Thursday, April 24, 2014

[Kame's Review]: "On the Surface"

On the Surface by Kate Willoughby
Publisher: Carina Press (April 14, 2014) 
Series: In the Zone, 1
Genre: Contemporary Romance -- Sports

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…

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Kame's Review:

Tim Hollander was part of the team that just won the Stanley Cup but he was traded to the San Diego Barracudas to make a PR nightmare go away.  He is fortunate he is now on a team with his two best friends; together they have committed to starting training camp in the best shape ever. They are not the young hot shots anymore, they need to play some great hockey and stay out of trouble. That was exactly what Tim planned on doing until a rowdy autograph seeker gets out of control. He is sure it will be another PR issue; then Erin stepped forward.

Tim and Erin seemed like real people to me. Tim is not some hockey prodigy; he is someone who worked hard towards a goal. He came from a regular family that seems to keep him grounded.  Erin is a pediatric nurse who knows nothing about hockey. Erin is observant and notices things about Tim many have never seen. Tim’s interest in Erin is genuine; he is not looking for a quick hookup. His reason for moving out of his temporary home to a more permanent one warmed my heart. Erin is not star struck, and actually is convinced she will lose Tim to someone who shares his lifestyle. Each have a vision of their lives; and it seems they might be in conflict. Just as in real life; the love that Tim and Erin had for each other shaped them into the people they were at the end of the book; and I don’t think they could have become the people they were without each other.

There are plenty of steamy scenes in this book to go along with the ones that pull at your heart. The funny exchanges between Tim and his friends made me chuckle and I can’t wait to read more about these guys in the series. The hockey references and game scenes are not too much for someone like me who is not a hockey fan.  Not every secondary character was involved with the hockey team so there are many different directions this series can take.

First book in the series and first from the author for me and I want more! I hope I get a glimpse of Tim and Erin in the next book and the remainder of the series...because I don't want my time with them to end.


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Kame received an e-ARC of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for her honest opinion.

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Thanks for the review, Kame -- it's going on my list! :) 

Remember, Kame's interviewing Kate's characters today on this post, so be sure to join the fun!


Until Next Time,


  *TBQ's Book Palace is a member of both the Amazon and Barnes and Nobles affiliates program. By using the links provided to buy products from either website, I receive a very small percentage of the order. To read my full disclosure on the matter, please see this post!

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