Review: Face Off by PJ Trebelhorn

Quick Info
Face Off

  • Author: PJ Trebelhorn
  • Publishing House: Bold Strokes Books
  • Release Date: 10.12.2019
  • Series: Standalone
  • Genre: Contemporary, Romance
  • Trigger Warnings: Biphobia, cheating mentioned, stalking mentioned
  • Rating: 2/5 Stars

Face Off

After a rocky start, Savannah Wells finally has everything she wants in life: family, friends, a cat, and her ice hockey team. If she could only convince her mother to stop setting her up on increasingly awkward blind dates, life would be perfect.

Professional photographer Madison Scott isn’t going to settle for less than the happily ever after she reads about in romance novels. But her new next-door neighbor is sexy as hell, so when Savannah suggests a fake relationship in hopes of getting her mother to stop interfering in her private life, Maddie’s all in.

When fake dating, fake kissing, and forced proximity start to feel a lot like falling in love, Savannah and Madison will need to face off and decide if exchanging pretend for reality is really possible.

The Queer’s Review

The excitement about a wlw Ice Hockey romance didn’t last long.

And I was so very excited, because Ice Hockey, fake relationship turning real, and a female pairing – I mean, what’s not to love? Apparently a lot.

Fake relationships turning real is one of my favourite tropes and I know how sometimes the reasons for fake dating are a little bit far fetched. Other times they are totally believeable or just plain adorable. But in Face Off? I didn’t get the reason. At all. I mean, it was there, but… that is not a reason.

So this book and I, we didn’t have the best of starts. It went downhill from there. I couldn’t get into the love relationship and was just like “yeah of course” because while it is not Insta love it is a very close case.

Also… everything is just so unrealistic. Showering at your neighbour’s who you have never met at all so that you can drive to your sister’s? Why not, oh I don’t know…. maybe shower at a beloved family member’s home, especially since you’re going there anyway?

The friendships are on paper but I didn’t feel them. Also the main character’s best friend is not able to not flirt with a woman if she knows she is in a fake relationship?

I didn’t have any positive feelings for any character, every relationship annoyed me, and then came the biphobia and that overall energy of being a lesbian is better than other sexualities. Hint: A woman who tries to date you for a year and then later ends up with a man is only wanting to experience the “dyke experience”. And there was just that one lonely dyke on the whole planet so she had no other chance than to pursue her in oder to cross off “dyke experience” of her list.

I was so fucking bored and annoyed by Face Off – I’m honestly wondering why I didn’t dnf.

Bookish Thoughts

I could’ve spent my time with a more enjoyable book for sure, but in a way I still had hopes it would get better. And I stubbornly wanted to find at least something good about a wlw fake relationship turning real Hockey romance.


I received a free copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you.

1 reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.