"A fantastically fun, HOT love story." - Kendall Ryan, New York Times bestselling author
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...
Each book in the Ice Knights series is STANDALONE:
* Parental Guidance
* Daddy Dilemma
About the Author
When Avery Flynn isn't writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life.
Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She’d love to hear from you.
Read an Excerpt
Just when Caleb Stuckey thought it couldn't get any worse, his mom walked in.
Now, some people might think getting an ass-chewing by the Ice Knights' coach, Winston Peppers, and the team's oh-my-God-our- players-fucked-up-again public relations guru, Lucy Kavanagh, was about as bad as it could get. They would be wrong. Having his mom join the ass-chewing party in Lucy's office on the fifty-sixth floor of Harbor City's Carlyle Building brought the entire shitstorm to a whole new level of misery.
Britany Stuckey — AKA Brit the Ballbuster, according to some of her players — wasn't just a state champion high school boys' hockey coach and one of the handful of female boys' hockey coaches in the country, she was also the Stuckey family titleholder for taking absolutely, 100 percent no shit from anyone. The anyone, in this case, being him. And the fact that he was a grown man and a professional hockey player with the Harbor City Ice Knights meant nothing. He would, as she often told him, forever be her little Caleb Cutie — a nickname that proved a mother's love blinded her to her offspring's physical flaws — and she would probably treat him as such until the day one of them got hit by the number six crosstown bus.
He turned to Peppers, a man he thought would have his back despite the video-recorded smack talk that had been blown all out of proportion. "You called my mom?"
"Yes," Peppers asserted, not bothering to slow his pace as he marched from one end of the room to the other as if he were still in the locker room giving his team a what-for in between periods. "Because she is a crucial part of this rehabilitation plan to fix your fuckup."
Caleb slouched down in his chair. "It wasn't that bad."
"Really?" Lucy asked from her seat behind her desk, snark dripping from her voice. "Do I need to play the video again? I can, because every media site on the face of the earth has posted it. Bad Lip Reading even did a mockery of it."
Yeah, and he would have laughed his ass off at anyone else who'd been caught running his mouth like an idiot. Objectively, it was funny. It wasn't every day almost the entire first line of a hockey team got caught bitching and moaning about the team, their playing, the coaches, and the quality of puck bunnies they banged. They'd sounded like spoiled assholes, which he totally admitted wasn't 100 percent not the truth.
Fuck, the next words out of his mouth were going to hurt.
"Okay," he said, avoiding eye contact with every person in the room. "It was dumb. I should have shut it down sooner."
"Dumb?" his mom said, how-in-the-hell-did-I-birth-this-idiot thick in her voice. "You were the most senior player in that car, and you let the younger guys trash their own team!"
He flinched. Yeah, that was not a good look. Still ... "I'd had some beers, and they were letting off steam. And it should be noted that I did the right thing by taking an Uber instead of driving."
His mom rolled her eyes. "That's called doing the bare minimum to adult properly."
The room went silent except for the mental buzz saw revving in his ears so realistically that he could smell the diesel fumes. He clenched his teeth hard enough that his jaw ached so he wouldn't snap off a nasty retort at his mom. That wouldn't get him anywhere. She hadn't gotten where she was because she backed down from fights. He'd inherited the trait, but he'd learned that sometimes the best way to win was to appear like he wasn't fighting at all. Guerrilla warfare. Psyops. Subterfuge. When it came to winning a war with his mom, those were the only ways to go.
Never mind that he was an adult with a mortgage, a retirement plan, and a degree in sports management. Sure, he'd had a lot of help from a tutor to earn his degree, but he'd still use it to open his own company when it came time to hang up his skates for good. To his mom, though, he would forever and always be Caleb Cutie who'd fucked up again. And again. And again.
It was fucking exhausting trying to meet Britany Stuckey's expectations.
Lucy, who'd been uncharacteristically watching the goings-on with her mouth shut, broke the tense silence. "Here's what it comes down to, Stuckey. You embarrassed yourself by not stopping the smack talk. You embarrassed the team. You embarrassed Harbor City. This has to be fixed. You are going to have to change the narrative and give everyone something else to talk about besides what dickheads you all are — that is, if you want to keep playing for the Ice Knights." She gave him a second to digest that bit of yes, it's been confirmed you're an asshole, and if you don't fix it, you'll be playing in the reindeer league at the North Pole. "And that's why you're going to give the media a story they won't be able to stop talking about. You're going to let your mom be in charge of your dating profile on Bramble, and you're going to tell her about each date so she can film video segments that the company will use in ads that will begin running immediately."
He couldn't breathe, and a throbbing started in his head right behind his eyes. "That's not gonna happen. I didn't even say anything about the puck bunnies. Why do I have to be part of a date PR nightmare?"
"Because you didn't tell your teammates to shut the fuck up, either," Lucy said. "And because you were the senior player in the car, and you have to set the example or pay the price, whichever the public decides needs to be done for the team as a whole to move past this."
She wasn't wrong. His silence had spoken just as loudly as if he'd made any of the dumb-ass comments.
Still, there was nothing in the world they could say that would make him give in to this bizarre plan. Him? The center of all that attention? No fucking way. Even the idea of it had his stomach doing a triple spin.
"If you don't," Lucy said, "they're going to trade Petrov to reshuffle the first line. This isn't just the possibility of you earning a spot as the Ice Knights' assistant captain on the line."
One of those silences fell that was so heavy, there was no way the news Lucy had just delivered wasn't true. Reshuffle? It had taken two seasons for the team to really gel with their current lineup. Sure, Petrov was coming back from injury, but he would only miss a few of the new season games, and they needed him. He wasn't a player who scored a lot, but he was the glue for the first line. Without him? The team would be fucked. Damn, why was the front office such a bag of dicks?
"They can trade him, and for a guy just off his peak and a couple of early-round draft picks," Peppers said. "I'm not for it, but it's the GM's call."
Guilt squeezing his throat and expanding his lungs, Caleb turned back to Lucy. The look on her face wasn't recrimination so much as an ice- cold warning that actions have consequences — and not just on the person doing the acting.
Okay, so Caleb had heard the rumblings about Petrov — but that had all been before they'd turned the last season around. Then he'd gotten injured. Training camp was a week away, then it was preseason games and the new season. Petrov was at the gym rehabbing every day to get back for it.
The Ice Knights were going to be unstoppable this season. And people would realize that if the Harbor City sports media would focus on the team instead of his viral fuckup. He sank down in his chair as the old familiar you're-failing-again gut punch landed with a solid thud against his solar plexus.
Way to go, fuckhead.
Lucy let out a sigh and shook her head. "Here's what we need to know. Do you want to make the perception problem that you're a team full of privileged rich whiners go away so you can earn the A and the front office will stop eyeballing your boy Petrov?"
Caleb pinched the bridge of his nose, hoping it would stave off the ache making him think his head might explode, and nodded. "Yes."
"Then this publicity stunt is gonna happen," Lucy said. "Lucky for you, Bramble is totally on board with using you to promote their dating app. As the founder told me yesterday, if they can make you datable, then anyone is game."
"So here's how it works," she continued. "Bramble requires a five- date commitment so that everyone really gets a chance to know each other. However, each party must reconfirm their interest on the app after each date. Bramble will set up the first two dates, and after that it's up to you, your date, and your parents."
His headache was only getting worse. "Five dates?"
"Stop whining, Caleb." His mom gave him the look. "What's that in comparison to being able to reach your goal?"
"Got it," he muttered. "Five dates."
"After each date, you'll do a little here's-how-the-date-went chat with your mom. Bramble will interview her and your date's mom. That footage will be used in their latest ad campaign to show that anyone can meet their match using the app."
Oh God. Would this nightmare ever end?
"And I already filled out most of your profile for you," his mom added, handing him an iPad with the Bramble app open on it.
God's answer? No. It's only gonna get worse. Enjoy your time visiting hell, sucker.
He didn't want to, but he looked down at the screen anyway. Just like they had for as long as he could remember, the words bunched together on the screen, overlapping and squashing in on one another as the letters jumped. It wasn't a quick scan — but then again, it never was when it came to reading — but he managed to get through what was on the screen.
The backs of his eyeballs were aching by the time he got done, and the anxious fear that someone would realize how slow he was going twisted his gut as per usual. A quick glance around Lucy's office confirmed that either it hadn't taken him as long to read as his clammy palms testified or the others were working hard to pretend they hadn't noticed. The uncertainty had him chewing the inside of his cheek, but it was better than the mocking looks and full-on taunts of "hey, stupid" he'd gotten in school. He'd take a puck to the face before living through that ever again.
"Do we have to add a picture?" he asked.
"Nope." Lucy shook her head. "They don't have photos in an effort to eliminate unconscious bias in dating, on the theory that users will be more open to the person on the inside that way."
And what was inside him? A fuckup dating a chick as a publicity stunt. Yeah, he was a real catch. The whole thing just kept getting more and more messed up.
"So how do they match people?" he asked.
The grin on his mom's face should have warned him of a fresh, new level of hell. "So glad you asked."
She reached over and clicked on a question mark icon. A new tab opened filled with — he scrolled down and down and down — at least a billion questions. Yeah. This was Brit the Ballbuster, not Mom right now. She knew his weakness and had been convinced since forever that all he needed was to push harder, and by some sort of miracle all the letters would stay in the right order when he looked at them.
Kill me now.
"You fill out those, the app will match you with a few possibilities," his mom said. "Then I'll pick out your new girl."
That buzz saw in his ears? It turned into mortar fire, deafeningly loud and almost certain to fuck up his world. He looked at Lucy and Coach Peppers, desperate for another option that wouldn't include him having to get the letters on the screen to stop moving the fuck around when they shouldn't or putting his mom in charge of his dating life. When Lucy and Coach met his gaze without blinking, he turned back to the woman way too happy to have her control-freak fingers all up in his life.
"Whoever you pick, I'm not going out with her past date five," he said. "This is a publicity stunt only. Nothing more."
"No one is saying you have to or that you should," Lucy said. "The point of those little exercises is to change the narrative and clean up your image. What is more wholesome than a boy's mother helping him pick out a date?"
Had he fallen into a parallel universe where it was the total opposite of reality? His mom in charge of his love life? "That's not wholesome. It's creepy and wrong."
"Well, unless you have a better plan to fix this disaster so you have a chance at a leadership position within the team and Petrov isn't sent packing," Peppers said from his spot across the room, "then you're stuck with it."
Having his balls dipped in battery acid sounded like a better idea to Caleb at the moment, but he had no real alternate plan to offer. This parental-guidance-type date looked like the best option.
His toes itched as badly as that time when he'd skipped using his shower shoes at hockey camp when he was in middle school, and his headache went from rumba-throb to death-metal hammering.
He turned to Lucy. "And you're behind this plan? Really?"
"You dating a woman your mom picked out is a story that will grab the media's attention away from that stupid viral video of you and your teammates being jackasses. This is a plan that will work — for everyone," Lucy said.
Translation: You are so screwed ... so very screwed.
He couldn't agree more.
* * *
Zara Ambrose was neck-deep in one-twelfth-size alligators, and all of them looked like shit. Okay, to someone who didn't spend their life devoted to the care and creation of miniatures, the alligators probably looked normal. Cute, even. To her, though, they were an abomination.
"I'm gonna have to toss them all and start again," she said, accepting the shot of sympathy tequila her bestie, Gemma MacNamara, handed her. "There's something wrong with their eyes. They just don't look right."
"No, there is something wrong with your work-life balance," Gemma said, tapping her paper Dixie cup against Zara's. "And it's time you do something about it."
It was the same line she'd been feeding Zara for the past two years — basically ever since her friend had met and fallen for the accountant next door. Yesterday, he'd proposed. Tonight, Gemma had shown up at Zara's apartment with a bottle of tequila and a smile that sparkled almost as much as the diamond on her left ring finger. They were holed up in Zara's miniatures studio, otherwise known as her loft apartment, supposedly celebrating Gemma's impending wedding. Too bad, with that last comment, this was starting to feel like a well-laid trap.
"What is this, the Gemma MacNamara version of an intervention?" she asked.
"Yes," Gemma said without hesitation.
She took a sniff of the liquid in her little paper cup, and her eyelashes nearly melted off. "Isn't Patrón the wrong thing to be serving at one of those?"
"Not for you." Gemma shot back her tequila like it was Dr Pepper and eyeballed Zara's shot. "Girl, you need to loosen up and stop working like your life depends on it."
Her tequila days were long gone — her dad always said she was the oldest twenty-eight-year-old he'd ever met — but that didn't mean a little revisiting of the old days wasn't warranted. Zara could let loose. She went out gambling. So what if it was bingo night with her grandma? She went out for girls' night dinners with Gemma. That still counted even if she was back home at eight so she could curl up with a book while her Great Dane, Anchovy, snuggled up next to her on the couch. Then there was ... Her mind went blank. She really couldn't think of anything else she did on a regular basis that didn't involve work. Fuck. She didn't want to have to admit that to Gemma — as if her bestie didn't already know. Bringing the cup up to her lips, she threw back the shot, the alcohol burning its way down her throat in the best possible way.
"Well, my life does depend on my ability to work hard if I want a roof over my head and food in the fridge."
"Okay, I'll give you that." Gemma nodded in agreement. "You're one of the best miniatures artisans in Harbor City. It's gonna happen for you. I know you're going to break out."
"I love you for thinking that, but you're the only one who does."
She poured another shot for both of them. "Then the rest are idiots."
They drank to that. Then they drank to true love — well, Gemma did. Zara drank to her good luck to never have that particular curse befall her. Then they drank to Gemma's brand-spanking-new engagement. Within the hour, they were giggling like they always had together.(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Parental Guidance"
Copyright © 2019 Avery Flynn.
Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 Star Review Parental Guidance (Ice Knights #1) by Avery Flynn Avery Flynn is a new author to me and I have no idea why that is. So when the opportunity to read and review book one in a new series came up, I jumped at the chance. Caleb Stuckey plays for the Ice Knights, it’s all he wants to do. He has been using a dating app but when a situation turns in to a PR nightmare he knows that he’s in trouble. When his mother takes over the app, she chooses Zara Ambrose for his next five dates. Zara has her own issues after betting with her friends, so after all what can go wrong, it’s only five dates? Zara is sassy and feisty and I loved her. The chemistry between Caleb and Zara sizzles. I loved the banter between them as they got to know each other and I freely admit to some laugh out loud moments which got me some strange looks on the train. The secondary characters were just as entertaining. This is a story of family and friendships as well as Zara’s awesome dog called Anchovy. I love stories about ice hockey and Parental Guidance was a great read; I cannot wait to read more in the Ice Knights series.
Wow ....what a great start to the new Ice Knights Series, if this book is anything to go by this author will certainly have a hit series on her hands because this is Avery Flynn at her best !! Caleb only wants to play hockey but when he finds himself in a PR nightmare he does what is needed and that’s let his mum set him up with the perfect date through a dating site, well what harm will it do to go on 5 dates ....... Zara is a five foot nothing redhead with more freckles than inches and who really doesn’t want to be on a date with Caleb but a bet with her friends means she needs to get through these 5 dates so they band together and decide let’s get through this with no feelings, no future and definitely no naked fun......there has to be rules but we all know rules are meant to be broken!!!! If you want a book that will have you laughing out loud and leave you giggling and smiling like a Cheshire Cat then this is the book for you. The chemistry is sizzling and the banter is witty and flows naturally and once you add in the secondary characters you get the perfect hockey rom com. Can’t wait to get the rest of the Ice Knights stories.
Caleb is trying and doing anything to change his public image. He didn't intervene when others were running down women they had been with and his mom, along with the PR woman from the team, decides that he is going to complete five dates with a woman of his mom's choosing. After each date, he will have to have and interview to discuss how the date went. Zara is a young woman who works so much that she has no life. When her friend talks her into doing the dating app as well, she decides to be brutally honest in her intro. After all, there is no need to sugarcoat anything when it is only five dates. Once they meet up the first time, they set rules to follow, supposedly to protect themselves from getting hurt. Over the course of the dates, they end up seeing each other more often. He finds loop holes so he can see her more. They both like spending time together and realize that they are breaking their own rules, but can't seem to stay away from each other. They both share deeply held secrets with the other, but when he does something to be nice, it backfires and she pushes him away. This is a great story about learning to trust someone, even when you don't think there is a future with them. The way they both realize their feelings and move to make things right after their argument were wonderful. He realized his feelings earlier, but didn't want to push her too hard. The discussion he had with his mom about Zara and his dyslexia; as well as, her discussion with her dad about her childhood were long over due and emotional. I do believe that this should be the second book in the series because Tomboy was about one of the the hockey team members as well. The only other gripe is the fact that he never came clean with his teammates about his dyslexia. I think there could have been a wonderful way for him to acknowledge it to everyone and realize that he could get help and help others. I loved this book and can't wait to read more about the members of this hockey team. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest, voluntary review.
Zara and Caleb have been set up to go on five dates by their parents and who knew you could even do that. Caleb needs an image overhaul to get back in the good graces of the hockey community and his mom is the key to it all. She gets to pick the woman he goes on five dates with unknowingly she picks someone that just might be his perfect match. Zara is anti-love and only wants to focus on her goal of being a successful artist of miniatures. Zara’s best friend throws a challenge to use a dating app that lets her father set up her on a date. If she goes on these dates her friend will let her get her work in front of a famous collector. Zara and Caleb are total opposites in every way and after their first interaction with one another you will want to keep reading. Their dates and chemistry will keep you guessing and wondering what will happen next. As they go on the five dates, they quickly put aside the rules they made at the beginning. It’s like a tug o war with their feelings and Zara keeping her feelings close to the vest. Caleb is all in and will fight for her till the end if she will just open her heart to him. Their story is a romantic comedy that will sometimes make you laugh but then the other times the dialogue it a little too much. I love Caleb because he is like a soft teddy bear and sexy hockey player. He is all in the first time he meets Zara and it didn’t matter what he agreed to in the beginning he wanted her. Zara was stubborn and afraid to let people get close to her. I didn’t like her that much and I so wanted to but her pride would get in the way her relationships. Both characters had past that shaped them and they had good background to give them a great sense of depth. There is good writing in this story and the romance will keep you on your toes.
Author Avery Flynn is one of my 3 go to RomCom authors and this book has me laughing so hard I can not lie I was ready to change my.... What would you do if you were a die hard hockey player with a PR issues and your mommy was picking your dates? What if the dates where being picked by a half crazy dad, well one who is always coming up with some kind of gimmick or get rich quick thing for his family? But thing time it's all for his SAGA card. Yep he wants to be an actor. So his daughter Zara is going along for the ride. Well, and a chance to meet one of the upmost collectors of miniatures. Caleb & Zara are a wonderful mix of hard and soft, funny and zing. I love that she seems to fit his roughness with her soft and while she is small she is mighty. This book is so full of laughter, puns and yes romance abounds because it is an Avery Flynn book after all. And we have our ICE Knights front and center as they are straightening out their little PR mess. I am so looking forward to the next book in this series.
I love the characters and the animals in these books. The romance is fun with a taste of heat. This book will not disappoint .
So stinkin' adorable! Parental Guidance *might* be my favorite Avery Flynn book yet--though it's pretty darn close to Tomboy (probably not a coincidence, since PG's Caleb and T's Zach are teammates, so...), which has me practically salivating waiting for the next Ice Knights book...write quickly, Ms. Flynn! ;) On the surface, the premise of two I-don't-want-to-date-ers being forced/conned/convinced to use a dating app for a set amount of time seems like a been-there, read-that kind of story. Ms. Flynn throws enough "new" in there to keep it interesting, though--and enough humor to keep me (snort) laughing--from the first page to the last. The parental guidance aspect was different (if kind of creepy) and the dates orchestrated by the app were really kind of neat. I loved Zara's dog Anchovy, and did I mention that Caleb's teammates cannot possibly have their own books fast enough to suit me? ;) That teaser for Cole's book made me want it right now... So yes, I enjoyed the heck out of this book. It was a lot of fun to read, and more than made up for some less-than books that have crossed my path lately. Plus, a hockey hero. You really can't go wrong with a hockey hero. Or a heroine with crazy red hair and freckles who creates tiny authors reading tiny books for a living. I mean really, what more can you want? Rating: 4 stars / A- I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Avery Flynn lights the lamp with PARENTAL GUIDANCE (Ice Knights #1). In this novel, Hockey defenseman Caleb Stuckey gets caught in a PR nightmare. To help the situation blow over, the team requires him to participate in promoting a new dating app where his mother, Britany, has control over selecting someone whom he must go on five dates with. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adult readers. PARENTAL GUIDANCE is a fun and entertaining story. Caleb’s Uber fiasco totally reminded me of the Ottawa Senators Uber incident in November 2018. I think it was great that Avery Flynn used this in her story. I thought the parental influence dating app was also an interesting spin. Both parents had fascinating quirks that added to the novel. I enjoyed the characters. Caleb is a good guy. I felt horrible about what he went through with his dyslexia. Zara Ambrose is a vibrant character. Her job was unique. I like that neither of the characters initially wanted to impress the other. I think they genuinely got to know each other that way. I like that they had fun on their dates and confided in each other. They had great chemistry. I love Zera’s dog, Anchovy. He was always doing something amusing. PARENTAL GUIDANCE was skillfully written. The plot was clever. The story was easy to read and hard to put down. The epilogue was a perfect ending to the book. PARENTAL GUIDANCE is a great foundation for the Ice Knights series. I am looking forward to Avery Flynn’s next book in the series. I recommend this book to people who enjoy humorous/sweet sports romances. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.
Parental Guidance is utterly adorable with an opposites attract vibe to the narrative. What would you do if your parents picked out a date for you and you had to stick to five dates in order to regain control of your life? This is the situation Zara and Caleb find themselves in, both having agreed to the scheme in order to move on from the situations they have found themselves in. In Zara’s case, it is to further her unusual career of miniatures artisan (who knew there was such a thing ♀️) while Caleb has to clean his image thanks to a viral video of puck bunny shaming where he did not participate but also failed to shut the conversation down. Both Zara and Caleb have emotional baggage stemming from their childhood which acts as a large weight they constantly carry with them into adulthood. These issues are the main reason they struggle with relationships and forming connections. I loved how they were able to open up to each other form the beginning, feeling truly comfortable enough to just be themselves, the good, the bad and the cramps, LOL I have to mention my favourite character has to be Anchovy, Zara’s Great Dane, he is such a character, I would have him in a heartbeat (and I’m a cat person). As Caleb and Zara navigate their way through the amazing dates that have been arranged for them, their connection and depth of feeling continues to grow, making them fall so smoothly that they don’t even notice until they are confronted with the possibility of their final date. All is not plain sailing however when plans go awry and tempers flare. Grand gestures and Cinderella-esque moments all add to the romance. Although, I liked the way in which the parents showed they were fallible but have always had their children’s best interests at heart, as much as the romance. It took me ages to work out the connection to the Harbour City Series which I have to say really frustrated me and then when it all came together made me feel like an idiot LOL
I really enjoyed the setup of this book, with Caleb and Zara's parents having responsibility for matching them on the dating app. The story started off a little slow for me, with a good bit of setup and the first couple dates them treating things like a business deal/agreement. Once they both warmed up to each other and their mutual interest began to grow, I liked watching Caleb and Zara try to delay the remainder of the 5 dates and sneak in extra time together. Cute story and entertaining. I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
This book had such a perfectly hilarious and adorable meet-cute. The banter, the situations, all of it were so much fun! I couldn't help but really fall in love with both main characters as well as the side characters that helped to make everything happen. Like I loved Zara's dad and his little commercials he wrote for different companies and schools, etc., whenever he would go on the interviews about Zara and Caleb's dates. I had a little trouble at times getting Caleb's mom, but I did like how she could tell that really he was interested in Zara. And I also liked that Caleb was pretty good at dealing with stuff with Zara because of his own family full of sisters. Technically this is the second book I've read or started to read by this author. I tried to listen to Butterface on audio, and I don't know if was the narrators or the way the author writes, but I had trouble keeping my attention with the audio. But I now know that I do like to actually read her books, and will continue to do so in the future!
A delightful read! Kicking off a new Ice Knights hockey series, Avery Flynn brings her signature spunk to life with a set of unlikely-to-hook up characters who are stuck going on dates through a dating app. The hockey action was a bit light, but the characters were fresh and lots of fun to watch get into one mess after another. Well developed characters, funny dialogue and lots of spice made this a really enjoyable read! When pro hockey player Caleb Stuckey finds himself in the middle of a PR nightmare, he has to suck it up and take one for the team in order to get himself out of it and back on track before the season starts again. Turns out Lucy the PR queen has cooked up a plan with none other than his mother to help him save face and make the fans not turn on him. How embarrassing is this going to be? His mommy is going to choose a date for him while controlling his dating app? C'mon! Zara Ambrose doesn't need a man. She's doing just fine in life on her own, and has no use for the things they bring ... or don't bring ... into her life. If only her Dad wasn't guilting her into a favor at the same time that her BFF decides it's in her best interest to blow off some steam with a date ... make that five dates ... with some hockey stud. Just what she needs!
Caleb and Zara didn’t want to date but both had their reasons for agreeing to go on 5 dates for dating app that lets your parents pick your date ! wow crazy right can you imagine! Well they make a plan and we all know what happens when you make a plan ..... everything goes the opposite of how you thought , between dates and interviews ( that they have to do after said dates ) and advice from friends and parents these two find away through the crazy , I promise you’ll enjoy the ride . I did !
have to say this was an incredibly fun entertaining story that made me laugh and tear up! A story with a definite difference! I just loved the premise of the storyline! A dating app that uses the guidance of your parents??? Strange??? Somewhat!! Does it work?? Well you have to read it for yourself to find out! This is a story that centers on Caleb and Zara! Yes there are rules, dates and a whole lot of fun conversations/banter! Zara is a woman with a strong will and tells it like it is, who had an interesting job and I especially loved her huge dog! What fun he was! Add Caleb, the hot hockey player into the mix, well you are definitely in for a treat! Then add his teammates into the mix as well and oh boy!! I just loved the comradery, the friendships, family and the sense that you should jump into something fun, you never know what you might miss out on! I literally cannot wait for more of this series as Im sure the author will write something equally amazing!
Tons of laugh out loud fun, wonderful snark, sass, and witty banter along with a good amount of sizzling sexy times. Yep I'm reading an Avery Flynn book and it's great! Caleb just wants to play hockey but trouble just seems to find him. He's dealing with a PR nightmare when his hurricane of a mom comes into town adding even more chaos to his life. Before he knows what hit him she has him signed up to an online dating app. Nothing can go wrong with this idea right???? Zara can't believe she agreed to this crazy dating plan but here she is so let's get this done. Five dates is all she needs. Surely she can handle five dates. There is no way hearts will get involved in that short amount of time. Yeah, right! For a fun entertaining read grab this one and get ready to laugh and swoon. I definitely recommend it.
Caleb Stuckey is a defenseman for the Harbor City Ice Knights professional hockey team. He is in a bit of trouble for a video that went viral where some of his younger teammates were talking garbage about puck bunnies, among other things. He was the most senior player there, and he didn't speak up to stop them, so he's the one in trouble. His mom is a famous high school hockey coach, one of very few women coaching a boys high school team. She takes no crap from anyone, but especially not from Caleb. When the team PR guru suggests that Caleb agree to a 5 date setup from a dating app, with the winning profile for his date being chosen by his mom, he knows he's in trouble. How is he going to make it through 5 dates with some girl his mom chooses? Zara Ambrose is a bit of a mess. She's a miniatures artisan. She has total control over the world of her miniatures, which is so unlike her real life it isn't even funny. She grew up with a totally unreliable dad, who always followed every crazy impulse he had. Now she buries herself in work, so she'll always know the bills will be paid on time, and she'll be able to eat; things she couldn't always count on growing up. When her dad has his next pie-in-the-sky scheme, to become an actor, he needs his SAG card. But first, he has to get on TV. What better way than forcing Zara to allow him to pick her a date from the app for a 5 date deal, with interviews with the local TV station after each date? She has no idea what she's in for. When Caleb and Zara meet, they both find the other attractive, but neither are really interested in pursing a relationship, or taking these dates seriously at all. They realize they are both basically there because they have to be, and they make an agreement. They'll complete their 5 dates, to fulfill the terms of their deals, and then that'll be it. No further dating, no relationship, nothing. 5 dates, and done. They have to get to know each other some, in order to make their after date interviews interesting for the cameras, but that's all they really want to do. They have a spark, but they're both insisting on ignoring it. The interviews with Caleb and Zara, along with Caleb's mom, and Zara's dad are hilarious. Her dad is such a mess, and he makes no bones about trying to make a buck where he can. Caleb's mom comes off gruff and tough, and she suffers no fools. I liked that she seems to have always made Caleb face up to challenges, even ones beyond his control, like his dyslexia. They are both a riot and I enjoyed seeing their interactions with the main characters. Zara's great dane, Anchovy was hilarious, and I loved him as well. Zara and Caleb's connection was a slow burn, but I enjoyed their banter. Both Zara and Caleb were flawed characters, whose childhood issues really carried through to adulthood with them, causing all sorts of havoc. Neither really thinks the other could actually be into them. There were a couple things that I felt got sorted a little too cleanly towards the end, towards the end, especially with Zara's dad. I would've liked to see that resolution between them explained and fleshed out a little more, since it was the root of so many of Zara's issues. There was a little more resolution with Caleb's mom, and I appreciated that. Caleb and Zara both really had to decide what they wanted and make the changes required to get it, in order for them to be together, and I enjoyed watching it all work out. Overall, this was a fun hockey-mance!
Oh how I love the worlds that Ms. Flynn creates! This new spin off is the introduction to the newest series and I floved it! This is the story of Zara and Caleb. An arrangement, a PR stunt that turns into so much more. As with all of Ms. Flynn's stories, the dialogue is fast paced. It's funny and it's poignant and it's phenomenal! I enjoyed the alternate POV's. I like being able to get into each main characters head to see how they tick and how they interact with each other. The back story of both Zara and Caleb was heartfelt and moving. I so felt for Caleb and his struggles. The chemistry between these two was epic and the smexy time between the two of them was just wowza! It was wonderful "seeing" past characters make an appearance and also the introduction to new characters. This is gonna be an entertaining series! You can't go wrong with a Avery Flynn story! Get your hands on this!
I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. When a video of his rookie teammates talking smack about "puck bunnies" goes viral, Caleb Stuckey finds himself caught in the middle for not stopping the trash talk happening right in front of him in the video. In order to clean up his image, his PR agent, coach, and mother sign him up for a dating service where his mother will do the matching up. To make matters worse, his dating adventure will be featured on TV for the world to see. When his mother matches him up with the take-no-bull Zara Ambrose, Caleb is sure the next four dates will be hell. Caleb and Zara agree to go through with the next dates with no expectations and absolutely no feelings, but soon find that plans don't always go the way you want. Parental Guidance has been on my amazon wishlist practically since the preorder was up, so I was pretty ecstatic to get an advanced copy of this book. The past few books I've read by Avery Flynn have been quick, fun reads that I really enjoyed, too, so that added to my excited. Unfortunately for me, I found myself a bit disappointed with this book. Both Zara and Caleb were pretty great characters with very distinct personalities, and I really liked them both. However, I really feel the relationship between the two needed to be developed more. I do think that the main characters were great together, but they went from a physical attraction to being in love way too quickly, and without all that much interaction. Despite this, I do think someone in the mood for a quick, sweet read would enjoy this book. This book wasn't for me, but I know I'll probably read the next books in the series, as well as other books by Avery Flynn. 2.5/5
I read Tomboy by Avery Flynn a few months ago and was introduced to a few of the Ice Knights, so when I found out that Caleb (an Ice Knight) had his own story I was so excited! Thank you to Entangled Publishing and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. Caleb is in a PR nightmare and to make things right with the Ice Knights front office he has to agree to go on 5 dates with someone that his mom chooses for him through a dating app. Zara’s best friend pushes her to enter the same dating app and as fate would have it the two end up matching and agreeing upon 5 dates. That’s when the story really picks up. Zara and Caleb aren’t exactly falling over each other when they first meet, but of course that changes the more they get to know each others vulnerabilities, deepest secrets and fears. Flynn writes some steamy sexy scenes and the ones with Caleb and Zara were hot! I enjoyed all of the secondary characters and getting to see Fallon and Zach again (loooove them). I read this book over the course of one weekend and am looking forward to the next in the series.
I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this wonderful, snarky, and funny book, Parental Guidance by Avery Flynn, book one in her Ice Knights series. This book had me on an emotional journey as we followed Caleb and Zara’s love story. This amazing story pulls out all the stops. Caleb has learned the hard way that there are consequences for his behavior or rather for not acting like a leader and shutting down an inappropriate conversation with teammates. Especially when that conversation ends up having been video-taped and going viral, making them all look bad. The team’s PR person gets Caleb and his mom involved in a new dating app as a way to turn around the bad publicity. Caleb’s mom chooses a candidate who is to see for five dates. Zara signed up for the app after a bet gone wrong with her best friend. Her application is honest and to the point; including looking for someone to “clean out the cobwebs” and not expecting to find forever happiness. Caleb might be a foot taller than Zara but she can hold her own. Neither of these two is perfect yet they are definitely perfect together. Plus, Zara’s dog, Anchovy, adds more fun to this story and their relationship. Overall, this story was filled with sarcasm, laughs, snark, and even some sexy scenes that made me wish it never ended. Ms. Flynn wrote a wonderful and hysterical story that was moving and filled with sexual chemistry, wonderful dialogue, and endearing but flawed characters that should definitely not be missed. I highly recommend Parental Guidance to other readers and I am anxious for the next book in this series. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
One word - AWESOME! This story was one of the funniest I've read in a while. Zara and Caleb were match made in heaven. She was independent, sassy, quirky. I developed a girl crush on her the minute I read what she put in her profile for the dating app. And now let's talk about Caleb; can we all say SWOON real quick?!?! I found him to be hard worker, funny and he had a heart of gold doing everything he could to keep those closest to him safe and happy. They had amazing chemistry that was just waiting to explode. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while reading this story. It was captivating, funny and hot in all the right places. A perfect read on a hot summer day. ***Review copy requested and reviewed on behalf of OMGReads Blog***
Hilarious new romcom by Avery Flynn. I not only fell in love with Caleb and Zara and their ultimate genuineness, but also their adorable banter, hot chemistry and all around charming odd pairing (which is perfectly made for each other). Parental Guidance will melt your heart and tickle your funny bone. Can you imagine your mother setting you up on your next date? I'd rather stick a stick in my eye. Then can you imagine that your mother is involved because you've screwed up - viral-video-level screwed up and she's now involved to help save not only your image, but also that of the team you play for. I'd still rather pick death, but... Caleb opts for five dates and saving his face and that of his team. Not only does Caleb go on the dates, he does it with humility, humor, and he finds that he actually enjoys them more than expected. Zara is a small redhead filled with lots of gumption, saying what she thinks, and Caleb can't help it, he's drawn to her instantly. However, they both decide their "dates" are just for the duration of his penalty and once he's out of the sin bin they can each go their separate ways, even if each date proves to be less and less of a punishment. How can he spin this to keep her without breaking all the rules once again? Zara joins the dating app on a bet and decides to go on the dates to help her dad. Once she meets Caleb she knows that rules must be instituted, a man who landed himself in his predicament obviously needs guidance and Zara is a woman who likes order, rules and she isn't about to let Caleb get past her defenses. Five dates and that's it, no matter how charming and sexy he is. Caleb and Zara set out, each with their own goals to meet, never expecting that their goals would mesh in the middle and that they might actually have a good time. Who would expect that having your mother pick out your date would actually mean having a good time on one?? Certainly not either of them. Pick up Parental Guidance and hold on to your funny bone because it will be tickled over and over again.
When I saw the synopsis of this book, it sounded a bit quirky and funny so I figured why not give it a chance? I am glad that I did because this sports romantic comedy had me laughing and some places and happy sighing in others. The concept behind the dating app, Bramble, is quite comical albeit unrealistic because it involves 5 dates and the parents are involved in picking out who they date followed up by TV interviews. Both Caleb and Zara really don’t want to participate, but they each have their reasons for doing so. I really liked Caleb, a defenseman for the Iced Knights. He lands himself in hot water and I admire that he would do what it takes to protect his team. He has some personal struggles and the author does a beautiful job of showing how it has affected his approach to life. Zara is a likable character as well. She a miniatures artisan who craves stability and order given how she grew up. She is full of sass and I love her sarcastic nature. Zara and Caleb make an unlikely pair, but the two of them together just work. Each date is unique and fun to read and there are a few steamy scenes. The question is, will they admit their growing feelings towards each other and what will happen after those 5 dates? The secondary characters are a hoot. Zara’s dad is absolutely hilarious when they all have to do the reality TV portion. Caleb’s mom is a ballbuster and I found the banter between the two parents to be quite entertaining. Caleb’s teammates and Zara’s best friend are also great additions to the book. If you are looking for a light-hearted romantic comedy with likable characters, then you will enjoy this book. I received Parental Guidance for free and I am looking forward to read more books from her Ice Knights series.
Imagine if arranged dating was a real thing. Could you be happy with your mom or dad picking out your date for you? Yeah? Then step right up, the Bramble app is just what you’re looking for. This was the premise behind Parental Guidance (Ice Knights #1), a spin-off from the Hartigans’ series by Avery Flynn. This is how Caleb a defenseman with the Ice Knights hockey team and Zara, a miniaturest meet. Caleb has gotten into some hot water with the management and his punishment is to fix his sucky media presence. Zara was basically blackmailed by her bestie into joining the dating site. They’re both pretty much about and not having a relationship. Zara works too hard and has zero time for outside interests, or so she thinks. Caleb gives a lot to his team, and wants to focus on that for now, but things start to change once the go on their first date, even though Zara insists the make some rules and stick to them. Rules are made to be broken, aren’t they? The chemistry between these two was intense from the outset, however, until a lot of highly attracted couples out there in bookland, they keep their feelings to themselves. And their hands… well, to start with. I loved the slow burn of this story, the getting to know them and meeting up with the secondary characters that had made appearances ‘Tomboy’. This was a fun, just a teensy bit angsty story that I loved. Can’t wait for the next book to come out.