By Lynda Aicher
One night, one time, nothing more. That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.
One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.
When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?
GAME PLAY is book 1 in the Power Play series, a new hockey romance by Lynda Aicher. Samantha outplays Dylan, an NHL defender, on the ice at a charity event and the video quickly goes viral. Knowing that he’s a good player but that he could be better, he convinces his coach to hire Samantha for some secret one-on-one training to improve his game. But hey, if they end up having sex again, that’s just a bonus.
Jumping right into the characters, I didn’t really like Samantha at all. She spends almost the entire book being bitter and angry at the world. After representing the US at the Winter Olympics the year before, her hockey career is over before she’s even finished college, all because she’s a woman. When she meets Dylan, she resents him on the spot because he’s able to play and get paid handsomely for a game she loves so much. Yes, the situation is unfair, but her constant complaining about it really got on my nerves. I also didn’t like how she kept treating Dylan; she kept him at arms length and sent him so many mixed signals. Her reason for not wanting to get involved in a relationship? When she was 16, her male team mates were mean to her in a way that only stupid teen boys can be. I’m sorry, but I don’t get why one small event would turn a woman off relationships completely.
Now Dylan I liked. He seemed really sweet and down to earth and he really liked Samantha. She was always the first person on his mind, from when he had amazing news to share to being badly injured and taken to hospital. She was the only person he wanted to turn to for everything and I felt really sorry for him every time Samantha pushed him away because of her issues.
I did enjoy the story, but I felt that it dragged on a bit and sometimes I found myself unable to get into the story. Like another reviewer, I found it hard to believe that a college-aged woman was a better player than someone in the NHL and was able to teach him things that a mountain of NHL coaches apparently couldn’t. That being said, I was very disappointed that her training sessions with Dylan didn’t help with her career options. She improved his game so much, the coaches and management were very happy, but apparently she wasn’t good enough to be offered a position with the team. Heck, she never even received public acknowledgement for her success. The whole coaching part of the story simply faded away into nothing, which I thought was really odd. I would read the other books in the series, but I hope the stories are a little more realistic than this one was.
Game Play (Power Play # 1)
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