Thursday, June 20, 2019

Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn - Blog Tour & Review

Parental Guidance
by Avery Flynn
Series: Ice Knights, #1
Genre: Romantic Comedy
Release Date: June 17, 2019

All I want is to play hockey on the Ice Knights, instead, I’m in a viral video for all the wrong reasons and my mom—yes, my mom—has taken over my dating apps. Then, when I think it can’t get any worse, the fates deliver Zara Ambrose, a five-feet-nothing redhead with more freckles than inches and who’d rather be anywhere other than on a date with me.

Now a bet with her friends and my PR nightmare have us both stuck in this go-on-five-dates-with-the-same-person hell situation. But if we band together, we can get the whole thing over with and go on with our lives. It’s perfect! No feelings. No future. No fuc— *ahem* fun. No naked fun.

What could go wrong? Nothing—as long as I remember the rules. Don’t notice the way she looks in a dress. Don’t react when she does that little shivery sigh thing whenever we touch. Don’t think about the fact that she’s never had a toe-curling orgasm that wasn’t self-delivered and just how badly I want to change that.

Five dates—that’s it—and then we go our separate ways. At least, that was the plan.

“So why are you on Bramble?”

She took another small bite from her roll before answering. “My best friend is blackmailing me, and my dad wants a SAG card.”

That was definitely not the answer he’d been expecting. “And I thought my reasoning was twisted.”

“I’m sure it all makes sense in Gemma’s head,” Zara said. “She thinks I work too much and need to loosen up. She’ll let me be her plus-one to go meet a collector if I do the Bramble five dates thing. And my dad? Well, let’s just say he’s never met an unlikely plan he didn’t think he could pull off.”

All the possibilities this created sped around inside his head until one broke free like a perfect fast break late in the third period when the game was on the line. All he had to do was put the biscuit in the net.

“So neither of us really wants to be here,” he said. “We’re each other’s solution to getting back to our regular lives as soon as possible.”

It was fucking perfect. Petrov’s job with the team would be safe for another season—well, as safe as he could be, considering he didn’t have a no-trade deal in his contract.

Zara, though, didn’t seem to be seeing the genius of it, going by the suspicious look she gave him as she took another bite of her roll. Instead of giving him a straight-up no, though, she started eating. The words—okay, begging pleas—were bubbling up inside him but for once, he kept it in lockdown. He wasn’t about to rush this play, no matter how it had every nerve in his body jinglejangling.

Finally, she used her napkin to wipe the corners of her mouth, straightened her spine, and looked him dead in the eye. “We’d have to have ground rules.”

“Sure. Whatever you want.” Ice Knights season tickets? He’d make that happen. A photo op with her dad’s favorite player? Done. Whatever it took, he’d do it.

“This isn’t a real or fake relationship, it’s a temporary alliance,” she said without an ounce of humor in her tone. “I’m not pretending to be your girlfriend or the random chick you’re banging this week.”

“Agreed.” All of that sounded like it would cause more problems than it would solve anyway. “I’ve got a condition. Dressing up is not required. I’m not putting on a suit.”

The best thing about the off-season was not having to strangle himself with a tie multiple times a week just for a bus ride to the rink or a plane trip to another city. Coach Peppers was old-fashioned about doing things the original way.

“Fine.” Zara held up three fingers. “The third stipulation is that I’m not putting on a good attitude. If it’s been a crappy day, I don’t have to pretend to be a manic pixie dream girl.”

He snorted. “No one who’s met you would believe that. You’re a little salty.” That was putting it mildly based on her attitude when she showed up for their date.

“I have my reasons.” She added another finger, so she was holding up four. “Oh, and no making love. Sex?” She paused and looked him over quickly. “Maybe. Emotional, heartfelt, staring-each-other-in-the-eyes making love? Not gonna happen. No offense, but you’re not my type.”

What the hell? Not her type? He was a professional athlete making millions. He’d been led to believe he was everyone’s type.

“Not a problem, since I don’t think we could see eye to eye while having sex unless you magically grew a foot,” he said.

“You’re not into being creative?” Zara rolled her eyes. “I guess that’s expected for someone who has probably had women throwing themselves at him for years. You haven’t ever had to work for it.”

Caleb had no idea what to say to that. He’d been punched square in the face by the most feared goons in hockey and it hadn’t knocked him as senseless as this little five-foot-nothing of a snarky woman had done with a few choice words.

“I have one more rule,” she said, reaching for another roll. “Five dates and we’re done. Period. Do we have a deal?”

Avery Flynn has once again delivered a romance that brings the humor and the heart! Fake relationships are always fun, and Caleb and Zara’s story was not only a fun read, but also delivered an emotional punch as these two had to navigate through some past issues to find their way to their future together.

 “Five dates and we’re done. Period” – what a great plan for both Zara and Caleb . Without the pressure of having to date, these two were able to let their guards down a bit and I loved how that led to some fun banter and allowed them to get to know each other a bit deeper than the “being on your best behavior since we’re just dating” would have let them. And I think without starting off the way they did they never would have been able to address the baggage that they had to deal with. I loved how they were so compatible in so many ways, and it was easy to see Caleb was the one for Zara when Anchovy clearly approved of him!
“The goal is to get across first?” Zara asked as she exchanged her sandals for a pair of climbing shoes provided by their group leader, Charlotte, who spent the last five minutes explaining the equipment to everyone in a lecture that included tips about creating harmony with the universe and achieving balance.

“No, it’s to learn to communicate and work together,” Charlotte said, handing Zara a safety harness. “This is one of those activities that help build connections between couples. You are a team.”

Yeah. That sounded like some BS right there. “Is there a course record?” Caleb asked.

Charlotte shook her head, her serene earth-mama expression not shifting in the slightest. “The Adventure Place is about the journey, not the stats.”

“And no one knows the course record?” Zara asked.

After letting out a sigh that sounded like a whispered please for serenity now, Charlotte answered, “Six minutes and twenty-eight seconds. Now if we can move the discussion back to setting your personal intentions for the moment.”

Their guide continued on, but Caleb wasn’t listening anymore. He and Zara exchanged a look of understanding as they pulled on their harnesses and tightened the straps around their waists while the rest of the Bramble daters seemed to be hanging on Charlotte’s every word.

Under the guise of adjusting his climbing shoes, Caleb squatted down beside Zara and kept his voice low. “We’re gonna go balls out on this thing, right?”

“Hell yes.”
Zara’s dad and Caleb’s mom added the whole “Parental Guidance’ to the story and brought both humor and heart. As over the top that these two could be, it was clear that they wanted the best for their children, and I was so happy to we got to see those relationships strengthen and mend. Caleb’s teammates showed why Caleb thought of his team as family, keeping Caleb’s head in the game and giving him relationship advice, or at least trying to in that guy way that is always awkward and uncomfortable and often leads to a bit of friendly violence. And we all need a friend like Gemma – someone to serve us some shots of tequila and get us to step outside of our comfort zone and remind us we need to live, well, maybe minus the tequila!

I had a lot of fun with this one and enjoyed Caleb and Zara’s story. Filled with Avery Flynn’s trademark sass, snark, humor, heart, and heat, this is one for your TBR!

I voluntarily reviewed a copy of this book I received from the publisher from NetGalley.

USA Today bestselling romance author Avery Flynn has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip.

She fell in love with romance while reading Johanna Lindsey’s Mallory books. It wasn’t long before Avery had read through all the romance offerings at her local library. Needing a romance fix, she turned to Harlequin’s four books a month home delivery service to ease the withdrawal symptoms. That worked for a short time, but it wasn’t long before the local book stores’ staffs knew her by name.

Avery was a reader before she was a writer and hopes to always be both. She loves to write about smartass alpha heroes who are as good with a quip as they are with their *ahem* other God-given talents. Her heroines are feisty, fierce and fantastic. Brainy and brave, these ladies know how to stand on their own two feet and knock the bad guys off theirs.

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