FicCentral received a free copy of this book from Tasty Book Tours.
Series: The Kelly Brothers #2
January 28, 2014
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance (Adult)
Hockey star Ben Kelly has retreated to his mountain cabin in the ski town of Cascade, BC, to recuperate from a season-ending knee injury and contemplate his future in the NHL. He never expects to run into the one woman who got away. Nine years may have passed, but nothing has dulled the explosive chemistry between them. Now he wants more than just one night.
Hailey Eriksson had Olympic-sized dreams until an accidental pregnancy from a one-night stand halted her ambitions. Her life was shattered when her son died. Nothing will keep her from fulfilling her promise to him to make the Olympic team, especially not the charming Ben Kelly. Unfortunately, he’s out of sweep her off her feet this time, and she finds him harder and harder to resist with each passionate kiss. But when he learns about the child he never knew, will their rekindled romance be on thin ice?
Ben Kelly has never forgotten the woman he spent one night with before he was famous. Sure, her blue hair was pretty unforgettable, but so was everything else about her. Unfortunately, he can’t go back in time and ask for her phone number before falling asleep, before waking up and finding her gone. But when he spots her playing hockey in Cascade, he’s hell bent on getting a second chance. If only she didn’t hate him on sight.
Hailey Eriksson hasn’t forgotten about Ben, either, but not just because the had one amazing night together. Despite using protection, she had returned home pregnant, and though she’d tried to reach out to him over the years, her letters had gotten her nowhere. Not even when she wrote to tell him their son was dying. And now he’s here, a year too late to meet the boy who changed her life but just in time to turn everything upside down.
There were a few places in the story where things wrapped up just a little too easily. I mean, I’m glad there wasn’t prolonged angst — it wouldn’t have fit with the overall mood. But even though I know it’s fiction, I expected the conflict to be more… well, more of a conflict than an almost instant resolution.
Take the moment Ben found out about his late son, or rather what prevented him from ever knowing about Zach. Surely anger would have been an appropriate reaction. Instead, there was just a strange resignation. He was more upset when he realized the truth about Zach than when he faced the true reason he’d been left in the dark for so long. And at the end, when everything was finally worked out… Is a heartfelt apology really all it takes to resolve emotions to the point that happily ever after is just guaranteed? I’m not so sure.
Obviously this book is quite different than its predecessor, and the early-on revelation that Ben had a son he’d never get to know added a heavy layer to things, but where this sort of thing would normally have made me hesitant to finish the book, instead I found myself trying to read the whole damned thing before going to bed — waaaaaay past when I should have called it a night.
Hailey’s situation is heartbreaking, but she’s still a strong, likeable character. She could have gone off the depression deep end, or she could have become cold and withdrawn. Instead, even though she’s obviously still grieving, her life doesn’t revolve around mourning. It’s more about living, about pursuing her dreams, just like she promised her son she would do. It was this characterization that really made the book.
Likewise, Ben is easy to love. He’s confident and determined when it comes to Hailey, and even though there were plenty of opportunities for him to react with frustration or anger well before the truth about his son was revealed, he proved himself to be a decent, stand-up guy that I couldn’t help but immediately love.
Breakaway Hearts is a surprisingly sweet romance in the aftermath of terrible luck and tragedy, and yet it’s a quick, fairly light read. Even more impressive is that every book so far in this series is completely different from the next, with fresh characters, new conflicts, and no sign of recycled plot twists. Good thing there are so many Kelly brothers, since it means there will be lots more wonderful romance to come!