Book Review: Center Ice

Center Ice (Corrigan Falls Raiders #1)
Published By: Entangled Crush
Publication Date: May 19, 2015
Page Count: 196
Source: Purchased by Reviewer
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I picked this one up thinking I would be getting a wintery contemporary with some romance and a lot of hockey. The cover is slightly misleading in that respect. There is a contemporary romance and a good bit of hockey, but the majority of the novel takes place in the summer time. There is no winter and no snow to speak of which was irksome, but overall didn't keep me from enjoying this read. 

Center Ice is told from the perspective of the two main character, Karen and Tyler. Both of them are struggling to find their place and neither of them are looking for a relationship, but love tends to smack us when we least expect it. A chance meeting in the park during their morning run bring these two together and spark an attraction that will lead them both down a path they never expected.

Karen is still reeling from the death of her mother. To make matters worse, she is living with her biological father and his family, but she is the product of own of his affairs. It makes for some awkward dinner conversations. Her father's other children are resentful of the situation and Karen feels as if she has to be combative every time she steps into their family bubble. She doesn't feel as if she belongs and things get more and more uncomfortable as her father and stepmother's marriage begins to crumble. Karen is trying to figure out how she fits into everything when she meets Tyler.

Tyler is a star hockey player who hopes to one day be drafted to play in the NHL. He has family issues, but his are a different than sort than Karen's. His family is putting all their hopes and dreams on Tyler's success which is a lot of pressure for a teenage guy. He doesn't want to let his family down, but he isn't sure he's ready to be their financial mule. To make matters worse, his dad is constantly trying to micromanage Tyler which add more stress. 

I felt bad for both Karen and Tyler throughout much of the novel. Their family situations were difficult to read, but I loved that they found strength and comfort in one another. I didn't like that it felt very instalovey between these two, but once I shook off that irksome feeling, I settled into things more. I felt that Karen gave into her attraction more easily than she should have, but I appreciated that Tyler kept making sure that Karen was ready for each step they took. I also was a little thrown that Tyler seemed to change his ways so quickly for a girl he barely knew. For me, the spark that sucks me into a love story was lacking.

If you're looking for a quick read with lots of drama and romance - this is novel for you. 

One Last Gripe: I didn't connect with Karen as much as I prefer to connect with a main character.

Favorite Thing About This Book: Winslow's humor - which is exciting as the next novel in the series is supposed to be his story

First Sentence: The squirrel attacked on the sixth day.

Favorite Character: Tyler

Least Favorite Character: It's a tie between Tyler's dad and Karen's dad.

The hometown hockey hero won’t know what hit him…

Karen Webber is in small-town hell. After her mother’s death, she moved to Corrigan Falls to live with strangers—her dad and his perfect, shiny new family—and there doesn’t seem to be room for a city girl with a chip on her shoulder. The only person who makes her feel like a real human being is Tyler MacDonald.

But Karen isn’t interested in starting something with a player. And that’s all she keeps hearing about Tyler.

Corrigan Falls is a hockey town, and Tyler’s the star player. But the viselike pressure from his father and his agent are sending him dangerously close to the edge. All people see is hockey—except Karen. Now they’ve managed to find something in each other that they both desperately need. And for the first time, Tyler is playing for keeps…