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Spending the night in jail isn’t exactly how I planned to spend Christmas, but I’ve had worse holidays…

Now that I’m out, it’s time to accept my real punishment. Coaching ten-year-old terrors on the ice, in my non-existent free time. My Coach thinks it’d be good for me. Remind me where I came from. He should know I’ve tried every day of my life for the last ten years to forget.

The youth hockey league is a hell I didn’t plan on and the worst penalty possible…
Until the day a sweet, single mom cracks a joke about her kid, and then all bets are off.

I’m the best defenseman in professional hockey, but I didn’t see her coming… now what in the hell do I do? I’m not equipped for a relationship. I’m definitely not ready to have a kid depending on me, but I can’t deny she makes me feel things— want things I never imagined I could have.

I should save us both the trouble and stay far away from her. But rules were made to be broken, and I was never good at following them anyway.

327 pages, Kindle Edition

Published May 10, 2022

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About the author

Stacey Lynn

85 books2,103 followers
Stacey Lynn likes her coffee with a dash of sugar, her heroes with a side of bossy, and her wine a deep shade of red.

The author of over thirty romance novels, many of which have been best-selling titles on Amazon, AppleBooks, and Barnes & Noble.

Born in Texas and raised in the Midwest, she now makes her home in North Carolina and loves all things Southern. Together with her ultimate tall, dark, and handsome hero, she has four children. Her life is a chaotic mess that fights with her Type-A, list-making, neurotically organized preferences and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 146 reviews
Profile Image for Nadine Bookaholic.
3,525 reviews333 followers
May 10, 2022
Stacey Lynn has a gift of writing stories that will rip your heart in two but by the end of the book it’s whole again, Dominick and Holly’s story was what I’ve come to expect from her…a perfect five star read.

Dominick Masters hasn't always had it rough, but that was before his father passed away while he was in college then his life changed and he did everything he possibly could to help the one person he loved most, his sister Lucy. If you read the previous book in this series you'll recall Dominick getting arrested and that is where this story picks up, you do not have to read the previous book but I loved it so I would recommend it but this can be read as a standalone. Dominick doesn't get jail time because charges were dropped but he does have to do community service and pay a large fine. His community service is to coach a kids Hockey Team, not too much of a hardship for the Hockey God but he's not one for kids so he's not too happy about it either.

Holly is a divorced single mom trying her best to give her son, Ben, the best life she can. Ben plays hockey because his father wants him to, he likes it but he's not really good at it but the kid has heart and determination. Ben for me was a stellar character, I loved the way he was with his mom and how stood up to his dad when the time came.

I loved how Dominick started opening up with his teammates in this book, and the way he was with Holly and Ben was amazing. The chemistry and connection that Holly and Dominick have was HOT and what most people strive for.

There is a lot going on in this story and it touches on a topic that I personally feel should have a content warning about. I don't necessarily think a trigger warning is necessary since it happens off page and is mentioned but it is a topic I wish I had known about going in because I wasn't prepared for it when it was first mentioned. If you would like to know more about this topic feel free to contact me through any of my social media accounts.

I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys Steamy Contemporary Romances, Hockey Romances, or Single Mom Romances.

Happy Reading!!!

Find out more here ➡ https://bit.ly/NBReviewRB

rule breaker by stacey lynn

Nadine's Obsessed with Books **I have voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Readers Copy of this book for my Blog, Nadine's Obsessed with Books
You can find me here:  https://linktr.ee/NadineBookaholic
Profile Image for Jessica Alcazar.
3,925 reviews446 followers
May 11, 2022
Another amazing story that not only took us on a romance journey but also a growth journey for our characters! Stacey Lynn just does not disappoint, ya’ll! I’ve pretty much read every word this woman has ever written, and I honestly can’t even remember the last time I did not have a good reading experience!

Reading Dominick’s and Holly’s and little Ben’s overall development and growth in this story tugged at my heart and just made me so darn happy. I loved how the *fates* put exactly what each one of them needed in front of the other to form a perfect link of puzzle pieces. Dominick’s *penance* is the first domino in this trio that put in motion a beautiful cause and effect that just tumbled thru the pages to develop a really great *happy sigh* storyline. Ridiculous chemistry in and out of the bedroom made for a very entertaining read within all the plot points.

GAH, I just love this woman and her stories! GO DO THE THING!

Download today on Amazon, Apple Books, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, Kobo!
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Profile Image for Kari Hansen.
9,144 reviews55 followers
May 10, 2022
Dominick is a professional hockey player who is dealing with some tumultuous issues off the ice. After an altercation that has him on the wrong side of the law he finds himself coaching a children’s hockey team however he is about to find out that something he didn’t want to do might just be the best thing that ever happened to him when it brings Holly and Ben into his life.

After a devastating marriage all Holly wants is to support her son Ben any way that she can. Her life is challenging and what she and her son don’t need is a sexy hockey player but she is about to find out that she couldn’t be more wrong.

Both Dominick and Holly’s pasts have put them through the wringer which has made them cautious. As they allow the other to break through their walls they find the love and support that not only do they need but Ben as well and the outcome is everything you could want and more.
Profile Image for Rosanna.
744 reviews9 followers
May 29, 2022
Man do I live to read this woman’s novels. All about sexy hockey men! Sexy and so down to earth if that’s possible.
Dominick is the dark broody, doesn’t talk much hockey player for the Vipers. He has a reputation that isn’t too great. He, in the last book got into a fight saving his sister from her pimp. His sister has had it rough because of their mother and Dominick puts it on himself to save the day, week, month, year…
After said run in with the pimp Dominick gets community service and no jail time.
This community service has him all out of sorts. He doesn’t know how to deal with kids. And the judge decided to put him with a bunch of preteen boys of a hockey team to manage.
He learns and gets attached to one in particular and his mom too and Dominick becomes another person. Yes the right person can do that for you!
Loved this book and all the books I’ve read so far.
This woman is a great author!
Profile Image for Lina.
360 reviews25 followers
May 12, 2022
Dominick and Holly were a cute couple. I loved their interactions and for me it was a insta-love romance.

Dominick has been through a lot in his life, protecting his loved ones and he couldn't believe at first that he can find happiness...happiness in the face of Holly. From the first moment he met her he felt the attraction between them and it was anticipating seeing her every time she came to her son's practice.

For me Holly was a beautiful, strong heroine. She also felt the sparks between her and Dominick. At the beginning she was a bit cautious towards Dominick, because all the thing she was facing from her ex-husband. The moment she got to know Dominick much better she let go and started believing that she can be happy and in love again.

P. S. I really, really hate her ex-husband. He was a piece of s*it for me.

***ARC was provided for my honest opinion by Valentine PR.***
Profile Image for Kade Gulluscio.
834 reviews35 followers
February 6, 2023
Rule Breaker is book 3 in the Las Vegas Vipers series which is a sports romance / hockey romance series.

In Rule Breaker, we meet our MCS - Holly - a single mom to Ben and Dominick - our hockey player. In book two, Dominick is arrested, and that's where this story picks up. While he doesn't get jail time, he does have to do some community service in the way of coaching a kid's hockey team. As you may guess, that's where he meets Holly. Holly's son Ben is playing hockey because his dad wants him to. He tries his best, but he's not exactly, the best on the team. He has heart though.

The author did a great job at character development in this book, just like she did with the rest of the series. I loved the main characters and the side ones too!

The chemistry between Holly and Dominick is fantastic. The spice is there for sure.

Well worth the read.
Profile Image for READ ME ROMANCE.
546 reviews131 followers
May 1, 2022
Rule Breaker, book three of the Las Vegas Vipers series by Stacey Lynn, is one of her most angsty yet. It’s filled with so much heart and promise, and will have you turning the pages and routing for our hero and heroine the entire time. The message in Rule Breaker confirms what I try to practice in my own life–that you never know what someone is going through, so be gracious and give them the benefit of the doubt until you do.

Although an exceptional pro-hockey player, Dominick has little else going on for him. He’s a loner who never cultivated any friendships, doesn’t talk about his family, and was not known as having a friendly demeanor. I knew from the previous books that this loveable grump had a story to tell, and it was not what I expected–it was so much more.

After an assault charge, his community service was to coach a youth hockey team, and what was once deemed as a punishment, wound up saving him. It is there he met Holly, a recently divorced, single mom of a ten-year-old who played for his team. Ben was adorable and wanted so much to do well and gain the approval of his father, Evan, who was the exact opposite of what a dad should be. It didn’t take long for Dominick to catch on and he took Ben under his wings, encouraging him the entire time.

Holly held her head high and was resilient. She was hurting inside, but strong for her son, and a wonderful mother always putting his needs first. I really admired how she valued her self-worth and wouldn’t settle for less, all while remaining classy.

Holly was cautious and I am so glad she trusted her instincts and took a chance getting to know Dominick. She was obviously attracted to him, but was she willing to risk her heart again for the wrong man? The past ten years have been hell for our hero, and once you learn of his secrets, you will understand what a man of character he really was.

I so admired how he loved and protected his sister as well as Holly, and how day-by-day, he let Holly in, as well as his teammates who were becoming friends. When Holly became his confident as well as his lover, and he became a changed man. The author has a beautiful way of describing their every emotion and you will want to just jump in the story and give them both a giant hug, especially after Dominick bared his soul to the entire world. This act ultimately freed him and let him know without a doubt that others had been in his corner this entire time, including his coach. Queue the tears!

Dominick was filled with so much guilt and felt helpless about his family, and Holly was filled with so many emotions regarding her ex-husband and former best friend. It wasn’t easy, but these two truly healed each other and are the perfect match. There was so much character growth, and I loved how they both were able to move on and put the past behind them. Even Ben, her son, was happier and more confident, and the ending put a big old smile on my face.

Looking forward to more Vipers. Bring it on Max!
Profile Image for Tanja OMGReads.
1,791 reviews44 followers
May 3, 2022
OMG what have I just read??? If you've read the first 2 books (if you didn't YOU NEED TO ASAP) you know Dom is not the most likeable guy on the Vipers team. But I just knew there was more to him that meets the eye and boy oh boy what a story he's turned out to be.
I absolutely loved how his character developed. Holly and
played a huge part of that and they helped him see that he doesn't have to fight the world on his own. They showed him what unconditional love looks like and the way he embraced them made my little heart so happy. They made perfect sense and I'm so happy I got to read this story and trust me when I say you need this series and these men and women in your life STAT!!!
Profile Image for Tammy.
1,391 reviews6 followers
May 2, 2022
Holy! This book was truly amazing! Stacey Lynn keeps making these bad boy hockey players into the best men ever, once I started this book it was really hard to put it down. Dom was the bad boy loaner of the team, Holly was the sassy sweet girl next door, getting over a heartbreak. As soon as these two neg sparks flew. He needed her to ground him and learn being alone is not always best, and how to open up and learn to trust again. He gave her everything she didn't know she needed. Absolutely loved this book, didn't think Dom would be the swooniest character but holy was I wrong.
Profile Image for Vanessa (bookfairy95).
744 reviews100 followers
November 11, 2022
4.5 stars

Why the heck did I wait so long to finally read this book??? It was so good!!!😍😍

I usually like reading about the single dad trope more than I like reading about the single mom trope. Not sure why, I guess its simply preference and loving hot single dads.😂
#RuleBreaker was refreshing in that aspect, what was the same though was seeing this total bad boy alpha ice hockey player melt for this 10-year old bundle of energy!🥺
Seeing Dominick interact with Ben made my heart skip a beat more than once - these two were absolutely adorable together.😩 No wonder Holly couldn't help, but fall for him.

And not only that, but Dominick was just... perfect in his own way. Sure, he has many flaws, he's a little grumpy at times, doesn't smile very often and isn't really into socialising with anyone. (Well, except Holly I guess.😝)

But all of that is not because he's a bad person. It's because he's cautious. And no wonder with a past and family situation like this.😥

And Holly? I loved her. She is so strong and resilient and she has to live with SUCH a tough situation, too... I know I wouldn't be able to put up with all that, so that woman has all my respect (even if she's just a character on paper😢). I just wanted to hug her and tell her she's doing her very best!

Together these two were simply wonderful and all that was going on in this novel, was so well planned and well thought through, it was so much fun seeing all these things from the past slowly unravel and make sense.

I do have to deduct 0.5 stars from my rating, because the what's-the-f***er-husbands-name-again-🤮 situation was cleared up a little too fast. I wanted there to be a bit more guessing and reasoning, other than he is just a giant a**hat, but I guess that is just what he is. Other than that this book was perfect.🥰
Profile Image for Hailey.
111 reviews3 followers
January 18, 2023
I have no idea why it took me this long to read this book. I loved all the characters in this book.

Dominick and Holly are made for one another, and Ben was just the icing on the cake. I loved how there wasn’t any are we bf/gf drama that we most often than not see in sports romances. They knew what they wanted and they went for it. I loved Bens relationship with Dominick and how he treated him to ‘special’ practices to the team. I feel like they have the cutest love story and what else do I expect from a romance book? It was just perfect.
Profile Image for Danielle Cordsen.
589 reviews7 followers
May 10, 2022
Rule Breaker (Las Vegas Vipers Book 4)
By: Stacey Lynn


Heartbroken from the beginning!

Oh my this book broke my heart from almost the beginning to end in the most beautiful and heart wrenching way. Two soles have been broken down and they just might be the solution to each other’s look at true happiness in a long time. But so many barriers need broken down. A emotional narcissist ex husband who’s also a tyrant to his young son over hockey and Holly needs confidence in herself and her ability to break the cycle to feel free from her ex. Dominic has spent years protecting his secrets but when the past comes to the surface can he finally let Holly and his team in to be the emotional support he never knew he truly needed. The author writing is flawless, and the words are so captivating, the plot had so many twists and turns and none that I was expecting, and many shockingly intimate I have become a huge fan of this author. The author writes with so much intensity and emotion pulled from each book it’s felt page after page. Some are quick witted story lines are so perfect and lets you believe you have a front row seat. So being able to read this love story didn’t disappoint. The authors ability to have two separate individuals struggling in their everyday life and try to navigate someone else’s thoughts, needs and desires was intense and gives all the fills.

Authors Blurb: Spending the night in jail isn’t exactly how I planned to spend Christmas, but I’ve had worse holidays…

Now that I’m out, it’s time to accept my real punishment. Coaching ten-year-old terrors on the ice, in my non-existent free time. My Coach thinks it’d be good for me. Remind me where I came from. He should know I’ve tried every day of my life for the last ten years to forget.

The youth hockey league is a hell I didn’t plan on and the worst penalty possible…
Until the day a sweet, single mom cracks a joke about her kid, and then all bets are off.

I’m the best defenseman in professional hockey, but I didn’t see her coming… now what in the hell do I do? I’m not equipped for a relationship. I’m definitely not ready to have a kid depending on me, but I can’t deny she makes me feel things— want things I never imagined I could have.

I should save us both the trouble and stay far away from her. But rules were made to be broken, and I was never good at following them anyway.

This book has everything I love in a book. Then you add that it's beautifully written and believable. It is easily a five star read. Written in dual POV my personal favorite this story flows so incredibly well that the next thing you know your 80% into the book and loving every second of it. The believable way the characters interact is perfect. Run, Hop, Jump or use your (1 click) finger to do whatever you have to do and get this amazing book. It'll break your heart, you'll want to scream with frustration and it'll let you discover that love just might conquer all. The chemistry is steamy and sweet and oh so romantic.
Profile Image for Kay Daniels (Kay Daniels Romance).
1,554 reviews42 followers
May 4, 2022
Stacey Lynn writes books filled with all the feels. Her characters run the gamut of change and growth while still maintaining that underlying romance that I crave to give me all the warm fuzzies, but the depth she brings out of her hero/heroines is truly stunning. I'm always shocked on where her stories take me and I can never guess how it will play out. They are a true emotional delight to read.

In the beginning Dominick only sees himself as this one dimensional person. A screwed up hockey player with anger issues. He purposely keeps everyone he knows at arms length allowing them to believe that shallow characterization, but Dominick actually has layers, lots of beautiful layers.

He's kind, caring, compassionate, patient, and even sweet, I know, a far cry from that one dimensional person he projects, but he hides it under years of pain and loneliness. Trauma caused by those who should have loved and protected him, but instead used him which didn't help to break the cycle. Dom just needed the right person to help him see his potential, fulfill something outside of that circle of destruction, to begin uncovering those layers. A divorced mom and her son was someone he never would have placed his money on to pull him from his own darkness. But welcome to coaching junior hockey.

Holly is a single mother with the sweetest ten year old son, Ben. He's in a junior hockey league and guess who his new coach is? Yeah, I'm sure you know. Ben is not the best player in his young division, but he has a ton of heart and Dominick sees his overflowing well of heart and spirit. He also doesn't mind how Ben's mom looks sitting in the stands, but Dominick isn't coaching looking for a hookup, it's part of his community service, but that's part of the story you need to read for yourself. 

Holly's ex is a problem. One of those dads who seems to know better than a professional hockey player, total jerk, but luckily Dominick is patient with both Ben and Holly. He makes both of their lives easier and at the same time a bit more complicated, but once again you need to meet the ex and call him names just like I did. Feelings bloom between Holly and Dom in the most organic and thus begins a slow burn that made this story fun to read.

I honestly loved reading how much these characters grew and changed from the beginning all the way to the end, Witnessing Dominick become a better version of himself made the slow burn of their romance all worth it in the long run.
Profile Image for Katy.
747 reviews56 followers
December 13, 2022
(I received an ARC for this book)

Trigger Warnings include:
drug use, child sex trafficking, child neglect, rehab

Now THAT’S a way to start a book. I made sure to make note of that! We dive right into Dominick and the heavy weight on his shoulders. I instantly wanted to hug him and protect him. In swoops Holly, ready to do just that for me! And I definitely trusted her to do that for Dominick. She came with her own mess, but that never stopped her from being the best person to stand by Dom’s side. Thanks to the way the cookie crumbles, Dominick is tasked with coaching Holly’s son’s hockey team. So he’s the hot hockey player AND the hot hockey coach! But Dom is absolutely more than just hockey! I loved how instantly Dom and Holly wanted to protect each other, even without truly knowing the extent of the circumstances. Everything involving Dom and Ben had me swooning! Their bond did a number on my heart! Dominick went from “don’t breathe in my vicinity” to “I really wanna spend time with kids” SO quick! But also, not quick enough! And then, he starts opening up with his teammates, forming friendships that he truly deserved. Few things are more attractive than when a man, seemingly a stranger, stands up for a single mom to her POS ex. And Dominick does it perfectly, flawlessly, and without hesitation. He didn’t want Holly to think he was a monster (not that he ever was). He wanted her goodness, but was so terrified of dimming her light. Nothing ripped them apart, everything only made them stronger. Together, and for each other.

My Favorite Quotes:
• “That second goal was for you.”
• “Then get your ass over here and do it.”
• “We need to finish our meals, Before I throw you on this table.”
• “I don’t want any background noise for what I’m about to do to you. I only want to hear the sounds you’re about to make.”
• “I’ll teach you everything I like.”
• “I’m not leaving here without hearing you shatter.”
• “Hold on, honey.”
• “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a better view, in my entire life, until I walked in and saw you right here.”

7/10 Dirty Birdy
8/10 Single Parent
7/10 Sports Romance
8/10 Series

This is my review for Goal Chaser
This is my review for Secret Keeper
Profile Image for Daisy Knox.
Author 4 books22 followers
May 2, 2022

All reviews posted at Tales of Love, Life, and Murder

Dominick and Holly are everything. This is one of those stories that’s so good, I couldn’t read another book for days because it wouldn’t be fair to the next book. Even a lovely story would pale in comparison. Dominick Masters is my favorite of the Vipers and while I always love the characters in this series, I can’t imagine anyone could knock him out of the top spot. I’ll know for sure once Max’s book comes out, but I highly doubt it’s possible, so we’ll see.

This story pulled me in from the first page. Dominick’s life has been tougher than most and it never seems to get better for him. Even being a NHL star doesn’t solve his problems or relieve his burdens. He’s the consummate loner even with his teammates and doesn’t share his story with anyone. Enter Holly and Ben. Holly’s jerk ex cheated with her best friend then left her for his mistress and they live right next door. He treats his son even worse than he treats his ex-wife and makes everyone’s life miserable. Dominick takes a special interest in Ben because he sees the damage Ben’s father is doing to him and wants to make things better for the kid, any way he can. Along the way, he’s shocked to find himself caring about this kid, asking his teammates for help and finally opening up to the people who want to get to know him, including Holly. And he takes it all in stride, just embracing the changes in himself and in his life without question. There’s no angst or attempts to avoid it or running away, he just accepts that it's time to open up and let people in, no matter how intimidating the prospect may be.

Their story is sweet and funny with a great balance of suspense and romance, plus a whole lot of heat. I loved everything about this book and will definitely read it again.
3,339 reviews29 followers
May 10, 2022
I really enjoy this series. They are truly standalones as it makes sense if you haven't read the previous books, but I loved catching glimpses of past characters in the stories. I really have to say that Dom is totally swoon-worthy. Though he has a tough outer shell, he is such a deep and caring individual albeit with a lot of issues. Holly is a sweetheart and I so feel for her with her totally crappy ex, though I do believe things happen for a reason. The mix of both characters along with Holly's son makes for such a fun read, though there are some very emotional parts with Dom's sister Lucy. This novel really kept me turning the pages as I couldn't wait to see what happens next, and resulted in me staying up until 3am! I cannot wait to read about Max in the next installment!

I received a free advanced reader copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving my fair and honest review.
Profile Image for Julie Booklover.
1,045 reviews22 followers
May 9, 2022
Book Three of the Las Vegas Vipers, and we pick up on a situation that developed at the end of Dream Maker. Both books stand alone, though. As a consequence of this situation, Dominick is now coaching a youth hockey team for his community service. As a hockey player, he has a reputation as a grumpy playboy. Not many know him, including his teammates, and he has just recently begun to open up to them.

Holly is a single mom of a remarkable 10-year-old boy. Holly and Dom meet when he steps in to coach her son’s youth hockey team. She is immediately on his radar when she inquires about her son.

This book is a journey for both characters, rebuilding, trust, and growth. I had a hard time putting it down and almost finished it in one sitting.

Thank you to the Author for the advanced copy; this is my voluntary review.
Profile Image for Becca Stanfield Vernon.
1,584 reviews17 followers
May 11, 2022
I am a sucker for a single mom romance & this one pulled me in from the beginning. Dominick comes off as more of a jerk than he really is, but the more this story goes even more likable he becomes. Dominick is a bad boy, yet his observant nature has him paying close attention to a sweet sexy single mom. Holly has been hurt & her ex his a piece of work!! The push & pull between these two just add to the chemistry. This series is so enjoyable to read & each $exy hockey player is more entertaining than the next.
I recommend this book. Told in dual POV.
Profile Image for lowkeyreader.
4,018 reviews40 followers
May 11, 2022
I loved Dominick and Holly's story. We kind of get how Dominick portrays himself in the previous book. But there's more to him than the grumpy, angry and a loner hockey player. He keeps to himself so that people don't know about his family's situation. But getting to know Holly and her son, Ben, makes him want to break his own rule. I loved the start of their relationship and how it developed. And of course, how he is with Ben. I'm so glad that Ben has him as a role model. Then he slowly lets his teammates in and trusts them to have his back. This is a heartwarming and sweet story.
Profile Image for Amy Miller.
3,479 reviews28 followers
May 16, 2022
Holly & Dom

This is a single mom romance. Holly is a great woman and mom, who happens to be saddled with a jerk of an ex. However, she does not back down from him and his jerky ways.
Dom has had a rough life. He is very big on protecting the ones he loves.
I loved this story and how Dom takes care of his sister and then Holly.
These two were just so perfect together. They both needed someone good in their life and they finally found that.

Such an amazing well written story with some pretty amazing characters!
Profile Image for Lymari Yenderrozos.
500 reviews17 followers
July 15, 2022
4.5 stars! Dom is the perfectly surly hockey bad boy, and I am here for it. The chemistry and connection between him and Holly is amazing, I adored them together. Love, love, loved the character growth and how quickly Dom took to Ben. Steam was off the charts and the ending was so sweet. Such a fun, sexy read! *I received an ARC in exchange for my honest review.
Profile Image for bookjunkiejane.
786 reviews3 followers
May 12, 2022
There are no negative ratings so I had to go with 1 star.. Seriously, I couldn't even read this shit, let alone finish it.. And so much shit.... I dont even want to elaborate on the nuances of this book...
Profile Image for Courtney.
177 reviews1 follower
January 9, 2023
4 stars. Would have been more if the hockey facts were accurate and if the ages/timeline of events made sense.

Things I Liked:
-I am a sucker for closed off/grumpy characters that turn out to have a big heart and eventually let others in
-single mother trope - I love seeing love interests bonding/forming a relationship with the other persons kid(s)
-how amazing of a mom Holly is to Ben. She is constantly in tune with his moods and try’s her best to make up for him having an awful dad
-the instant attraction and chemistry between Holly and Dominick
-Dominick’s protectiveness of Holly and Ben (stepping in when Evan is rude to them and not putting up with his attitude)
-how good Dominick was as a coach when he dreaded it on his first day
-seeing Dominick forming a relationship with and truly caring for Ben
-seeing Dominick slowly opening up to his teammates about his past and realizing that he wants to form bonds with them
-Dominick’s dedication to and love for his sister
-Max persistence in convincing Dominick they are friends (I loved how he keeps referring to himself as Dominick’s best friend and that Dominick seems to secretly love it)

Things I Didn’t Like:
-the authors lack of hockey knowledge (ex. “dribbling” the puck and the author saying players are drafted after college when they are drafted at 18, unless they are drafted as over-agers. Players would be free agents after college)
-the inaccurate timeline - Holly is 28 yet she got pregnant with her 10 year old son when she was 19…ya that math adds up 🤦‍♀️
-Evan. He was an awful (ex-)husband and father. I don’t understand how parents can constantly put their child down and ruin their confidence
-Gloria. How can a mother do that to her child? Not only did she force drugs on her daughter when she was 13 but she also pimped her out at 16 in order to keep getting drugs for herself
-that we never found out what Holly did for a living (not that it really mattered but the author kept mentioning a job without giving the readers any actual insight into what her job was)

Things I Would’ve Liked To See:
-Holly’s family before the epilogue. She is supposedly close to her parents yet we never even saw any phone calls between them. It was also thrown in near the end of the book that she apparently had a brother
-I would’ve loved to see Dominick meeting Holly’s parents for the first time
-a storyline of Dominick trying to get custody of his sister when he first learns what their mom was doing to her when she was 13. He would’ve been 20 at that time so it could’ve definitely been possible and I find it hard to believe he would just leave her with their mom despite knowing what was going on
-more of the previous books couples (Joey and Gabby and Lizzie and Garrett)
-an epilogue further into the future (perhaps with a proposal or even a pregnancy)
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Donna.
184 reviews86 followers
May 11, 2022
"She wasn’t for me. I’d take her goodness and sweetness and I’d crush it, leaving her with all my ugly dredges and sharp, filthy secrets."

A hockey god among mortals, Las Vegas Vipers superstar Dominick is a bad boy with a heart of gold. Life hasn't been easy for him and he has the attitude and reputation to match. He never lets people in, most especially his teammates and women, always pushing them away. Relationships don't last longer than one night until one woman challenges everything he ever thought possible.

After a fight and the inevitable media fallout, Dominick is sentenced to community service coaching youth hockey. When he meets Holly, 10-year-old Ben's mom at practice, sparks fly. He begins to care for them both, but resists, having no idea how to care. Holly, a single mom recently betrayed by her narcissistic ex-husband, also hesitates to trust a man again.

"You find a good woman who might just care back— you don’t ever let that shit go."

Dominick is fiercely protective and has so much sweetness and vulnerability hidden underneath his anger and arrogance. Holly starts to tear down his walls and the chemistry between them becomes undeniable. No longer able to fight the attraction, their relationship ignites with a delicious slow burn. The anticipation, desire, heat and electricity turn into pure fire.

I loved so much about their story! It was beautiful to see Holly take away the darkness and heaviness in Dominick's world, making him smile with lightness. It was equally inspiring to watch him work through his guilt about his past. At the same time, it was fun to see how Dominick brought out Holly's sassy side, teaching her to love life. And his relationship with Ben was so heartwarming as he instilled confidence in all of the kids and their abilities, eliminating feelings of self doubt.

Unconditional love permeates this story as does gathering the strength and courage to make it through life's difficult times. I cannot say enough about this book and I look forward to reading the next in the series.

"My job isn’t to make sure you have enough. It’s to give you everything."

** Special thanks to author Stacey Lynn and Valentine PR for the opportunity to read and review this ARC. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. Available May 10, 2022. **
Profile Image for Julie.
1,017 reviews13 followers
May 12, 2022
Due to some trouble he got mixed up in, NHL star, Dominick Masters, has just been handed community service to coach a youth hockey team. He would most definitely rather be picking up trash along the highway. But, what he didn't expect was to start really caring for these boys, especially one single mom and her son, and finding himself in the process.

This is a great premise for a story. I love a good single parent romance, but this story really isn't about that. It's about Dominick coming to terms with his rough family history and trusting others enough to let them in.

While I liked the characters and the story, I wasn't a huge fan of the writing. It has some good moments, but overall, I felt that too much was told and explained to me.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

“Don’t mind him,” Kane said, and he was now grinning at Joey. “He’s got his jockstrap twisted up over a kid—or maybe it’s the kid’s mom. I haven’t quite worked that out yet.” As if I was a damn puzzle to solve. My hand curled into my fist as both of them chuckled.
“Yeah,” Joey said. “That first gut-punch when a woman walks into your life you can’t stop thinking about is the worst.”

Before I had to coach, I’d never spent time with children. Now, I was finding myself on the bus or plane, not just thinking about Ben… or wondering about Holly… but I was constantly thinking of all these kids. How I could improve their game. What they needed to work on.

Hell, my cheeks were starting to hurt and as I reached up to scrape my beard, I realized I was smiling.

“My job isn’t to make sure you have enough. It’s to give you everything.”
Profile Image for Shannon Lamb.
210 reviews11 followers
November 20, 2022
Dominik Masters wasn’t always closed off and guarded. Everything changed when his father passed away while he was in college, and he did everything he could do to make sure the one person he loved most, was taken care of and protected. His sister Lucy.

As we learned in the previous book, Dominik was arrested and this story picks up right where we left off. Dominik ends up getting community service, coaching a youth hockey team.

Holly, is a divorced single mom who is doing her best to give her son, Ben, the best life that she can give him. Ben plays hockey because his father want to live vicariously through him (plus he is a dick). Ben loves it, but he is not very confident, even though he has a lot of heart. I absolutely loved everything about Ben. I loved the way he was with his momma, and how even though he was always put down by his dad, his stood up to him when the time came

In the previous book, Dominik started, very slowly, opening up to his teammates. In this book, we got to see a lot more of that. I loved the way he was with Holly and Ben. The connection that Holly and Dominik have was strong and their chemistry was fire. It is what most couples aim to have

As Holly and Dominik break down each others walls, they find love and support that they never felt they received in the past. It was like they both had to go through their shit in order to find each other. I LOVED everything about this story.
Profile Image for Pene|ope.
815 reviews104 followers
December 31, 2022
More like 4.5 stars, but I really liked it so I'm bumping it up to a 5 star. I absolutely loved the slow growth of the MMC's character throughout this book. It's like watching him blossom as he takes chances and opens up to the people around him and the people around him lift him up in return. THAT is why this is a 5 star book for me. So many tender moments between all of these characters that it had me deep in my feels at times with a simple sentence.

I also love his relationship with his sister, and the lengths he went to to help her. He felt like he was failing and was drowning in responsibility and guilt but he never stopped fighting for her.

The main couple was also cute and their mutual support in each others' lives was sweet to watch as they grew to depend on each other. And like all other themes in this book, I loved watching the son grow into his skill in hockey and also into his own voice as he gained confidence and realized what to pick up and what to ignore from those around him, like the cutting words of his manipulative and narcissistic father.

No cheating, no third act breakup (thank goodness), just people learning to trust in others and to lean on them in their hardest moments.

Really wish there was more of them together at the end though. I want to see more of these three. I did, however, really enjoy seeing so much of the couple from the previous book, which is currently the only other book I've read in this series. They're adorable too.
1,748 reviews8 followers
September 20, 2022
Relationships are messy….

Fulfilling. Rewarding. And also so, so hard. Holly and Dom were struggling with different challenges. Their situations could not have been more different, yet people are people. Family are family. And ultimately, you have to deal… A chance meeting meant they might be able to work on them. Together…

Holly had an ex-husband that was quite the piece of work (I quickly jumped on #TeamHolly!) but she always took the high road because of their son Ben. I really admired her for that as her ex pushed her (and my) buttons. Dom was a professional hockey player but that didn’t mean he was immune to life’s harsher realities. He dealt with it, staying aloof from his teammates – everyone really - to shelter them (and himself). When he was forced out of his bubble, he soon found he was not alone…

This was a fun read despite some of the deeper (and darker) elements. Holly and Dom had chemistry despite the false starts. They were awkward with each other, even when they were making headway, and that just made it more relatable and real…

read this in one sitting – the time flew by so quickly – and only the thought of more reads in this series cushioned their ‘The End’….

*I happily reviewed this story
Profile Image for Melissa.
373 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2023
CW: Sexual assault, drug use, minor prostitution, violence

I read most of this in one night (yay for starting a good book the night before your day off!) and so far it's been my favorite of the series. I figured even though Dominick was quiet in the other books that he'd be an excellent character and I was right. I did have problems with him leaving his sister at their moms the first time he found the drug issue but also kind of understand why so I'm on the fence about that one.

Holly also gets big props from me. So often authors write the women to be incredibly weak when they have a protective male MC but that didn't seem to be the case here. Yes, she had her faults - like letting Ben struggle against his father but the more we got into the book, the more she stood up to him and that was a fun development to see. Watching Ben's development both on the ice and off was also fun. I wish that there was a spin off series just of this family, to be honest.

Overall, yes, the characters had their faults but they also had a lot of upside as well (and lets be honest, perfect characters are boring) and lived up to what I figured Dominick's story would be. Especially when he was forced to be more friendly in Gabby's book so we got hints of another side in that book.
1,981 reviews2 followers
May 11, 2023
Dominick kept to himself. He didn't make friends with his team mates. He figures the less they know about him the better off it would be.
When he is thrown in jail his life takes a turn he didn't expect. He is forced to coach a little league hockey team.
It's not long before he notices one of the mothers. Dominick has never felt like he can share his past but with Holly he wants to tell her everything.
There are a few bumps in the road before they get it right, and it doesn't help that Holly's ex wants her back now that someone else is interested. He will stop at nothing to cause them problems.
I was rooting for Dominick to finally feel free to share his past not with just Holly but to also realize that his team has he back too.
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