Icing On The Date

Icing On The Date: A Bannister Brothers Book - Jennie Marts

Owen is a hockey player that is in trouble often. He and Gabby meet in the women's restroom of a hotel during an event that Gabby is catering. She rescues him. Gabby is hard working and wants her bakery to one of the most popular ones. Owen remembers the name of the bakery and looks her up the next day. To thank her, he helps her for the day. And thus begins their relationship.
I didn't think I'd like this as much as I did. Owen is a drunken mess when they first meet. As I got to know Owen, I realized he was rarely like that. He was angry at himself that some of his (and his brother Bane's shared) behavior on the ice got Bane traded. I also liked Gabby. What brought this down for me was a secondary character- Justin, Gabby's brother. Gabby is a doormat when it comes to him, enabling him each and every time. See, Gabby as the eldest had sheltered and taken care of her younger brother Justin. They grew up with an abusive step-father. Justin gets drunk and into fights. He gets arrested and/or needs to go to the ER. Gabby then is the one who bails him out. In fact, the book opens with her having to do just that. It's implied that she's had to do it before. Then, later, after they went to a hockey game, they (Gabby, Owen, and Justin) go to a bar. Owen buys Justin a beer; smart, let's have the alcoholic have alcohol. It will come as a shock to all that later Justin got into a fight and needed to go to the ER! This would have been 4* if Gabby had held Justin accountable at all or changed her behavior. Or if it was even acknowledged that Justin was an alcoholic.