Faceoff by Mari Loyal Book Review

Faceoff by Mari Loyal Book Review

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Faceoff by Mari Loyal is a debut college hockey romance that’s steamy without explicit sexual content. It features two rival hockey players that can’t stand each other.


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Faceoff by Mari Loyal book cover

Author: Mari Loyal

Pub. Date: Apr. 4, 2024

Series: St. Cloud Hockey book 1

Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Pages: 323

Rating: 4.5 stars

Spice: 1 heart

Content Warnings: swearing, underage drinking, drunkenness, sexism, bullying, toxic family, & injury


He’s the cocky captain of the men’s hockey team, and now we’re stuck together for a class project.


The days in my hockey career are numbered after an accident years ago that left me with chronic pain. Now that I’ve become the captain of the women’s team at my jock-hating ivy league college, the last thing I need is any distractions from school or hockey.

But then something that can only be defined as a meet-disaster with Max Cassiano, the men’s team captain, leads to open hostility between our teams. Fortunately, that whole mess helps me ignore how freaking hot he is.



I might seem like the hottest prospect to everyone in town, but I’m chopped liver to my massive Italian family. My focus has to be on my hockey career if I want to wow them, and I’m sure being named captain of the men’s team is the ticket.

Until a snobby professor pairs me up for an assignment with the one distraction I can’t seem to shake: Luz, the captain of the women’s team. And she’s way cuter than anyone who hates me has a right to be.

Sparks fly when we faceoff off the ice, but can we win this game if our teams hate each other?


Book Review

Thank you to the author for this ARC of Faceoff by Mari Loyal. All opinions are my own.

What an amazing debut! If you’re looking for a closed-door college hockey romance, then I would recommend checking this one out!



One thing that was unique about this story that I enjoyed was that both main characters were hockey players. It was fun to see the rivalry between Max and Luz. I also enjoyed that hockey was talked about throughout the story, unlike some other hockey romance books.

The family dynamics were interesting in this book, and I’m excited to learn more about each character’s family in the coming books.

Max and Luz had such great chemistry! While this book is closed door, their kisses were sizzling and descriptive.

I loved how sweet and wholesome Max could be. While he was very charming, there were also some really sweet moments for him.

It was nice to see chronic pain representation in this book, and I really felt for Luz with her struggles. I loved how supportive Max was towards her without making her feel weak.

Final Thoughts

Overall, this was such a cute romance, and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!


Where to Read & Purchase

You can purchase a copy of this book at the following retailers:

Amazon [affiliate]


You can also find this book on:

Kindle Unlimited 


Have you read Faceoff ?

I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment down below.


Other posts you might enjoy:

Just Don’t Fall by Emma St. Clair Book Review

A Groom of One’s Own by Emma St. Clair Book Review

Flirtation or Faceoff by Leah Brunner Book Review

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