Top Shelf: An Aces Hockey Novel

Top Shelf: An Aces Hockey Novel

by Kelly Jamieson

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Top Shelf: An Aces Hockey Novel by Kelly Jamieson

USA TODAY BESTSELLER • Whether it’s a clutch goal or a cocktail, nothing beats “top shelf.” In this novel from the bestselling author of the Heller Brothers Hockey series, a fun-loving jock and an ambitious career woman mix business with pleasure.

Not only is Jared Rupp one of the stars of the NHL’s Chicago Aces, he’s also the owner of the Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out. Lately, Jared can’t take his eyes off the woman he’s hired to give the Bin a more modern feel: a sexy, sophisticated consultant who has carved out a niche updating drink menus. She’s as passionate about her career as Jared is about hockey—and yet he can’t help wondering what kind of cocktail she really wants.

In her line of work, Sidney Frayne is used to guys hitting on her in bars, but Jared gets her hot enough to burst into flames. When he’s wining and dining her, he’s sophisticated as hell; on the rink, he’s a testosterone-fueled powerhouse. Still, Sidney’s bitter divorce taught her to keep her emotions on ice. With her busy schedule—and Jared’s playboy reputation—she’s not sure she’s ready for a fling. Because if she lets Jared into her bed, she just may have to let him into her heart.

Kelly Jamieson’s USA Today bestselling Aces Hockey series can be read together or separately:

Don’t miss any of Kelly’s alluring reads:
The Bayard Hockey series: SHUT OUT | CROSS CHECK
The Last Shot series: BODY SHOT | HOT SHOT | LONG SHOT
The standalone novel: DANCING IN THE RAIN

Praise for Top Shelf

“I’m a total sucker for sports romances, and so Top Shelf ticked a lot of boxes for me. If you’ve got a similar bent, I’d recommend it to you, too.”—All About Romance

“Five star review: Top Shelf is a sweet romance with a credible couple and, as it is the third book in the Aces series, you get a feel for the way the club ticks and there are guest appearances from the stars of the previous two books. . . . Although you can read this as a stand-alone story, I thoroughly recommend that you pick up the first two in this series and catch up with the rest of the team. Go Aces!”—Angel Net Reviews

Fans of Jamieson’s silver-tongued heroes with a heart of gold will find a good deal to like here, and newcomers to the series’ will find it easy to get their footing.”—RT Book Reviews

Mixology is a special skill and Top Shelf is the only way to go. With a little sadness, a lot of heat, and crazy chemistry, this book was difficult to put down. I’ve enjoyed Jared and his bar in previous books, I loved him in this! Five stars.”—Hines and Bigham’s Literary Tryst

“I loved this book. Jared and Sidney were so entertaining.”—A Crazy Vermonter’s Book Reviews

Includes an excerpt from another Loveswept title.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101968291
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/18/2016
Series: Aces Hockey Series , #4
Sold by: Random House
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 269
Sales rank: 29,982
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

USA Today bestselling author Kelly Jamieson is the author of more than forty contemporary romance novels. She writes the kind of books she loves to read—sexy romance with heat, humor, and emotion. She likes coffee (black), wine (mostly white), and shoes (high!). She also loves watching hockey.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

Jared had been watching her since she’d walked into the bar. Alone.

Pale blond hair swung across her face and curved into her neck, brushing her shoulders. She pushed her hair aside with fingertips to reveal killer cheekbones, perfect ivory skin, full lips painted red, and big eyes emphasized with a lot of dark shadow. She wore all black—skinny black jeans, black motorcycle boots, and a loose black sweater that didn’t hide a slender body. The overall appearance said tough, but her bone structure was delicate and her face decidedly feminine. She intrigued him.

So he hadn’t waited to see if someone was joining her before crossing the bar to take the stool next to her. A quick glance revealed no ring on her third left finger, just slender fingers with short unpainted nails; and now that he was closer, he saw a tiny diamond stud glinting in her right nostril.

“The cocktail menu here sucks.” She shook her head as she looked at the small menu.

What? Jared blinked and paused as he sat on the stool.

She’d spoken aloud, although not directly to him.

“Really?” he said. “Why do you say that?”

She turned to him. Her eyes widened briefly, then swept over him in a quick appraisal. Judging from her blink and parted lips, she liked what she saw.

“Er. It’s basic. Unimaginative. I mean, having some basics is good, but these days you need to be creative.” She frowned. “There seems to be a big focus on beer here.”

“Yeah.” True that. “What’s wrong with beer?”

“You don’t look like a beer drinker,” she said slowly. “More like a guy who’d drink Laphroaig. Or Absolut.”

Again, what? La froig? That sounded like something his teammate Marc Dupuis, who was French-Canadian, would say. He stared back at her, keeping his expression neutral. “Uh. Okay. Why do you say that?”

“Look at you. Mr. Perfect.” She waved a hand.

He grinned. Her eyes widened briefly in response to his smile. “I’m not perfect.” He grimaced. “Far from it.” Then he gave her the same kind of look she’d given him. “But you are.”

“Riiiight.” She lifted her dainty chin dismissively. “I’ll bet you say that to all the girls.”

Well, truthfully, he probably had said that to a lot of girls. He liked women a lot and he liked a lot of women. So sue him. “I never give a woman a compliment if I don’t mean it.”

She gave him a look laced with skepticism and amusement. “Uh-huh.” Then she turned away from him.

He resisted the urge to frown. Not that he had a big ego or anything, but usually this went a lot better for him.
Jack, the bartender, slid a glass of Jared’s favorite ale across the polished surface of the bar to him with a smile, then turned his attention to the woman. “What can I get you?”

She sighed, then surprised Jared by saying, “I’ll have what he’s having.”

“Sure.” Jack moved away.

“You’re drinking beer because the cocktail menu sucks so bad?” Jared said. “Is there something you want that’s not on the menu? I’m sure the bartender could make it for you.”

“Actually, I like beer. I didn’t necessarily want to order a cocktail. I was just commenting on the menu.”

“Oh.” He paused. “What’s wrong with it? Besides being basic and unimaginative.”

“That’s about it.” She shrugged. “There’s nothing unique or inspiring. Maybe if there had been, I would’ve ordered a drink other than beer.” Jack served her the beer and she picked it up and sipped it. “What is this?”

“Moens India Pale Ale.”

“Huh. It’s not bad. Dry body, fruit hoppy aroma.”

Who the heck was she? A beer aficionado? Yet criticizing his drinks menu? “Uh-huh,” he said with his own dose of skepticism. “You sound like you know what you’re talking about.”

“What? A woman can’t know anything about beer?”

This time she turned and met his eyes and he leaned in a little closer, maintaining eye contact. “No.” He kept a straight face. “Beer is a man’s drink.”

Her lips twitched as if she knew he was fibbing. “Do I look like a man?”

“No.” He lowered his voice. His gaze moved over her deliberately, then returned to meet hers. “You definitely do not.”

A little heat built as they looked at each other. Yeah, that was good.

“You can tell a lot about a man by what he drinks.” She lifted her glass and took another sip. “But I have to say, your choice in beer doesn’t fit with the rest of you.”

“Yeah?” He too drank, keeping his attention on her face. “Why not?”

Customer Reviews

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Top Shelf: An Aces Hockey Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
MaimeosAngelsEL More than 1 year ago
This is book 3 in the Aces hockey series and can be read as a standalone. Over the last few years I have been reading more and more stories about hockey and thoroughly enjoy them. Kelly Jamieson has done a great job with this series. This is the story of Jared Rupp, a star player for the NHL’s Chicago Aces and owner of Sin Bin, the after-hours hot spot where the whole team hangs out and Sidney Frayne, the woman he hires to consult and update his drinks menu. Jared and Sidney are both as equally passionate about their respective jobs. Still reeling from a cheating husband which led to a bitter divorce, Sidney has no plans to allow her emotions to re-ignite, particularly not for a player such as Jared. Jared is determined to get her into bed; Sidney is equally determined not too initially All that changes however, when what starts out as a sexual arrangement, morphs into something deeper for Jared. Who will win the battle? Will Jared be the one to bring back Sidney’s trust in men and love? Or will he destroy it? Top Shelf has it all, laughter, tears and sizzling sex scenes. I enjoy Ms. Jamieson’s writing style and recommend this series if you like hot and oh so sexy hockey players.
JoannaDursi More than 1 year ago
(4.25 stars) What I’m really enjoying about the Aces Hockey series is the fact that it is evolving out of a rocky start in book one to a series where each book is getting increasingly better. Jared and Sidney have chemistry from their very first encounter. They have a very playful “non- relationship” and often found myself laughing at their antics. Top Shelf mixes together the perfect balance between Jared’s life on and off the ice. I’m really looking forward to reading max’s book since his story has been being setup throughout the last few books. I’m curious to see IF and HOW Ms. Jamieson is going to make him whole again.
Marichus-Real More than 1 year ago
I was given a gifted copy by NetGalley. Jared is the oldest player in the Ace team but he is still in great shape. He is a good guy and coming from a difficult childhood, he knows the value of effort and has enough money not to have worries anymore. In order to have that, and even though he had a lot of money, he is careful with it and invests part of the money in a bar. Sidney is a mixology consultant and has started her own business. Now she is trying to get some new clients. When she enters into the Sin Bin, Jared’s bar, she has no idea her life is going to be changed forever. This is the first book in the series I read. The book starts a little bit slow. Although I don’t understand anything about hockey, I have to say that the author writes the game scenes so well that I can actually see them happening in my mind. I like the characters. Jared is a great guy, he knows what it is not to have money and he didn’t allow fame and richness go to his head. He is intelligent and invests money in a bar so he can have a way of living when he can’t play anymore. Sidney knows what is falling to the bottom and getting up little by little. That made her strong even though she didn’t realize. I like the sex scenes, they are hot. However, I think there are too many and that make me to see them as repetitive.
NadineHunter More than 1 year ago
I have been waiting for Jared story since I read Major Misconduct, he seemed to have a bit of mystery about him, especially since he played for the Aces Hockey Team and also owned "The Sin Bin" bar/restaurant. Not many men can hold down two careers successfully and he does it effortlessly. Well, that was until Sidney waltzes into the bar and turns her nose down at the cocktail menu...or should I say the lack of one. Sidney was just what Jared needed to get "The Sin Bin" to where he wanted it to go, he doesn't want to be the neighborhood sports bar, he would like to to be more upscale especially since he has a talented chef that does all the cooking for the restaurant as well as the bar. Sidney is a consultant that helps bars and restaurants revise their menus to get the type of clientele that they would like, whether that means they need a new drink and food menu or they need to revamp their entire business. Neither Jared nor Sidney are looking for a relationship but they have a chemistry that neither wants to deny so they go into a NO STRINGS fling because you can control whom you fall in love with...HA!!!!! “You’re just afraid you’ll fall for me... In fact, I challenge you to a bunch of dates with me… We’ll do all those things—talk on the phone, go for walks, call each other cute nicknames… But we won’t fall in love.” ~Jared This was a great addition to the series, as with any series you will get more background if you start with the first book and continue but if you wanted to you could read this as a standalone but I will warn you that there will be a couple of secondary stories that you may not understand without prior knowledge of the couples in question. ***I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I requested from Random House Publishing Group - Loveswept through Netgalley***
2kasmom More than 1 year ago
This is the 3rd book in the Aces Hockey series. It can be read as a standalone novel. For reader enjoyment and understanding of this amazing series, I recommend reading these in order. Sidney & Jared met, when she literally walks into his bar and sits down. They hit it off and the mutual attraction is hot, electric, & instant! Until she finds out he may be a client. Jared is pleased she is willing to help his restaurant and bar be better then it is today. He also is happy to have a reason to see the sexy woman regularly. She intrigues him in a genuine, and different way, then the women he is used to. This series is so terrific! We get seriously hot hockey players and learn about them individually too. I loved this book and read it in one sitting. So good and worth every turn of the page. ***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review only.
DaneWeimMama More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf is a fun read. It's a book that doesn't take itself too seriously & I enjoyed being able to just shut my brain down & be wrapped up in a hot romance. Jared is sexy hockey player and bar owner (Sin Bin- love it!) & Sidney is a consultant that is hired to perk up his bar menu. The two fall into lust pretty quickly but watching them fall into love was the best part. And I love Frankie, she is Sidney's BFF & pretty fantastic. Top Shelf is the 3rd book in the Aces Hockey series but can be read as a stand alone. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
Momscookingthebooks More than 1 year ago
This is the third book in this series and it can be read as a standalone. I liked this book, but I didn’t love it. I had a hard time connecting with the characters. They both had feelings for each other, but they wouldn’t commit, or I should say Sidney couldn’t commit. I was frustrated because Jared was a great guy, even though he had an annoying ex-girlfriend. There is a lot of great sexy times and it was fun to experience how Sidney revamped the Sin Bin’s bar menu, but somehow I just couldn’t connect with Sidney. If you want a quick sexy read with a dirty talking hockey player, then this is the book for you.
astroyic More than 1 year ago
Magnetic Hockey Romance! Loved Jared's story. I loved the instant connection between these two, that spark of something more and their sexual connection is simply magnetic. What starts as lust and a challenge, grows as their connection builds and the reader can feel their protectiveness for one another and even more so feel the anticipation, the desire that they feel for one another. These two had some serious chemistry, with their sexy banter and some serious dirty talk. Loved Sidney, she was smart, confident, independent and as tough as nails. Jared was so much more than just another hot hockey player, although at first that is all that you see. But underneath it all he is amazing, sophisticated, polished, fierce, yet sweet, kindhearted, level headed and driven, he has fought for everything he has and Sidney definitely makes him want more. Will lust turn to love? Who will win the challenge? Will they get through together? You will need to read to find out. This was a Fantastic, Magnetic, Hot and Steamy story by Kelly Jamieson that you do not want to miss. Loved it! Highly Recommended! I received an ARC through NetGalley and I voluntarily agreed to post an honest review.
Dalitza More than 1 year ago
A story about a determined career woman who take her mixology expertise to the business and pleasure area with a hard partying hockey player. When a patron at his restaurant critiques his drinks menu, NHL star Jared Rupp can’t help but want to know more about the sexy and smart woman. After learning that she’s a consultant specialized in image and improving said menus he hires her to help out at the Sin Bin but also wants more. Their attraction is undeniable and there’s no rule that prevents them from having fun together, but can he convince her that they could be more? After an ugly divorce that left her depressed and feeling less than, Sidney Frayne has sworn off relationships and is now picking up the pieces of her life and focused on expanding her consulting business. So when the womanizing NHL player pursues her and slowly presses for more, her body says yes, her mind says no, but what does her heart say? Don’t ask me why but I love hockey romances and I’ve been following the Aces Hockey series from the start, so I’ve been curious to know more about the sophisticated, well-dressed playboy for a while and I’m glad to say I really liked him. After getting to know him though, I wouldn’t label him as a player more like a bachelor who’s not looking for a serious relationship because of his past. But once he sees the potential he has with Sidney there’s not stopping him from finding happiness, not even Sidney herself. Sidney is a good match for him, she’s caring and sweet even after what she lived through her divorce. And when stubbornness, fear and depression threated to take over, there was her best friend Frankie to help her through it. I loved the character development, including the secondary ones but it did take me a bit to get on the Jared and Sidney train though. The initial flirting and attraction was great but I felt they got into bed too soon and too often during the first half of the book which to me felt a tad gratuitous and didn’t help in moving the plot forward. I did jump into the Jad+ney band wagon when their relationship started to develop into more, especially when Jared decided to play dirty in order to go after her heart and by the end I was really glad they got their happy ending even if a tad predictable. The Aces Hockey team closed another season without winning the cup in this book, so I’m hoping there’s still more to come. I can’t tell who’s next to fall in the team whether it’s the trouble making rookie or the recent widower who broke my heart, but I can’t wait to find out. Top Shelf is book #3 in the Aces Hockey series by Kelly Jamieson. It’s a light, easy to read standalone full length hockey romance. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
I do love a good sports romance story. And this one did not disappoint. But I think my favorite part was Jared's reaction to their meeting/fling. He was so good, so sexy, so caring. Granted, he was a little cocky and smidge arrogant, but I think that endeared him to me more because he did that way in a joking manner, not an ugly one. And oh his words, hello fire extinguisher! I loved Sidney. Her past broke my heart and brought angry feelings towards her ex. I could totally sympathize with her on her reluctance to be in a permanent relationship. But she was strong and I enjoyed reading her grow and invest the time in herself to succeed. I simply liked Jared and Sidney together. They fit. They meshed well emotionally and physically. Now I need to go back and reread the first ones in the series to get the supporting characters stories. I do love good witty, sarcastic banter. I received this book in exchange for an honest review from the publisher through Netgalley.
Maria-Rose More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf is Kelly Jamieson’s third sports themed romance in the Aces Hockey series, featuring dynamic and successful NHL players of the Chicago Aces. I’ve read and enjoyed the previous books in the series, each hero different in character but driven and hardworking hockey stars who find themselves slowly being pulled off the ‘player’ roster one by one, and into committed relationships. Ms. Jamieson has the knack of mixing just the right amount of heat and heart in her hockey romances while showing a clear understanding and love of the sport. This one happens to be my new favorite, with Sidney Frayne, an equally strong and business minded heroine earning the respect, admiration and love of team player and restaurant owner Jared Rupp. Jared is fairly predictable hero material. He’s charming, smart, and sophisticated. Having grown up as a have not, he makes up for it now with designer clothes, fancy cars and an appreciation for good food and drink ( good reasons for wanting his own restaurant to be notable). He doesn’t lack for female companionship, and indeed there is an ex-girlfriend of sorts who plays into the story as a puck bunny who doesn’t get the message that he’s just not interested. When Jared starts seeing Sidney, he surprises himself by how quickly he wants to take their relationship to the next level, despite her reservations. The sex is hot (and Ms. Jamieson knows her way around a steamy scene), but he wants more. He wants to share more than just good times with Sidney. The hockey team is struggling, with rookie egos causing problems on and off the ice. More seriously, one of their own is losing his wife to cancer, a particularly poignant subplot in an otherwise easygoing story that affects all the players. Being able to talk about these things with Sidney makes him want to have her around permanently if she’ll let him. Sidney comes across as a focused and bright young woman. She’s taken the skills she has and turned them into something viable, a fledgling career that is taking off as more and more restaurants acquire her services. It’s not without its challenges though. What I particularly liked about her character (and the story in general) is that when she brings up her ideas to Jared and his restaurant manager she doesn’t pander to Jared just because they are involved in a sexual relationship. She doesn’t tell him what he wants to hear – she tells him what he needs to do to make his restaurant and bar top notch. Jared is reluctant to accept her suggestions, and she makes it clear that he doesn’t have to make all the changes she proposes, as ultimately it’s his choice. But she doesn’t back down either, and I really liked seeing her confidence and forthrightness, traits that Jared admires even if he isn’t sure of the way forward for his business. There is a lot to like about this story. The main characters are engaging and clearly well suited. The romance is both sweet and very sexy as Jared tries to win Sidney over. The hockey players go through some rough times on and off the ice (and the on ice scenes are well described but not too technical for those unfamiliar with the sport). Readers who enjoy a good sexy sports romance should definitely put this story and the Aces Hockey series at the top of their list.
belllla More than 1 year ago
3,5stars Top shelf is one light predictable sports love story. The writing was ok; the characters well develop with great chemistry between. But story was predictable not something memorable or exciting. I made this one with some speed reading. *ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Anlenhart1 More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf continues the story of Aces Hockey team and features Jared, hockey star and restaurant owner, and Sidney Frayne, a mixology consultant. Jared hires Sidney to help his restaurant/bar the Sin Bin. She is happy for the business, but realizes that her relationship with Jared will be more that professional. They both aren't looking for a serious relationship, but can't resist the pull of their attraction to each other. Both Sidney and Jared are accomplished professionals that bring out the best in each other. I liked how the story portrayed the give and take of a real relationship. Kellie Jamieson keeps writing awesome hockey romances that make me so happy to review them. I was given a free copy for an honest review.
MJBrown67 More than 1 year ago
In this installment of the Aces Hockey series is about Jared Rupp. Besides being a professional hockey player he is also the owner of The Sin Bin, a bar restaurant. In walks Sidney Frayne a Mixology Consultant (what a cool job THAT would be), and in some casual conversation lets Jerod know the bar menu could use some work. Jarod wants to hire her to help the bar, and he also wants to see her on a more personal level. Neither Sidney or Jarod are into relationships. Jarod doesn’t think he will ever have one, and Sidney never wants another one. She had a relationship that went bad and doesn’t want to experience that again. So they agree to be casual, this way nobody gets hurt. Sidney and Jarod, have great chemistry and they have a fun together, but they don’t date, no going out, no meeting friends, just hooking up. Eventually, to Jarod surprise, he wants more, but Sidney does not, so her makes a bet. He bets her that she can’t date him without falling in love. Being competitive, Sidney agrees to the bet. So who wins??? Loved, loved Jarod and Sidney. They both knew who they were, they just didn’t realize what they really wanted. They had great chemistry and the supporting characters were great. Makes me wonder who’s story is next. This is a great book and I would recommend it. ** I received an ARC copy of this book for an hones
JWright57 More than 1 year ago
Book 3 in the Aces Hockey Series and this is Jared and Sidney's story. Jared not only plays hockey for the Chicago Aces he also owns The Sin Bin a bar/restaurant, the bar is struggling whilst the restaurant is successful, enter Sidney who is hired to revamp the cocktail menu and bar area. Neither Jared or Sidney are looking for love and a relationship but when the two meet sparks fly, he is on the face of it a smooth talking smooth dressing hockey player she is a no-nonsense hard as nails business woman but what lies beneath the surface for these two is very different to the front they put on. Even though this is book 3 in the series you can read it as a standalone as each book is about a different player and so far we always get a start and a finish in each book. Top shelf is a great romantic sexy read that will leave you wanting more from The Aces Hockey Series
Crystal61 More than 1 year ago
Loved this book and love the series. Sidney was strong on the outside but softer on the inside. Her past contributed to her doubts. I loved how Jared worked to get Sidney to fall for him. Their relationship was hot and sweet. This story had me crying, laughing, and cheering. I love hockey and got just as excited during the playoffs. I highly recommend this book and the series. I received a copy of this book though Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
Rhondaz More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf by Kelly Jamieson....This book scored a goal for me! It was super sweet, sexy, with hot hockey players, what more can we ask for. Jared and Sidney have so much chemistry for each other and I loved watching their stories unfold. This is my first book by Kelly Jamieson and she has gained a new reader. This is a book you will want to read. I voluntarily reviewed an advance copy of this book.
PennieM More than 1 year ago
You can control who you fall in love with...yea right...famous last words. Jared Rupp is a dirty talking, sexy, hockey player who owns the Sin Bin and he meets Sidney when she sits down at the bar and insults the drink menu. Sidney runs a consultant business for bar and restaurants and even though the chemistry is off the charts, Jared wants her to do up a proposal for the Sin Bin. This is a cute story that goes in several directions but doesn't lose sight of what is really going on and keeps the steamy romance going. What starts out as a challenge to just hang out and have fun turns out to be so much more. These two are stupendous together and challenge each other to be better people. I love this series and watching each player find their significant other and interact in the subsequent books keeps this series fresh. I definitely recommend this on along with the others! **Received this from the publisher via NetGalley**
SiobhanDavisAuthor More than 1 year ago
I love me a good sports romance and I had high hopes sitting down to read this one. This is my first book by Kelly Jamieson and it's clear she's an experienced author. I really enjoyed her writing style, and I'll most definitely be checking out more of her work. However, Top Shelf was a little bit of a let down for me. While I enjoyed it, I didn't love it. The Good: Jarod - he was great. Even though he was presented as a player he was nothing but a gentleman toward Sidney and it was clear that part of his past was most definitely done and dusted. He was a great leading man and his character was fleshed out well enough. Sidney - I liked her. She'd been hauled over the coals by her ex and was naturally wary of getting into another relationship, but she was a hard-working career woman and she was a real sweetheart. Frankie - Hands down my fav character. I loved her. She was the most amazing best friend ever, a true rock for Sidney. I'd love her to get her own book! The Inbetween: The romance - I didn't feel it at the start. They just hop into bed and it was a bit cheesy and cliche. The dirty talk was repetitive and cringy BUT as their relationship developed beyond the bedroom I bought into the chemistry more. By the end I loved them and was totally rooting for them. Pacing - very slow the first half of the book and I found myself skimming a lot. The hockey scenes were way too descriptive and didn't hold my attention. The second half of the book was vastly superior and I got hooked at that point. The Bad: The plot - was virtually non-existent until the second half of the book and then it was shallow and predictable. I wanted conflict and tension and there was none. Pretty much all we got, in the beginning, was sex, sex, and more sex and it couldn't carry this book on its own. There are two main threads introduced in the second half and I thought finally we were getting somewhere only for them to be put to bed pretty much immediately, without any fuss or fanfare. I was left feeling dejected. Looking over this review it might seem that I didn't like this book at all and that wouldn't be fair. I did warm to it in the second half. But it was let down by poor emotional complexity, weak plot, and a lack of genuine conflict/tension. The writing was great and the characters came to grow on me. If you are looking for a fairly light-hearted quick read then this one is for you. If, like me, you prefer your sports romance with a bit of bite, you might want to pass on this one. Thanks to the publisher for providing an ARC of this book. All the opinions expressed are my own.
MiekeReads More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf is another fun hockey romance by Kelly Jamieson. This time we get to see the romance between series regular Jared, the owner of the Sin Bin bar and a new character, Sidney, who is a cocktail and bar menu expert and advisor. To be honest, I had not really been looking forward to Jared's story because he always seemed like kind of a womanizing, STD carrying creep. However, Jamieson did a good job of showing him as a likable genuine guy and a solid romantic lead that I was able to buy as a "Hero." Top Shelf is an entertaining read with some laughs and appearances by prior series regulars. (I always like little updates about other characters.) I would recommend Top Self and pretty much any of Jamieson's other books to people who enjoy sports romances. I received this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
cntrygirlzroc More than 1 year ago
I received a copy from Netgalley. If you like sexy hockey players, a sweet woman, and lots of hot, sweaty sex this is for you. Sidney has been divorced for five years. Her and her husband were trying to get pregnant, he cheated, got his girlfriend pregnant, and left her. Now she owns her own consulting business, she helps bars and restaurants come up with better menus and drinks. She is not looking for love. But sometimes it sneaks up on you without you expecting it. Jared is a pro hockey player and owner of a bar/restaurant named the Sin Bin. A ladies man and lifelong bachelor. He hires Sidney to revamp his bar and they start an affair. She wants a no strings, just sex arrangement. Jared agrees until he starts falling for her. So he challenges her..go out on dates, spend nights together, hold hands, and all the things couples do without falling in love. Will Jared be able to convince Sidney that she can trust her heart to him? I believe this is my favorite of this series. I laughed, I cried, and needed to put my fan on high, the sex was off the charts hot.
Bette313 More than 1 year ago
This was a very enjoyable read in this series. It's a light story without a lot of angst and drama. Just two grown adults meeting, enjoying each other, and moving forward. Neither Jared or Sidney are looking for anything serious but between working together and spending their evenings together somewhere along the way serious is exactly what they got. Finding a way to make things work with the demands of both their jobs might make things difficult but love usually finds a way. This story is very well done and the sizzling chemistry between these characters keeps things interesting. I definitely recommend this one.
MBurton More than 1 year ago
I love Kelly Jamieson's hockey series. They can all be read as standalones, so you don't have to start with book one. They are pretty low angst, this one has just a little bit of other woman drama. Jared has an ex fling who doesn't want to give up her dream of a famous, rich husband. It's handled well and you like Jared more because of it. The writing is mature, good story line and great chemistry between Jared and Sydney. I look forward to more in the series. ARC provided by NetGalley.
heater_28 More than 1 year ago
Top Shelf is the third book in Kelly Jamieson's Chicago Aces Hockey series and it was a great addition! Jared Rupp is not only a successful player for the Chicago Aces, but he's also the owner of the Sin Bin, the bar/restaurant where the team tends to hang out in their downtime. When Jared meets Sidney Frayne at the bar one night, he engages her in conversation and realizes quickly that not only could she help his business by consulting on his drink menu, but she might just be the woman that he wants in his bed. Sidney is attracted to Jared straight away and while she would love nothing more than to have a physical relationship with him, she wants nothing to do with love and entanglements after her bitter divorce five years earlier. When the two come to an agreement that they are in it just for the sex and there won't be any falling in love, they dive in with both feet enjoying all of the hot sex and chemistry they share. Is this going to be a case of best laid plans where a relationship is concerned? Will people from their pasts cause problems for this potential couple? This series is always so engaging and Kelly Jamieson does a fantastic job of mixing great story with the hockey elements. I really enjoyed this book and I can't wait for the next installment! My thoughts are based on an ARC provided by the author and/or the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.