Emma Maxwell has lived most of her adult life in unrequited love with Tanner Wolfe. Emma is the odd duck in her family, being the only singleton in the group and the only one who secretly wants to follow her famous parents and become a professional singer. Her sisters have fallen for famous hockey players and one, Avery, happens to be engaged to Tanner's estranged brother. Estranged is a mild description for how Tanner feels about Isaac (hero of Melting Ice). Tanner and Isaac have been apart since Isaac left their abusive father's home for junior hockey.
Tanner is a deeply troubled man with a "good ole boy" facade. Unfortunately for him, his love'em and leave'em lifestyle has angered the new owners of his struggling football team and he needs to appear to clean up his act. When he discovers Emma singing karaoke at a casino, it leads to them pretending to date and then ultimately getting married.
Emma loves Tanner but she isn't sure she wants to give up her dreams. Tanner likes Emma and the
faux family life she provides but his demons still haunt him. When they finally get together physically it's super hot but not enough to keep them together without some honesty on both sides. Tanner is afraid to reveal his past and Emma is afraid to reveal her hopes for the future. In Emma's case, she has two possible futures and she isn't sure which one is the one she really wants.
I enjoyed both of these characters. Emma is a bit meek but she's definitely got a feisty side to her. Tanner is a mess but he knows that he can't keep going on as he has without losing everything. This story has it all, unrequited love, fake marriage, hot hunky athlete with mild mannered woman, family conflicts and even a sort of villainess in Emma's sister Bella. I couldn't read it fast enough!