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.