Penalty Play

Lynda Aicher
Penalty Play
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Carina Press
Release Date
August 2015
Book 3 of Power Play
Contemporary Romance, Erotic Romance

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…

Book Review by Delta (reviewer)
Aug 03, 2015   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
154 people found the following review helpful
Warning: if you or a loved one have battled cancer, this book may push some serious emotional buttons. It's rare that I cry over books, especially in the erotic romance genre, but PENALTY PLAY hits way too close to home with Jacqui's struggle with the big "C."

Henrik Grenick, defenseman for the Minnesota Glacier hockey team, is ambivalent after another breakup with yet another woman he couldn't care less about. Hating the quiet of his house and the chaos in his head, Henrick hits a music store where he meets Jacqui Polson, a music student who is absolutely NOTHING like the sophisticated and bitchy women he usually has on his arm. As a classically trained pianist, he's captivated as he watches the brunette beauty caress the keys like a lover, and he's instantly smitten.

After 2 battles with leukemia, the last thing Jacqui wants is to put someone else through what she's seen her family go through with her diagnosis, treatment, recovery and relapse. But Henrick sneaks past her defenses, and despite the sinking feeling that the cancer is back, she can't seem to walk away from this beautiful, wounded man who craves a kind word and unconditional love.

PENALTY PLAY is the third book in the Power Play series that features the men of the Minnesota Glaciers hockey team and the women who love them. This series is a spinoff from the Wicked Play series, and I honestly couldn't adore Ms. Aicher any more than I already do. Her storylines are both wicked hot and terribly gut wrenching, and this one in particular was a real button pusher.

My heart went out to Jacqui, the fear she lived with every day, the misplaced guilt, the reluctance to let anyone get close. In many ways, she was still childlike in her life experiences despite the hell she'd been through. Similarly, Henrick was so desperate for family, friendship and love because of his withdrawn parents and guilt over his sister's death. He actually struck me as slightly mentally slow, because even though his character went to Harvard, plays kick ass piano and is a beast on the ice, he lacks very basic personal interaction skills. Social cues eluded him, and I couldn't figure out why Ms. Aicher created him with such wildly disparate attributes. He's most definitely not the Alpha character…maybe a Zeta, but most certainly not that take charge individual that we women swoon over. Neither of these two were terribly fabulous characters, even though the story itself (and the sex) was very well done. The erotic side of PENALTY PLAY was indeed very yummy, and the chemistry between Henrick and Jacqui jumped off of the pages.

Bottom Line: Very emotionally raw book, filled with brilliant messages of family, friendship and unconditional love…but one with just so so characters.
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