UPDATE: The Chinooks Hockey Team Series by Rachel Gibson
I have read a few of the books in this series, but there are another few that I simply don’t want to read. The plots aren’t interesting to me, so rather than holding this review until I’ve read the whole series, I’m just going to give it to you straight. I like Rachel Gibson books. She’s a funny lady. But with this series, I’m lukewarm, which isn’t really great when it’s all about hockey players.
Rating: 3 (sXe)
Jane Alcott is a columnist with the Seattle Times who has just been given an unusual assignment: follow the Chinooks Hockey team on their run for the cup. While Jane gets a crash course in hockey, Luc Martineau is focused on his million dollar comeback. After struggling with addiction and injuries, Luc is determined to justify his expensive contract. What Luc isn’t interested in is keeping Jane on the road with the Chinooks. As the team tries to convince Jane she isn’t the right reporter for the job, Jane realizes she is slowly losing her heart to Luc. But what Luc doesn’t know will hurt him, as Jane has a secret alter ego Luc never imagines.
There were moments in this book that I loved. Jane is frightfully neurotic, which I can relate to. She also grew up without caring about clothes, make-up or her general appearance. While Luc is all about the Barbie model, Jane is a slim, A cup woman toping at 5 feet. She is startling close to me in appearance, except for the hair and eyes, so her insecurities are my insecurities. She has hidden depths and I love that in a character. What I did not enjoy about this novel was how much SHIT Luc dishes out to her. Maybe if they were in elementary school and flirting was all about hair pulling and insults I’d understand. But Luc is as out of touch with his emotions as any stereotypical athlete and it was just plain annoying. Zero introspection, which would be fine, except that in the end he magically decides he is in love with Jane. It was all so painful.
I noticed that I haven’t enjoyed the earlier books as much as I remember enjoying the later novels. I haven’t included the later novels here in this review because I read them a while ago, but I think the best bet is to read the more recent novels in the series. This novels from the 1990s are not my favorite.
Chinooks Hockey Team Series by Rachel Gibson
Rating: 3 (sXe)
Valentine’s Day has never brought Kate Hamilton anything but heartache. When she stops for the night on her way to her grandfather’s in Gospel, Idaho, she is turned down flat by a tall, dark handsome stranger when she hits on him. She is shocked when a few weeks later that stranger turns out to be Rob Sutter, the owner of the shop directly across the street from her grandfather’s market. Between helping her grandfather recover from a broken heart and figuring out a new career, Kate doesn’t have time to relive her embarrassment so she’d prefer Rob stay far, far away. Unfortunately, Kate has never been that lucky, but maybe by her next Valentine’s Day she will find she’s lucky in love.
I thought I’d like this novel a lot and I really wish I wouldn’t do that to myself because it’s not fair to the novel or the author. I build it up and inevitably it lets me down. That isn’t to say this is a bad book. It’s not. But the whole, I don’t want to admit I’m in love and want to get married thing from Rob was a little old. And why Kate wasn’t more worried about Rob cheating on her I don’t understand. It passes in and out of her brain like it’s a piece of trivia instead of a big deal. Oh, and the whole description of Rob’s facial hair as a “Fu Manchu” and “soul patch” was weird! I can understand describing it initially that way, but to continue to refer to it throughout the novel was too much. Despite those minor annoyances, the novel moved along at a good pace. I enjoyed the banter between Rob and Kate. And it was certainly a unique storyline with the whole “you can’t tell a crazy person just by looking at them” history.