Saturday, October 18, 2008

Power Play by Deirdre Martin

I searched high and low for this book. I went to all two bookstores in town the day it came out, the day after it came out, and two days after it came out. I gave up on Books-A-Million because they didn't have any in stock, which doesn't surprise me considering they can't even alphabetize their books. Barnes and Noble at least bothered to look in the back for me. I suppose that since the book didn't go on one of the tables or an end-cap, shelving it was not a priority. Never mind that the romance genre is a billion-dollar industry. So, this book better be pretty good in order to justify the gas and time spent searching for it. 

Power Play is the latest book in Deirdre Martin's New York Blade's series, following the events in Chasing Stanley. (I'm not sure if Just a Taste really qualifies as part of this series, even if it does include Michael Dante from Fair Play.) The book follows the budding romance between Monica Geary and Eric Mitchell. 

Monica is a popular soap star whose star may be eclipsed by a younger, less talented actress. Monica isn't very sure about her profession, thinking she'll work in the soaps until something more "professional" comes around. But now that she may not be the number one star on the show, she's realizing her job's worth. But is it too late? In an effort to give her profile a boost, she agrees to a fake romance with Eric. 

Eric Mitchell is the newest player on the New York Blades, a professional hockey team in New York City. Eric's pretty unpopular because he was traded from Jersey (that enough should damn him) for a popular Blades' player, Guy Le Temp. Not only do the fans not like him, but the team doesn't like him, either. Oh, and his play sucks. He's not living up to the hype from the trade. He jumps on the chance to up his profile by dating Monica, that and because he thinks she's hot. 

I like the whole idea of the plot. How many hockey players in reality date models and pageant queens? (Yes, I'm speaking of you, Willa Ford. Eye roll.)  The plot is completely believable, and the fact that Martin used to work for soaps makes for an interesting look at the behind-the-scenes of a soap. The backbiting, the gossiping, the casting couches... But what the book needed was better execution. The dialogue was often wooden, and I had a really hard time with the character of Eric. I had a hard time to like him, and if a reader can't like the hero of a romance novel, then the romance is not believable. It's like watching your best friend date a jerk. 

While the soap opera part of the book was believable, the locker room bits with the Blades was a bit harder to read. Her writing of game plays read like copy from a newspaper article. 
Eric could hardly contain his excitement as he and Monica headed uptown toward their respective apartments in her hired car. To say he'd slaughtered out on the ice tonight was an understatement. He'd scored on the power play two minutes into the second period, and he'd orchestrated the team's other three power plays as if he had the puck on a string. They'd scored three out of four chances on the power play, in addition to their two even-strength goals. He'd excelled in his own end as well, skating the puck and making crip breakout passes.

That paragraph completely threw me off from the rest of the narrative. 

This book earned a solid C. 


Ginger R. said...

Hi Christine --
I work at a B&N (hey, it pays the least, some of them) and bought this book the day I saw it (we alphabetize our long as I'm shelving them). I'm a huge fan of the NY Blades, but I agree with you that this one wasn't quite up to the standard of her others. The first two, featuring Janna & Ty and Theresa & Michael, were by far the best, but the rest were pretty good, too. I enjoyed "Power Play," but, like you, felt that it lacked some of the magic I'd felt previously.

PS I, too, am a Caniac. Only since January 2008, though, so I don't have much of an opinion about Maurice except that I felt that it was time for someone else to be coach because there seemed to be no chemistry between the players and Laviolette. What do you think of them now? Especially since we creamed Washington tonight (12-6-08)?! Way to go Canes!!!

Christine said...

OMG, Ginger, I just saw this! I'm only a week behind, so that's not too bad, right?

Right now I'm watching the game against the Canadiens, and the verdict is still out on Mo. I think there needed to be a big shape-up to wake everyone up.