Review: Offside by Juliana Stone

Offiside by Juliana StoneThanks to Jaci Burton and her Play by Play series, I’ve come to really enjoy sports romances. When I saw that the heroine in Offside was a hockey player I got grabby hands for this book. I’m used to the hero being the sports star in my romances so yay for hockey playing heroines!!

Billie Jo, one of three identical triplets, is the athletic one. Eager to pursue a career in hockey, she moved away to play hockey in an overseas hockey league where should could compete against men. After a serious head injury, Billie Jo returns to her hometown. Her father who has always supported her hockey career is suffering from dementia so she moves into her family home with her father, grandfather and sister.

Soon after settling back home, Billie Jo hears about a local beer league hockey team and decides to join much to the dismay of the all male team. She meets with a great deal of hostility from the team because they feel threatened by Billie Jo’s skill as a player. She becomes the topic of gossip as the women in the town are sure she’s sleeping the with the whole team and trying to steal their husbands.

But not everyone is against Billie Jo playing hockey. Logan Forest, a high school friend has her back and supports Billie Jo and her right to play in the league. Although he has some awkward history with Billie Jo’s sister Betty Jo, he’s also attracted to Billie Jo. Because of his history with Betty, he’s very reluctant to get involved with a Barker triplet.

I’m starting to lose my faith in small town romances. Lately every small town romance I’ve read is full of really nasty, hateful people who want to tear down their local hero or in this case heroine. My image of small town living is in danger of being permanently marred by all the meanies who reside in my small town romance novels. Eventually some of the towns people come around and support Billie Jo but their reaction to her presence in the local hockey league was pretty strong.  I have to give her props for not tucking tail and running. Billie Jo has drama with her sisters as well but she stays for her dad and is committed to moving on with life after her professional hockey career. I really liked her.

We don’t learn a lot about Logan other than a little of his history with the Barker sisters. He’s a very alpha kind of guy he reacts strongly to his attraction to Billie Jo. I wish his character would have been a little more explored. He’s very passionate and aggressive but without understanding who he is, I think it took away from the romance. I wanted to know what was behind his feelings for Billie Jo other than his physical attraction.

I wasn’t blown away with the romance between Billie Jo and Logan, but I liked them and I liked the secondary characters that were introduced. I’m interested in what might be in the future for the prim and proper Bobbi Jo and the parolee Shane. I see big fun happening there. :) I’ll definitely be checking out the other books in the series.

Rating: C+
Offside by Juliana Stone
October 1st 2012 – Self Published
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