Body Check

Author: Deirdre Martin

Publisher: The Berkley Publishing Group

Release Date: March 2003

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Janna MacNeil was in love.  She hadn’t been ready for it but it hit her like a ton of bricks when she had least expected it.  Ty Gallagher, on the other hand, was used to getting slammed by a solid brick wall each night he played a game.  He was the Captain and star player of the New York Blades Hockey Team.  But what he hadn’t expected was being blind-sided by the impact of his own emotions when Cupid’s arrow struck him.

When Janna was hired by Kidco Corporation, the owner of the team, to be their new publicist she had no idea what hockey was or who any of the players were on the Blades.  She had heard the many stories floating around about their shenanigans and what they had done with that most coveted of sports trophies, the Stanley Cup, after their winning night of hearty celebration.  

Janna, who was thought to be one of the best in her field, was sought after by Kidco to help squelch those truths/rumors about the team and its players.  Her job was to transform the team into “nice, likable guys”.  But, how was she ever going to be able to do that when their Captain, Ty, would neither listen to her nor allow his team to give her the time of day?

What she soon discovered, though, was that her duties were much like those of a hockey player.  She had to have guts, determination, a strong will to survive, and the ability to get right back up after being taken by surprise and losing control.   The one person who had more confidence in her than she had in herself was Lou, her boss.  Her loyalty to him was what gave her the drive she needed to keep the players in line and to bring them around to Kidco’s way of thinking. 

Janna and her best friend, Theresa Falconetti, find they must weather a terrible storm when a horrible incident takes place between one of the Blades players and Theresa.  Janna must make decisions which will affect both her job and her dear friend.  Will she be able to find the courage to stand up for her convictions? 

Ty Gallagher fights her every step of the way when dealing with his team.  It’s only when he realizes her concern for his players that he comes around and meets her half way.  Will they be able to commit, yet leave their fears behind?  Would the New York Blades be able to rise above the media blasting and find their way to another Stanley Cup? 

Deirdre Martin has written a superb debut novel.  Not only did I find BODY CHECK deliciously sexy and quite sensual, I also enjoyed the story behind the characters.  Her writing style was as fast paced and unpredictable as the sport of hockey itself.  I’m anxiously awaiting her follow-up novel, “Fair Play”, which will continue this delightful story and promises to give us more of Theresa Falconetti, who I fell in love with, along with Janna and Ty.  Please hurry, Deirdre, I’m not sure if I can wait much longer for January 2004 to arrive.

By Romance Junkies Reviewer: Patti Fleishman

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