Dali’s review & rating: 4 of 5 stars
A delightfully sweet and endearing Christmas + Hockey story about a friendship that formed during adolescence but was off limits to be more. It’s about a love that’s been latent for years but now is ready to grow. But first Jenna and Andrew have to put it above all else.
Andrew Ross was never left alone when he lost his family as a teenager. The McFaddens welcomed him with caring, open arms and he’s always appreciated it and been grateful. He would never go against the head of the family’s one decree: that he keep his adolescent hormones away from their only daughter, Jenna. Through the years he’s tried to be her friend, ignore the attraction between them and move on with his life. But it’s a difficult thing to do especially during the holidays when she’s pushing all his buttons. Can an off-limits rule keep him from pursuing Jenna’s heart at the risk of losing the only family he’s got?
“This place and this family were safety to me. In a world where I’d lost everything, I’d found safety and security here. I’d always done whatever was necessary to keep it.”
Jenna McFadden has crushed on her brother’s best friend, Andrew, since she first started noticing boys. But she understood why he kept his distance, especially after he moved in with her family. She’s tried to forge ahead with her life, going as far as moving to New York after college and even trying speed dating, but no man will ever measure up. Now that the holidays have brought them together again, the connection between them is almost palpable and hard to ignore. Can she keep hiding her true feelings for him?
“Our eyes met again and it was so hard to look away. His eyes darkened and his mouth softened and I saw the affection on his face. Affection was all I’d ever get from him.”
Even though this is hockey series, I really liked that this holiday novella revolves around family. A loveable, wacky and unconventional family around which we can jump in and get to know Jenna and Andrew. Two very charming characters whose love was bursting at the seams to blossom.
“I felt a magnetic force pulling me toward her. Had. To. Resist. Must not grab her and ravish her on the kitchen counter.”
Andrew was briefly introduced in Major Misconduct but we only got minor details about him. I really enjoyed getting to know him. I felt so much for all his loss and how that impacted his life in general but mostly his relationship with Jenna. He’s this incredibly successful, sexy but totally down to earth, responsible, caring man who just wants to have a family to belong to. I cheered and swooned over his take charge attitude when he finally decided to get what he wanted.
Jenna was fun, independent and incredibly brave never denying loving Andrew but also trying to live her life knowing in her mind they could never be. That didn’t stop her from skating with him, sitting on his lap while he was dressed as Santa or thinking dirty thoughts while they played Dirty Minds with the family which made for really fun moments during the read.
I really liked how Jamieson wrote Jenna and Andrew’s relationship, which could have felt rushed but didn’t because of all the history they shared and the strong connection they had. It felt natural and right.
Off Limits is standalone novella #1.5 in the Aces Hockey series by Kelly Jamieson. A fast read, full of longing and smexyness with a cheerful white Christmas backdrop. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.
Rating 3.5 stars
Amazon US -> http://amzn.to/1FwNLh2
* I was given an ARC of this book for an honest review from NetFalley. The excerpts are from that copy. *