Hip Check
By Sarah W
Feb 4, 2013 - 10:37:07 AM

Esa Saari is a good player for the New York Blades. He loves hockey but he does not have the best reputation. He is a bit of a bad boy and that may just come back and bite him in the butt. When he becomes guardian to his niece, Nell, Esa knows something has to change in his life, much as he may not want it to. He hires a live-in nanny, Michelle Beck, to take care of Nell and do the things he does not know how to do: like get to know his niece.

Michelle Beck is not impressed with the way Esa “cares” for his niece. He seems preoccupied with only his interests and needs. However, the longer she lives with Nell and Esa, the more she comes to realize that Esa is trying, he just needs more practice. As she gets to know him better, her attraction to Esa grows. But it is not easy because Nell has dreams of her own, dreams that include Esa, Nell and Michelle living happily-ever-after. Is that even possible for hockey’s bad boy?

HIP CHECK is a new addition to Deirdre Martin’s NEW YORK BLADES hockey series. It stands pretty much on its own though you will get a few glimpses of past characters. This story is solely centered on Nell, Esa, and Michelle as they become a family unit. Esa definitely has a tough road ahead of him as he is used to thinking only about himself. He does not have a very demonstrative family so it is not easy for him to show Nell even casual affection. However, the more time he spends with Michelle, he does get better at praising Nell and showing her that he cares. And make no mistake; it is obvious he cares, even if he struggles to show Nell and Michelle that fact. This is a tough story because not only is Esa battling his guardianship of Nell but he is facing some trouble on the hockey front too. He has become almost too risky of a player to keep with the Blades. This is not a lighthearted romance but it is still a thoughtful romance filled with characters you will care about. Deirdre Martin excels at working real life situations into her romance books and HIP CHECK is no different. The realistic work and life situations that Esa and Michelle face add depth to the romance. HIP CHECK will score with readers.

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