Big Stick
Aces Hockey
Release Date: October 23, 2018

A brooding hockey hunk learns to embrace life—and love—from a single mom who takes the world one puck at a time.

Big move . . . Jodie’s motto is “Don’t wait for the perfect moment—take the moment and make it perfect.” And that’s just what she decides to do when she moves to Chicago with her two-year-old daughter. Now all Jodie needs is a place to live, and her best friend’s boyfriend has just the answer.

Big stick . . . Nick Balachov has zero interest in socializing, partying, or flirting right now. It’s not that he doesn’t like women. He loves them. It’s just that hockey, casual hookups, and hanging out at home are enough for him these days. Now Nick has a big problem—because the woman living in his empty coach house is a major distraction.

Big deal? The more Nick tries to keep his distance, the more Jodie needs him—around the house, that is. First he helps with the snowstorm, then the power outage. Nick even finds himself trying to impress her little girl. What the hell is wrong with him? Jodie represents everything Nick doesn’t want. But maybe she’s just what he needs. . . .


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What I thought about Big Stick

In this seventh book in the Aces Hockey series, Nick isn't really interested in doing much to develop a relationship with anyone outside of his teammates. It's not so much that he is anti-social -- it's just that he's got a lot on his mind, especially as the anniversary of losing someone is upon him.  When he begrudgingly goes to a team party, he ends up meeting Jodie who is everything he isn't -- friendly, talkative, and just nice to everyone.  Nick isn't interested, at least at first.

Jodie has moved to Chicago for the sex toy business she runs with her friend and co-owner Kendra and it's time for her to find a place of her own to let Kendra and her hockey player boyfriend have some privacy. When someone suggests to Nick that Jodie needs a place and would be perfect for the empty carriage house on his property, he's not really eager for Jodie to move in, but he goes along with it.

What follows is the slow takedown of the emotional walls Nick has erected around himself.  Through Jodie's care and understanding, he realizes a lot of things, including the fact that his feelings for Jodie are growing and that they could have so much more.  I really liked how Jodie melts Nick's cold heart and how they come to rely on each other.  

There weren't any huge surprises in Big Stick, and I did like these two characters, especially how Jodie uncovers a side of Nick that even he didn't know he had.  I did find the beginning a bit slow for my taste, but other readers may feel differently. 

I liked Nick's interactions with Jodie's daughter Zyana and in spite of his sometimes gruff attitude, I did like how Nick interacted with her throughout the story. It showed  he really had a heart after all.

Overall, Big Stick had some really nice moments and is a low drama sort of contemporary romance where conflicts are resolved fairly easily to get to the HFA or HEA if that is what you are looking for. 

An ARC was provided for review. 

About the Author

Kelly Jamieson is a USA Today bestselling author of over 40 romance novels and novellas.

Her writing has been described as “emotionally complex”, “sweet and satisfying” and “blisteringly sexy”. She likes black coffee, white wine and high heels…and of course cheering on her Winnipeg Jets during hockey season!

Visit her website at or contact her at