Monday, August 10, 2015

Penalty Play by Lynda Aicher

Title: Penalty Play
Author: Lynda Aicher
My Rating: A-

Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Series: Power Play #3
Main Characters: Henrick and Jacqui
Release Date: August 2015
Publisher: Carina
Links to Purchase:

Sexual Intensity: erotic

Story Overview:
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…

My Review:
On the surface this is a hockey book...and it definitely has lots of hockey in it. But it's so much more than that. Both the hero and the heroine are musicians...with all the depth and emotion and artistic aura that comes with that and I LOVED that aspect of the story!

And that's why the meeting of these two works so well. Jacqui is in her senior year of college at the age of 25. She also works in the local music store which is where she meets Henrik, although she isn't aware of who he is when that meeting happened. I love that she isn't a hockey fan, although she grew up in a huge family of hockey fans, and hockey is a part of her family's life through the season. That's what happens when you have 4 older brothers and a father in MN, right?

I love how unsettled Henrick is. The author pointed out from the very beginning. He isn't happy with his life, can't stand to be home alone, hates not having a girl to fill the space. The reasons why aren't immediately apparent, although it becomes pretty obvious that it ties to the grand piano in his house that he hasn't touched in ten years. 

There's a lot of emotional density in this story...both for Henriq and for Jacqui, and I loved that about it, even if it was one of the detractors for the story-telling. This seriously could have been a book that left me in tears several times, but the author didn't *quite* step up to the emotional potential the book had. And don't get me was in no way or form a bad book. In fact, it was on the cusp of being phenomenal. I'm just sad it didn't quite reach that point. 

But as it is...the book is fabulous. I loved Henrik and his character development over the course of the book. He literally comes alive because of the things that Jacqui opens up to him. I loved all of Jacqui's brothers and would love to see some future books featuring them, especially Aidan. I definitely enjoyed the music aspect and the fact that Jacqui takes charge (although I would have loved a session with them and Hawke & Vanessa.) I do love a woman who will take charge of a big, tough, alpha male in the bedroom. 

I continue to enjoy this series. Lynda Aicher continues to be one of my auto-buy authors for good reason!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.

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