Cover Image: Playing To Win

Playing To Win

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Member Reviews

I wasn't a fan of this audiobook. The narrator didn't seem to fit well and the writing itself was choppy. There were times I did like, though. The story and idea weren't bad,.
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Insta love, hockey, and second chance romance all in one. ❤️ 

The audio was very well done! I love when there is a male and female cast for romance audio books 👏🏻👏🏻

Thank you Netgalley and Spectrum Audio for an advanced audio book for my sassy feedback.
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Oh, this was fun!  It should come as no surprise to anyone that follows my reviews that I like a good hockey romance.  Stacey Lynn was a new author to me but I was willing to take a chance on this first installment in the Ice Kings series.  I was not disappointed.  I was hooked by this story from the very start and couldn't wait to see how everything worked out. 

Jude and Kate were both wonderful characters.  I am a fan of second chance romances so I was thrilled by the fact that these two have a history.  The chemistry between them was amazing and I really felt their connection from the start.  They do each have some things to deal with and it was fun to take the journey with them.

I thought that Liam DiCosmio and Stella Hunter did a great job with the narration.  I really enjoy books that use a different point of view for each character because I feel like it really helps to bring the story to life.  I found this to be a very easy listen and both narrators had a very pleasant voice.  I wouldn't hesitate to listen to either of these narrators again in the future.

I would recommend this book to fans of sports romance.  There isn't a whole lot of hockey in this book but Jude is pretty focused on doing what needs to be done to get back into the game.  I found this to be a wonderful romance featuring characters that were easy to fall for.

I received a digital audiobook review copy of this book from Spectrum Audiobooks via NetGalley.
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I've read and enjoyed other books by Stacey Lynn, and I didn't get far into this one before I was wishing I'd just read it too. I think I would've liked it better. The story is interesting and the characters are likable, and I do like a second chance romance. Jude and Kate don't even have a lot of angst over their first chance, which was refreshing to see in this romance trope. They do have their hurdles, of course - we have to have some conflict to keep things moving along, but I like that it wasn't all about what happened the first time around. So, the story is good. The problem for me is all about the audio performance. Well, performances, but some parts were better than others. This one is done in dual narration just like the book is written with chapters alternating between Jude and Kate. Stella Hunter does a fair job with Kate's chapters. Some parts were better than others, and there were times when I would've liked to have heard a little more emotion, but mostly, she does pretty well. That said, Liam DiCosimo drove me to distraction. His voice is pleasant, but more often than not, it just lacks any feeling, which didn't do much for holding my attention. At the risk of sounding harsh, he may as well have been reading the newspaper for all the emotion being used, or not being used. There were a few rare moments when I heard some feeling, but mostly it was just a guy reading the lines without any connection to those lines. What it comes down to is I would definitely read another book by this author, and I'd probably listen to one too but not with these narrators.
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This audio book was enjoyable. I really liked both the female and male narrators. The story line was fun and flirty. Thanks to Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review
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This was such a fun book!!  I love a good second chance romance and when you mix in a hockey superstar's a win-win!

Playing to Win introduces us to Jude and Katie.  Due to some insecurities when they were younger, their brief romantic interlude in college evaporated when Jude entered the NHL.  Katie, intent on protecting her heart from being broken, decided the best course of action was to head the inevitable off by cutting all ties to Jude when he left.  However, he never forgot her and always wondered why she shut him out.  She never forgot him either and has continued to follow him and his hockey career.

An injury brings Jude back into Katie's life indirectly.  It give them the opportunity to see one another again and begin the conversation of what happened all those years ago.  The complicating factor now is that Jude's team is in another city and Katie's career is in Chicago.  Can they find a meeting ground and make things work this time around?  Do they want to?  They both have so many unknowns to deal with.

I really did enjoy these characters.  I liked that it was a story that could hold its own without any unnecessary "girl drama."  There was a little life-type drama, but nothing over the top.  Just realistic things to deal with.

The narration was good.  I often have trouble with men doing the women's voices and unfortunately for me, that did occur with Jude's narrator.  However, he was perfect for Jude!  Katie's voice was spot-on.  It was a very enjoyable listen.

I received a complimentary copy of this audiobook from NetGalley. This review contains my honest thoughts and opinions.
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I really enjoyed this book and narration was fantastic. It was a second chance romance which I love. Jude and Katie were a well-matched pair. I liked how this was an easy, light-hearted read and it kept me entertained.
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Playing To Win is the first book in the Ice Kings series written by Stacey Lynn and narrated by Liam DiCosimo and Stella Hunter. It was a three-week fling. Nothing more than a couple of college kids having some fun, but then I did the stupid thing and fell for Jude Taylor quicker than he can score a goal on the ice. And after one beautiful night together, he left for the pros before I could make my first cup of coffee. I thought I’d put him behind me. I thought I’d moved on. Then he hobbles into my physical therapy office and I realize how absolutely wrong I’ve been - there’s no getting over Jude Taylor. But now things are complicated. Jude lives half a country away and his career is in direct opposition to my need for stability. Most of all, getting involved with him could mean losing my job and everything I’ve worked so hard for. Jude doesn’t seem to mind one bit and he’s all in. He might be a patient in my office, but he’s no longer the patient guy I remember.

Playing To Win is the third or fourth book I have read (or listened to) from this author. I rarely listen to romance, usually choosing to read rather than listen, but the narrators might have made me a bit more willing to listen, at least with my headphones though maybe not in my car. I enjoyed the voice work and thought the tension and emotions were well done, and I really enjoyed the effect of dual narrators. I liked the characters, and the build up of their story. Second chance romances are not my favorite trope, but when done well they are fantastic and this story does it well. Jude is a good guy that just happens to be a hockey player. He fell hard for Kate, but just when he had his chance with her he made it pro in hockey and it never had a chance to grow. Now they have another chance, but her career may be on the line and fears about his injury bringing his career to an end way too early are huge obstacles that need to be faced.  I really enjoyed them finding their way back to each other, and I liked the secondary characters. I felt like there was plenty of room left for this series to continue with more books. My biggest complaint was not finding out why two of the secondary characters seem to dislike others with no explanation, and why a couple I am sure will have their own book soon are clinging so hard to just being friends. I fully expect to keep following this series just to see if I get those answers.

Playing To Win is an entertaining and engaging romance novel, fans of second chance romance and sports romance will particularly enjoy it.
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Getting injured is a hockey player’s worst nightmare but in Jude’s case it may just be a blessing in disguise when it allows him to reunite with the one woman he has never forgotten. While in college Jude and Katie were developing a relationship until circumstances tore them apart.

Katie is a physiotherapist who is surprised to find that her newest client is Jude, a man she dated in college and hasn’t seen since. The chemistry and connection between them is stronger than ever, but will they be able to work through the misunderstandings of the past and their different plans for the future?

There is no denying that they were meant to be and I really liked both these characters. Jude is determined to show Katie that the only place she belongs is with him while Katie is willing to move on from the past but she wanted to make sure that the love they had for each other would be strong enough to meet any and all challenges that they might face. I listed to an audio copy of the book and thought that the narrators did a great job with the story and the characters.
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Jude Taylor is the perfect book boyfriend!

He has had feelings for Katie since college when he chased her until she finally went out with him. When he turns up at her PT practice after years of being apart, Katie can't believe Jude still wants her! Katie fights the attraction since it could mean her job, but the feelings between these two never left.

It was a good hockey story. I can't wait to get some more from this bunch! Good read.

I thought the narrators did a great job with the story. It really brought the characters to life.
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It was a three-week fling. Nothing more than a couple of college kids having some fun, but then I did the stupid thing and fell for Jude quicker than he can score a goal on the ice. And after one beautiful night together, he left for the pros before I could make my first cup of coffee. I thought I put him behind me. I thought I’d moved on. Then he hobbles into my physical therapy office and I realize how absolutely wrong I’ve been, there is no getting over Jude.

Playing to Win is a light and easy to read sports romance. It was just what I needed; a sweet, sexy and fun story. I really enjoyed it.
This is the first book in a series and I’m sure I’ll keep reading.

Thank you Netgalley and Stacey Lynn for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I really enjoyed this audiobook! The two narrators were great. The story line was interesting and kept me engaged all the way to the end. I really liked that Katie and Jude had a past. So often the main couple just falls in love over a few days. Their history just added to the relationship they built in the present. There was a great cast of supporting characters that I can tell make great stories in this series.  I can’t wait to start the next audiobook I have from this series!
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Playing to Win by Stacey Lynn 

I received an ARC audio version from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.  Opinions expressed are my own and have not been influenced in any way. 

I have read other books by this author and really enjoyed them - Playing to Win was my first audio listen on Netgalley.  Loved it - I will definitely be requesting more audio books .  It is a great option to listen to a book while cleaning or just relaxing - I also loved the narration ( voices ) of both the 2 main characters.

This is the story of Jude Taylor and Kate ( Katie ) Carter and they have known each other since college. There has always been chemistry between the two ... Jude is now a professional hockey player rehabbing after a surgery for an ACL tear and a second concussion.  Katie is a trained physical therapist and the two meet again when Jude begins his sports rehabilitation in the Chicago area to be closer to home.  

Why I really liked this book : 

Sports romance ( a favorite of mine - specifically hockey ) 
Awesome main characters in Jude & Katie - as well as great secondary characters 
Both characters are willing to work on what they need to do to make their HEA happen - that there is more to life then what they both want out of their careers 
Great humor 
Jude’s supportive family 
Love that the Katie goes for what she wants - that being solely Jude  ❤️ 

I really enjoyed this story and would like to read or listen to more in the series. 

Highly recommend this book !!
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The story was good.  It flowed nicely and had a nice balance. 

One of the narrators on the other hand just didn't do it for me and I'd find myself drifting off to other thoughts or laughing because the voice was just off.  It also lacked emotion and infliction in spots - while not monotone, it just didn't seem to convey the described emotions of the characters.
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I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Playing to Win was a pretty cute audiobook to dive into. Plus, I do love a good hockey romance every now and then. It also doesn't hurt that this flew by either. In it, you will meet Jude and Katie. They knew each other in College and had a little fling. Then they get a little reunion and it's pretty obvious that they still have the same feelings for one another.

The romance between them started off pretty insta-y for me. I guess that's to be expected since the book felt so short to me. I just kind of wished that they took things a bit slower instead of just diving straight into things. Then again, when things got steamy I honestly didn't mind at all.

Other than that, Katie and Jude tended to annoy me from time to time. At one point, I think a certain someone needed a good slap to the face. They were just being way too annoying and overthinking everything. Oh lord, a slap was needed people.

In the end, this book was cute and if I can find the next book I will probably dive into it.
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This was a great second chance romance that was just pure fun! Jude is a hot shot hockey player who sustained a bad injury that took him out of the game, actually the rest of the season and the team sends him back home to Chicago to get surgery and rehab. Kate cannot believe her eyes when Jude hobbles into her physical therapy center. He is not her patient but she cannot help the tingles. They had brief fling in college until he was called up to the league and she was left behind. Now he is back on her turf.  The chemistry is still as strong but will they be able to get past the...past...This was a great story and love the entire family. Mom is a hoot and dad is...well, inventive with his curses.  I had this one in audio form and the narrator was perfection!

**Received this ARC in audio form for review from the publisher via NetGalley**
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Jude Tayor, a star hockey player, is forced to take a break from his hockey career due to a massive knee injury. His coach asks him to move to Chicago for therapy, where his family and also where Katie is. The girl he spent one beautiful night with in college. Meanwhile, Katie is shocked to see Jude Taylor on the news about his injury, and even shocking is the fact that he is going to have therapy at the institute she works at. 
I reviewed an Audio copy of the book NetGalley provided, and I love the narrators for both the characters. The alterations in both their voices, while switching between characters was charming. The alterations in both their voices, while switching between characters were charming. The breathy name-calling and grunts and groans during their acts kept the narrative exciting and lively.  
The story alternated between chapters narrated by the characters Jude and Katie. That works best, I think, as readers like to know what’s going on in the other character's mind. 
I loved the characters, Jude and Katie. Their family background was described in detail, weaving into the story without dragging. Katie, despite a not-so-great upbringing, is firm in her value and beliefs and comes out as an independent woman. While Jude, although a celebrity, is portrayed as down-to-earth, humble, and respectful.
My favorite part was the steamy, descriptive and passionate acts between Katie and Jude. Stacey’s writing flowed well and switched between Jude and Katie effortlessly. 
But I was disappointed with the pace of the storyline. One minute Katie is questioning whether to get involved with Jude and a few chapters later, she has no qualms meeting his entire family, then quitting her job and finally moving to Charlotte where Jude lives. I think these are monumental decisions in a person’s life, and they rate some serious thinking and time, to keep them close to reality. 
Also, I kept hoping for some friction in the relationship, some turmoil, and some twists, but it was too good to be true. I expected a more complex plot.
Nevertheless, it’s a good story about passionate love, and I recommend it to romance buffs looking to ramp-up the heat and look for a happily-ever-after ending.
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Can Jude get a second chance with Katie, the one who got away? That is what you will discover when you read Playing to Win, an intoxicating second chance story about a charming hockey player. I liked the two main characters, Jude and Katie, they are great together and I loved reading their story.

When Jude, a professional hockey player, is injured he is upset and worried that it could end his career. The last thing he expects is to reconnect with his college girlfriend, Katie while he is healing. 

Katie is just what Jude needs. Jude lost Katie once and he isn’t going to take a chance of letting that happen again. He knows he wants Katie back in his life and he doesn’t waste time playing games. Jude is confident and comfortable letting Katie know exactly how he feels about her. Jude comes from a hockey family dynasty. They are all crazy and funny and add a lot of entertainment and laughter to the story.

I love stories about sexy hockey players and I loved this second chance hockey romance. I listened to the audio version and thought the narrators did a wonderful job. Perfection.
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ARC provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

I enjoy books by Stacey Lynn for their storyline and lack of unnecessary angst. This second-chance romance was no exception. I enjoyed both the story and narrators.
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Absolutely adored this audiobook by Stacey Lynn. If you like hockey romances or second chance romances, this is the book for you.

For Jude, life is all about hockey. For years, all he's focused on is his hockey career, and he's go no interest in love because he can't forget about the one that got away. The one that kept him from coming home to Chicago. Until now. Now, he's injured and coming home to rehab so he can get his career back on track. For Katie, she's about to embark on the physical therapy career that she's wanted. And  wouldn't you know it, the one that got away is now back in Jude's orbit. From the minute they reconnect, Jude is all in. He's wanted Katie his entire life, and he's always been confused as to why she cut him out of her life. 

Jude and Katie connect in a really honest, really genuine way. The writing by Stacey Lynn is so purely emotional and real, so you buy into their connection, their rekindling, immediately. The narration by Liam DiCosimo and Stella Hunter is spot-on. They each bring emotion and nuance to their performances and really hit the right notes and the right level of earnestness to their characters.
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