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New Release Review! THE RIVAL by Kendall Ryan (Looking to Score #2)

The Rival cover

Being stranded in remote Canada with a hottie?
Wasn’t part of my summer plans.

Dump my cheating ex? Check.

Land an amazing job with Boston’s professional hockey franchise? Check.

Fall stupidly in love with hockey’s favorite bad boy? Ugh.

After wasting years of my life with the wrong person, I told myself all I wanted was a little no-strings fun. Enter Alex Braun—a wealthy, handsome, notorious playboy who’s equal parts charming and dangerous as hell to my wounded heart.

After enduring a very public breakup of his own, the sexy player doesn’t want to be anyone’s forever. Too bad he barreled his way into my heart, instead of just my bed.

But this professional athlete knows a thing or two about competing, and he won’t let go so easily.

This romance contains one grumpy, emotionally damaged, but gorgeous-as-hell hockey player, and a whip-smart, hardworking heroine who’s never quite fit in. It should only be read by those who like their men brawny and their romances red-hot!

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Well, she did it–Ms Ryan managed to make Alex (Eden’s ex from The Rebel ) into a sympathetic character–bravo!

OK, so I’m fairly certain that the fact that we are able to see things from his POV has a lot to do with it, and he’s finally decided to pull himself out of his self-destructive spiral–but also (as she finally admits here) Eden wasn’t at all objective when she talked/thought about him, which didn’t help things. And I’m so glad he turns out to be a man worthy of Aspen, because OMG those two are so darn cute together…

I am totally jealous of the cabin they got to stay at together for the summer–OMG. It sounded like my dream vacation spot (with or without the star hockey player…though I think we all know which version I’d prefer… ;)) I loved the “we’re the only two people in the world” vibe the two of them had going on there–it gave them the perfect opportunity to really get to know each other, and of course, fall in love without all the pesky obstacles real life brings (especially the obstacle that is Alex’s ex AKA Aspen’s boss/BFF). The end of the summer gives it all a realistic end point, and of course their individual baggage contributes to the eventual relationship black moment…

Though they probably could have resolved things with a decent conversation or two and avoided a lot of pain and heartbreak (a usual pet peeve of mine), here it didn’t feel too outside the realm of reality that they each would have handled things the way they did. And of course it made their reunion, when it comes, all the more sweet.

Though The Rival could be read as standalone, you’ll definitely get a better picture of the Alex/Eden dynamic by reading them both. Plus, it’s a hockey romance series–why wouldn’t you want to read them all? 😉

Besides, then you can join me, anxiously awaiting book 3! 🙂

Rating: 4 stars / A-

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

Published in4 starsA-Book reviewsBOOKS!new releasespotlight

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