Face Off

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 30 Dec 2019

Member Reviews

I was really excited to read this book because of the little summary. I love next-door neighbor and fake relationship stories. However, this was not the book for me.

I really tried to get into it and give the characters a chance so I could clock with either of them but I couldn't. The whole attraction between them happened, what I felt was, too fast and I felt like it was a bit superficial and forced. I really don't know if it go better by the end because I could not finish the book.

Nevertheless, I am sure this is the perfect book for someone.

I received an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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This is a lovely quick read with a fast pace, perfect for when your life is just too busy. Savannah, hockey player and vet finds her new neighbour very attractive. Turns out that Madison is the wedding photographer for one of Savannahs friends as well the photographer on contract for the ice hockey team. Savannah is very wary of relationships and Madison thinks she has finally escaped her ex.

With a fake relationship trope mixed in and a little bit of tug of war, this is quite engaging. I thought it was a little short with not enough character development and it didn’t help that there were a couple of occasions where the characters’ names were mixed up (which I’m sure will be fixed in the final edition).

I enjoy Trebelhorn’s writing and while this isn’t my favourite, it’s still fun.

Book received from Netgalley and Bold Strokes Books for an honest review.
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A fun romance that starts witht a meddlesome mom which leads to fake dating ones hot neighbour who is also a famous hockey player. 

Savannah and Madison have instant chemistry but it takes a while for the two of them to give in to it. Meanwhile they decide to fake date to please one of Savannah mothers, A fun read for the evening.
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The Queer’s Review

The excitement about a wlw Ice Hockey romance didn’t last long.

And I was so very excited, because Ice Hockey, fake relationship turning real, and a female pairing – I mean, what’s not to love? Apparently a lot.

Fake relationships turning real is one of my favourite tropes and I know how sometimes the reasons for fake dating are a little bit far fetched. Other times they are totally believeable or just plain adorable. But in Face Off? I didn’t get the reason. At all. I mean, it was there, but… that is not a reason.

So this book and I, we didn’t have the best of starts. It went downhill from there. I couldn’t get into the love relationship and was just like “yeah of course” because while it is not Insta love it is a very close case.

Also… everything is just so unrealistic. Showering at your neighbour’s who you have never met at all so that you can drive to your sister’s? Why not, oh I don’t know…. maybe shower at a beloved family member’s home, especially since you’re going there anyway?

The friendships are on paper but I didn’t feel them. Also the main character’s best friend is not able to not flirt with a woman if she knows she is in a fake relationship?

I didn’t have any positive feelings for any character, every relationship annoyed me, and then came the biphobia and that overall energy of being a lesbian is better than other sexualities. Hint: A woman who tries to date you for a year and then later ends up with a man is only wanting to experience the “dyke experience”. And there was just that one lonely dyke on the whole planet so she had no other chance than to pursue her in oder to cross off “dyke experience” of her list.

I was so fucking bored and annoyed by Face Off – I’m honestly wondering why I didn’t dnf.

Bookish Thoughts

I could’ve spent my time with a more enjoyable book for sure, but in a way I still had hopes it would get better. And I stubbornly wanted to find at least something good about a wlw fake relationship turning real Hockey romance.
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4 stars. Savannah Wells cannot get away from her family setting her up on blind dates. She meets her next door neighbor, Madison Scott. Maddie and Savannah instantly connect and all Savannah wants to do is spend more time with her. Maddie instantly likes Savannah and seems to keep running into her and realizing they have similar interests. When Savannah suggests they should start a fake relationship to trick her moms, Maddie is completely on board. Maddie and Savannah both start to spend more time together and cannot help but both start to like each other more and more. When Maddie is also the photographer for Savannah's hockey team it really seems like life is throwing them together.

I enjoyed this one. I liked the chemistry between Savanna and Maddie and how their relationship evolves. They have enough interactions that evolve through time and it seems more legit. I really enjoyed their fake relationship at first and how it evolved from there. I thought it evolved a little too quickly, but I like the slow burn. I still thought this book was very good and would recommend it to anyone.
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First I have to let you know that even though I’m a proud Canadian I know very little about hockey. Yes I know that’s rather rare but there you have it. Even though this book revolves around hockey it also circles around a very nice romance. 
    Madison Scott has just moved from Chicago for two reasons, first she’ll be closer to her sister’s family and more importantly she’ll be escaping the abusive relationship she finds herself in. Mary, her ex was not only abusive but she made a habit of sleeping around. Maddie works as a professional photographer so she can work anywhere she chooses. She just happens to move into a house, along with her dog right next door to Savannah Wells.
    Savannah Wells is a veterinarian but when hockey season begins Savannah spends her time playing hockey with the local semi-pro women’s team. Savannah has no plans to become involved with anyone but her mother’s are on her back to do just that. They want her to have someone who’ll make her happy. Problem is that while Savannah was in university she fell in love with a girl that did make her happy, planning to spend her life with but her girlfriend falls in love with another and breaks Savannah’s heart. She’s not willing to risk her heart again just to be left behind again.
    When Savannah and Maddie meet the attraction is immediate and their lives become even more complicated when not only is Maddie hired to be the team photographer and she’s already been hired to take the wedding  pictures for one of Savannah’s best friends. Now the two women decide to pretend date just to get everyone to leave them alone. No nothing can go wrong, right? 
    Ms Trebelhorn knows how to tell  a great story. Fast paced with some realistic dialogue make this a very enjoyable read.  
ARC via NetGalley/Bold Stroke Books
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I’ve enjoyed this author’s previous books but unfortunately this one didn’t work for me at all. The first meeting of the two leads was really far fetched, the fake relationship angle was completely unnecessary and strange, Savannah being unable to commit because of a fairly run-of-the-mill first experience she had a decade ago didn’t feel believable. I didn’t particularly like Savannah, found her parents and their meddling incredibly off putting, and although I liked Maddie I didn’t feel invested in the story or the characters because there was just too much that  didn’t feel believable. Having said that the book was well written.
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This made me want to check out ice hockey games. What a great romance. I Loved all the characters including duke. Hope for many more from this author.
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An honest review thanks to NetGalley.  I like fake romance stories that turn real as time went on but for some reason from the beginning it did not feel right.  These characters had great chemistry from the get go but it seemed like the fake romance that began was just filler.  These two characters didn't seem to fit the description that usually draws people into a fake romance story.  I felt like a lot was lacking but as I said before, the redeeming quality was that both characters had amazing chemistry.
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I read the ARC provided by the publishers through NetGalley.

A fast, enjoyable read.

Why the 3 (2.5 rounded up to 3) stars: 

The "fake dating" trope: Although it's always fun to read, in this case it didn't make much sense, as the characters were already attracted to each other and had more or less shown their mutual attraction to each other. Meanwhile, the reasons for not wanting to pursue an actual relationship, even though clearly stated, weren't really supported by the characters' actions and thoughts. So it ended up seeming a little childish, the kind of childish that I felt didn't have place in an adult book.

Savannah's player to partner transition: I realized Savannah led a "player" lifestyle because someone said it in the book, not because I experienced it through her actions or feelings. She had some inhibitions for some time, but that was it. So that transition never really happened, there was no struggle for her, everything was smooth, which wasn't that believable. Usually, someone who leads that kind of life does so because they have deep commitment issues that don't just disappear without a fight when they meet "the one". A missed opportunity for some good ol' angst there.

The drama stirring characters: That is Savannah's homophobic team mate and Maddie's ex. Although they could create some real conflict, the writer didn't explore their stories enough to give the reader the opportunity to really feel power of their meddling and how that affected the MCs. They might as well not exist in the story.

So overall, this story didn't allow me to become invested in the characters, but it still was a fun and light read.
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The fake relationship plot line is a rather popular theme and Face Off has made it fun and sexy. This is a light read with youthful exuberance from our MCs, but lacking in insipid drama that sometimes plagues this genre. An enjoyable read for a lazy afternoon or rainy day.
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this one of my most enjoyable reads this year. Yes there are some consistency errors and the character development isn’t as elaborate as it could be, but I really enjoyed it despite its flaws.

Maddie moves in next to Savannah, they meet for the first time when one of them has the weirdest request in history. They end up becoming friends, start a fauxmance and of course end up with more than that. The characters from P.J. Trebelhorn’s previous book On The Fly also make a pretty solid appearance in this book. But you can read this a stand alone novel.

I liked the writing style, the characters and the story. Very enjoyable read for the holiday season.
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I wasn't a huge fan of Face Off. I didn't hate it and aspects of it were enjoyable. The book just didn't work for me, and I think it has a lot to do with the main characters.

Savannah and Maddie had chemistry from the start. But they decided to fake date. While the motivation was explained, it just didn't make sense to me. And while things progressed at a reasonable rate for the "relationship", it felt quick overall and like the characters never fully developed.

I did enjoy the supporting characters in the story. I wish there had been a little more hockey in the book, especially since both Maddie and Savannah were involved with the team. But I can forgive that as it did not play a big part in the overall plot.

This novel is a standalone. I only found out about the other book set in the same universe, On the Fly, after completing this one.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC ebook from NetGalley and Bold Strokes Books in exchange for an honest review.
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What an amazing sapphic fake dating love story! Madison and Savannah were such fully fleshed out characters, their love story was so perfectly spaced and swoony.
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I really enjoyed the overall storyline and the characters. There is a lot of good chemistry between the Savannah and Madison from the first time they met. In some ways, this was actually a detriment to part of the storyline which I will get to momentarily. One of Savannah's mothers keeps trying to set her up on dates so she can find someone to make her happy. Savannah and Madison decide they will go into a fake relationship to stop this. But Savannah had her heart broken in college which has turned her off relationships. While I can understand where a bad breakup could hurt someone to the point of wanting to not get involved in another one, the chemistry between this couple is off the charts from the beginning. It seems there is a lot of angst of whether to get into a real relationship, despite the fact that they are hot for each other and everyone can see it.

There are some characters that I feel we never get resolutions to. There is a homophobic character on Savannah's hockey team that is just a pain in the ass through the whole book, but you never find out why she is the way she is other than she is homophobic. It would have been good to know why she had such a hatred or have something happen to her. But that doesn't happen.

Madison's ex, Mary, comes back into the picture and vows to take her dog and get Madison back. In the end, Madison just has an argument with her, tells her she isn't getting the dog, and will never go back with her. Mary just leaves. This character had been built up to be a psycho and it doesn't seem like she would just drive away after an argument.

I also found there were a couple of places in the ARC that I read where the wrong character's name is used in certain sentences. For example, Madison may have been on the phone and hung up, but the line in the book says Savannah hung up.

I still enjoyed the story overall but the points mentioned above lowered my overall rating of the book.

I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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I wanted to like this book so much. It hurts me to give this book only one star but I had some big problems with the book. First of all, I am not a fan of books that start in media res. I need a little background before the book dives into a conversation between main characters. There is also very little chemistry between the main characters. I didn't feel any connection there no matter how often the author told me there was a connection.

Finally, we get to my foremost problem with the book. It was a chore to read. The author's grasp of the English language is clunky and labored and elementary. I love fake dating and it is my favorite trope but even that fact won't get this book a re-read.

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Enjoyable read. Great inclusion of insecurities and how they worm themselves into your head potentially ruining a new relationship. I would have liked more hockey action as the matches added a bit of drama and the whole book would have benefitted from a bit more drama. For example the plot could have been more menacing - delivered from both the ex and the teammate. The ex’s behaviour was explained albeit briefly and under utilised, but I wasn’t really sure where the teammate was coming from. I got the homophobia and jealousy of hockey prowess, but this character was underdeveloped. I’m guessing page length was a factor. But overall it’s a nice romance. Go Duke!
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Book: would you like some hockey with your romance? 
Me: why yes I would.
Book: how about a fake relationship turned real?
Me: even better. Sign me up.
Book: with lesbians? 
Me: Take all my money!!!!

While not the best book ever written, undeniably enjoyable as it hits so many of my favorite tropes. How can I say no to this?
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This is the story of Savannah and Madison. Savannah is primarily an ice hockey player, as well as a Veterinarian when she's not on the ice. She thinks her life is going pretty well. But, one of her mother's keeps trying to set her up with women. And it's driving her nutty.

Madison has moved in next door to Savannah, and she's a photographer. Both women are attracted to each other right away, but, instead of going about their attractions in a straightforward way, they decided to do a fake relationship to get Savannah's mom off her back.

Of course, they get closer and closer during this fake relationship, but, they also have to overcome Savannah's massive issues, not to mention someone from Madison's past who has it out for her.

It was a cool book. I liked the characters, really liked the hockey stuff (seriously, a ten minute misconduct, c'mon ref, seriously? Oops, I may be a hockey fan, go Bruins!)

It was a fun and fast read.

I received this book via Netgalley thanks to Bold Strokes Books.
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This was an absolutely wonderful book, I loved everything about it. It was especially enjoyable when I realized that it was the second book in a series the other one being "On the Fly", I am not sure if it is a series, but it takes place in the same universe with the same characters. The only thing I did not like is the homophobic character who seems to be getting a lot of page time, but is absolutely reprehensible. If it ends up that she is gay and doesn't know it and then ends up with Kelly, I will absolutely not read anymore books by this author. 

The premise of this story is that Savannah is a single woman who is a but of a playgirl, a woman moves in next door and it is immediate sparks flying, The two of them pretend to be in a fake relationship so Savannah's parents stop setting her up on blind dates. All goes exactly how you think it is going to go, they fall for each other, Savannah thinks that Madison is being clingy at some point in the book and behaves like a child and refuses to talk to her because of a bad relationship she had in college. It is just so ridiculous that she would be holding on to that failed relationship for so long. Of course Madison's ex comes back into the picture to further unnecessarily complicate things, and of course everything  works out in the end. It wasn't that I didn't like the book, but I felt a lot of it was built on a premise that is incredibly unlikely. The book is a lot of fun and I likes seeing Courtney and Laura even if it was only for a few pages. I am assuming the next book will be about Kelly finally settling down since it was mentioned ad nauseam in this book. If you like a quick. read with interesting enough characters, but an implausible premise then give this one a read. it really is wonderful.
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