Review: Head Coach by Lia Riley

May Contain Spoilers

Head Coach is a quick, fun read about a hockey coach and a sports journalist. Neve has been covering the Hellions hockey team, and she is the bane of Tor’s existence. The head coach of the team doesn’t like distractions, and Neve has managed to constantly get under his skin. With his team struggling after one of the retirement of one of his key players and the threat of a team lockout when union negations take a turn for the worst,  he isn’t in a particularly pleasant mood when dealing with the press. When Neve and Tor are caught in a compromising situation, he tries to defuse the situation by letting her sports journalist peers know that he’s rather get naked with a penguin than Neve. Ouch! Not sure that I would be forgiving after a crack like that, and Neve isn’t too sure she can ever forgive him either.

The two are forced together again when Neve’s sister and her boyfriend, Jed, formerly of the Hellions, invite them to a night out at a local bar. Neve and Tor make a bet, Neve loses, and before she knows it, she’s on her way to a wedding as Tor’s plus one. While the plot was pretty flimsy, the execution was fun and done with a lot of humor. Neve has to deal with a sexist boss who wants a scoop on Tor, as well as Tor’s hostile daughter. Tor has to deal with fallout from misbehaving players, as well as his own of control attraction to Neve.

I’m glad I picked this up. Lia Riley’s voice felt fresh, and I liked Head Coach enough that I picked up Mr. Hockey during an Amazon sale (I love the weeks leading up to Christmas – so many good deals on eBooks!). While it’s not the first in the series, I had no trouble following along with the plot.  If you are in the mood for a light, funny read with smexy times, don’t hesitate to pick this up.

Grade: 3.75 stars

Review copy provided by publisher

About the book:

Neve Angel’s life is all work and no play, but she wouldn’t have it any other way. One of Denver’s top sports reporters, she’s fought hard to make it in a male-dominated world, and she won’t back down from a fight with anyone–not even the Hellions’ gruff head coach, Tor Gunnar. Her hostile relationship with the icy Scandinavian is the stuff of local legend.
Tor Gunnar hates dealing with the media; at best, they are a nuisance and at worst, a distraction. And no one distracts him more than the scrappy, sexy reporter who gets him hot under the collar. When he wins a not-so-friendly bet with Neve, he decides it’s high time they either kiss or kill each other, and invites her as a date to an out-of-town wedding.
But what happens when enemies become lovers? Will they be able to smother their sizzling attraction, or is it time to start playing for keeps?