On The Surface (In The Zone # 1)

By Kate Willoughby

BR On The Surface


NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After “Bottlegate,” he’s traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he’ll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who’s never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim’s autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can’t get her to see beyond what’s on the surface, they’ll never last longer than a single season…


ON THE SURFACE introduces us to Tim Hollander and Erin Collier.  After a disappointing season with the Chicago Blackhawks, brought on by a personal tragedy and the Bottlegate scandal, Tim was traded to the San Diego Barracudas during the off season.   At his first public appearance signing autographs, he meets Erin while she’s standing in line hoping to score his signature and therefore score some points with the new doctor she’s been crushing on at work.  Erin’s smart mouth combined with a rude autograph hound ends up with Erin on her arse and Tim defending her honour with his fists.  This creates a PR nightmare for the team, the only way to fix it is for Erin to meet up with Tim for a press conference getting their side of the story out there before it’s too late.

After having to spend the night at Tim’s hotel playing nurse (a real nurse, not the kinky kind), Tim makes it up to Erin by shouting her breakfast and the pair end up spending the day together.  The sparks are there, but Erin is unsure about dating a professional hockey player.  She thinks that all professional athletes are players and are only after one thing.  Thanks to Tim’s reassurances, she comes to accept they have a chance at a real relationship.

I liked Tim.  I thought he was sweet and kind, and very playful.  Playful can be a really good thing and it’s something you don’t see to often in romance novels.  I liked Erin as well, the only thing that really annoyed me about her was her belief that as a professional athlete, he couldn’t really want her, she’s a nobody.

I thought the book was well written, with the characters engaging, likeable and believable.  My only issue with the book is that there’s some slight confusion with timeline, but other than that, it was all good.

On The Surface (In The Zone # 1)

My Rating:  4 Hearts

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In The Zone Series