Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin (Yay for hockey!)

~Deirdre Martin

Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley
Publish Date: February 1, 2011
ISBN-10: 0425239799
ISBN-13: 978-0425239797

From the author's website:
Good thing high-powered attorney Sinead O'Brien has a rule about never dating clients. Because Adam Perry, the newest star of the New York Blades—and her newest client—has her headed for the penalty box. If only she could prove he's just another jock...

Adam's been charged with assault after a borderline hit on another star player, but off the ice he's a private, no-nonsense guy who knows the Blades are his last shot at Stanley Cup glory. Assembling her case, Sinead tries not to get distracted by Adam's dazzling good looks or strong work ethic, but she quickly discovers that there's a wounded man under that jersey, and she's starting to fall for him—hard.

Now Adam's having trouble focusing on the goal with Sinead in his sights. And Sinead is tempted to break her "no dating clients" rule. Can they play on their new found feelings without penalties?

I think my love of hockey romance is well documented here. And here. And here. And I love the New York Blades!

Icebreaker is the story between Sinead O'Brien, a workaholic attorney, and Adam Perry, the new captain of the NY Blades. Adam is being sued for assault after he knocked out another player on the ice and his "hockey people" have asked Sinead to defend him. Sinead doesn't know anything about hockey but agrees to take the case.

Part of Sinead's research is to get to know everything there is to know about Adam. He's a very close person; he doesn't have much to say and is very succinct when he does. Sinead is frustrated by his lack of forthcoming information. She runs into him at her parents bar and they have an interesting conversation - she learns more about him here than she has in the office, so she decides to try meeting in a less "businesslike" atmosphere to see if he'll open up a bit more. Adam wants to know more about Sinead, so he won't give without her telling him something about herself too.

They begin dating, but even though the male members of the firm often "entertain" their female clients, Sinead is called to carpet about her relationship with Adam, but Adam doesn't understand why it's such a big deal for Sinead, and Sinead is upset that Adam doesn't understand how difficult it is for her.

I really enjoyed this latest installment of Ms. Martin's NY Blades series. Sinead is a woman working in a predominantly man's world (law), and she's worked hard to get where she is. She was married, but eventually disagreement about raising kids ended the marriage - raising children, not having children. Although she really wants children, Sinead knows her career will falter and die if she takes time off to raise a family. She's very driven and is constantly thinking ahead about the repercussions of her actions at all times. Adam is focused on his career too - he knows he only has a year or two left on the ice and he wants to win the Stanley Cup. The lawsuit is hoey and he knows it, but it could end his career and change the way hockey is played if it succeeds.

I love the way Adam's history is slowly revealed to Sinead. There are some surprises in his background that she (we) did not expect. Reading them getting to know each other in tiny increments, Sindad debating with herself and her co-worker Oliver about her attraction to Adam, and Adam's interest in Sinead growing each time they meet set a nice pace. Sinead and Adam's romance slowly boiled into an inferno - once they let it ignite, their chemistry was hot.

If you're a fan of the series, you'll be happy to know we see a lot of familiar faces in Icebreaker: Ty Gallagher, Michael Dante, Quinn O'Brien, Sinead's parents and the Wild Hart Bar, Anthony and Vivi Dante and Dante's Restaurant, and a few of the players. We see a lot of Anthony Dante, the hero from Just A Taste, and I still like him - he was integral in helping Adam see that Sinead was not making up worst-case scenarios but that her workplace issues were real. We're also introduced to Sinead's best friend, co-worker, and resident horn-dog, Oliver - he steals the show! I love him - he's the kind of wingman every girl should have.

I identified with Icebreaker in that Sinead had real-life career issues that Adam, as a man, didn't understand. I find this to be true in Real Life too. Because they were both so private, sometimes they didn't communicate well and it took a friend (Anthony in Adam's case and Oliver in Sinead's case) to see the other side of the story.

I'll say this about the ending: At first I was disappointed, it didn't work for me, but I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then, I realized that was my problem - it didn't work for ME - but it worked just fine for Sinead and Adam. Once I sat back and thought about it, I realized it was actually a very happy ending ;)

I thoroughly enjoyed Icebreaker, Ms. Martin, and will keep reading your NY Blades stories as long as you keep writing them!

My Rating:

This book was provided to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review.


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