Friday, November 28, 2014


Kind of a fun change of pace for us today, y'all. Court read book one of a companion series, and Shel read book two so we could bring you oodles of info about this hot hockey series by Kate Willoughby. Check it out below! 

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After "Bottlegate," he's traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he'll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who's never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim's autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can't get her to see beyond what's on the surface, they'll never last longer than a single season…

Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published April 14th 2014 by Carina Press
Source: Purchased
Purchase: Goodreads | Amazon

I have a great affinity for hockey novels, and I was very intrigued by this series that seems to be companions about several guys on this team, the San Diego Barracudas. And I discovered that there is a great number of guys on this team that intrigue me. On the Surface gives us the story of Tim and Erin, and how they truly are one of the most down to earth, basically real to life couples that you might read about and enjoy. 

Erin is a nurse, and low and behold (since I am also a nurse), I didn't find anything that raised a brow for me, and that is surprising. I find it difficult sometimes in fiction to be authentic, and not bend medical facts to fit the story, or it might not be well researched, so I was very, very excited to not be annoyed by anything like that. (Ask Shel. It is a sickness, when I get bent out of shape over this.) More power to Erin, and all pediatric nurses out there, for they are rock stars. 

Tim is a great hero, especially as a hockey player. He lives for the game, and I loved that. He has some really tragic material in his past, and how he overcomes that, or ya know, decides that he might just be alright just how he is was pretty awesome. There were a few inconsistencies in the timeline that was a little confusing, but the overall vibes of the story I enjoyed. Tim is a mans man, that cares about his woman. I was intrigued from the interesting way they got together, and was a big fan of these two, til the end. I had some minor hangups with a few of the explanations about life or about hockey that went wordy, kind of like this post is right now, and so maybe it could've been a tad more cut in editing...but, this is a sweet story, about some bad ass hockey dudes, and I really love the bromance we've started already. 

Book two of In the Zone

Calder Griffin needs to get back in shape. Sidelined last season by a knee injury, he's determined to return to the San Diego Barracudas and play the best hockey of his career. This might even be the year he gets out of his talented older brother's shadow.
For months, Becca Chen has poured her energy into Cups, the restaurant she owns, desperate to prove to her parents that she can succeed in the career of her choice, not theirs. But after she spends a five-hour plane ride flirting with charming, magic-on-the-ice Calder, she tells herself she needs a fling.

Becca and Calder can't keep their hands off each other, but they know the relationship can't last. They live on opposite coasts, and they're both too devoted to their careers. All they have to do is prevent their feelings from crossing the line from lust to love…

See how Calder's teammate Tim found love in On the Surface.

Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published August 11th 2014 by Carina Press (first published January 1st 2014)

I wasn't really sure what to expect because Court is/was reading book one in this series and since they are stand alone novels, I decided to do book two and I can vouch that there is absolutely no trouble in picking up with book two; it was not confusing at all.

In this book we have Calder and Becca's story-- a story that involves hockey and her business and long distance romance and all of the joys and troubles that come along with these things. Calder is coming off a season ending injury and flying home for a visit when he meets Becca --his flight-mate. We learn early on that they knew each other a loooooong time ago and as they catch on their lives, they hit it off. Soon, Calder is visiting her business, inviting her on dates, and before we know it something that was a casual, fun fling is now developing into something more. As the novel progress, so does their relationship; there are a few bumps in the road --but honestly the angst was low.

Calder was interesting. He's very sweet and he ate his feelings--I sorta loved that. His reactions to situations with his brother were raw and honest and his feelings with Becca were sweet and adorable. Becca was more stubbornly independent and it takes her a little while longer to get with the program, but once it all clicks, it's allll good.

This is a very sweet romance. There's some steam and some fun and would make a good weekend read.

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