3 Stars / Contemporary / Review

Review: Game Changer by Kelly Jamieson

Jackson Wynn
I don’t want anything to do with my crazy family’s drama, which I’ve been watching unfold from a distance over the last year, but now my grandfather has Alzheimer’s and I feel I need to at least make a quick visit to see him. My hockey season’s over, all I have to do is get through my teammate Steve’s wedding, and then I’m on a plane to Los Angeles to do my family duty. After that, I’ll head home to Manitoba for some summer R&R at the family lake cottage.

Molly Flynn
Nobody’s expecting what happens at my wedding, which becomes pandemonium. I need to get out of there. Fast. Who do I turn to? Jackson Wynn, one my fiancé’s teammates. He’s been a friend to me since I met Steve. For one night, we hide out in his condo, but he’s leaving in the morning for California. I want to go with him.

I can’t take Steve’s fiancée with me to California. He’s going to flip shit over this. But the lying cheating bastard kind of deserves it, and I’ve always had a soft spot for Molly. Or maybe not so soft…because she’s not only sweet and kind, she’s hot as hell. This is a bad idea for so many reasons, and I sure as hell don’t need more drama in my life, but I can’t say no to her.

On this nutso trip, neither of us expect Molly to bond with my bonkers family…especially my poor, confused grandpa. And neither of us expect to bond with each other.

Title:Game Changer
Author:Kelly Jamieson
Series:Wynn Hockey (Book 5)
Trope(s):Sports Romance (Hockey)
Road Trip Romance
Friends to Lovers
Point of View:First Person
Present Tense
Dual Viewpoint (Hero and Heroine)
Release Date:9th June, 2020
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Didn’t really catch my interest

I do enjoy a hockey romance although, to be honest, the fact that Jax is a hockey player isn’t that important to this story – other than the side-story of him waiting to find out if he’s being re-signed to his team or not. It’s really more of a tale of two friends becoming more…after she dumps her cheating fiancé at the altar!

It wasn’t until I started writing this review that I realised that I don’t feel I really got to know either main character all that well. In the beginning we hear that Jax likes women and plays the field as he’s not all that interested in marriage due to some family drama. He does change as the book – and his relationship with Molly – moves on, but did I feel emotionally invested in these characters? Not really. And did I really feel I knew them by the end of the book? Not at all.

Which kind of surprised me as there was a lot of content in this 311 page book – and a lot of dialogue. Sometimes it was just back and forth and back and forth, with no interruption, which did make reading go in a flash, but didn’t do much for me building up knowledge or feeling for our characters. And some of the writing really came across as if it would have been better had this been a film where I could see nuances and facial expressions rather than having to assume their reactions to the rapid fire dialogue. And words like “whelp” can’t really compete with being shown how someone feels.

There’s a lot of side stories also going on in this book – and for the first half of the story at least, a lot of it is to do with Jax’s family. I haven’t read any of the other books in this series – and while I definitely think this book stands alone, I also think I would have enjoyed the family scenes a little bit more had I known who on earth some of these other people were. Because there were a lot of them.

There is also the fact that Jax’s grandfather has Alzheimer’s, there are several major family rifts and his parents are still working through their feelings regarding their break-up/divorce from when Jax was a teen. So it’s definitely not all fun and games with his large and complicated family.

“I was cheering for them to get together…”

The book is written in first person, present tense – so “I sigh.” “I walk…” etc. and in both Jax and Molly’s point of view, normally alternating a chapter each, but sometimes it changes halfway, or a couple of times in the middle. It’s a good mix of both voices.

It takes a long while for Jax and Molly to cross that friendship line into something more – but even when they did I felt that it was on the rebound and nothing more. I did change my mind as they spent more time together but it was always a bit of a niggle. But by the end I was cheering for them to get together – and it was kinda sweet the way Jax apologised and made things right.

I didn’t think there was much need for Steve to be redeemed in anyone’s eyes at the end. And him going to bat for Molly and then being so cool with Jax just made me shake my head in disbelief. Sometimes people are douchecanoes and always will be – and that’s alright.

There was a fair amount of steamy sex in the book which did help create the intimacy between Molly and Jax and I’m never going to complain about sex in a book. There was also a scene when both were sharing a bed and Jax was having some, well, solo time. At first I was a bit grossed out by this but as it went on, I got less and less mad. By the end I was probably as happy as Jax was and I think I might need this in every book I read from now on.

Despite that, I just couldn’t get into this book or this story. I think that if you fancy this book and haven’t read the others in the series, read them first so you have some sort of attachment to the Wynn family. Then, I’m sure you’ll really enjoy this book and devour it from cover to cover. Coming in as a newbie to the Wynn’s, I can only give it 3 stars, I’m afraid.

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas. Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season! She loves hearing from readers, so please visit her website.

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