Penalty Play (Power Play #3)

penaltycover66087-mediumAuthor: Lynda Aicher

Publisher: Carina Press

Rating: 4.5 stars

Buy Links: Carina Press and Amazon

Type: Novel in Series

Received from Publisher

 

Blurb: Minnesota Glaciers’ starting defenseman Henrik Grenick is good at two things: hockey and sex. He’s got it all—the career, the biceps, the babes. But the steady parade of women through his bedroom just leaves him wanting more, hunting for the next distraction. Until he meets Jacqui, who awakens a hunger he never knew he craved.

Fiercely independent Jacqui Polson has no time for the seductive hockey player demanding her attention. More band geek than bimbo, she’s in an entirely different league, and growing up with four hockey-crazed brothers left her with no interest in that world. But damn, Henrik’s hot. And when it comes to sex, Jacqui knows exactly what she wants.

As their relationship moves beyond games, Henrik needs more—not just of Jacqui’s touch, but of her. Jacqui discovers there’s more to Henrik than just the gruff facade. But after a lifetime of fighting their own battles, neither has ever let anyone get so close. As they soon find out, needing someone isn’t a weakness, it’s the only thing that matters…

 

Review: I’ve loved all of the Power Play series, and with each one I think, “This is my favorite!” But I actually DO think this one IS my favorite. Ms. Aicher seems to grow better and better with each of the books in this series, and I love the interaction in this one between the characters from Book 1 and Book 3. Simply fantastic for a reader, to be carried along in our pretend relationships like that. Score one for the lady Lynda! This author also knows how to write a sex scene and make it absolutely freaking smoking hot. Blow down the door, get the fire extinguisher HOT. I love that about her books–the characters lavish each other in these scenes, and you can almost feel each scintillating inch, each powerful caress, sense the emotion playing in these lush landscapes. It’s like an emotional, sensual surround-sound–all of your feelings become involved. They aren’t gratuitous, they don’t go on too long…they are just right. Hard to do, even harder to explain. And to find such sensual, emotional riches combined with a hot sports story? FAN-freaking-TASTIC!

Jacqui’s survived cancer twice. And she’s taken her family with her–or at least that’s how SHE views it. Her parents and four older brothers would disagree. They are there for her as a family and as her team throughout it all. But Jacqui still feels like she’s living on borrowed time, afraid to love anyone for fear she’ll hurt them if she doesn’t live…if the cancer comes back…the inevitable “IF” that dogs every plan she makes for her future. And it’s especially poignant right now as she comes up on her eighth anniversary from her second battle.

Henrik gave up his first love, music, and started playing hockey because he was successful at it. He’d made a good life, it payed the bills, but it didn’t really satisfy his soul. When he came across Jacqui, he was shopping for something to take up his time–a new guitar, a new girlfriend, a new something. He just didn’t realize how much different she was going to be–or how addictive.

At first it’s just a hook-up, but as they keep connecting, it becomes more. Was it loneliness? Was it the music? I think it was both. For whatever reason, their shared love of the piano and classical music drew them to each other–they spoke the same language. And from there it was easier to speak of other things–the dark, hidden things buried in their heads. For Jacqui, the cancer. For Henrik, his sister’s death. I loved that about this book. The music she played for him was a hidden soundtrack to his past and it connected him to his feelings. When he played the same song for her at the end, it made their connection come full circle.

I really loved this whole book. It was lush, inventive, and had incredible depth. It incorporated all the elements I enjoy in a love story–great sex scenes, emotionally invested characters who were more than they appeared, and a richly complex story line that successfully layered the growth of their relationship along with the growth of their personal lives. Deeply rewarding and satisfying read. Thanks!

 

 

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