meeting between Hadley and Wes, Wes makes an inappropriate comment, which tainted their experiences going forward and I thought he was a dick. Then in the first chapter Wes is hooking up with a woman on pag
Sep 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

What a story! I loved Wes and Hadley immediately, the chemistry and banter just sparking between them and never dying out.

Brief Summary:
They are both friends to a couple they knew, now deceased, and have to take care of their children for them. Now it's up to who gets to parent who.

My View:
Obviously Wes and Hadley detest each other, because one, enemies to lovers trope, two because they both have preconceived notions about the other. And y
Aug 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book is such a good read! I could not put it down! Weston is Ben's best friend, best man, his go to bestie, godfather to his children. Hadley is Lauren's best friend, maid of honor and go to bestie, godmother to her children. Problem is Wes and Hadley are like oil and water. They just do not get along, AT ALL! When the unthinkable happens to Ben and Lauren, Weston and Hadley are left as guardians to their two young children. Both Wes and Hadley are grieving so deeply still trying to work an ...more
Darlene Avery
Aug 11, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hard Fall: St. Louis Mavericks Book One, by Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera is absolutely phenomenal!

If you’re ready for the feels, than this is the book for you.

Rothert and Mizera work magic together. Bringing their readers a storyline that is packed with emotion, action, steam, and yes … love.

Hadley and Wes find themselves in what feels like an impossible situation.

Especially considering that neither one is a huge fan of the other.

But as life will have it, they have to sink or swim, and it’s not
Claire Annovazzi
Sep 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
Just so you know, it starts with some tears. The ugly cry type, even. For the reader, and the characters. Two lovely people die and leave their kids to their best friends, Hadley and Wes, who can’t stand each other but will have to cooperate to raise them. That was one unusual plot. Loved it.

There were two aspects that were well developped and that I enjoyed very much.

First, the domesticity of the whole setting. How to take care of yound children, what to do and what not to, what’s important and
Jeeves Reads Romance
Sep 14, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021-arcs
Have you seen that old Josh Duhamel movie, Life as We Know It? Then you've got an idea of the concept behind this emotional romance - two people who "hate" each other are bonded by their friends, and become co-parents when those friends pass away unexpectedly. I will openly admit that there are MANY similarities between the movie and this book (probably too many), but the storylines have many differences as well. It's a short and sexy, heartfelt romance that will put you through your emotional p ...more
Aug 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Let me start off by saying I have read and loved all of Brenda Rothert’s stories. I have not read any stories by Kat Mizera. I’m not even sure if I had heard her name before this book. With that being said, I didn’t truly know how this story would read even though I had high hopes for it.

My emotions were absolutely everywhere in the best possible way! I loved this story from the first few pages where we meet Wes and Hadley. I absolutely enjoyed how much they seemed to hate each other even though
Nov 19, 2021 rated it liked it
This is basically Life as We Know it (you know, the film starred by Katherine Heigl and that funny dude), only as a book. And less funny. And with a sexy hockey player. And with two children.

Annalise is almost four years old, and Benny is six months old, when their parents die in a tragic car accident. Both Hadley and Wes are devastated to know that their best friends are dead, and are shocked to find out that they named them -both of them- guardian of their children.
Of course, it's difficult t
Valeen Robertson (Live Thru Books Blog)


United in their grief over the loss of their best friends, Hadley and Wes now have to figure out not only how to co-parent Ben and Lauren's children, but to get along with each other and be strong for those children. From their very first meeting at their best friends' wedding, Hadley and Wes struck sparks off each other, were oil and water, and it was plain to see (as the reader finds out later) that those sparks weren't all just of the dislike type. Now that they're without th
4.5 Hadley and Wes Stars

I really enjoyed this book which is the first in a new Ice Hockey Series by Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera. Ms Rothert is a long standing favourite author of mine and she is one of the reasons Ice Hockey Romance is my 'go to' genre in sports romance. Ms Mizera is relatively new to me but after reading this book, I am very keen to read more about the St Louis Mavericks.

This novel features Wes and Hadley. Wes has been best friends with Ben since they were small and they hav
Sep 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
My Gods... Talk about heart wrenching!
I will admit, I didn't read the blurb of this, I saw it was a new hockey series by two authors that are new to me and dived straight in cos if you know me, you know I can't say no to a hockey romance. It's like my kryptonite.
I had a lump in my throat pretty much all the way throughout. The way Brenda and Kat portrayed Hadley and Wes's grief made me feel like I was grieving for Ben and Lauren too. How grief impacts every aspect of your life.

"They were the
Tara Peters
Sep 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book had all the emotions you could ask for. Relationships, whether it is friendship or romantic, are always hard to maintain, but Wes and Hadley never expected their lives to change the way they did. He is best friends with her best friends husband so they are always in each others orbits. Unfortunately, they are like oil and water. From their first meeting in college up until tragedy strikes they argue at every interaction.
I liked Wes right away and even though his first comment to Hadle
Sep 15, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021, e-book, romance
I really wasn't sure about this one as it started out. Hadley and Wes were so caustic together, it was painful to read any scene with them in it. I was stunned when Ben and Lauren died, so didn't see that coming in a romance book. I hated how Wes and Hadley were then left to pick up the pieces of Ben and Lauren's kids, it would be horrible in any situation, but more so because this was out of left field, Ben and Lauren were so young and it didn't help that Wes and Hadley couldn't get along. The ...more
Erin Lewis
Sep 12, 2021 rated it it was amazing
5 star Review Hard Fall (St Louis Mavericks 31) by Brenda Rothert & Kat Mizera
Where do I start? What a fantastic start to St Louise Mavericks, in what I fully expect to be a winning series. Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera are authors I have read and loved individually Together these two wrote a phenomenal story that drew me in and held me captive from the first word to the last.

The story and characters were engaging and I found myself drawn to the story that they wove about Weston (Wes) Kirby and
1-Click Addict Support Group
Feb 15, 2022 rated it it was amazing
Broken hearts…

Including mine. Wes and Hadley, and two beautiful children, literally broke my heart. I never seek out a book that will make me cry but these authors made me do it… And I’m so glad I did!

Dealing with the loss of their best friends was he** on earth but that didn’t stop the world from spinning. Wes and Hadley were now responsible for their best friends’ toddler and baby. They had to put their differences aside for more than five minutes. They could do it, right? Um, right?

They tried
Chantelle Bouffanie
Aug 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Omg!!! I love to read books by Brenda Rothert. Hard Fall is the first book in a brand new series. This is Wes and Hadley's story. I couldn't put it done at all. It drawn me into from the very first page. When they met the first time it was at their best friends party. They always had something to say about each other. Until that nite, everything changed for them in a blink of an eye. This story had me crying so hard throughout it. It is definitely worth reading this story. My heart went out for ...more
Jackie Forquer
Aug 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I will not tell the events of the story.

I love Brenda’s books and I absolutely adore Kat’s series so when you put them together you could quite possibly get a series full of fireworks. The first book in their St. Louis Mavericks series, Hard Fall, has lit the fuse. Now I have to wait for the next explosions, I mean books.

Do Wes and Hadley really love to hate each other or is it their way to avoid hating to love each other. Only the
Aug 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adored this first installment of the St. Louis Mavericks by Co-Authors Kat Mizera and Brenda Rothert. I love a good enemies to lovers story but this one has a sweet twist that really kept me hooked. Haley and Wes have unbelievable chemistry and watching them fall in love was a joy. I loved the sub characters and I can't wait to see who's story we'll get next in the second book. ...more
Kristine Koelzer
Aug 13, 2021 rated it it was amazing
The start to another fabulous series!!!! I laughed and cried and couldn't put the book down. I've been a fan of Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera for years and they have combine to write an incredible book. ...more
Nov 15, 2021 rated it it was ok
this couple mixed up a few steps in being in a relationship, they really got engaged first before even saying 'i love you' to each other. hell, even before they admitted they had feelings towards the other person (and no this didn't even have a marriage of convenience trope) ...more
Sep 07, 2021 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, sports-romance
3.5 stars

I enjoyed the story, even though I had tears running down my face from time to time. I enjoyed the setting. I enjoyed the enemies to lovers trope. I enjoyed Annalise and Lars. Loved all the flashbacks with Ben and Lauren, and the letters that they wrote.

That being said, I didn't like Wes or Hadley, and I definitely did not like them together. Or at least not until the end of the book. Wes just kept saying the wrong things, and he would do so to provoke Hadley. It was immature. Then ther
Your heart will never be the same!

Hard Fall wastes no time ripping your heart out. You know it's going to happen because that's the whole premise of the book but the words that Brenda Rothert and Kat Mizera have put together pull out so many raw emotions throughout the whole book. I couldn't put it down - except to grab the tissues to dry my eyes, my face, and blow my nose because that's what ugly cries do. The tragic shock tears, the sad tears that you feel will never end, and even tears that a
Donna Mcaleer
Oct 20, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hard Fall

I loved this book! It was sad but also very happy at the same time. I loved Wes and Hadley together, what an adventure their relationship was. The storyline was heartwarming although sad as well, but it was such a great story. I highly recommend this book…loved Lars (Thor) so much. Hope he has a book coming out!!
Sharon Moritz-rosenthal
Sep 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I have read by both these authors, it might even be their first together. It was absolutely awesome. I laughed and I cried and my heart broke just a little bit as well.

I will be honest this story is my absolute favorite trope. I am a mom so I get how hard being a mom can be. Add in the death of someone you love and having to figure things out with someone you don't like and share a complicated past. Then you become an insta mom or dad with a 3 year old and 6 month old. We
Gail Connor
Aug 17, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This is book one of a new series and I am grateful for that, because this book and its realist characters leave you wanting more.

Ben Whitmer is the captain of the St. Louis Mavericks. A new to the league, team. His team although new is getting lots of attention as they are leading the league in points, a lot! With a beautiful wife, family and teammates he enjoys playing with life is good- even better that he gets to share all this with is best friend Wes. He and Wes go back, Wes was his bes
Trish- Late Knight Luna Reads
This story was everything to me. I was hooked from the very first chapter and was so sad when I was done. I cried several times during this story because it just hit me so hard emotionally. I don’t regret any of those tears because this was such a beautiful story.

Hadley and Wes are not friends. From the very first moment, they left a bad impression on each other. But their best friends were getting married so they were going to be in each other's lives. Fast forward years later, they are godpare
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Brenda Rothert is the author of more than thirty Contemporary Romance novels. You can learn more about her books at her website,, which features teasers, excerpts and trailers for her books. Follow her here:






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