because bibliophiles require refreshment

Bishop – Sawyer Bennett

In this kickoff to a new series, Sawyer Bennett introduces us to the NHL’s newest expansion team, the Arizona Vengeance. Owned by a billionaire and coached by a legend, this team is poised to shake-up the league. One of the leaders of said team is co-captain Bishop Scott. Looking to blow off some steam the night before training camp, he hooks up with a gorgeous, random woman he meets in a bar. Fast forward to the next day and it turns out she’s not so random – she’s the coach’s daughter! The two are swept up into a fake romance to keep things running smoothly on the team, but before they know it, they’re both questioning the ‘fake’ bit.

Bishop Scott is a good guy. When we meet him, he’s quietly in a bar the night before work starts and open to a hookup but not prowling for one. When he meets the gorgeous Brooke – who puts him in his place pretty quickly – the chemistry is undeniable and they both agree to head back to his place for a night of super steamy sex. This is when I should say that there are parts of this book that are just shy of erotica, so if detailed sex scenes are not your bag, I’d give this one a pass. Back to our couple; they part ways amicably the next morning.

When Bishop shows up at work later, he’s shocked to find Brooke at the stadium. She is too, as she had no idea he was a player the night before. They start to make out in her office – she’s in team services – when her dad walks in. In a panic, Brooke blurts out that Bishop is her fiancé. And the lie snowballs from there.

Brooke has come to Arizona largely to take care of her father. Her mother’s death several months previously has left both of them bereft, but her father especially so. When her father takes the job with the team, she decides to go with him for at least the first season. Her passion is in fashion and merchandising, so she hopes this detour into team services – which is really a travel agent role – will lead to something in that area. She was absolutely not planning on getting attached to anyone, especially not a player, and especially not romantically. Best laid plans and all that.

In many ways, Bishop is your standard relationship-of-convenience story. The plot is tight and bounces along at all the appropriate trope points, without diving into angst. Brooke and Bishop fall for each other at largely the same pace, and have really mature conversations about it along the way. Even the big fight that is required in such stories is done level-headedly and without histrionics.

There are some curveballs of course. My least favorite is Nannette, a narcissistic cyclone who causes more havoc than she’s worth and takes up too much of our time. Nannette aside, I really liked the time I spent with these folks and I’m excited to follow the series and get to know the other players.

If you’re in the market for a hockey romance, or a relationship-of-convenience read, I’d encourage you to give Bishop a shot.

This review originally appeared at All About Romance

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