Tag Archives: Kate Willoughby

The Book Barista Reviews: Falling For Flynn by Kate Willoughby

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Title:  Falling For Flynn

Series:  Hockey On Tap, #1

Author:  Kate Willoughby

Release Date:  October 19, 2016

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ISHO Summary

Tracy Duval has spent her life proving women can play hockey. From leading her college team to coaching little girls, she’s been a champion of the sport. But when a sexist ad for the Barracuda Fantasy Hockey Camp seems to exclude women, she signs up to teach the boys a lesson.

Retired NHL player Flynn Hammerstrom meets Tracy at the local ice rink and is immediately intrigued. She’s mature, confident, sexy—and hello, she plays hockey. He’s ready to settle down again and, after his tumultuous marriage, he’s looking for a woman who is high on fun and low on drama.

Unfortunately, even though he’s nuts about her, the drama he desperately wants to avoid flares up at the fantasy camp.

And Tracy is smack dab in the middle of the fire.


I love Kate Willoughby’s hockey romance series In the Zone, so I was pretty excited to see that she had a new spin-off series for me to sink my teeth into.

The first thing that I liked about this book is that the characters are more mature.  In their 40’s.  How awesome is that?!  It’s nice to read about characters that are closer to my age.

The next thing I liked about it is that Tracy is a hockey player.  It’s good to see females playing the game.  In the book she stands up for women everywhere who love to play hockey.  Aaaaand she also coaches a little girls’ team.  I think it’s safe to say that I really liked Tracy.

Now what can I say about Flynn?  He’s a retired hockey player.  The chemistry between Flynn and Tracy is instant.  He apparently had IT back in the day and he’s still got IT. I instantly also liked Flynn.  He’s sexy and sweet.

This was a quick read as it is a novella.  There was just enough heat and drama to satisfy any reader.  I gave Falling For Flynn four steamy lattes.  The only reason it didn’t get five is because it is a novella.  I would’ve liked more.  Please note that that isn’t a complaint, it’s just my preference.  I’m am definitely looking forward to more in this series.

four starbucks

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Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Book Barista Reviews: On The Brink by Kate Willoughby

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Title:  On the Brink

Series:  In the Zone, #0

Author:  Kate Willoughby

Release Date:  June 28, 2016

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On the Brink

ISHO Summary

Due to popular demand, Kate Willoughby brings you Hart Griffin and Jeremy Fenton’s origin story. Find out how these two met and fell in love…

Holtzer University junior Hart Griffin won’t let anything interfere with his future as a professional hockey player. No way, no how. He’s the star forward of his college team and a first round NHL draft pick.

One hot night with a male super fan calls into question everything Hart thought he knew about his sexuality and launches him on a soul-searching journey in which nothing is as it seems and his entire world is turned upside down.



This is a prequel novella about Hart and Jeremy, two characters that were introduced in Kate Willoughby’s In The Zone Series.  As they were already a couple in the series, this is a look into how they got together.  I will admit that I don’t usually read novellas because they just aren’t long enough.  That said, I absolutely had to read this for a couple of reasons: 1)  I loved the glimpses I got into Hart and Jeremy and wanted to know more and 2) this is Kate Willoughby!  I love her writing!

I totally understand how it would be difficult for Hart to admit to himself that he was gay. He’s on the verge of beginning his professional hockey career and he’s afraid of what being gay might mean for his future career. On the opposite side of the spectrum is Jeremy.  He’s out and proud.  He’s totally attracted to Hart and I will say that he’s incredibly patient with Hart.  One hot night turns into a great friendship which then turns into more.

I absolutely loved this book (even though I did wish it was longer).  I loved Jeremy and Hart and am so glad that Kate Willoughby wrote this.  I think she did a great job on her first m/m venture.  I think she kept it realistic and stayed true to the characters.  I look forward to more in this series.  I gave On the Brink five refreshing and delicious mocha cookie crumble frappuccinos.

Five Mocha cookie crumble frappuccino


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Note: I received this ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.

The Book Barista Reviews: Under the Spotlight by Kate Willoughby

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Title:  Under the Spotlight

Series:  In the Zone, #4

Author:  Kate Willoughby

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ISHO Summary

Stage actress Christine Caspary couldn’t care less about hockey, but when she first sees Joe Rutherford playing in a Barracudas game her mind goes to all sorts of dirty places. By happy chance, her work with Grant A Wish gives her an opportunity to meet him in the flesh.

Right winger Joe Rutherford saw Christine perform when the team went to see Chicago and was so taken with her, he secretly saw the show a second time, alone. When the gorgeous actress with spectacular legs contacts him out of the blue asking for a favor, it’s a no-brainer.

Their chemistry is off the charts. Things heat up quickly and they can’t keep their hands off each other. Soon they’re hooking up whenever their busy schedules allow and having hot phone sex every night at midnight when they don’t. But Joe’s time in the hockey spotlight is fading, just as Christine’s star begins to rise. When she gets her big break into a TV career, how will Joe take to being the arm candy for a change?


I’ve REALLY enjoyed this series so I was pretty happy when I received the ARC from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.  Thankfully, Kate Willoughby was gracious enough to give me the ARC without me having to resort to begging.  I would’ve begged.  I really would’ve!

I couldn’t help but love Joe.  He’s a guy who loves hockey.  As a veteran player he’s facing some tough decisions now that he’s on the tail end of his career.  He’s one of the older and wiser guys on the team and because of it, the coach asks him to mentor one of the rookies [This is one of the back stories that had my full attention].  He truly is one of the good guys.  That’s why when Christine approaches him to do something for a sick little girl, he’s all in.  Of course, it helps that he’s seen Christine before and was very attracted to her.

Christine is immediately attracted to Joe’s rugged good looks and they hit it off instantly.  As a couple, they face some hurdles.  They both travel because of their careers and have to make an effort to connect.  Also, whereas Joe’s career is on the tail end, Christine’s is up and coming and is thriving.

I loved that both Joe and Christine were a bit older and were both mostly mature about what they wanted from their careers and their lives.

Like the other books in this series, you get to meet a whole group of characters with interactions that are comical at times.  To put it simply, just a pleasure to read.

I gave Under the Spotlight five hot, steamy and delicious grande lattes.  I look forward to reading more from Kate Willoughby.



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The Book Barista Reviews: Out of the Game by Kate Willoughby

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Title: Out of the Game

Series:  In the Zone

Author:  Kate Willoughby

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ISHO Summary

Alex Sullivan may be the San Diego Barracudas’ resident playboy, but he hasn’t been able to forget the woman who kissed him like her life depended on it ten months ago. When he sees her again at a teammate’s wedding, he can’t think of anything but spending more time with her. Preferably naked.

Claire Marzano lost years catering to an overbearing husband, and she’s not going to answer to anyone ever again. A hot fling is just what she needs to get back in the game, and that’s exactly what sexy Alex offers—one wild long weekend away, with no promises or obligations.

But that one weekend changes everything. Despite knowing full well Alex isn’t the kind to ever commit, Claire is falling for him. And Alex secretly imagines a future with his strong, smart “accidental girlfriend.” Until a surprise announcement and an on-ice accident threaten to derail everything…or cause Alex to finally ditch his old ways and become the man Claire needs him to be.

isho-my-opinion2I recently read the first two books in this series, On the Surface and Across the Line, and I loved them so it was a no-brainer for me to request this ARC from NetGalley.

In the two previous books we got glimpses of Alex.  He’s the sexy, fun-loving womanizer who enjoys eating junk food and drinking. Until he meets Claire.  We also met Claire in the first book, as she finds out about her cheating husband.

Alex and Claire meet up again at a wedding and decide to go away together for a long weekend.  Both thinking they’re just going to have some fun and not take things too seriously.  Of course, nothing is ever as simple as it seems.  They find that they truly enjoy each others company and what started off with no strings quickly becomes more, whether or not either one of them want to admit it. Their new relationship is put to the test a couple of times.

I loved their journey and I’m not gonna lie, I did shed a few tears. [I really am a big sap.] I loved the other two books but this one is definitely my favourite in this series.  I look forward to reading more from Kate Willoughby. I gave Out of the Game five delicious cups of hot and sweet coffee.

NEW Five coffee

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 ISHO Author BioKate is in love with the sport of hockey. And the entire Los Angeles Kings team. Having lived most of her life completely uninterested in professional sports, she is surprised at the intensity of her enthusiasm and her growing collection of Kings merchandise:

  • a Dustin Brown jersey (signed by Jordan Nolan, Dwight King, Jake Muzzin, Willie Mitchell, Slava Voynov, Tyler Toffoli, Tanner Pearson, Jim Fox, Andy Andreoff, Tanner Pearson, Martin Jones, Kyle Clifford, and Luc Robitaille.)
  • an iPhone case
  • four T-shirts
  • three lapel pins
  • a wristwatch
  • a floating charm pendant
  • four hats (two beanies, one cap, one Santa hat)
  • several play-off towels from 2012, 2013, 2014
  • a purple sequined jacket
  • replica Stanley Cup Champions banners, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014
  • a car windshield sticker and license plate frame
  • a fuzzy blanket

and the pièce de résistance…

  • an autographed collector card with a swatch of Justin William’s game-worn jersey.

Yeah. Don’t judge her.

She has held a variety of jobs—podiatrist’s assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator’s assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, transcriptionist and barista—but her favorite by far is author. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a Chihuahua named Mochi.
She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America and Los Angeles Romance Authors and winner of the 2009 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance.


WWW Wednesdays: March 4, 2015


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Here’s where I’m at:


What I’m currently reading:

Quarterback Draw by Jaci Burton

This is the ninth book in the Play By Play series.  I’ve been following this series for a long time now and Jaci Burton never disappoints.  She’s very good at writing the sexy athlete.

What I recently read:

Norse Jewel by Gina Conkle

I bought this book ages ago and just never got around to reading it until..RAGNAR AND ROLLO.  Yes, I’ve been watching Vikings and loving it.  I really enjoyed this book.  It’s a romance. Not a lot of sexy times in it but oh so very good.  I understand there will be a followup book.  I’m definitely waiting for that.


The Deal by Elle Kennedy

I can’t say enough about this book.  I LOVED IT!!! I laughed and cried.  I enjoyed it so much I’m trying to force all my friends to read it. 🙂

What I plan to read next:

Out of the Game by Kate Willoughby

I received this ARC from NetGalley and am looking forward to this one.  I read the other two books in the In The Zone series and loved them.

WOW! Looking back at these titles I realize that except for the Viking book, these are all about athletes.  Who doesn’t love a sexy, romantic athlete? Also, that’s a lot of abs!!!

I’d love to know what your W…W…W… are.

Teaser Tuesday: On The Surface by Kate Willoughby

Tuesday Teaser


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Ana Carter, and Cassandra Livingston, at So Many Books So Little Time. Anyone can do it.  All you have to do is: (1): Grab your current read. (2): Open it to a random page. (3): Share 1 or 2 “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page.  BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS!! (4): Make sure you also mention the author and title.


He wanted to spend every minute of the day and night with Erin.  He was ready for her to move in tomorrow and bring all her girly woman shit with her.  The pink razors and the tampons and a thousand pairs of shoes.