Overall Grade: 4.5 ⭐️
To humanize a “player” is one of the best tropes in romancelandia. Bar none. Take the hero who “gets around” and turn him into a puppy dog for love, and you’ve found the romance catnip for many a romance reader (this one included). In her contribution to the Moo U world, Kat Mizera has done that well. Her story, Overtime, tells the story of the second half of the Graham twins, Patrick “Trick.” If you’ve read any of the Moo U stories, then you know Sir Graham, Patrick to you, is $exually promiscuous. In Jami Davenport’s Gametime which follows Patrick’s twin brother, Paxton, one would say that Patrick is $exually prolific given his penchant for multiple partners in the bedroom. To take that type of character and turn him into a dreamy, swoony hero for a virgin, no less, is difficult, and yet, Mizera has written Patrick so well that, by the book’s end, you don’t even recognize him. It is that which lends its power to the genius of Overtime.
This story follows Patrick in his third year. Already drafted to the Sidewinders in Vegas, Patrick is pressured by his father to “turn pro” after his current year. However, Patrick wants his college degree, and he’s unsure if he should stay another year or become a pro. Add to that a condition for playing hockey from his coach: get your grades above a B or you’ll be benched. Knowing that Patrick struggles with the focus of school, his twin, Paxton, finds him a tutor.
Ellie is a nineteen-year old graduate student, having already completed two undergraduate programs. Her mother is pressuring this genius to go to medical school, but Ellie knows that isn’t a good fit for her. However, her existing graduate program is unappealing the longer she’s enrolled in it. One night, trying to “act her age,” she’s enticed to a party at the hockey house where she catches the eye of Patrick. She doesn’t know who he is, but these two are instantly drawn to each other. When the cops raid the hockey house, given that Ellie is underage, Patrick helps her escape, and they are separated. When Paxton introduces the tutor to Patrick the next day, it turns out to be Ellie.
From their meeting, these two are kindred, with parents whose expectations are too high for their children. The initial issue with Patrick and Ellie is her innocence. Yet, as they grow to know each other, Ellie realizes she wants Patrick to teach her everything he knows. Even more, Ellie becomes the grounding force in Patrick’s life. The problem, though, is Patrick may be leaving in four months. Is a relationship between these two even possible? Will Patrick ask Ellie to go with him to Vegas, or is she set to have her heart broken?
While I struggled with Jami Davenport’s Gametime, Paxton’s story, I found myself “all in” to Patrick’s journey. Mizera finds a way to make this man-ho loveable. She writes traits into him that readers haven’t seen in earlier stories. Ellie, Mizera’s heroine, is insightful, mature, and straightforward. She is perfectly suited to Patrick who needs a heroine who isn’t with him for his fame, prestige, and future. She sees to the heart of Patrick, and she’s intelligent in her response to him. As their story progresses, complications arise, and Ellie makes choices that belie her age. Yet, Mizera is careful in allowing Ellie to sit in that while she and Patrick figure out their happy ending.
If I had any criticism, it would be that the story can sometimes feel repetitive as Patrick and Ellie vacillate in their feelings over the future. There were moments when I thought we didn’t need to be reminded so much of their plight. With that said, though, Mizera does deliver them out of their issues, and the solution is appropriate for their situation.
After reading Kat Mizera’s Overtime, you will end the book wanting even more of Patrick and Ellie. Again, there is nothing better than the journey of a hero who realizes he can actually be more than he thought, especially when he finds the love of his life.
In love and romance,