Top critical review
Could have been better
Reviewed in the United States on October 30, 2020
I had mixed feelings about Stephanie Queen's "He Has It All," book #2 in the Boston Brawlers Hockey series. Main characters Ryan and Chelsea were both likeable and sympathetic, and I even liked them together as a couple. That said, I found their relationship development to be rather lacking; the author relied too much on Ryan and Chelsea's childhood relationship and family connection, which was established before the book began, and didn't show enough emotional growth between them as adults. Nothing really seemed to change between them from the beginning of the book to the end, except for the fact that they started sleeping together.
I was also very frustrated by how hard everyone around Ryan and Chelsea tried to keep them apart. To a certain degree I could understand their family and friends' concerns, but they were both adults, and if they wanted to be together, it was no one's business but their own. Besides that, everyone kept telling Ryan that he needed to settle down, but refused to allow for the possibility that he might actually have grown up and be ready for a serious relationship. Finally, it was very hypocritical of Ryan's sister Maggie to be so upset about the possibility of him dating her best friend when she had just married his best friend. She didn't seem to have a problem asking Ryan to use his position to get Chelsea a job, however.
There were some other plot and timeline inconsistencies that bothered me, though to be fair, I read an advance copy so some of those could have been corrected prior to publication. There was also a lot about Chelsea's background that I wish had been better developed, particularly related to her brother and his death.
Overall, I thought this story had a lot of potential, but I just can't recommend it in its current form. With further editing and refinement, it could have been a really good read.
*Review copy provided by the author via Hidden Gems Books. All opinions expressed are my own.