Author: Lynda Aicher
Publisher: Carina Press
Rating: 4 stars
Type: Novel in Series
Received from Publisher
Blurb: One night, one time, nothing more. That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.
One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.
When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?
Book one of Power Play
Review: Is it me, or is it HOT in here? That’s the reaction I had when I read the sex scenes in this first novel in Lynda Aicher’s new series about hockey players! They were smoking! But she uses her talent for more than creating heat between the sheets. She also creates a compelling story line about a female hockey player with nowhere to go with her sport. And that’s a story we can all get behind.
After a brilliant four years on her college team and being on the victorious women’s U.S. Olympic hockey team, Samantha “Sam” Yates was done in her sport. There was nowhere else for her to go as a player. She could try to keep up her health and go out for the next Olympic team. But that wouldn’t be fair to the younger players, whose only ride to glory would be those games. The Olympics are the last hurrah for female hockey players. Men get contracts and can play professionally as long as their bodies last. But women? Not so much. And for a little girl raised on hockey dreams? Her dad was a well-known professional hockey coach who’d trained her from the time she could stand up in her skates. It was difficult to just give it up. It just wasn’t fair.
But Sam had chosen to move on. If she couldn’t play, she didn’t want to be in the field at all. No coaching, no trying out in the very new, very small semi-professional women’s hockey teams. She wanted to play big or not at all. She’d enrolled in a Master’s program in Sports Psychology and was finishing up the required courses to complete her undergrad degree. As soon as she was done, she was leaving to start the program. It wasn’t hockey, but it was her future…and she had to get ready for it.
But–avoiding her hockey friends and the hockey arena wasn’t helping her ease the pain of withdrawal–it was making it worse. Why couldn’t she get rid of her anger and bitterness?
Dylan Rylie was having the time of his life playing professional hockey for the Minnesota Glaciers. Catching sight of a really cute female hockey player at a promotional gig one weekend at a local arena, he and a friend met up with them afterwards at a local restaurant/bar for a meal and a beer. Which led to a fast hookup with the cute blonde player named Sam. But it made him feel so crappy. And used. Already unsure about a lot of things in his rookie year of playing, Sam’s casual air and ability to walk away from him got under his skin more than he would have liked.
But as coincidence would have it, Sam gets hired by the Glacier’s coach to help one of their hotshot defensive lineman with his game. And guess who it is? Dylan, of course. She can’t resist the many lures thrown out–a hot guy she’s very attracted to, playing hockey against someone of her own caliber, getting payed to play, and just getting to be in the atmosphere of high-action, elite hockey again. What a thrill. But isn’t it going to make it harder to leave when she graduates? And when their marathon coaching sessions also become marathon sessions between the sheets, can she really pull this “friends-with-benefits” thing off? She’s never been able to before.
As for Dylan, with Sam by his side, he’s playing better than ever. He’s got a new field awareness and a great new playing style that’s only marred by a very sudden and very bad injury. Sam drops everything to nurse him back to health, taking their relationship to new levels of intimacy. But neither one acknowledges their feelings or says anything about this new stage of their relationship. Stupidly, Dylan starts assuming that maybe since he’s feeling things are going well, that maybe she is too and she’ll stay. And we all know that assuming usually nets you a kick in the teeth. With Sam’s bitterness and resentment at the loss of her own hockey career at such a high level–crammed down deep into her heart, ticking like a ticking bomb ready to blow–what’s going to happen when the clock runs out?
I really liked this book on many levels. It was funny, hot, well-written, and I really felt for Samantha and Dylan both. Their characters were so well developed, and you could understand how each of them were struggling to find themselves within the sport that they both loved. I can’t wait for the next book in the series! Great job, Ms. Aicher!