REVIEW: “Low Blow” by Kristen Hope Mazzola

Kristen Hope Mazzola’s “Low Blow” is a fast paced, love at first sight, intensely romantic story of Love and Fate.  This is the fourth installment in the Shots on Goal series.  Unlike the previous hockey playing heroes, Griffin’s a boxer.  “Low Blow” focuses on the younger brother of the first books hero.  Griffin almost didn’t survive being sixteen due to a freak boxing injury, but a heart transplant saved his life.  He’s at a crossroads; Griffin’s feeling jaded with his boxing career, even though he’s at the top of his game.  After a talk with his brother he realizes he needs to find some substance.  At 14 years-old, Olive lost her father, never knowing he was an organ donor.  Today she’s a mechanic owning her own business, in her father’s old garage.  Olive’s tough, smart but letting life pass her by but she can’t put her finger on what’s missing.

“Low Blow” weaves flashbacks into the present day narrative adding drama, emotion and context what’s happening in the storyline.  There are many characters from the previous Shots on Goals books.  Griffin’s older brother Gavin, the hero of the first novel appears with his heroine, Myla.  The second book’s hero, and Myla’s brother, Brayden and his heroine Karla.  Of course we have the ever dysfunctional Hayes parents, which are nicely counter-balanced by Myla’s boss and GBF Simon.  There’s a new secondary character, who happens to be the heroine, Olive’s GBF, Shaw.  The pace of “Low Blow” is lightning fast and the storyline is extremely tight that it reads very rapidly.  The romance is fast, super sexy, yet adorably tender.  There’s also gasp-worthy events that make you want to tell all of the characters to just stay away from cars.

Griffin’s at the top of his game, he loves boxing but his challengers aren’t very challenging.  The matches seem to be more about showmanship and money than talent and skill.  Just in time for his birthday, Life shows him what a loser he is by making his personal life crappy.  He’s the Middleweight Champion of the World and gives to charity but feels as though his life has no substance.  When he was sixteen years-old a boxing injury caused an infection to start shutting down his heart.  It’s only due to a heart transplant that he’s alive and living his dream.  But Griffin feels as though he’s not living a life which is truly worthy of the sacrifice of the donor.  His sister-in-law suggests he needs “closure”.  Griffin still has the obituary of the person who was his organ donor and decides to meet the man’s daughter.

Olive owns the best garage in town.  She turned the hobby she shared with her father, of fixing cars, into her business.  At 14 years-old Olive’s father had a fatal workplace accident leaving her alone with her loving step-mother.  Now she’s owns her own business, with her best friend Shaw, working out of her father’s old garage.  The town she lives in is small and the prospects for dates is miniscule.  Therefore, as Shaw says, they’re probably cobwebs growing over her girl parts, it’s been that long since she’s gone out.  Olive closes herself off from Life, she lives above the garage with Shaw and doesn’t put herself out there.  She wants to keep her heart safe from breaking by keeping it in a bubble.  That is until Griffin shows up at her garage; and her life changes forever.

Griffin hires a detective to search for the daughter of the man who’s heart beats in his chest.  Now he has her address and he’s about to meet her he has no idea what to say.  When Griffin gets there he’s even more thrown than he was before.  Olive Cooper is beautiful.  The moment Griffin walks into her garage both of them feel an attraction, it’s physical but it’s also something more.  Once Griffin explains why he’s there; Olive asks to listen to her father’s heartbeat.  The moment Olive presses her head against Griffin’s chest puzzle pieces they didn’t know were missing snap into place.  The connection is instantaneous, the instinct to be together is immediate, and their chemistry is indescribable.  Within minutes of meeting Griffin asks Olive out twice, dinner that evening and a hockey game later in the week.

Griffin and Olive’s relationship moves at hyper-speed.  Dinner the day they meet, his boxing match a couple of days later, then the hockey game.  They’re inseparable then tragedy strikes again.

Kristen Hope Mazzola weaves a passionate story of soul mates in this sexy fast paced love-at-first-sight romance.  “Low Blow” is definitely a character driven stand alone book filled with colorful and well developed characters.  The Hero and Heroine are engaging and likable, the storyline is straight forward and fast moving.  Olive and Griffin are sweet and sexy.  The Shots on Goal series is a winner for me and I can’t wait to see what’s coming next.

I’m giving “Low Blow” 4 Lightning Bolts” and a Storm Warning.

 

This novel was provided, voluntarily read, and honestly reviewed

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