Center Ice is my first book by Cate Cameron, but I love hockey and couldn't wait to read this one. While I had some moments that I really enjoyed, this book ended up just being okay for me. I wish that a few things had been done differently, and ultimately I just wasn't able to ever really get into this story.
After losing her mother, Karen goes to live with the family she never met. They live in the small town of Corrigan Falls where hockey is big and everyone knows everything about everyone else. Though Karen doesn't get off to a great start with anyone in town, that all changes when she meets Tyler. Tyler is the star of the hockey team, but he is the only person that seems to be able to relate to Karen. But Tyler is known to be a player both on and off the ice, and Karen doesn't want to be involved with someone like that. The more Tyler and Karen get to know one another though, the more Karen begins to realize that Tyler is a different person than everyone thinks he is. But can Karen take a chance on something with Tyler with everything else she is dealing with?
I liked Karen and Tyler, and they were great together. I thought that they were so cute with one another, and I really enjoyed how easy and light their connection was. These two were able to just be together and have fun, and that was something that they both desperately needed with everything going on in their lives. I was glad that Tyler was able to transform from a player into a guy that only wanted Karen. He was more than happy to have a girlfriend in Karen, and that was good to see. Karen was struggling with so much, and I thought that Tyler was exactly what she needed. I will say that I thought that Karen's mother's death was pretty much never dealt with. I felt like her grief was visible on a few occasions, but I really wish that the author would have sort of shown more of that because it really felt as though it was missing from this story. I also felt like the drama with Karen's new family situation as well as Tyler's parents sort of took on a life of their own and it sort of got out of control in my opinion. Those things sort of took over the story, and I felt like Karen and Tyler got a bit lost in all of that.
Overall, this was an okay read but it just sort of fell flat for me. I had been hoping for more of Karen and Tyler because those parts were so much fun to read about, but with so much going on I felt like that got lost a bit. I also pretty much couldn't stand any of the secondary characters throughout this story with a few exceptions. Karen's little sister Sara was a sweetie and I liked how great she was with Karen from the start. I also liked what we saw of Tyler's best friend and teammate. But it wasn't until the very end of the story that I started to come around on Karen's dad and her stepmom. I think that I might look for more from Cate Cameron in the future, and I am interested in seeing what happens with the next book in this series.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**