Review: Penalty Play, by Lynda Aicher


Part of a series? Yes.

Cliffhanger? No.

Genre/Category: Contemporary, Romance, Sports.

Warning: Explicit sex scenes.

Publisher: Carina Press


Minnesota Glaciers’ starting defenseman Henrik Grenick is good at two things: hockey and sex. He’s got it all—the career, the biceps, the babes. But the steady parade of women through his bedroom just leaves him wanting more, hunting for the next distraction. Until he meets Jacqui, who awakens a hunger he never knew he craved.

Fiercely independent Jacqui Polson has no time for the seductive hockey player demanding her attention. More band geek than bimbo, she’s in an entirely different league, and growing up with four hockey-crazed brothers left her with no interest in that world. But damn, Henrik’s hot. And when it comes to sex, Jacqui knows exactly what she wants.

As their relationship moves beyond games, Henrik needs more—not just of Jacqui’s touch, but of her. Jacqui discovers there’s more to Henrik than just the gruff facade. But after a lifetime of fighting their own battles, neither has ever let anyone get so close. As they soon find out, needing someone isn’t a weakness, it’s the only thing that matters…



I received this book via Netgalley for an honest review.

This book is the third novel in the Power Play series. Each books feature a different hockey player. While some references to previous books threw me a bit while reading this book, it didn’t impact my reading even though I have yet to read the previous two books.

I can honestly say that I’m lost now that I’ve finished reading this book. While sometimes it can be difficult to rate a book, this time around is a bit different. In the end, I both dislike and enjoy this book.

While I think both main characters have something to make them great and help me as a reader to empathize, there’s also a big part that prevents me from fully buying their relationship and the ordeals they have to overcome.

In the end, I feel a distance and at first I had thought it’s because of the third person narration, but it’s not it. The thing is, some of the characters have the same thoughts over and over and while I understand the circling thoughts that shows us how hard it is for them to push through some of their hangups, it’s done in such a way that I couldn’t see the relevance of repeating the same thing without delving deeper.

There’s something that you discover at some point while reading about Jasqui that I think is very interesting and adds a little something to the story and to her and Henrik’s relationship (but I can’t tell you without giving away something), and while it makes me feel sad for these characters, I don’t think the author uses this thing at its fullest to truly gut the readers and make us root for this couple more fully. It’s hinted at once, then forgotten. Then it’s broached again with a bit more details and forgotten once again. I think that if it had been used gradually throughout the book I would have understood a lot more Jacqui’s hangup and felt more invested in the story.

When it comes to Henrik, he’s a sweetheart. Actually, he’s almost too much of a sweetheart and while it’s nice to have an access to his thoughts, I didn’t see much of a difference between his thoughts and Jacqui’s. I also don’t think his family issues are showed enough. Once again, it kept me at arm’s length in a way.

Also, and I’m sorry to say this, but the sex scenes supposed to be sexy didn’t to it for me. At all. I think it’s a lot due to the lack of involvement I feel for the characters, but somehow they feel forced and I can’t feel the full extent of the characters’ chemistry. Something held me back.

But while the story and characters didn’t win me over, the writing did. It’s great. It flows and the sentences have a way of never being similar so it kept me reading even when I wasn’t that thrilled by the plot.

In a few words, I don’t know how to rate this book and I don’t know if I’ll be reading other novels in the series. It’s a nice read in the genre, that much is sure.




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