Review: ★Game Play★ by Lynda Aicher

Game Play (Power Play #1)
Author: Lynda Aicher
Genre: Contemporary, Sports Romance
Length: 248 Pages
Release Date: February 16, 2015

 One night, one time, nothing more.That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.

One night, one time, nothing more.

Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.

When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?

There was nothing like battling a strong opponent. Nothing she’d found at least. And nothing had tested her like Dylan Rylie since she’d left the game- off the ice or on.

This was my first book by Lynda Aicher, and I can definitely tell you that it won’t be my last. I really clicked with her style of story telling and of course the fact that I’m a huge hockey fan didn’t hurt either. It’s clear from Lynda’s writing that she’s either a fan of the sport herself or she’s definitely done her share of research, so even if you’re not a fan of the sport, you will have no problems understanding it after you read this book.

What first intrigued me about this synopsis was the fact that Samantha, the heroine, is a hockey player herself and a damn good one. Unfortunately the female professional team just isn’t as lucrative or promising as the male one. So no matter how much love Samantha has for the sport and her career in it, she knows that she has no future with it. Forced to give up on her dream, especially after as much success as she’s had in it has certainly left her with her share of bitterness.

So when she sees Dylan Rylie, a Glacier’s defenseman, practicing on the same rink as her one night, she issues a challenge and proceeds to wipe the floor with him, much to the shock of everyone around them…including Dylan. There is a good amount of pent up sexual tension surrounding them, and when a drink at the bar after turns into one fiery encounter on a desk, sparks definitely fly. But while they decide on this being one night only, especially since Samantha plans on leaving in 6 months, Dylan isn’t as convinced to let it go at that. Convincing his coach to hire Sam as his trainer after she more than proved her skills on the ice, Dylan and Samantha’s relationship turns into one giant complication.

So why only 3 stars? Two reasons really. The biggest one being Samantha. She drove me a little crazy with her constant back and forth and bitter mentality. Her treatment of Dylan was almost callous at times and Dylan was an absolute sweetheart, which made it all the worse. I couldn’t connect to her “hangups”. Her belief that her father always wanted a boy and her constantly trying to live up to it just didn’t really seem solid enough reasoning. Especially since there wasn’t enough backstory on that end to really support her thoughts, or at least not to the extent that it was made to be. I understood her drive to succeed and be independent in her own right, but it also didn’t excuse her lack of support (or at least I found it to be) towards Dylan. At times I found myself thinking that Dylan was just too good for her.

The second reason was Dylan. Now here’s the thing, he was a total sweetheart and that would probably really work for many reasons. I like my heroes to be total alphas, and he just didn’t give off that vibe to me. Maybe a gamma at best? I found Samantha to be the more intense and in control of the two as far as their interactions went. I suppose I just wanted a little more ‘presence’ from Dylan, if that even makes sense. Sure he was sexy and funny, but he just lacked a certain intensity that I’ve come to like in my heroes. I didn’t really connect with his party boy “image” either. Yes, we’re given reasons for this particular facade, but it just never made sense to me. Could be I missed something? For whatever reason, those two things combined did wane my enjoyment of this book quite a bit. While the story is original, sexy, and entertaining, I often found the characters to me lacking for me. I will happily read the next installment in the series and definitely look forward to getting to know more of the Glaciers players.

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