UK Publication date: 7 June 2016. 272 pages.
Shut Out is the first in a new series of Bayard Hockey books by Kelly Jamieson. Unlike Kelly’s previous Hockey books this story is set pre-NHL at a College Hockey team.
Following a serious incident at his previous club Jacob Flass has to defer his entry in the NHL Draft and finds himself enrolling as a sophomore at Bayard College. He knows that he needs to knuckle down to his studies to keep his grade average up and after the previous year there can be blemish on his character otherwise his NHL dream will be in tatters.
Skylar Lynwood has had a few setbacks herself. The previous year her childhood friend Brendan killed himself and the stress of dealing with that meant that Skylar nearly flunked her classes. Desperate to keep her parents happy and to emulate her big sister she is on a pre-med programme. A course that she doesn’t enjoy and is struggling to keep up with but will pursue because she is afraid of letting people down.
When Jacob’s world collides with Skylar’s sparks fly but neither one of them has the time or energy to invest in a relationship. When Jacob decides that he needs a “fake girlfriend” to help keep the puck bunnies at bay it sounds like the best of both worlds for both of them. Unfortunately things are never that straightforward!
This is a really interesting take on the standard college romance novels out there on a number of levels. The consent programme and all that entails is quite thought provoking and the subject of rape does run throughout the book in various formats.
Some people may find that subject matter a little difficult to digest although it is dealt with very sensitively. As always with Kelly’s novels the action does get a bit hot and steamy and the book is aimed at a more mature Young Adult audience.
Supplied by Net Galley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.