Sadly, I was bored through most of the book. In five words? Boring. Uneventful. Lackluster. Forgettable. Predictable.
I used to be a huge fan of Rachel Gibson, but a few years back she changed her writing style and now her books are noticably shorter and have far less layers and plot development. The characters are more one dimensional than her earlier books too, and the heat just doesn't sizzle as well because of it. BUT, on the plus side she was always able to keep the dialog, heat and storyline interesting enough for me. Despite not loving them as much as her earlier books, I kept reading and anticipating more. However, in this one everything pretty much failed. A quick forgettable read with a boring plot, no funny dialog, a lackluster romance that didn't feel genuine, and a just OK hero/heroine that in my mind didn't really fit together. I wasn't sold. Oh well, at least it was a quick read.
I long for the Rachel Gibson of before, but I guess I will have to give up on that wish. Luckily, authors like Toni Blake are picking up the slack and writing some fun, interesting and hot romance contemporaries. **Edited to added my full review, as posted on Amazon**
Mark Bressler is recovering from a terrible auto accident and lucky to be alive. He was the captain of a Seattle hockey team before his accident, and his team even went on to win the Stanley Cup without him. Chelsea is a struggling scream-queen horror movie actress and a Hollywood personal assistant who comes to Seattle to see her sister (the PR agent for the hockey team) and takes a 3-month job helping Mark recover. If she can manage 3-months, she will get a $10K bonus check and a chance to change her life for the better.
The premise of this story was shaky to start, but I was willing to buy Chelsea being hired by the team as a personal assistant (when he needed a nurse assistant but he ran all of the ones in Seattle off with his a-hole personality), if only the humor and romance made up for it. Most of the story takes place at Mark's house or showing the two of them running errands and her doing his personal secretarial work. Boring. I did not find much of this interesting or humorous, as Mark was just a jerk trying to get rid of her. We mostly see his bad side, and therefore must believe Chelsea falls for that kind of guy. There are some scenes with him coaching a young kid, but Chelsea is not around for many of those so she really does not get to see the brief glimpses of his good side.
Chelsea was a likable and different heroine, and she was great at letting his many insults roll off of her. However, I would have liked to see her spit back a few insults at times as he really had it coming. She was too passive at times and wishy-washy. They liked each other's physical look and had some sexual dream fantasies about each other, but I never got the feeling of a budding romance. The need to scratch an itch? Yes. A romance? No. The sexual tension was mostly missing, so when they finally do come together it seemed a bit sudden. His declaration that he is only good at hockey and sex was his odd way of wooing her. In his mind his reasoning is since he can't play hockey, let's have sex and see if that part of him still works after the accident. Ugh. Not romantic.
As with all romances, there is the conflict and resolution. Without spoiling it, let's just say I didn't buy it at all. The conflict was a minor issue that is blown out of proportion. The resolution was too quick, too easy, and too who-gives-a-hoot.
In the end, I never cared for Mark, Chelsea was OK, and the relationship just did not feel like one that would work past six months. There was a secondary storyline with her sister, but it was glossed over. It was not a strong secondary romance story. There were a few cameos from past players and their wives, but we see very little of them.
Overall, I thought it lacked all the normal Rachel Gibson magic. It had little humor, boring characters, no honest sexual tension, a boring storyline, and a lackluster romance that didn't convince me at all. I've read everything Rachel Gibson, many books multiple times, but this will not be one of them. I long for her more layered, heart-felt, sizzling romantic stories from her earlier writing days, but that may just be a thing of the past.