Parental Guidance (Ice Knights #1) by Avery Flynn (audiobook) – Narrated by Tim Paige

This title may be downloaded from Audible via Amazon

It wasn’t me.
It was my team.
But as almost co-captain I raised my hand to fix it.
Never imagined they’d arrange a PR stunt to make me look like Mr. Right to someone my mom picks out on some new dating app.
Then my salvation walks into the restaurant.

Zara Ambrose.

The five-foot-nothing redhead with more freckles than inches that I convinced to go on five dates with me for all the world to see.
She’s got her own reasons for our set up–and her own rules.
But somewhere between the couples’ obstacle course, wrestling matches with her Great Dane, and fights over mashed potatoes, Zara went from means-to-an-end to something so much more.
What happens when you start to fall for the one girl you can’t have…on live TV?

Rating: Narration – B; Content – B-

Having enjoyed Avery Flynn’s Tomboy last year, I wanted to try something else of hers so I picked up Parental Guidance, the first book in her Ice Knights series. We were introduced to the hockey team in Tomboy – that book’s hero, Zach Blackwood, was an Ice Knights’ defenceman – and here, we meet Caleb Stuckey, another Ice Knights player who needs to rehabilitate his public image. A video in which he’s seen NOT shutting down his team-mates when they start talking like a bunch of misogynistic arseholes goes viral, resulting in a chewing out from his coach, the team’s PR manager AND his mother (a famous junior hockey coach) – which is how he ends up agreeing to do something “…to change the narrative and give everyone something else to talk about besides what dickheads you all are. “

That something is a publicity stunt involving the Bramble dating app. The deal? He has to go on five dates with a woman his mum picks out for him; afterwards, he and his mum film a little post-date chat, his date and her mum do the same, and Bramble can use the videos in their publicity. After all, if, after the disastrous video, they can make Caleb dateable, they’ll be able to do the same for anyone. Right?

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.

Tomboy (The Hartigans #3) by Avery Flynn (audiobook) – Narrated by Savannah Peachwood and Brian Pallino

This title may be downloaded by Audible via Amazon

How exactly has one good deed landed me in the penalty box?

Ice Knights defenseman Zach Blackburn has come down with the flu, and my BFF – his PR manager – begs me to put my nursing degree to use and get him back to health. Of course she would call in a favor for the most hated man in Harbor City.

But when he’s finally on the mend and I’m sneaking out of his place, everything goes sideways. Paparazzi spot me and pictures, plus accusations that I slept with him, fly faster than a hockey puck.

At first, all of Harbor City wants my blood – or to give me a girlie-girl makeover. But then…the team finally wins a game. And now this fickle town wants me with the big jerk twenty-four seven.

Argh. I never slept with him the first time! But no one will listen. Then the grumpy bastard goes and promises to break his no-fan-appearances rule to help raise money for a free health clinic – but only if I’m rink-side at every game. That’s not a deal I can turn down.

But when the team keeps winning, and I realize there’s more to him than his bad reputation, suddenly remembering to keep my real hands off my fake date gets harder and harder to do.

Rating: Narration: A-; Content: B

Avery Flynn’s Tomboy is an engaging romantic comedy with a few darker edges that charts the development of the romance between a no-nonsense ER nurse and a seriously grumpy hockey player. It’s predictable fare, but I enjoyed the story and the characters, and also really appreciated the author’s insight into the harmful bitchery encouraged by the anonymity of social media.

Fallon Hartigan knows she’s going to regret agreeing to help out her friend Lucy when the latter asks her for a huge favour. Lucy’s biggest client, Zach Blackwood – defenceman for the Ice Knights hockey team and a PR nightmare – is sick and Lucy is out of town with her boyfriend, Fallon’s brother (whom Fallon knows plans to propose that weekend), so she all but begs Fallon to look in on Zach and make sure he’s okay. Fresh off a long shift in the ER, all Fallon wants to do is go home and sleep, but no way is she going to ruin her brother’s plans and besides, Lucy is a good friend whom Fallon knows would do anything for her – so she agrees.

You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals.