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Always Only You
Chloe Liese. Chloe Liese, $13.99 trade paper (362p) ASIN B08DDMJP4K
Set in the world of professional hockey, this deliciously sweet and sensitively wrought friends-to-lovers romance, the second in Liese’s Bergman Brothers series (after Only When It’s Us), will melt even the iciest of hearts. Burly Los Angeles Kings player Ren Bergman—a nerdy, Shakespeare-loving ray of sunshine—gains some much desired alone time with Francesca “Frankie” Zeferino—the gorgeous and grumpy “little storm cloud” who handles the team’s social media—when he offers her support after a break-in at her apartment. Frankie and Ren have been mutually pining for each other for the three years of their acquaintance, but both have their reasons for caution: Ren only looks like a stud; he’s actually scrupulously careful with both his body and heart. And as a woman in a male-dominated field, Frankie has made it a policy to keep her distance from the team. In addition to the iffy office politics of dating a player, as a person with autism and chronic pain, Frankie’s been repeatedly burned by people who couldn’t understand her needs, leaving her with her defenses up. Liese is herself autistic, and she manages Frankie’s story with grace, specificity, and care. This joyfully sexy, often funny, and wonderfully complex portrait of two very different yet perfectly matched people deserves the broadest possible audience. (Self-published)

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly on 09/11/2020

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