LGBT, New Adult, New Adult Romance, Romance

My Review: Hat Trick Heart (Thunderclap #1): by Ella Market

Publish Date: October 4th, 2022
Number of Pages:
Publisher: Independently Published
Genre(s): New Adult Romance, Sports Romance, Reverse Harem

Total Star Rating: 3.75 Stars

‘. . . there are team superstitions. The traditional shoulder check line or locker room song.‘ He pauses, and I force myself to look up at him, his blue eyes piercing me in a way that makes me squirm in my seat. ‘You, Macey, are a team superstition.’

– Ella Market, “Hat Trick Heart”

What It’s About:

The official synopsis:

When your agent calls and tells you that your publisher wants “something new,” you do the only thing you can do:
Draw from real life experience.

Successful romance writer Macey Veronica’s life has revolved around hockey for as long as she can remember. When a blast from the past is forced in to her life again, six year old secrets are uncovered, and Macey V finds herself wondering how to fit feelings for three alpha hockey players into her one heart.

Max, Rafe, and Andy were the closest that three people could be without sharing blood while playing hockey together in college. Macey was their center, their grounding point, and they would have given her the world if asked. One fateful graduation party forced a rift between two that irrevocably changed everything…. Until years later when they find themselves all playing for the Tampa Thunder.

Macey loves them all, and always has. But is that enough to get them through this next chapter? Or will their pride prove to be too much to overcome?


Hat Trick Heart is a standalone reverse harem romance where the main character gets a guaranteed HEA with multiple love interests. It is intended for audiences 18+ for explicit language and sexual content, including MM, MMF, and MMFM scenes.

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Okay, here is me trying to get caught up on book reviews that are LONG overdue….whoops! what ‘cha gonna do? Sometimes they just fall through the cracks when you get into a certain reading groove, BUT here I am trying to make up for it!

So I actually read this book back in November–again, whoops–but better late than never!

Do you like Hockey?

Do you like Hockey PLAYERS?

Do you like Hockey Players who are up for sharing the main character?

Do you like reverse harems/why choose romances?

Do you like Philipino representation?

Do you like second chance, found family, and/or friends-to-lovers tropes?

…If you said YES to all of these, or even most of them, then I definitely say you need to give this debut novel a shot! Pun slightly intended there….you know, shooting a puck? a shot at goal? okay…….

It was a lighter toned, equally fun and sexy romance novel that anyone who’s a fan of multiple love interests or Hockey in general can easily get into! It’s also an easy read to pick up and get into whenever and wherever without getting lost; whether you’re reading at the beach, or in the waiting room at the doctor’s office, on your lunch break, or literally just whenever you can squeeze in some quick reading time!

The story revolves around Macey Veronica, a romance author on the cusp of writing her next big hit, and it just so happens to be somewhat replicating her very REAL life romance that’s developing between her and her three best friends: Max, Rafe, and Andy.

The three of them just so happen to ALL be professional hockey players, and Rafe was actually out of the picture for a few years and there’s a mystery as to why exactly. There’s definitely some history that gets rehashed and comes to a boil with three alpha personalities.

There was also a nice balance of history with Max and Macey, who’ve been best friends since they were 8 years old, who then met Rafe and Andy in college, and I’m personally glad there wasn’t a whole lot of time wasted with them all being awkward and second guessing the whole “can we be more than friends? Will this ruin our relationship? Do I view them as someone other than a friend?” I mean, those thoughts all make sense and are entirely valid, but when the book is advertised as an RH romance that’s defs going to have some spice, we ain’t looking for that uncertainty, we want to see things freakin HAPPEN! I’d say the author did just the right amount of time of them being just friends and them making the jump to take things horizontally and even further.

The book is told in four perspectives and is also told in just the right amount of balance between the four of them too in my opinion. Each character besides Andy has their own little subplot that they’re dealing with while the romantic relationship between them all develops, but honestly that’s okay in my opinion. He’s the more easy going of them all, and I don’t think he needed to add more drama to the story, there was plenty already going on. He felt like the bridge and/or mediator between them all, and I think maybe why so many others who’ve read this book consider him their favorite! I’m totally speculating on how friends and some strangers read this book, but you know…I could see it!

Besides these four, there’s also a few side characters who catch some of the spotlight–and reader’s hearts–like Macey’s gal pals and the hot young head coach, so it definitely gives you the idea that the story here isn’t entirely done and there’s more to be explored besides just Macey’s little line of men that have her heart! If the author herself says the coach looks like model Chase Mattson, I’m all for getting a closer look into his love life!!

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What I Liked:

  1. Reverse Harem, ‘nuf said! Reverse Harems, or “why choose” romances, are becoming more and more popular in the bookish community. Why pick just one love interest when you could have several? Now whether sharing is going on or they’re competing against each other for time and affection depends on the book/group dynamic, but in this book it’s all amongst a group of friends who turn to lovers, but with two side relationships too. It’s certainly an interesting set-up to say the least, and I gotta say Macey is the luckiest girl in the world to have it this good with three pro hockey players!
  2. An Actual Hockey Fan Wrote This! A good hockey romance also NEEDS actual hockey playing content in my opinion…otherwise it’s not really a sports/hockey romance specifically, it’s just a regular romance and the guy (or gal) just happens to be a hockey player. Sports romance stories need actual sports being played within the pages to count as an actual sports romance, and it’s good to know that this author not only provides actual sports content in this book, but that she actually has a vast knowledge of it and is a huge fan of it in her personal life too! It helps the reader feel the story is more authentic when the author actually knows what they’re writing about in this case.
  3. Low Angst, Low Thoughts! What I mean by this is just that it’s nice to have a book like this that’s just easy, breezy, and doesn’t require a whole lot of thought and concentration. The beach reads that you can take just about anywhere and pick up and not get lost. The low angst is because most of the story is about the four main characters and how they come to terms with their poly relationship and explore it, thus adding to some spicy scenes to enjoy for the readers who enjoy that kind of extra seasoning in their books *wink*wink.*

What I Didn’t Like:

  1. Max Needed to Be More Open to Trying New Things…This isn’t really a critique, more like a personal preference…and also SPOILERS AHEAD……………….okay, so Max is cool with the whole “sharing” Macey part, but most likely mainly because he gets to be seen with her in public like they’re a regular couple. He’s even cool with being in bed with the other guys, and even maybe MAYBE get s a little curious….but then that’s it! NO MAX, explore that curiosity!!! Go with that feeling, and take it further! He admitted watching Rafe and Andy was kind of hot at one point, and here I’m like “yes, but there could be something even hotter…” Basically I wanted to see more bisexual curiosity/exploration from Max with the other guys…like let one of them suck your dick or top one of them! Respectfully and consensually, of course!
  2. The Mom And What’s Her Deal?…I will admit the whole issue with the mom of that super fan and the whole conflict that came because of it felt a little out of left field and should’ve been explored further in this book. It could’ve made more sense if she wasn’t in like only one scene in the whole dang book! Like maybe she’s a rival author/publisher to Macey and the company she works for or something! I don’t know, even just having her in more scenes would make this aspect of the story stronger in my opinion!

Conclusion:

Overall, this was a fun, easy, and defs sexy reverse harem/why choose Hockey romance that I think anyone could get into if they love sports romance and RH’s in general! It’s mainly a lighter, sweet tone of a book too, so I’d say it’s even a good one for someone who’s never gone down the RH rabbit-hole and is curious to give it a try.

I’d say it’s an impressive debut novel, and Ella Market is for sure an author to keep an eye on because things can only go up from here, and there’s also an X-mas novella with all these characters if you can’t get enough of them in this fabulous book that’s called Hat Trick Holiday, PLUS the sequel coming out later this year: Power Play Pieces!

Much Excite!

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell

Fancasts/Dreamcasts

My Fancast/Dreamcast: The Zodiac Academy Series by Caroline Peckman and Susanne Valenti

Image courtesy of Instagram account: @kaythebooklover

Hello Readers!

Welcome back, and can I say it’s always such a great feeling when you discover your next literary obsession while waiting for your other book obsessions to release the next book, and this series has been one on my radar for quite some time now. It’s been recommended over the last couple months in a couple Facebook groups I’m in, and even my Bookstagram friend (@Kaythebooklover, the photo above!) has started these and loves them too, so that was the final straw and I had to join the bandwagon myself!

The story revolves around twins Tori and Darcy Vega, orphans and struggling to make rent for their single bedroom apartment, but a mysterious man chases them and informs them that they’re the lost heirs to the Fae throne of his homeland and must come with them to learn how to use their magical abilities to (possibly) earn their place on the throne and prove any naysayers wrong.

Of course, things don’t go easy and they both have to face the four current heirs and their obvious disdain for having the twins swoop in and take what they believe is rightfully theirs, which leads to the main draw of this story: a bully romance.

Tension rises with all the drama and cryptic threats and sexual attraction that goes hand in hand with the hatred these characters develop as pranks take them to their limit and their will is tested, BUT there’s not even just that! There’s some dark shadow swooping over the campus, and the enemy of the Fae is back and causing a potential war down the road, and they’re getting bigger and stronger faster than we all hope to see!

I’ve only just started this book series, but it really drew me in with the dynamics of the characters and their interactions and banter and sexual tension. The first book is pretty tame, but as I read on, I can tell things are going to get spicy!

To see my review of book #1 – The Awakening – Click HERE

To see my review of book #2 – Ruthless Fae – Click HERE

To see my review of book #3 – The Reckoning – Click HERE

More reviews coming soon!

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Here’s my official Fancast/Dreamcast of the Zodiac Academy series:

Tori & Darcy Vega: Sara Sampaio

Sara is a Victoria’s Secret model who I thought matched the physical description of the twins in these books. I’m honestly not sure what her acting chops actually look like, but I can certainly say she looks the part. It’s fun to imagine her tearing those boys to shreds with the epic lines that Tory gets throughout!

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Caleb Altair: Michael Dean Johnson

Caleb is one of the characters I’m really drawn to, he’s showing more depth than most of the characters, and I’m very curious to see what he does later on! Michael Dean is a model and fitness influencer on Instagram and I think he was even on an MTV dating show at some point, which is no surprise, I mean….look at him!

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Seth Capella: Elias Black

Seth is a very back and forth character for me….he’s outwardly the most friendly of the four heirs, but he’s also the biggest d-bag of them, at least in my opinion! He’s especially cruel to Darcy and has a weird way of showing his affection to others…but read it for yourself to see what you think. Elias is a model on Instagram and was also a contestant on a season of popular dating show, Love Island.

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Darius Acrux: Alex Badia

Darius is probably my favorite of the four heirs, he’s such an asshole, but man is he hot! He’s got a temper, and he’s Mr. cool guy, big man on campus and I am such a sucker for it all, ugh……….Alex is yet again another model on Instagram, and just who I thought of when I got the physical description of this fire starter.

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Max Rigel: Brandon Bell

Max is the one of the four I’ve seen the least of, but he’s part of the Sirens order, who all leech off people’s emotions and manipulate them to feeling those strong emotions in order to exploit it and use it for their own power, it all sounds like those toxic people in your life that you just need to cut off already….Brandon is quite a handsome actor whom I first discovered as Troy Fairbanks on the social satire Netflix show, Dear White People.

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Professor Lance Orion: Luke Bracey

I’m not sure how I feel about Orion yet…it’s obvious he’s got a soft spot for Darcy, but he’s such a jerk to literally everyone else, it’s hard to like him a lot of the time, and he gets away with a lot of abuse despite being a teacher…Luke Bracey was in the Nicholas Sparks movie, The Best of Me, and more recently the Holidays Rom Com, Holidate.

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Kylie Major: Saxon Sharbino

Image courtesy of the actress’s IMDB profile

Saxon’s looks just scream gorgeous blonde mean girl, which pretty much sums up the character anyways, so it’s kind of perfect then! She was in an episode of Lucifer, one of the favorite shows, but she also was in the more recent release of Poltergeist too!

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Sofia Cygnus: Dre Davis

Image courtesy of hollywoodreporter.com

Sofia is kind of the Hermione Granger of this series; she’s a total brainiac except Sofia totally undervalues herself and prefers to be a wallflower type, at least for now! Dre was in one of the later seasons of Pretty Little Liars, and someone who I think looks the part to play the BFF of the twins!

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Diego Polaris: Christian Lee Navarro

Image courtesy of weheartit.com

Diego is a kind soul who’s like the one male friend in the friend group of most sitcoms. He doesn’t do much for me for now, but hopefully he does more as the series goes on! Christian is probably best known for being a part of the Netflix show, 13 Reasons Why.

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Geraldine Grus: Meg Stalter, or Miranda May

Meg Stalter, image courtesy of forbes.com
Miranda May, image courtesy of dellaterrawellness.com

I don’t know how well this matching actually fits, I get the impression sometimes that Geraldine is actually really tall and buff, but I follow Meg Stalter on Instagram and she’s hilarious–I recommend following her too–and I feel like she’d nail the strange exclamations that this character says whenever she’s super happy, excited, or shocked (which is most of the time anyway). Miranda May is an actress who I recently discovered who I think may physically match Geraldine’s description better!

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Marguerite Helebor: Abigail Cowen

Image courtesy of the actress’s IMDB profile

Abigail is just becoming a go-to casting choice for fiery redhead characters, because yes I totally admit I’ve casted her before on other series, but whatever, it works for me! Based off her character in “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” on Netflix, I know she’s capable of playing the “mean girl” role, so that’s my justification!

Principal Nova: Glenn Close

Image courtesy of emmys.com

I’m not sure how accurate this choice for me is, and for the life of me I don’t even remember if there’s anything really said about Nova’s physical description, but I could totally see Glenn Close being in the Head Mistress role for a fantasy setting like Solaria!

Milton Hubert: Will Poulter

Image courtesy of the actor’s IMDB profile

Anyone remember that awkward kid in “We’re the Millers?” Well, I totally see him being this minor character who enjoyed tormenting the twins when they first got to Zodiac Academy. Sure, he doesn’t have an actual unibrow…but that doesn’t mean he couldn’t have a fake one put on in the makeup chair if this was to be turned into an actual show or movie series.

Professor Washer: Timothy Olyphant

Image courtesy of wideopencountry.com

Before I typed out my little explanations for my choices, a “lovely” person by the name of Bri gave me a rude response as to how bad of a choice this person thought this was…yeah, I’m being petty and I’m calling her out…but I’ve watched the “Scream” movies quite a lot over the years as I’m a fan of that horror franchise, and as I’ve watched “Scream 2” to be exact, and without giving too much away, that’s partially why I think he’d be a good choice for Professor Washer! He’s described as being an attractive guy despite how creepy he is, so thats the reasoning behind this, NOT THAT I NEED TO DEFEND MYSELF ON MY OWN BLOG…

Professor Astrum: Conrad Ricamora

Image courtesy of broadway.com

Again, I don’t know how accurate this choice is, as I don’t remember exactly how Professor Astrum is described, but Conrad is 42 years old, he’s on “How to Get Away With Murder,” and he’s kind of just who I pictured playing this character!

Francesca: Emily VanCamp

Image courtesy of eonline.com

Francesca is a badass female who’s in Solaria’s version of the FBI, and is able to really kick major butt when she needs to! After seeing Emily in the “Captain America” movies, I could definitely see her being a good choice in playing this character if this series was made into a show/movie, and thats what a fancast is supposed to be!

Lionel Acrux: Patrick Wilson

Image courtesy of wegotthiscovered.com

Patrick Wilson is an attractive dude, he could get it and is actually closer to “daddy goals” than a good of the men who get that recognition in my opinion! In “Aquaman” starring Jason Mamoa, he had his hair dyed blonde and wore this darker armor throughout, and for some reason that just made me think of him as Lionel when the author’s told us that Darius’s father was handsome and had blonde hair!

Gabriel Nox: Tyler Hoechlin

Image courtesy of zoomboola.com

Obviously Tyler Hoechlin would need a wig for this role, so yeah…I do know Gabriel is described as having longer hair, I didn’t forget that…but lets remember Orlando Bloom and how he was Legolas in “Lord of the Rings” ….I’m pretty sure his hair wasn’t naturally that blonde or that long, so there you have it! The power of Hollywood makeup, and Tyler is a pretty decent actor to top it off, so there’s my justification for this choice.

Xavier Acrux: Matthew Daddario, or Jacob Elordi

Matthew Daddario, credit to owner
Jacob Elordi, image courtesy of wonderlandmagazine.com

I personally see Matthew Daddario more as Xavier, but I could see Jacob Elordi also playing the character too! I can’t remember if Xavier is described as being tall like Jacob is, but I feel like age-wise he fits the bill and not taking his height into consideration, he kind of matches the physical description….I think?

Clara Orion: Violett Beane

Image courtesy of wikimedia.org

I’ll be honest, I was having a hard time picturing anyone for this character, and I saw someone suggest this actress somewhere either on the mycast website or Tumblr, but I think she looks the part! I totally agree with this choice and am adding it to mine.

Mildred Canopus: Billie Lourd

Image courtesy of today.com

Now since “Bri” also called me out on this one, I’m going to continue to be petty and explain this one. I am by no means calling Billie Lourd ugly for fancasting her as Mildred. I’m pretty sure no actor/actress/model/etc. actually looks like how Mildred is described in the books, but lets go back to that Hollywood makeup idea and how these physical qualities can be added on in the makeup chair before shooting! Ralph Fiennes doesn’t look like Voldemort in real life, right? Did Jason Isaacs really have long blonde hair as Lucious Malfoy, again NO! Seeing Billie’s characters in “Scream Queens” and the Cult season of “American Horror Story” are what made me think she’d be a good choice to be this character!

Rosalie Oscura: Tristin Mays

Image courtesy of cbs.com

I made a choice for this character because while I haven’t read them yet, I do know this character makes appearances in other books that take place in Solaria. Tristin Mays has been seen in “The Vampire Diaries” for a short while, and is even in the “McGyver” reboot that’s come out in recent years too!

Professor Highspell: Constance Wu

Image Courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

She’s the star of “Crazy, Rich Asians,” but I’ve heard Constance has been known to have a big head and be a total diva on sets, so that made this a quick choice for me when Professor Highspell shows up later in the book series!

Tyler: Chris Wood

Image courtesy of upi.com

I honestly couldn’t remember what exactly Tyler’s physical features are, like he could have blonde hair for all I know, but that doesn’t mean Chris couldn’t get highlights if that true anyways…I actually loved him as Kai in “The Vampire Diaries,” so thats where I got the idea for this fancasting choice!

Hamisch Grus: John C. Reilly

Image courtesy of onthisday.com

John C. Reilly totally has that big guy who’s a total goofball style of humor–I mean, have you watched “Step Brothers” or “Talladega Nights?”–but I could totally see him playing the role of Geraldine’s father!

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That’s all for now! As I read on in the series, I plan to add more characters and my fancasts for them as I meet them in the books and get a sense of who they could be. Be sure to come back to this page as time moves forward and I finish more of the books! I’m currently up to finishing book 6, and haven’t finished book 7 quite yet! If anything, I’ll probably wait until Book 8 to update all at once to see if any more characters really need to be added.

Thanks for Reading!

— Nick Goodsell