Series: Alaskan Nights #3
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Signet on 6 August 2013
Reading Challenges: 2013 In Uniform Challenge
If you’ve followed the Alaskan Night series like me, you’ve probably been patiently waiting for Avery Marks to get her novel with ice hockey champion Roman Forsyth (the last remaining bachelor). I enjoyed lots of the elements in Just in Time but had a few quibbles once the career aspect was introduced. Avery and Roman were desperately in love when they were teenagers but Roman got a shot at the big league and left Avery behind to look after her alcoholic mother. Second chance novels are often lots of fun and this is no different.
Avery was stuck in a holding pattern for years after Roman left and as soon as she started to live again, Roman decided he wanted her back. Avery has just come back from a successful job swap in Ireland and straight into bridesmaid mode. One of her best friends is getting married which means her ex will be back in town. Avery never got over Roman’s treatment of her and working for his mother who imagines the two getting back together, can’t be easy. Blaming Roman was the easy option and gradually Avery came to realise that she too played a part in the break up.
The whole town is in love with Roman as his successful NHL career helped put them on the map. He suffered a serious injury during last season which he has been hiding while he tries to work out what to do with the rest of his life. Although I would never wish physical pain on someone, I was pleased that it forced him to start considering other people. Although he resents the fact that the locals just see ‘ice hockey star’ rather than the real him, he hasn’t exactly done much to keep in touch beyond sending his family and Avery expensive gifts. Avery and his grandmother were the only two to call him on his behaviour which is probably why it took him so long to realise how immaturely he had behaved. There is nothing wrong with following your dream providing you accept the consequences of it. The downtime in Indigo allows him to coach the local ice hockey team and his treatment of the boy named ‘Stink’ shows what a decent guy he really is.
I like novels where the H/h get to rekindle their romance but there were a few things that grated. Everyone in the town assumed that Avery’s life could never be complete without Roman whereas he could obviously get any woman he wanted. She’d stayed in town and worked hard to help others but they still saw her as lacking whereas Roman had the right to just breeze in and out of town. The chemistry still exists between the two even though they squabble constantly. I got impatient waiting for them to put all the old resentments to bed and redefine their relationship. When Avery’s career starts to take off and she can finally envision a life beyond working for her ex-boyfriend’s mother, Roman decides to martyr himself without even considering what Avery wanted. At that point I felt like we were right back where we had started.
I enjoyed Just in Time but more for Avery who was finally spreading her wings than for Roman who had quite a bit of growing up to do.