I can never resist the ‘fake relationship’ trope, even more so when the characters can’t stand one another, and Elle Kennedy is one of those authors I can always count on to deliver a story that is satisfying in every possible way. A seamless blend of great banter and flaming-hot sexual tension between two carefully crafted characters who love to hate each other—this is one of those stories you find yourself smiling all the way through, turning the pages with genuine glee because you can’t get enough of every single thing about it. I laughed and swooned and loved every minute of it, beginning to end.
Being the daughter of the three-time championship-winning head coach of the Briar University hockey team has meant that Brenna Jensen has always known her hockey. She now dreams of making a career in sports journalism, but as a woman in a male-dominated industry, she knows all too well that success will not come easily or always depend on her skill set. So when her ability to secure a summer internship at a leading sports network is suddenly contingent on her closeness to one of hockey’s top rising stars and her college’s ‘enemy numero uno’, Brenna has no other choice but to fake it. But the hard part comes later when she has to convince the arrogant devil to help her with the ruse by pretending to be her boyfriend.
As captain of the Harvard hockey team and its star forward, Jake Connelly knows that leading his team to the national championship will depend on a lot more than just his talent on the ice. He is determined not to allow anyone to mess with his players’ heads, even if it means stopping the beautiful daughter of a rival team’s head coach from hooking up with one of his teammates.
“So tell me, what’s more important to you—getting mind-fucked by Brenna Jensen or beating her team?”
“Beating her team.”
“Then let’s beat them. Do what needs to be done.”
When his attempt at ‘cockblocking’ backfires and is seen as an all-out declaration of war by the lady in question, the only way to stop ‘the enemy’ from seducing any more of his players out of sheer vindictiveness is to keep her close. Very very close. Regardless of their rivalry, he jumps at the opportunity to play her fake boyfriend. But their attraction to one another is no game, so when he sees a chance to turn the chemistry between them into reality, Jake decides not to let the feisty, gorgeous woman slip through his fingers. And for every fake date she asks of him, he demands a real one.
“A fake date.”
“Well, in return, I want a real one.”
“A real what?”
“A real date. You get a fake date, I get a real one.”
As always, Elle Kennedy does a fantastic job turning a well-known scenario into sheer magic simply by allowing her characters’ emotions full expression. The steamy sexual tension between Brenna and Jake is reflected in their every interaction—be it heated bickering or good ol’ sexy times—and while their chemistry is delicious, the surprisingly tender love story at its centre is the true prize. Moving, sexy, and wonderfully witty, books like these are my catnip, but it is Elle Kennedy’s writing that will forever keep me coming back for more.