Maybe This Time
Colorado Ice, Book #1
By Jennifer Snow
Author’s Website: http://www.jennifersnowauthor.com
Starting over means a second chance.
Abigail Jansen is done with hockey . . . and hockey players. After leaving her two-timing NHL-star husband, Abby decides to start over in her hometown of Glenwood Falls, Colorado. There she doesn’t have to deal with people gossiping behind her back or hear the word “hockey”—until her daughter tries out for the junior hockey team. Now Abby has to face her fears . . . and coach Jackson Westmore. He’s tall, dark, handsome—and happens to hate her.
All through high school, talented hockey player Jackson Westmore had a crush on Abby, but he would never make a move on his best friend’s girl. He gave her the cold shoulder out of self-preservation and worked out his frustrations on the ice. So when Abby returns, newly divorced and still sexy as hell, Jackson knows he’s in trouble. Now even the best defensive skills might not keep him from losing his heart.
As I continue on my journey that is the writing of Jennifer Snow I am truly delighted and amazed. How can an author so fully engage me? I will tell you how: by creating a world with charming characters with depth of character and some quirkiness (after all – aren’t we all a bit quirky in our own way?).
The story of Abigail Jansen begins with her 9-year-old daughter (Dani) giving her the silent treatment. Apparently Dani was not thrilled to be moving from California back to Abigail’s home town – Glenwood Falls, Colorado in the wake of her parent’s divorce. Abigail gets a job (at least temporarily) at the local school, where she runs into the Westmore clan. Two of the Westmore “boys” are professional hockey players in the same league as her ex. The third Westmore boy (Jackson…and he is definitely no longer a ‘boy’) is the local hockey coach and best friend (or is he?) of her ex. Abigail has a history with Jackson so she has vowed to avoid him at all costs but then her daughter tries out for the junior co-ed hockey league….and makes it. So avoiding coach Westmore is not an option. And let me tell you…the sparks fly.
I love how honorable Jackson tries to be in the beginning, like he is respecting some time honored teen code to not hit on your best friend’s girl (even though he was interested in her first). But as time goes by and Jackson learns of the ill treatment Dean bestowed upon Abigail, you can sense Jackson’s loyalties shifting. The electric energy between the two is palpable and I could not but hope that they could come together, regardless of their fighting the attraction. Make no mistake, Abigail fights this attraction tooth and nail (so to speak).
“The only thing holding him back from making a move was her obvious disdain for him whenever they were forced to share the same air.”
When it finally seems like Abigail and Jackson have set up ground rules to be able to interact together as parent and coach, you get passages like the following which definitely tell a different story:
“He stared at her mouth. Damn, a kiss from those beautiful pink lips would be worth a slap in the face. One taste of her would be worth unraveling any progress they’d made in becoming friendly. Who the hell wanted friendly?”
When Jackson finally confesses that he has feelings (and actually has since the second grade), things get very sticky (and hot):
“..Jackson, why did you kiss me?”
“Because I have feelings for you.”
“Like good feelings?”
“No, terrible, unwanted, unreciprocated, completely wrong feelings…but they’ve always been there, and now it seems they have a mind of their own.” he said.
It seems that Jackson has always carried a torch and did not know how to act upon it nor express it, before his best buddy Dean fell for Abigail. Now he has his opportunity. Let’s hope he can be the man that Abigail needs.
I found the progression of the relationship (once it got started) both plausible and proper for a single mother. I really liked Jackson’s caring behavior not only towards his own niece, Taylor, but also towards Dani. Both Jackson and Abigail took into account the kids when proceeding with their relationship. A plus in my books.
The plot moved at a good pace and kept my interest throughout. I enjoyed the professional hickey game where brother was pitted against brother! Who doesn’t love a good match up. I really liked this second chance romance between two childhood ‘friends’. I cannot wait for the next book in this series…..I am hooked 😉