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The Puck Drop (Central State #1) by Jaqueline Snowe


Falling for the coach’s daughter was never part of the plan…

Michael Reiner has the new start he’s been craving, where no one knows about his past and he can finally figure out what he wants out of life. Because one thing’s for certain—he can’t play hockey anymore, and life without hockey seems daunting. But when he gets the chance to intern under the Central State Hockey coach, he couldn’t be happier. Until he finds out the mysterious hottie he met at the bar is the Coach’s daughter.

Naomi Fletcher-Simpson has always been the weird twin. She prefers spreadsheets and trivia nights while her popular sister is everyone’s favorite. Things have been tense in her family, so when she gets a chance to pair up with the hockey team for a huge stats project, she takes it. She can repair her relationship with her dad and hopefully score her dream internship in the process.

Neither Michael nor Naomi expected to like each other. Complete opposites in every way, they slowly form a deep friendship that makes their chemistry sizzle, and friends with benefits is the only option to deal with their growing attraction. Michael can’t afford to lose the internship, and Naomi can’t afford to lose her heart to a hockey guy.

For the guy who’s suffered enough loss, and the girl who’s always left behind, they can’t risk falling in love—not when they both know all things come to an end, right?

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Jacqueline Snowe pens wonderful sports romances as she delves into the dynamics of the game with her conflicted and endearing characters. 

Michael Reiner loves hockey and his internship with Coach Simpson is a dream come true. His days of playing hockey are done which makes it hard to sit on the sidelines, but his fellow intern and data analyst, Naomi Fletcher-Simpson makes for great company. The problem is she is Coach Simpson’s daughter so they need to stay just friends. Tell that to the hot chemistry between them.

Naomi chose to do her data internship with her estranged father in order to get to know him, but he’s just as removed from her life as always. Hockey tore their family apart and her mother has a new family, her twin sister is off serial dating and ignoring her, and she’s left alone dealing with her own life once again. However, Michael is a great friend and confidant who listens without judging and gives her great advice. Too bad he wants to be a hockey coach like her dad. She doesn’t want to be second choice to hockey anymore.

I love Naomi and Michael as a couple.  They are very comfortable with each other cracking jokes and confiding their innermost thoughts and feelings. Their attraction is strong right from the beginning and no doubt they will become more than friends, but their issues with abandonment and heartache are hard to forget. Neither of them want to love someone and lose them again. Michael lost his parents in a car accident four years ago and Naomi was left alone after her parent’s divorce. With Michael’s undying support, it was good to see Naomi finally step up and confront her sister and her father. I also loved Michael’s mature and kind approach to coaching as he bonds with one of the troubled players and helps him out of his slump. There is no doubt Michael will be an excellent coach and he is such a good guy. One of my favorite characters actually.  Naomi is a sweet and kind person in her own right. Having to be called the less pretty twin could really do a number on someone. Don’t worry. There is a HEA ending that had this reader tearing up.

Naomi’s sister, Cami, definitely has some serious issues going on with her wild serial dating and bad choices. I think Naomi is who grounds her and they are finding their way back to each other. I can definitely relate to Naomi’s dad because my own father was a lot like him. His guilt made him afraid of saying something wrong that might push Naomi even further away, but to Naomi, it looked like he didn’t love her. Her confrontation with him was a tear-jerker.

I highly recommend this beautiful and funny sports romance filled with charming and strong characters and forbidden love. Read my review of Ms. Snowe’s Best Player for more great sports romance.

Thank you to Ms. Snowe for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.


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JacquelineSnoweJaqueline Snowe lives in Arizona where the “dry heat” really isn’t that bad. She prefers drinking coffee all hours of the day and snacking on anything that has peanut butter or chocolate. She is the mother to two fur-babies who don’t realize they aren’t humans and a new mom to the sweetest baby boy. She is an avid reader and writer of romances and tends to write about athletes. Her husband works for an MLB team (not a player, lol) so she knows more about baseball than any human ever should.

Follow Jaqueline on her website, Goodreads, Amazon, Facebook, Facebook Group, Instagram, Twitter, Bookbub, and her newsletter.


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