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4.6 out of 5 stars42
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VINE VOICEon May 20, 2010
When I was in my early twenties I spent the majority of my time with my head shoved into a romance novel. Roberts and Steele were my constant companions. I devoured everything they ever wrote, and then spent months waiting (not so patiently) for their next novel, but then one day my need for romance dropped off, and my constant need for action and mystery kicked into gear. It was not until I finished "Go Small or Go Home" that I realized I missed the complexities of broken hearts and the journeys people encounter to repair them.

Tess is a therapeutic masseuse, or at least she used to be until the clinic she worked for perished. On the hunt for a paycheck she decides to apply for a position with the Toronto Hogs hockey team, but what she doesn't know is that her professional fate lays less in the hands of the owner that's about to interview her, and more in the hands of the mysterious man she just gave an impromptu massage to in the waiting room. Forrest is hurt. Being a freshly traded hockey star and signing a multi-million dollar contract this poses a little bit of a problem, but not as much as his deflated self confidence will. Hoping to reign in all of her dreams and keep her clients healthy at the same time Tess does what anyone else would do...she starts to breakdown. Can Tess juggle her busy schedule and keep her sanity? Will Forrest ever be able able to pull himself out of his rut and play again? And will either or them ever understand that sometimes the only way to heal yourself is to admit they need to be healed?

"Heather Wardell" did such a magnificent job crafting her story that it made it almost impossible to put down. The 2 main characters (though painfully damaged) were so like-able I found myself wanting to reach through the pages and give them hugs. The plot is the smoothest I have read in quite some time (I know you have noticed all of the 4 ratings lately) and in the end was so surprisingly sweet that I could feel my heart getting heavy with pure joy. The interaction between Tess and Forrest was raw and honest, and the push/pull was artfully crafted leaving the reader guessing around every corner. I have made it known that I generally dislike epilogues (I feel that more often than not they drag down the end of a novel) but in this instance it only added to the novel and made the enjoyment I felt in reading it even more adamant.

Simply put...

Do I think you should read it? Yes...

Do I think you will enjoy it? Yes...

Why? Because it's just plain good.

Happy reading my fellow hockey fans and remember: beauty is in the eye of the art holder.
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on July 6, 2011
Plenty of other people have summarized the plot, so I won't rehash that.
I've never read this author before. She does a good job of making you feel like you know the characters. They are complex and make for pretty enjoyable reading.

The main character, Tess, was.... different. I had a hard time picturing her. She was an artist, a massage therapist, and a competitive swimmer? A hippie athlete? She was sometimes really really annoying. Just because a character is annoying doesn't mean it's a bad book, in fact probably the opposite could be argued. But because of some of Tess' annoying thoughts or choices I lost interest in the book at times.

And the way the author described the lead male, Forrest, I couldn't shake that she was making him an emotional weenie. I feel like what she wanted us to see what a real and hurt man going through a very rough time, but sometimes she over did it and he came across..... feminine. If you have grown tired of authors portraying men as having no feelings and just being pigs, then you will love this book!

There were other characters though that peaked my interested. I hope the author wrote a book about Magnus.

I would give this book 3 1/2 stars. The reason it wouldn't get more is because the dialog wasn't exactly witty. And in fact lots of the interaction between the two main characters was childlike and awkward.

I look forwarded to reading something else by her and see if maybe other characters bring something different to the table. Wardell is definitely a better writer out there than many around her, but she's not exactly top of my list. I did appreciate though that her story had heart and wasn't just fluffy crap. I mean this is definitely an easy read, nothing too deep- but for the chick-lit category it has more heart than some plotless pieces of junk out there.
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on October 4, 2010
Tess is a struggling artist, working as a therapeutic massage therapist to keep the bills paid. When the massage clinic she works at suddenly closes and she is nowhere near getting paid for her art pieces, Tess goes on an interview for the Toronto Hogs- the professional hockey team. She didn't know that she would only be working for one of the players instead of the entire team, and quickly runs into a mess of problems with Forrest. Forrest, once a star hockey player who has a multi-million dollar contract with the Hogs after being traded, suffered through a devastating car accident earlier and a groin injury on top of that, and his hockey game isn't up to par. Tess didn't realize when she signed on that she would not only being massaging Forrest, but also helping him overcome his inner demons that keep him distracted from hockey. Or that she would fall in love with him. But can Forrest move on from his past so he and Tess can attempt a future together?

Go Small or Go Home by Heather Wardell kept me tearing through the pages, marveling at the love story being played out. There are some deep circumstances surrounding Forrest and Tess, and the emotions are quite intense and heavy throughout. Both characters are highly damaged, but instead of that quality dragging them down, it made it that much better reading about how they could make each other better. Not only is Go Small or Go Home a fantastic love story, but there is another layer about self-discovery. When Tess finally gets her dream career of being an artist to come true, she realizes that maybe working for a gallery owner isn't all she thought it would be. She is forced to examine her career and future goals to figure out what path she really needs to take to be satisfied in both her personal and professional life. Another gem from Heather Wardell!
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This book has been on my tbr list for so long I guess I was a little afraid to read it in case it didn't live up to my hopes. I was a little hesitant because I had read another book, but wasn't very impressed. But this book was awesome! I can't believe I waited months to read this!

Tess is a massage therapist and is trying to get her career as an artist going. Forrest is a hockey player who is recuperating from a devastating accident. Both have scars and are fighting inner demons. Forrest's career is on the line and Tess wants to help heal him physically and emotionally.

This book captured my attention early and held it. All of the characters were well developed. I loved how there was this mystery of who was trying to hurt Forrest and how even though there were the obvious suspects it wasn't an open and shut case.. All in all, it was great overall, and I will not hesitate to read any of Heather Wardell's titles.
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on April 29, 2014
Tess ends up becoming the massage therapist for Forrest a star on the Hockey team. Or someone who was traded to the team who had promise, but then after a car crash that killed his fiancee and other unfortunate injuries, he has not reaaly been able to play. Her job is to get him back in competitive form. While at first things start out rough eventually she and her client seem to get along. Maybe a little too well as she really shouldn't get involved with someone she works for. And her whole life isn't about giving massages because she is also a competitive swimmer and likes creating miniatures in her spare time. While looking better Forrest's comeback has some hurdles as there appears to be someone trying to sabotage him. Can he find out who before it's too late? And why did he and later on his mother react so weird on first meeting Tess? Overall a great novel set in the sports world. For someone so bad in gym, I sure like some of the novels set in baseball, hockey, footbal world etc.
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on September 6, 2012
This is another great Heather Wardell book! The title tells a bit in that the lead character, Tess is an artist of miniatures. I truly do not know anything about miniature art except it looks difficult to do but now i feel like i can understand the thought and process that goes into it. Tess also is a massage therapist that is hired to work for a star hockey player with "issues". Some physical and some mental. Her art is a main focus because it is her passion and massage, even though she is excellent at it, is her job. I was drawn to her healing qualities as a therapist and also her passion with her art and her drive to compete as a swimmer. She has a lot of energy and drive. Enough for 10 women and I loved to share that energy in reading about her life. As usual there is a love story to be had and that is also very volotile and interesting. That is a great part of the story that does not cumulate until the very end. Very good book, i highly recommend!
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on July 21, 2014
Another great book by Heather. Her characters feel real and easy to relate to. Tess is great at what she does and you get to learn so much about working with miniatures. Forrest has become a book boyfriend for me. Some of the things that happen in the story with swimming and hockey are very interesting. As as with her other books, this one is again one that you want to read in one sitting as it keeps you hooked from the start.
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on August 31, 2011
I got my first Heather Wardell book about a month ago while on vaccation and haven't stoped reading her books since.Can't wait for her new book to be released in September :) I am facinated by the style she writes, love the characters and enjoy reading the books again and again. I enjoyed her "Canada Series" as she calls them, the most. I enjoyed to see character coming back even if they were in other books.I can only recommend Heather Wardell's books specially if you are looking for romance, humor and a good dose of tears once in a while as well. Also what I loved is that I got the "Canada Series" not in the order they might have been attempt to be read but it didnt make a difference. No matter which book you start with they all tie together somewhere along the line. I can not wait for more books to come out by this wonderful Author. Thank you Heater Wardell :)
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on August 4, 2011
It is rare that the heroine in a novel is not so stupid as to have me wanting to scream at a book because she can't see what is obvious... what *I* would see if I were in her shoes.

This is my third Heather Wardell book. In non of them so I feel the heroine is a stupid/silly/flighty woman. I have found them to be smart and intellectual. It's nice!

Also, I have no interest in hockey what-so-ever... but this book had me glued to the team! Just like her book 'Seven exes is Eight to Many"... I dislike all reality TV and Despise Survivor but in her book about a game show called 'stranded' I was glued to the words on the page. All 3 of her books I have finished in less than 48 hours because while I am reading one, I have no desire to DO anything else!
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on July 10, 2011
I was intrigued by the title of this book and downloaded a sample. The story pulled me in enough that I wanted to keep reading. Although written in the first person, I would not put this in the "chick-lit" category. I would say it is women's fiction, more the story of one woman's self-discovery than a romance. Tess and her emotional struggles are firmly at the center of this piece, rather than the boy-meets-girl romance model. The leading character's obsessive personality is real, but engaging. I was pulling for Tess to make the right choices and decide what is important in life. As a side note, I liked the hockey setting as something different. All in all, a nice surprise from an author who was new to me.
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