Title: Shut Out
Author: Kelly Jamieson
My Rating: A
Genre: New Adult Romance
Series: Bayard Hockey #1
Main Characters: Skylar and Jacob
Release Date: June 2016
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: hot
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.
This is the first in a new series about college hockey from Kelly Jamieson. While I occasionally like NA stories, they aren't my go-to genre, but when one of my favorite authors makes the jump, I go with her. I adored this book!! And even better than just an amazing love story, this book also featured some really great lessons about sexual assault.
Both Skylar and Jacob have experience with sexual assault. For Skylar she works with the college to provide education and outreach for its students. Every new student has to go through the program that Skylar is working in. Jacob is only at this college because of being accused for sexual assault. While nothing came of the charges because there was no evidence (and there was no evidence because Jacob was innocent), his hockey program still decided to take a strong stand against the three hockey players who were accused. For Jacob this means he can't be drafted into the NHL. His only option is to spend a year at Bayard in their hockey program and hope the NHL drafts him from there.
After being falsely accused and punished for something he didn't do, Jacob has decided to spend this entire year without girls. That's not exactly easy when puck-bunnies are constantly throwing themselves at the hockey players from the team. He's also trying to fit in with his team and they don't understand why he keeps turning down both the parties and the girls. Along the same lines, Skylar is trying to get her life back on track this year after a horrendous event last year meant her grades plummeted. Skylar and Jacob have amazing chemistry, but similar goals of no-relationships, so they form a fake relationship so that they have one another's back.
The chemistry between Skylar and Jacob really makes this book. These two are so incredibly hot together, and they are both trying so hard to stick to their commitment of no sex or relationships. But then they start to become friends and the book gets even better. I really did love the story. Jacob is totally out of his element with this new team and new place. The school places him in a house with three other hockey players and I like how they slowly began to know and respect him. While his hockey game is evolving, so is his friendship with Skylar.
But there are some amazing lessons in this book too. Skylar is teaching about sexual harassment. Through those classes, Jacob learns tools to keep him from getting in trouble again and begins to recognize where he should have made different choices. I like how that whole aspect of the story morphed from the beginning and his attitude toward girls and his views of the puck bunnies to the end where how he viewed things became very different.
The story is fabulous and I enjoyed every moment of reading it. I can't wait for more, because there are some awesome guys on this team...and I like the coach, too.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.