Melody Heck Gatto’s SHUTOUT is a heartwarming story and wonderful addition to the Renegades series. Goalie Dominic Zanetti has only ever loved his high school girlfriend, Hailee Valentine. He is still confused to why she broke things off with him. They are reunited in a different county three years later, and he is determined to win her back. This contemporary sports romance takes place in Pittsburgh and Vaughn, Ontario. It is suitable for new adults and adult audiences.
Melody Heck Gatto does a great job with her character development. Hailee is a likeable heroine. She is an aspiring artist and art gallery owner who is determined to make it on her own. She does not want to be a kept woman. I like that her tattoos are designed by her. Dom has always loved Hailee. He was heartbroken and confused when she broke up with him. He is a great guy with a big heart. Okay maybe he’s not a great guy to the puck bunnies, but whatever; they got what they wanted from him. I love how persistent he is with Hailee.
I love both Hailee’s Canadian (Mia) and U.S. (Alison) BFFs. They both tell it as it is and not what she wants to hear. They know her better than she knows herself. They care about her and want what is best for her.
I appreciated that Tyler Kidd’s and Paige Martin’s from book three, PLAYING THE GAME wedding was in this story. That made some interesting scenarios in the novel with both the bachelor party and wedding. Plus, it was a nice tie-in to the earlier book.
I enjoyed the plot. I thought it was clever how Dom and Hailee are reunited. I love that this couple gets a second chance. They have multiple obstacles to overcome. I like that the misconception that tore them apart is cleared up. I like how Hailee apologizes at the end of the story. It was a cute ending. Melody Heck Gatto’s SHUTOUT was an excellent addition to the Renegades series. I’m looking forward to reading what she comes up with next. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.