Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin
Linda's Review: Yes, the hockey romances just keep on coming. This is Martin’s newest, the latest addition to the New York Blades series. Whether intentional or not, Martin manages to be timely in this outing. Our hero, Adam, brought in as the Blades’ new captain, is facing criminal charges as the result of a hard hit in a game against Philadelphia. His layer, Sinead, is a member of the O’Brien clan, which has showed up on the fringes of some Martin’s other stories.
The dilemma for the reader here is being set up to favour the “wrong side” in the current debate about hockey violence. Of course, Adam’s hit, though hard, is shown to be entirely within the rules and his prosecution is set out as a gimmick to help re-elect a Philadelphia DA. All the “good guys” stand up for hard-hitting, old-fashioned, often dangerous, hockey, while the commissioner is the villain (sound familiar?) who is out to get the hero.
There’s also Sinead’s personal dilemma: getting involved with a client is definitely against the rules, although it does seem as if there is one set of rules for her male colleagues and a different set for her, the only female in the practice. Will she risk her career for love? Does Adam’s inability to understand the double standard women are up against mean the end of the budding relationship? And then there’s Adam’s hidden past, including a career-ending hit to his best friend.
Yes, there’s plenty going on in this story and even a bit to think about before you reach the predictable conclusion. Will the Blades win the Stanley Cup? Will Adam’s reputation be salvaged? Will true love triumph? I think you already know the answers, but if, like me, you’ve become addicted to hockey romances, you’ll enjoy this anyway. It’s not her best, but it’s fun. Playoffs are coming up and in between periods, you can read this book.
The Reference and User Services Association (RUSA) announced the winners of its annual Reading List awards in several categories, including Romance, for books published last year.
A Matter of Class by Mary Balogh
Summary: A lady is ruined. A merchant’s son is trapped. Class differences loom large in this charming and playful take on the arranged marriage. Balogh’s Regency gem, where nothing is quite as it seems, is filled with affection and wit.
Click here to read May's review of A Matter of Class.
Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer
Summary: When Max Ravenscar, renowned gamester, and by his own definition, untroubled by a romantic disposition, meets Deborah Grantham, beautiful mistress of her aunt’s gaming house, all his experience of risk and gambles finds him unprepared.
In for a Penny by Rose Lerner
Summary: A dashing and feckless lord enters a marriage of convenience with the lovely and practical daughter of a wealthy merchant to salvage his family fortune, but they find themselves unprepared for scandal, rioting tenants, a menacing neighbor-and discovering a love that is neither convenient nor practical but entirely heartfelt and enduring.
The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn
Summary: The town is shocked when Anthony Bridgerton, confirmed bachelor and consummate rake, actually chooses a bride. His only obstacle is his intended′s stunning, meddlesome elder sibling, Kate. When Anthony closes his eyes at night, it′s Kate who haunts his increasingly erotic dreams. Kate is determined to protect her innocent sister from the handsome viscount whom all London considers the most wicked rogue of all. But she fears how own heart is vulnerable. And when Anthony′s lips touch hers, she′s suddenly afraid she might not be able to resist the reprehensible cad.