Genres: Adult, Contemporary Romance, Sports Romance, Hockey Romance
Also by this author: Top Secret, , Him (Him, #1), Hotter Than Ever
Series: WAGS #2
Publisher: Rennie Road Books
Source: My shelves
Can you fall in love with someone you've never even met?
Hailey Taylor Emery has a hunch that her favorite client at Fetch--an anonymous virtual assistant service--is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson.
Although it's against the rules for her to check his file, she's 95% sure she spends at least part of each day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need. Still nursing a wounded heart thanks to her recent breakup, Hailey is perfectly content with some harmless online flirting...until she has to meet her client. Face to face. Cue: utter panic.
Matt Eriksson is no stranger to heartbreak. He's still not over the destruction of his marriage, and it sucks to be the only guy on the team who knows the truth--that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. He barely sees his kids, and dealing with his ex makes him feel insane. The only person in his life who seems to understand is someone who won't show her pretty face.
But it's nothing that a pair of fourth-row hockey seats can't fix. Hailey can't resist the offer. Matt can't resist Hailey. Good thing he doesn't have to. Fire up the kiss cam!
Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries.
I read Stay as a reread this month! After discussing this book on Instagram, I wanted this cuteness back in my life. I picked it up originally in the fall of 2019 at the recommendation of Under the Covers Book Blog! This year, one of my goals is to read as many of Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s books as possible – the ones they write as a duo, and the ones they write independently. They’re incredible, and I love their dynamic, immersive writing style!
Stay follows Hailey Taylor Emery (HTE) who owns Fetch, a personal assistant/gopher service. Through the app, clients can order things to be done for them (appointments, reservations), things delivered (groceries, hard-to-find objects), or any number of random requests (like furnishing apartments). HTE handles the account of someone known only by his username Sniper87, who she theorizes is the famous Toronto Hockey player Matt Eriksson (and her celebrity crush, as a huge Toronto fan!). As the owner, she could look in the company files, but what’s the fun in that? Of course, she’s absolutely correct, it’s him!
Thus begins a slow-burn-ish romance of steamy DMs and his sneaky moves to meet in person. Epistolary romance is one of my favorite tropes, so it’s no surprise that this electronic crush story captured my heart. It can definitely be read as a standalone (like I’ve done now twice), but I am intrigued by the cameos we had of the book #1 couple and the other hockey players and their wives/girlfriends, so I definitely need to go read the first book, now! There’s also a fun cameo of Wes and Jamie from Him! It’s not required that you read that one first, but I certainly do recommend that book, too :)
“Drink this. It’s medicinal. Scares off the dementors.”
“I thought that was chocolate,” I say, taking a glass.
“Pffft,” Estrella replies, handing one to Katie. “You can’t tell me those grownup witches and wizards weren’t hitting the hard stuff after a rough day with Voldemort.”
The main character, Hailey (or “Hottie” as Matt calls her, as he first knew her by her initials HTE), was tough when it comes to her business, but easily skittish and shy in a relationship. Before she got divorced, she was married to her best friend. They’d been friends since they were six and just morphed into best friends, to lovers, to spouses. For all intents and purposes, she’d never been on a date or had to ask a guy out or do any of that guesswork. It was fun to watch her figure it out with Matt!
And Matt handled it like a champ. When she got nervous, he’d whip out his phone and text her: “Hi honey. Are you okay over there?” And soon they’re giggling over their text messages and relaxed, with the sexual tension ramping up. Finally: “I’m right here, honey. Come get me.” What I also liked about this book was that it wasn’t just Matt&Hailey – which is a pet peeve of mine, when we don’t get to see the characters outside their relationship. But there were plenty of scenes of Hailey at the office (MmmHmm, Porno guy had some fun and giggle-worthy requests to keep me entertained 😉) and Matt with his two little girls.
It has a bit of an intense cover that doesn’t exactly match the tone of the book (which shocked me a bit after I finished the book, because I’d read it on Kindle it hadn’t really registered), but I love the fact that Rufus (Matt’s adorable dog) is on the cover with him! Honestly, this book is super sweet, light, funny, low-drama, flirty and exactly what I was looking for :) You know what they say… when Sarina and Elle get together… magic happens ✨ (Books by Sarina Bowen | Books by Elle Kennedy)
Other books by the duo
Other Books by Elle Kennedy, or Sarina Bowen
Epistolary Romances you may also enjoy…
Have you read a Sarina Bowen and/or Elle Kennedy book? Do you typically enjoy Sports or Hockey romances? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear from you!