Lisa B. Kamps is once again victorious with COACH'S CHALLENGE, book 8.5 in the Baltimore Banners series. Banner's hockey team head coach, Sonny LeBlanc, is put to the test when he becomes interested in single mom, Monica Jennings. Due to an abusive marriage, she has trust issues but Sonny wants to help heal her. This contemporary sports romance is suitable for adults.
COACH'S CHALLENGE is a touching novel. I enjoyed Sonny’s and Monica’s story. We met Monica in book 5, BREAK AWAY. She is the older sister of Emily Poole, girlfriend of Banner’s JP Larocque. I appreciated how Emily always subtly tried to put Monica and Sonny in situations together. Okay, maybe it wasn’t subtle. I love Monica’s daughter, Taylor. She was instrumental in getting the couple together. I found it amusing that Sonny bribes her to help him.
Monica has had a difficult time recovering from her abusive marriage. Understandably, she has a hard time moving on. I like Coach LeBlanc. He is a bit rough around the edges. I smiled every time he grunted. I could totally picture him. He is also, divorced and has been out of the dating scene for a while. He is sweet, patient, and perceptive. This story spans over quite a bit of time. The two are both awkward on their dates. They haven’t gone out with anyone in such a long time; they’re not sure how to act. It is very sweet. They are perfect for one another.
Coach's Challenge is well-written and believable. The name of the book is cleaver. The characters are realistic and likeable. I enjoyed the epilogue. It made the story feel complete. I voluntarily reviewed an advance reader copy of this book.