People who love sports fascinate me, because I have so little interest in them myself. As one of three sisters, sports only ever played on our TV when the extended family came over for Thanksgiving. That doesn’t mean I avoid sports books, though. In fact, I sometimes seek them out, hoping to learn a little more about this world.
Duncan Armstrong is an NHL hockey player by trade but a country boy at heart. Although he lives in Chicago he chooses to drive a truck and he dumps his supermodel, golddigger girlfriend because she doesn’t like Duck Dynasty. It’s this exact event — breaking up with Melissa — which brings a depressed Duncan to his friend’s bar, The Sin Bin, where he encounters Amber Johnson.
Unfortunately, while adorable Amber seems like the perfect down-to-earth girl for Duncan (and *spoiler alert* she is!), when he realizes she’s a model, too, he takes a healthy step back and begins doubting their attraction. Melissa left him with a low opinion of everyone involved in the profession, and even though Amber is only working her two jobs to put herself through school, he still has trouble trusting her. Even after they start dating, Duncan still has doubts eating away at the back of his mind.
Although I understand this, Duncan’s lack of trust in Amber got on my nerves a bit. She’s an extremely nice girl who is upfront with him from the very first moment they meet. She trusts him with serious information about her family background, and she commits herself fully to their relationship. It’s clear to everyone but Duncan that she would never do anything to hurt him, but when he hears something out of context, he jumps at the opportunity to believe she is after his money and ends the relationship.
Honestly, I wouldn’t even call this a Big Misunderstanding. Amber knows full well what’s going on, it’s only Duncan who’s being a doofus. And he has no real reason — as far as I can tell, his time with Melissa was his only traumatic relationship with a model. He’s not some jaded rake who believes that “everyone has an angle”; Duncan’s actually a really nice guy and likeable character … except for the stunt he pulls at the end. By the time his mess got resolved, Icing had slipped down a bit in my estimation. Once I get annoyed by a hero or heroine like this it colors my experience of the book somewhat even if it has good, strong writing, which this one certainly does.
Icing is an enjoyable story, even though the ending wasn’t quite as satisfying as I’d hoped it would be. Despite that, I would still recommend Kelly Jamieson as an author. There is much to enjoy in her backlist, especially Major Misconduct, which is about Duncan’s sister and which I found much more satisfying.