Let me set the tone with this shining example of the prose we are dealing with: “Within Luc’s embrace, Jane’s heart shuddered and was helpless against the natural force that drew her to him.” Guys, I do not normally read nonsense like this. But, as I’ve said before, I have been looking for lighthearted contemporaries, and Rachel Gibson is an author referred to as ‘funny’. Also – the hero is a hockey player. I am a sucker for the hockey story.
This book. Man, this book. It was not good – but it was fun. The plot did not follow through – but I enjoyed it. It was not well written – but I suspect I will read more by this author in the not too distant future. I don’t get embarrassed about my romance reading any more, but I find liking this book embarrassing because it really isn’t well written.
Jane is a writer whose usual works are the Single Girl dating column in the local paper and the (anonymously written) pornographic Honey Pie stories for a men’s magazine. The hockey beat writer at her paper takes a medical leave of absence, and because the team owners want to try and get more of a female fan base, Jane gets the job of replacement, even though she knows nothing of hockey. Luc is the star goalie of the team and he used to be a party boy but has cleaned up his act. He is intensely private about his life because so many fake stories about his wild ways have been written in the past. The team, and especially Luc, hate the idea of this ‘women’s interest’ writer going on the road with the team and they make her life hell as she tries to get her bearings. My favorite parts of the book were the scenes where Jane went from a pariah with the team to getting a nickname and being suddenly seen as their good luck charm. The banter and camaraderie were excellent.
Jane dresses poorly and doesn’t wear makeup and this is the opposite of the type of woman Luc usually goes for. I love a good makeover scene, and this book definitely has one. Sometimes with the makeover I end up sad because someone had to be “hot” to get the attention of their crush, but I liked how this book handled it. Jane gets dressed up for a big party, but she goes right back to her usual shlubby self the next day. By the end she makes concessions for Luc like sometimes wearing lipstick, rather than fully reinventing herself.
There are three major conflicts for Jane and Luc that they must overcome for their happily ever after. (1) Luc is very private and doesn’t let people in to his life easily. (2) Jane is secretly writing the Honey Pie column and uses an encounter with Luc as inspiration for one of the articles knowing that he will be furious if and when he figures out she was the author. (3) Jane is trying to advance her career and become a serious journalist. She needs to be taken seriously while reporting on the team and not be seen to have a conflict of interest by dating a player, or worse, seeming to get special consideration because of her relationship with a player. Now, in my world, issue 3 is the real hurdle. In this book, 2 ends up being the crisis point. Luc gets over his privacy issues fairly easily, and they have a nice rapport, so that’s hardly an issue at all other than how it ties in with issue 2. Issue 3 is laid out like it’s a big deal (and I suspect in the real world it would be a big deal) and then it is never mentioned in the last 1/3 of the book. Nothing. *spoiler, not spoiler since it’s a romance* They get married and no one mentions it! Very bizarre.
Anyway, it’s not well written, there are big plot holes, and I really enjoyed it. The end.