Icing is the third story in the Aces Hockey series from Kelly Jamieson. Each book can be read as a standalone story, but I would recommend reading in order if possible as the characters are not only connected, but heavily active in each of the books. While this book did have some great moments, I had mixed feelings overall with the story.
After coming to the realization that his girlfriend Melissa was using him for his fame and money, NHL star Duncan Armstrong swore off women. That is until he meets a waitress that is unlike anyone he has met before. Amber is everything he could want in a woman, except shortly after meeting her he finds out that she is a model. Not looking to repeat the situation with his ex, Duncan knows he should stay away from her. Amber had enough going on in her life without adding a relationship to the mix, but she found she couldn't stay away from the sexy stranger she met at the bar. But when she found out that he was a professional athlete, she immediately knew she should run as she could. But despite both Amber and Duncan having reasons they should stay away from one another, they find themselves unable to fight the connection between them. But will their reasons prove valid and destroy anything between them, or will it turn into something more?
I had a really tough time here with Amber at first. She was judgmental and made assumptions. I understood part of that with her background and everything that had happened, but I also didn't like it after a bit because Duncan gave her no reason to believe that he was the same. Duncan was better for the most part, until the end when he turned around and did the exact same thing that he didn't want Amber doing to him, judging her based on past experience. It really frustrated me that both of them did this when they knew exactly how it felt! They could have benefited from better communication and I really think that if both of them hadn't been stubborn that it would have gone a long way. Amber was the worst about it though, and I found myself irritated with her often.
Besides some character issues, the story felt choppy and drawn out at times. I found myself wanting to skim and losing interest. Things were a bit repetitive and the back and forth got a bit old. While I liked these two when they were actually together and thought that they made a good couple, the issues between them just seemed to circle round and round and I just got to the point that I didn't care anymore. They did have great chemistry and were super hot together, but after awhile that just wasn't enough to hold my interest. I think that there was potential here, but unfortunately the story just seemed to get a bit lost along the way. If you like sports romance or hockey stories, you might give this one a shot as it is possible that these things were simply issues for me personally. I have read and really enjoyed stories from Kelly Jamieson before though and this one did have some good moments like I said, so I know I will read more from her in the future even if this one wasn't my favorite of hers.
**ARC Provided by Publisher**