Tuesday, June 20, 2017

ARC Review: Stay by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

(WAGs #2)
by Sarina Bowen, Elle Kennedy
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: June 20, 2017

Can you fall in love with someone you've never even met?

Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch—an anonymous virtual assistant service—is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.

Although it's against the rules for her to check his file, she's 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting... until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.

Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He's still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth—that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won't show her pretty face.

But it's nothing that a pair of fourth row hockey seats can't fix. Hailey can't resist the offer. Matt can't resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn't have to. Fire up the kiss cam!

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.

I'm worried how this one will out do Blake Rilley because Blakey is simply too loud and colorful to be outshine. But worry not, Matt and Hailey, despite both having a failed marriage under their belts are not people with baggage or issues. Unless you count having a dry spell a big issue. Even their ex turned out to be normal folks that makes me feel I'm reading something relatable instead of some overdone romance fiction whereby the ex is always malicious and make me want to commit murder.

Hailey owned a virtual assistant company that Matt uses for his daily chores. I very much enjoyed reading their flirtatious text to each other with Matt looking to seduce his hottie assistant and Hailey trying to play it cool and not turned into a stuttering idiot while facing her biggest crush. On paper, Hailey is not the type of heroine I like because I never like a heroine who hero-worship the hero and turned into ball of nerves whenever she meets him. But Hailey is just likable, maybe is her being a career woman, being a hockey fanatic or simply because she isn't a diva or a heroine who creates problem.

I think every reader will love Matt on the get go. He is only thirty and he thinks he is too old for hook up and party. Why does it sounds so endearing? I like a reformed manwhore as much as the next person, but reading about a guy who isn't into whoring around is double the appeal. That's a fact. Matt thought being an athlete is not relationship material. But seriously, he just need to look at his teammates to see that isn't true, right? When level-headed-never-demanding Hailey came into his life, Matt is too worried about being another failure to see how great they can be together for long term. 

Also special shoutout to Wesmie and Blakey. I don't know why even after all these years, whenever Wesmie grace the page, I just turned into a giggly schoolgirl who just meet her favorite boyband. Loud and crazy Blake Rilley also never stop being amusing and provide a bunch of funny moments. Still love him to bits. Yes, I love the supporting characters very much and is great to see everyone together, but they never took away the story from Matt and Hailey. Their inclusion is not overly or too in your face, just a healthy amount to satisfy me but not overload me. 

Overall, another winner by this duo. Even though I hardly read M/F nowadays, this series make me take a short break from my usual boys loving and read it.