Title: Shut Out
From the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series comes the first novel of a new hockey romance series featuring a college team whose players are heating things up both on and off the ice.
The Bayard College hockey team isn’t where Jacob Flass thought he’d be a season ago. He was a rising star in the Canadian major junior league, cruising toward a spot on an NHL roster—until a single disastrous night on the town brought it all crashing down. Now he’s out of options, except for playing well, studying hard, and staying away from girls. He’s not supposed to be flirting with the hottest, sweetest chick he’s ever met. But how could he possibly stay away?
Skylar Lynwood knows that Jacob is out of her league. She’s just trying to go with the flow, which isn’t easy when six feet and four inches of total hockey hunkiness is making a play for her one moment, then giving her the cold shoulder the next. Skylar’s head tells her that this rugged athlete isn’t worth her time, but her body says something altogether different. Risking her heart for Jacob may be the craziest thing she’s ever done . . . but she won’t let him shut her out.
Author: Kelly Jamieson
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: Limited Time Offer, Major Misconduct, Off Limits
Series: Bayard Hockey, #1
Published by LoveSwept Source: Publisher
Genres: Contemporary Romance, New Adult, Sports Theme
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website
Visit the Goodreads Series Page
Lately, I have been more and more into sports romances. It is interesting to see how the main characters are developing their strengths on the physical level and understand that it can be used at the emotional level as well. Just a fair warning before to continue on with my review, Shut Out is dealing with rape and I know that is a sensitive issue to a lot of people.
I never turn down a New Adult novel, but by experience, it is either a hit or a miss. With this one, I will have to revisit my opinion because it fell just in the middle. Let me explain why I am saying this. The first half of the book was just okay. It took me forever to really get into the story. It felt as if Kelly Jamieson was focussing more on the technical part of the story and the characters had no life of their own. However, the second half of the book was way better and we the author was in the creative flow. That gave life to Skylar and Jacob and I was very happy about it.
Last year, Skylar had a hard time in college and feels she has to prove to her parents that she is worthy of the money they are spending on her education. Like her sister, she wants to enter in the Medicine school, but she does not own that sacred fire. Brendan’s suicide last year was the hardest thing she had to go through. She needed clarity and used the SAPAP counseling program on the campus to help her out. This year, she decided to do some volunteering for the SAPAP and is teaching in an awareness program. Skylar is not my favorite character she is so focused on her goals that some of the time she feels a little hysterical. I felt that the author used a lot of clichés and it just fell flat in some scenes in the first half of the book. Skylar finally grew on me in the second half of the book, but some of her reactions and dialogs were still bugging me.
Jacob got transferred to Bayard College because he was involved in an incident and was suspended from his hockey team in Canada. All new students must attend a rape awareness program provided by the SAPAP when studying in Bayard. Jacob was not particularly happy to have to go through that program, but having Skylar teaching it was a great pay off. Jacob character is evolving a lot during the story, we are feeling his vulnerability and his integrity. Jacob is reminding us that even though we make mistakes in life, those same mistakes are the basis of becoming a better person in the end. He is an inspiring character.
The chemistry between Skylar and Jacob is really hot. They are discovering themselves and there is no holding back, they go all in. Even though those scenes were well written, there were so many of them that at one point I was wondering what was happening with the main story. The author waited to give us the bombshell and it became crystal clear at about 70% of the book. I would have preferred to know this information earlier in the story it would have given it another dimension.
Education about rape is present throughout the story and it is done without being moralistic about it. The author was able to get her message through and it is well done. It was my first book by Kelly Jamieson and I’ll make sure to watch for the next one in the series.