Friday, July 10, 2009

True Love on Ice

True Love and Other Disasters
By Rachel Gibson

The Premise: Faith Duffy, former stripper and Playboy centerfold, inherits a hockey team when her very wealthy and very much older husband dies. Though Faith was never in love with Virgil Duffy, she did like and respect him and devoted five years to being the perfect wife. He rewards her with $50 million and the Seattle Chinooks, Stanley Cup contenders led by the recently acquired Ty Savage. Unfortunately, Faith knows nothing about hockey, doesn’t particularly like it, and doesn’t particularly know or like any of the players, Ty included. Nothing personal, it’s just never been her thing. Meanwhile Landon, her odious stepson (and you knew there would be one – there always is) thinks the team should have been his and badgers Faith into selling it to him. Unfortunately, he underestimates both her brains and her backbone, and when he shows up at the arena and humiliates her in front of the team’s management and captain, she tells him the deals off. Landon goes away in a snit, and Faith hires an assistant to teach her about hockey and settles in to learn to run the team. The team’s management figure’s they can learn to deal with her, and the team’s captain figures they’re all pretty much screwed. Ty just wants Faith to stay out of the way and not rock the boat when the team has a real shot at the Cup, and Faith is sick of his surly attitude, and the attitude she’s getting from a lot of people in general. The two remain barely civil to one another until the sparks really begin to fly at a photoshoot, and continue to fly until both of them are forced to acknowledge that they don’t just want each other, they actually like each other. All would be well if the evil Landon wasn’t still scheming in the background.

What I Liked: Hockey. I love hockey, and was really happy to see Gibson return to the team she invented for her earlier release See Jane Score. I also really liked Faith, and the fact that Gibson didn’t portray her as an underestimated astrophysicist trapped in the body of a Playboy bunny. Faith is no genius but no dummy, she’s hot, and she knows it. She is also genuinely nice and likeable. She chose to take her clothes off for a living as a means of survival, she’s ok with that, and as a result, so am I. (After all, not everyone can be a librarian!) The rest of the cast of characters is well fleshed out and true to life, and Gibson has her hockey facts straight. She clearly either loves the game herself or does really good research.

What I Didn’t Like: Given everything Faith has gone through, I wasn’t totally sold on her fear of Landon, and I didn’t feel he got enough of a comeuppance at the end. But then, I’m just mean like that.

Overall: Great for fans of hockey and romance; I’m looking forward to the Chinooks next outing.

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