It isn’t that often that I come across an enemies to lovers romance in which the protagonists genuinely dislike each other for legitimate but bridgeable reasons and neither is a terrible person. Kelly Farmer’s Unexpected Goals was a very enjoyable read with two protagonists who genuinely and quite famously dislike each other at the beginning and end with a lovely happily ever after.
Maisy Goode and Jenny Donato have had a public beef after an incident in a game between Team Canada and Team USA at the Olympics several years prior to the beginning of the book. Maisie, a goalie for Canada felt like Jenny, on the offensive line for the USA, played dirty and put her at risk of serious injury. Jenny says she was pushed and thinks that Maisy has been whining about it for too long. Now they are on the same Women’s Hockey League – the Boston Ice. Not only that, their lockers are next to each other. Farmer has placed Maisy and Jenny in an interesting place. Their dislike is personal, but based in their professional actions. They don’t really know each other. Which gives them room to grow into loving each other.
I enjoyed Jen and Maisy disliking each other as much as I enjoyed their transition to being in love. They tried in their own ways to bridge the gap and become good teammates, but their communication is so fraught. I genuinely wondered how Farmer was going to pull it off, but she did. The small discoveries they have about each other and themselves were lovely.
I read the first book in this series, Out on the Ice, and am pleased to see that Farmer is clearly more comfortable as an author.
I received this as an advance reader copy from NetGalley and Carina Press. My opinions are my own.