Want You to Want Me
by Lorelei James
Release Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher: Berkley Books
Book #2 in the Want You series
Number of pages: 384
Contemporary Romance/Sports M/F
Hockey player Gabriella “Gabi” Welk spent her life in pursuit of championships, but she has little to show for it besides dusty trophies and second-place medals. Now her career consists of several part-time jobs to make ends meet. When Gabi gets a chance at her dream job, she swallows her pride and asks her nemesis–smart, sexy and savvy Nolan Lund–for help.
Since being named future CEO of Lund Industries, Nolan has tried hard to overcome his reputation as a fun-loving playboy and ladies’ man. For the first time ever, he’s more focused on the company than his personal life. He spends his free time at the ice rink his brother owns, cheering on his niece at her hockey games…and watching Gabriella Welk, the superstar athlete and assistant coach who gets under his skin in a way he can’t ignore. He’s shocked when Gabi agrees to trade a favor for a favor.
They have little in common besides their mutual mistrust, but between family crises and sibling rivalries, Nolan and Gabi realize they want to be more than just friends–much more.
Gabi and Nolan both broke my heart. The things they kept quiet about throughout their lives that just built up and built up as the years went by. Neither of them had terrible lives or horrible families, but there were always assumptions about them that caused them to put their heads down and plow through. They have found they can finally be their true selves and break through those assumptions with each other.
Of course, these assumptions are at the forefront when this story starts. Nolan has made some not so nice comments to Gabi in the past and jumped to outlandish conclusions about her and his brother. Which has Gabi’s back up when it comes to Nolan. So, she judges him based on that first confrontation (in the book I Want You Back) and believes him to be an entitled playboy.
As much as I have come to love all of the Lund’s, I wasn’t particularly keen on their treatment of Nolan. Again, they weren’t terrible to him for the most part, but they weren’t giving him his due. To put someone in a position of power, yet not allow him to exercise that power (or even fill him in on important matters) is very shortsighted of them all. I don’t want to give spoilers here, but I’m glad Nolan was able to come up with a plan that works for them all and had the guts to speak up when enough was enough. Something his dad, uncles, and cousins should have done long ago.
I know I said Gabi’s family wasn’t horrible, but they did do some horrible things. But Gabi’s a giver. She would never dream of putting her needs above any else’s, especially when that someone else is a loved one. Logan realizes this about Gabi from the very beginning, so why can’t everyone else?
This story is beautiful and heartbreaking and inspirational. Ups and downs, highs and lows. They’re all in there. I can’t decide if it’s a friends to lovers or enemies to lovers story, so let’s say enemies to friends to lovers. Which I loved and had a lot of fun reading.