Rating: 4 stars out of 5
When hockey star Caleb Carter returns to his hometown to recover from an injury, the only thing he’s interested in is a little R & R. He never expects to run into his onetime crush at a grade school fund-raiser . Seeing Aaron Price hits him hard, like being checked into the boards. The attraction is still there, even after all these years, and Caleb decides to make a play for the schoolteacher. You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take, right?
Aaron has been burned by love before and can’t imagine what a celebrity like Caleb could possibly see in a guy like him. Their differences are just too great. But as Aaron spends more time with Caleb, he begins to wonder if he might have what it takes to win the hockey player’s heart.
The Hockey Player’s Heart (Hockey Hearts) by Jeff Adams and Will Knauss combines several elements that made this an automatic listen. First and foremost is hockey! I love hockey and hockey players and this story has that in hockey star Caleb Carter who is returning home to rehab his injury. Secondly? The chance for an old crush to reignite into something more. Caleb has always had something for Aaron Price who long ago used to tutor him in math. Now both are grown and will get the chance to meet again back in FosterGrove, their hometown where Aaron teaches math. Yes! Second chances! Another favorite trope of mine. And thirdly? The fact that Aaron’s been hurt before and doesn’t see himself as anyone lovable or good enough for a relationship.
The character of Caleb is by far my favorite. Strong, generous, thoughtful, yet not perfect, Caleb is the one you instantly connect with. Aaron the teacher I absolutely adored. The scenes with his students shines with the knowledge of someone with understanding of what makes a great teacher. It’s with his students and within the framework of his profession that Aaron is a whole person. Outside of it, then Aaron is a person full of doubts and issues of self-worth. I thought the authors did a sensitive job with Aaron’s past and yet, in many respects for me, this aspect of Aaron…his constant insecurity issues almost became an irritating factor after a while. Especially when faced when the hurt he was causing without actually having more discussions.
Yes, it all came right at the end through a totally charming scene that showed Aaron how wrong he’d been. Still. While I appreciated the need for Aaron to work through his issues, I just felt as though it went on far too long considering the length of the story. More romance, less nattering about. Because together they are wonderful!
The narration by Finn Sterling was terrific. I loved his voice for Caleb, and he juggled all the roles easily, even the feminine voices, like Caleb’s sister’s and Aaron’s students which did come across as young as they were written. Well done! Listening to this story, the time flew by, I was able to lose myself in their romance and have a wonderful doing doing it. That lets me definitely recommend this audiobook to you as well.
Cover art: Bree Archer. Love this cover. It’s bright and happy, with Foster Grove’s main street laid out behind Caleb! Great job.
Audible Audio, Dreamspun Desires #50
Published March 30th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press (first published January 16th 2018)
Edition Language English
SeriesHockey Hearts #1
CharactersAaron Price, Caleb Carter
settingF oster Grove, New York (United States)