Release Week Blitz, Reviews & Giveaway: One More Shot: Victoria Denault

One More Shot (Hometown Players #1)
Victoria Denault
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Expected June 2, 2015

They say you only get one shot at making your dreams come true. Jordan is determined to take two.

Drafted by the NHL at eighteen, Jordan Garrison was headed for fame, and there was only one person he wanted to share it with-Jessie Caplan. He was crazy in love with her, and had finally told her so. They shared an amazing night . . . and then everything fell apart. 

Jessie tries not to think about the night she gave herself to Jordan-or how he broke her heart. She tries not to think about it, but she does. Especially now, when she's staring into his sky-blue eyes for the first time in six years. After so much time and torment, she can't tell if she loves him or hates him. But Jordan has learned enough to know a connection like theirs is rare. He was lucky to find Jessie once. No way will he lose her again.
Donna and Wyatt show up and join the crowd in the living room. Everyone is munching on the sandwiches, fruit and veggie platters we’ve laid out. Jordan doesn’t seem to be with them.

Fucking coward.

“I’m going to go start the coffee and get out the dessert tray,” I tell Callie, and then get up from where I was perched on the arm of Rosie’s chair.

“Jessie, honey, can you also grab the Bundt cake I left in my truck?” Donna calls out to me. “It should be on the seat.”

I nod and smile graciously. Leaving the living room, I head into the kitchen, flip on the coffeemaker and head out onto the porch, making my way to the driveway.

Jordan is leaning against his parents’ old truck. He’s just standing there in his stupid knitted hat with his stupid broken foot and his dumb sad eyes. He came all this way and he can’t do anything more than stand there like he’s Krazy-Glued to a Ford? Suddenly I hate him more than I ever have before.

Without a word, I storm over to the passenger-side door—the opposite side from where he is—and open it. I see the cake and pull it carefully off the seat. When I turn around he’s standing directly in front of me, blocking the way back into the house.

I stare up at him as a flood of emotions roars through my body like a tsunami. I want to cry, punch him, scream and even laugh at the universe’s one-two punch to my gut. The sun is behind him, making the tips of his flippy blond hair glow. He needs a haircut. He looks like a Muppet.


Hey? His big opening line after taking my virginity, breaking my heart and disappearing from my life for more than half a decade is “Hey?”

I think this, but I don’t say a single word.
 He clears his throat. “I’m sorry about Lily.”

“Thank you.” I sidestep him but he moves with me.

“Let me carry that for you,” he offers, extending his long arms and big hands toward the cake.

“I have a dead grandmother, not broken arms,” I snap, pulling the cake closer to my body as I glare at him. “I can carry a stupid cake.”

He takes it out of my hands anyway. Asshole. I roll my eyes and storm back to the house. He hobbles behind me. Unfortunately, one of his strides is like two and a half of mine so although I am moving faster than him, he’s still right behind me when we get to the porch.

“Jessie,” he says as I reach for the door. “Can I talk to you for a second?”

I close my eyes, sigh and then turn to face him, crossing my arms over my chest as if to hide the scars on my heart...or protect it from new ones.

“I just wanted to say—” He moistens his lips and waits until I look up and meet his eye. “I wanted to tell you I’m sorry for what happened. You know, when we were younger.”

He’s sorry it happened. Jordan Garrison is sorry he took my virginity. Bitchin’. Now my day is complete.

“I’m sorry you’re sorry,” I reply coolly.

“What?” His blond eyebrows pinch together.

Rudely, I ask “Are you done talking?” and reach for the door again. “I have a roomful of people who care about me and my sisters inside. I haven’t seen them in years and will most likely never see them again. So, if you’ll excuse me . . .”

I swing the screen door open and slip inside, not waiting for him and the damn cake to follow. Cole and Leah and my sisters are in the kitchen. Callie is pouring coffee into mugs. She looks up and scowls as Jordan sticks his booted foot in the door to keep it from closing in his face. He enters the kitchen behind me.

“I thought you left,” Callie says flatly. “Doesn’t Seattle need you back?”

“I’m not ready to play yet,” he mumbles, motioning toward the boot on his foot as he places the cake on the kitchen table.

“Yeah, well, if you stick around here you might have a few more broken bones by the time you head back,” Callie mutters coldly, and I place a soothing hand on her shoulder, giving it a squeeze.

Her brown eyes are angry but she shuts up. I fling open a drawer and turn to hand Jordan a knife. “Make yourself useful and cut the cake.”

“Remember when you two were best friends?” Cole blurts out with a big, dopey smile across his freckled face. If looks could kill, Jordan and I would be arrested for murder, and they’d be scraping Cole Garrison off the walls of this kitchen for weeks.

Best friends from the time they were eight, Jordan and Jessie weren’t high school sweethearts but what could have become a young love situation turned to heartbreak and six years of avoidance.

Jessie was full of trust issues. When her high school boyfriend cheated on her, she turned to her best friend for comfort. A series of misunderstanding and mixed signals had her running as far from the situation as she could get. Her default reaction is to run, and she makes several attempts to avoid Jordan and their past throughout the story.

While runners usually frustrate me in a book, I could understand her reluctance to risk the same pain again and found myself sympathetic to her struggle. I liked the way she fit in with the Garrison family and took care of her younger sisters. Though she was a little flighty in the romance department, for the most part she is a solid character with plenty of strength.

Jordan was so focused on hockey and his career, he didn’t stop to think about how Jessie would interpret events or what she saw televised. That oversight cost him hugely and drastically changed his outlook on everything. He has the requisite confident, professional athlete attitude, but is also down to earth around his family and longtime friends.

Their chemistry was rocky at times, but that also has something to do with six years of animosity, avoidance, and misunderstanding. Jessie had built up so many negative feelings to surround the love she had felt that it was sometimes hard to see what she used to feel under all that scar tissue. And Jordan’s attempts to forget what he felt for Jessie make it hard to feel sympathetic towards his heartbreak as well.

There was a lot of angst in this story. A lot. I kept wanting to force these two to sit down and hash out the events that drove them apart previously, because it was so obviously a misunderstanding. I had moments where I couldn’t believe one or the other didn’t just blurt out exactly what they had seen, or what their perspective was. But it was radio silence about the past. This was the biggest hurdle this book had for me. The lack of communication made it difficult to feel sympathy for either character and almost made me put the book down on several occasions.

I haven’t read anything else by this author, but will definitely watch for the next book in this series. The interactions of the side characters, including Jessie’s sisters and Jordan’s brothers and teammates promise a lot of fun and drama to come. There were times I actually liked what was going on with the side characters more than the main characters, which leaves me hopeful for future books.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Victoria Denault

Victoria Denault loves long walks on the beach, cinnamon dolce lattes and writing angst-filled romance. She lives in LA but grew up in Montreal, which is why she is fluent in English, French and hockey.

Top 5 Fun Facts about Victoria Denault

1. I've run the bulls in Pamplona, Spain – twice.
2. The title One More Shot was inspired by a song by a band named Kane.
3. The characters are from the fictitious town of Silver Bay, Maine. It's roughly based on Old Orchard Beach, Maine, but I swapped the ocean for a lake.
4. The relationship between the Caplan sisters (Jessie, Rose, Callie) is inspired by the relationship I had with my best friends growing up.
5. I LOVE hockey and was lucky enough to be at a Stanley Cup winning game. Total bucket list item.


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