Review: On the Surface, by Kate Willoughby



Part of a series? Yes, but the next installment will focus on different characters.

Cliffhanger? No.

Category: Adult.

Genre: Contemporary Romance (Hockey).

Warning: Sex scenes.

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages: 272


NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.


Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.


Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can’t get her to see beyond what’s on the surface, they’ll never last longer than a single season…




I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

I love reading Contemporary Romance novels with a hockey player as the lead male character, but sometimes I’m disappointed. Not this time around though.

This story is told from Erin and Tim’s POV and it was easy to really see the difference between both POV without it being too much or caricatural. They both have their own voice and I could “see” it.

Also, being able to be in both of their head gave another appeal to this story that would have been too common and even boring otherwise. Here, because we have an access to Tim’s head we could understand his hang-ups, mostly in the second half of the book.

Erin is a likable female lead character. She’s not whiny, she’s strong and kind and sweet. She’s the every day kind of girl and that’s what I like about her. Though, I think the author could have told us more about her family background instead of focusing solely on her sister. What about her parents? Past relationships?

Tim is so very sweet! He’s got just enough of a ”caveman’’ behavior to make me swoon. The author made me immediately love him. If I had been in Erin’s shoes I wouldn’t have been able to resist him!

The writing style itself is flawless. The dialogues are full of life, they’re perfectly blending in the story and the descriptive parts. I was hooked before I was finished with the first chapter.

The secondary characters are really interesting and I can’t wait to read the next installments with them. I already miss the Barracudas!

Even though this story is mostly sweet and swoon worthy with a few hot scenes to spice things up, the second half of the book broke my heart a few times. I don’t want to give anything away, but it worked perfectly on me. I felt even more strongly for Tim even though I think the author could have delved into this sooner and even deeper to give another layer of angst.

I spent a wonderful time reading this book and I immediately checked goodreads to see when I could read the next installment. Not before August! At least, it’s sooner than I was expecting. I look forward to it.

Who read this book? What do you think about Tim Hollander? I think he’s my new book boyfriend of the week!



4 to 4.5



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