Title: Shot on Gold
Author: Jaci Burton
Release Date: 2/13/2018
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance
Page Count: 352
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Will “Mad Dog” Madigan is making his second trip to the Winter Games, and he couldn’t be happier. Hockey is his life and playing for the U.S. team is a privilege. Then he meets U.S. figure skater Amber Sloane. She’s beautiful, ambitious and driven–everything Will desires in a woman. He would love to show Amber how hot life off the ice can be.
Amber has skated her entire life, sacrificing everything in the hopes of one day winning gold. Now she’s competing for the third and final time. She intends to win, and nothing’s going to get in her way–until she meets Will. He’s an irresistible charmer, and before long Amber is wondering if this sexy hockey player is the perfect guy to show her some moves outside the rink.
But after all the medals have been awarded, Will and Amber will have to decide if what they have together is just a fling or a real shot at true love.
I really enjoyed this new entry in the Play-by-Play series. I loved the setting of the Winter “International Games”, and getting to know some fun, new characters.
Will Madigan is a professional hockey player, and now he’s playing for Team USA at the International Games in Canada. It’s his second trip to the games, and he’s back to get the gold medal this time. He loves hockey, and the thrill of the competition is in his blood. He’s from Chicago originally, and his family runs a bar there, so they aren’t able to be at the games to watch him. But, many of his teammates are there too, and some friends he made from other sports at the last games as well. He plans to have a great time, play tough, and go home with the gold medal. He never expects to meet someone like Amber.
Amber Sloane is a figure skater. She’s 24 now, and this will be her third, and final games. She’s won bronze, and silver, and she wants that gold medal. She’s always been a loner, and an extreme introvert, mostly due to her mother’s influence as her manager. Her mother has always convinced her that making friends with her competitors would cause her to lose her edge. But, in the athlete’s village she’s on her own, and this time around she’s decided to make different choices. She’s roommates again with her friend and roommate from the last games, Lisa, a Canadian snowboarder, and Amber is determined to make more friends this time. When she meets Will, she decides maybe she wants to get to know him even better than she had planned.
Will and Amber have great chemistry from the beginning, and I loved their fun banter. They had a lot in common, and they both understood the drive to win, and be the best in their sport, and how much work that takes. I liked the way they related to each other, even though their sports are quite different. I love how they supported each other, and pulled for each other, along with their friends in other sports as well. It was lovely to see Amber coming out of her shell and being comfortable in her skin alone, as well as with Will, and with their friends. I also enjoyed a little more in depth look at each of their sports than you often get in a typical sports romance.
My only issue here had to do with Amber’s controlling mother, and Amber’s reaction to her mother’s edicts. Amber finally learned how to, and decided to, stand up for herself, rather than towing her mother’s line as she’s done every time before. But, I wish there had been a little more about the issues between them, and the resolution of those issues. It all seemed a little too easy to me in the end, especially after SO MANY years of this constant behavior by her mom. Also, as a devoted epilogue lover, I really feel this story could have benefited from one. I always feel like when the couple resolves their issues so close to the end of the story, and you don’t get much more time seeing them happy together, then an epilogue is in order.
Overall I really enjoyed this book, especially the setting of the Winter Games. It made everything feel current and exciting, as the actual Winter Olympics are about to start very soon. I highly recommend this book, and this entire amazing series, to anyone who’s a fan of great sports romance. I’m excited to see which sport, and character, will have their story told next!