Off Her Game (Texas Highlanders Ice Hockey Book 1) Kindle Edition
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I received an eBook copy from the publisher for purpose of an honest review for The Jeep Diva. I was not compensated for this review, and all conclusions are my own responsibility.
This is a difficult review to write. There were moments when I loved this book, but then there were things that happened in the story that took me completely out of the book.
I loved, loved, loved Darren. The book starts with him at the courthouse and you immediately feel for him as he's dealing with the mental anguish of his divorce. I liked the fact that he's a hockey player and where he's at in his career, having spent 10 years playing for the Highlanders in the NHL. I liked him with his friends (the scene with him at the doctor's office with Cody was hilarious...) I like that he's loyal and devoted to his team and his group of friends.
I had a harder time with Valerie. There were times where I loved her just as much as Darren, but other times, I just didn't understand her actions. Her character was (at times) extremely wishy-washy and didn't seem true (at times) to her career and her knowledge of the way people work that she would need as a counselor. There were times when I just felt like she was stringing Darren along, especially toward the end of the book. I liked her career story line and the way that it played into the team job. I wish that we'd gotten to see more of that aspect of it and her interacting with the team.
I received an ARC of this book, but there were serious continuity issues within the story (of the copy I received). I *hope* that these were fixed before the actual book because they were really distracting within the version of the book I read. I kept going back and re-reading sections to make sure I'd read it right the first time and that those circumstances changed 2-3 pages later.
While this book may not have been my favorite, I still enjoyed it enough that I definitely want to continue to read the series. I loved all the support characters that Suzan has set up and am excited to read their stories. Plus, it's hockey...really hot hockey players? You know, I'm in.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Book provided by: book provided by the author for review
Review originally posted at Romancing the Book
I love a good romance involving a big, bad hockey player. Add to that a sassy bar waitress and what's not to love? Okay, it's kind of weird to put an ice hockey team in Texas. Texas is land of football, baseball, and barbecue beef. Yes, I know there are hockey teams in Texas. Somewhere. But it's just so hard to wrap my mind around a hockey player in a land of cowboys. Luckily for me there's not a lot of "Texas" in the story - just a lot of Darren, Val, and, of course, falling in love.
Darren, the hotshot hockey player, is he-man macho, ready to protect his woman (even before she's his) at all costs. What don't I like about him? He's a hockey player with all his natural teeth and no scars. At least, none that anyone mentions in the story. Anyone who reads my reviews knows I like my men with flaws and Darren just doesn't have any. Despite a failed marriage, he's not really a commitment-phobe. There's a little fear about his performance on the ice, but it's such a minor part of the story it almost wasn't there. He has no physical scars. No internal scars. Which just makes him too perfect.
Val, at least, has issues. She's lost her job (a job she truly loves) and is living from paycheck to paycheck (something I can totally relate to). She doesn't have room in her life for a man - and she fights her attraction to Darren even while watching his games on the bar TV. Her heart wants a man but her brain keeps getting in the way, telling her she needs to get her job and finances in order first. Now this is a woman I can understand.
And now for my nod to realism. In one bar scene, Darren is disappointed to find fellow bar patrons soaking up the baseball playoffs. The television could have been showing hockey's greatest moments, but the author kept it real. Baseball in Texas and men with beer guts cheering. Overall, a pleasant and enjoyable book.