Narrator: Kelsey Navarro, Tim Paige
Series: Ice Knights #2
Published by Dreamscape Media, LLC on November 27, 2019
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
There’s more to me than just being awk-weird. I own my own flower shop, have some great friends, and I have my eye on adopting the most adorable kitten. But sadly, hot guys don’t tend to be blown away by my trivia-spouting, dorky self.
So when a Thor-lookalike who happens to be a professional hockey player hits on me at my bestie’s wedding rehearsal party... You better believe I climbed that tree like a cat. And the fact that it happened not once, not twice, but three times? Yeah, that’s pretty much a once-in-a-lifetime experience for a woman like me.
There’s zero chance I’ll end up ever seeing him again...right?
Until the pregnancy test comes up positive. What happens next?
Oh my God, I wish I knew…
RUNNING TIME ➼ 7hrs. and 49mins.
©2019 Avery Flynn (P)2019 Dreamscape Media, LLC
When it comes to rom-coms, Avery Flynn is one of only two or three authors that really get it right. This book was really funny, and I really enjoyed listening to it. The timing was perfect – Mr. Smut was out of town, and I spent the week building a large LEGO book shop. This book was the perfect accompaniment to that.
However, our hero, Cole, left a lot to be desired. Honestly, he was kind of a clueless dickbag for most of the book, and while I was happy that he seemed to be willing to be there for Tess and their baby, I wasn’t convinced Tess needed more than that from him, no matter how much he might look like Chris Hemsworth.
Cole is in a holding pattern. He’s been with the same woman, Marti, for years, off and on. This time they’ve been off for seven or eight months, and she has moved on and is dating someone else. By all appearances, while Marti still feels affectionately for Cole, it seems to be the same kind of affection we all hold for previous partners when the relationship comes to a natural conclusion. Her dad was Cole’s hockey coach, so she’s at some of the games and events, and honestly, she struck me as just… fine with everything. She and Cole have broken up, she’s moved on, everything is good. She wishes him well, and she still thinks he’s a decent guy.
Cole on the other hand, has not moved on. At all. He knows that he and Marti will get back together because he and Marti have always gotten back together. There’s no reason to think this time will be any different. And that’s good, because Cole cannot handle change. Of any kind. For any reason. Which we know because he tells us this over and over, usually as he’s thinking about how little a baby will change his routine and how everything will be just fine.
Look, I didn’t dislike him because he adorably thought a baby wouldn’t change anything. I thought that was hilarious. As a happily child-free person, even I’m pretty sure that babies are basically living, breathing chaos. But his refusal, through almost the entire book, to even entertain the possibility that Marti was not coming back to him, even though she very clearly had no intention of ever coming back to him and never once insinuated or did anything to indicate that she would, was infuriating. He thought about Marti constantly. He talked about Marti constantly. He made plans for his and Marti’s future constantly. Plans that would absolutely include his and Tess’s baby, of course – he had every intention of being there for Tess and the baby as well. But Marti was endgame, and he wouldn’t hear anything else. Even Marti dating someone else, breaking up with him, and starting to date a different someone else, didn’t deter him from his conviction that they’d end up back together.
It was difficult to watch happen. Tess knew about Marti, of course. Everyone knew about Marti. So she did her best to hold back her feelings for Cole, to not let them develop, but that went nowhere, of course. Poor Tess. She was so starved for love and affection and she didn’t know how to accept it, even when it was offered. Not just romantically, but even from her group of friends. They clearly loved her, but she just as clearly kept waiting for them to get tired of her, or to find better things to do with their time besides hang out with her. Everything in her life has been temporary, and she doesn’t see any reason for that to change now. Everything is temporary, and nothing will last more than a few weeks.
Her family treated her horribly growing up, and it had done lasting damage. Damage that I don’t think she was ever really going to get over. That was the biggest thing missing from this book for me. I wanted Tess, even just once, to tell her horrible family to go fuck themselves. I realize it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference, that they would have continued to treat her horribly and nothing would have changed, but I think it would have helped Tess. However, that’s not who she is, so she didn’t.
The big grovely moment was a miss for me as well. Cole fucked up. He really, really fucked up, so I don’t know why Tess ended up being the one to make the big romantic gesture at the end. It was disappointing. This was closer to four stars for me, even with Cole’s issues with Marti, until that. Cole spent most of the book belittling Tess’s fears of being abandoned, completely ignoring his own issues, even actively denying them, and making sure that she knows she’ll always come in second to Marti. So why, exactly, is Tess the one doing the apologizing and making up at the end?
This book was funny and light, even considering the heavy internal issues Tess and Cole deal with, and it was what I’ve come to expect from Avery Flynn. Both Tess and Cole should seek out therapy to deal with their issues, especially since the baby that’s coming will probably just exacerbate those issues even more. They could both use better coping mechanisms, and therapy would give them those tools.