A hockey player’s journey to finding her identity
Remember Amy from Out on the Ice? Jen is the opposite in many ways. Where Amy was bubbly and talkative, Jen sounds as far from warm and fuzzy as can be. At least that’s how it feels to Maisy. The two players have history on the ice and when Jen joins Maisy’s team, they both have a hard time leaving that history in the past.
When I reviewed Kelly Farmer’s debut novel last year, I wrote that I was surprised to find myself caring for the characters a lot more by the end of the story than when I began reading it. My experience with this new book is a bit different, in that I really liked both Maisy and Jen from the start. By the middle of the book, however, I felt it was dragging a little, then the exact same thing happened again and I got carried away until the last pages. The story ends on a really strong note, so much so that I’m not sure I needed the epilogue. Not that it’s superfluous, but the last chapter is so engaging already that I would have been happy even if the story had stopped there.
Beyond the enemies to lovers romance, Unexpected Goals is all about Maisy’s journey to herself, finding her way and deciding how to identify, what works for her and what doesn’t. There’s a lot of character growth for both MCs, as Jen goes from slightly immature to wonderfully supportive, while still being very plausibly flawed. There’s angst and conflict and – that one made me very happy – communication. Maisy and Jen argue and make mistakes without letting them overcome their feelings for one another. 4 stars.