May Contain Spoilers
Some Like it Sinful was bumped to the top of the review pile for one reason – it’s about a hockey player. Oh, and a pastry chef. How could I resist this combination of sugar and spice vs. tough guy brawn? I’m from Detroit and I’ve been a Red Wings fan forever. I live with a hockey nut, too, so there’s no escape from the madness, at least until the Wings are knocked out of the playoffs – again. Then the whole city pouts while putting on a brave face and vowing, “We’ll go all the way next year!” So, yeah, I wanted to read this – badly!
The first thing that I loved about the book is that Chloe isn’t a sports fan. At all. She doesn’t know who this obnoxious jerk is, or why her sister is forcing him to work at her newly opened bakery for his community service. Griffin is a hockey god – the Prince of the Puck – but his star is slowly fading. Bad decisions about his lifestyle have chipped into his greatness, and his latest stunt, which involved stealing a car, running over a security guard’s foot, and trashing a dessert table and a hundred thousand dollar sports car – not so smart! The DA, Chloe’s sister, has a plan to help out Chloe and make Griffin pay his dues in one neat little plan. With a large bakery chain opening across the street from Chloe’s small startup, she needs all the help she can get, and how better to get some buzz than by having Griffin working the cash register, smiling and making nice with customers. Griffin avoids jail time and Chloe gets free publicity. It seems like the perfect win-win for both of them.
And it is, until the team’s PR staff gets involved. When Griffin’s moonlighting gig is exposed, he’s dubbed the Petit Four Prince, and team management is not happy. To keep his pride intact, Griffin convinces Chloe to pretend to be his girlfriend. Then the guys on the team won’t give him as much crap about wearing a pink t-shirt and selling Chloe’s delectable pastries. Everything quickly gets way, way, way out of hand, and poor Chloe is like a fish caught in a net. She can’t turn down the free publicity from the team, but she so doesn’t want to be stuck with Griffin for the rest for the season, after which they will quietly “break up.” To complicate issues, in a moment of weakness, Chloe succumbs to her attraction to Griffin, and now he thinks that he’s playing the best he ever has because of one reason – they had sex before the game. With his game back on, Griffin is desperate to do anything to keep playing like the hockey god he used to be.
I loved the characters, but I’ll give the story a knock for the superstition storyline. I just found it silly that Chloe and Griffin had to get it on at the arena before every home game. He had an office set up for their trysts, complete with a sofa-bed. I just could not get behind that plot device. It made their physical relationship too easy, and made Chloe behave in a manner completely inconsistence with her cautious personality. Meh to that part of the book.
I did love Griffin’s anxiety about his impending retirement. He’s 35, and the younger guys are giving him a run for his money. Now he’s panicked. How will his career be remembered? As the best in game, or as a has-been. This eats away at him. He wants to leave the game a champion, and the only way to do that is to win the Cup again. As he begins to care for Chloe, and he begins to honestly think about his own behavior during his career, he is riddled with regret. Instead of working hard and giving hockey everything he had, he was too busy partying, showing off, and wallowing in the glory of himself. He lived for the accolades and the adoration of fans and teammates, but he never really worked for it. He matures during the story, finally accepting that defeats in the past were not the fault of bad calls, off days, or other players. The fault could be placed strictly on his broad shoulders. If there was someone for blame for his greatest disappointments, it was Griffin who let everyone down. You gotta love it when an arrogant jerk takes a long hard look in mirror, comes up wanting, and then actually does something to make amends. Loved this.
I gobbled up Some Like it Sinful, and was almost (almost!!) willing to give up lunch with Dean so I could keep reading. The thought of getting him out into the Black Friday madness made me put down my Kindle, however reluctantly, and off we went for a bite to eat and a trip to PetSmart to load up on goodies for the puppers. I was counting down the minutes until we returned, however, so I could hibernate under a comforter, a puppy on either side, and immerse myself back into the Groe debacle. How on earth was Griffin going to declare his love to Chloe and remain the Prince of the Puck, instead of the Petit Four Prince? Could he really be a prince worthy of Chloe, either way?
Review copy provided by publisher
Their attraction is sinfully delicious…
A struggling business and one act of vandalism may have brought them together, but bakery owner Chloe Nelson and professional hockey player Griffin Lange get along like chocolate and pickles. Chloe needs the famous (and famously unattached) Griffin to attract people to her pastries, and Griffin needs the curvaceous and fiery Chloe to keep him out of trouble. A fake relationship to keep the media interested seems like the perfect plan.
But when temptation throws them into bed together, a new plan arises. Why not make the fake real? Griffin’s winning every home game, and Chloe’s business has never been better. Both know it’s only physical—and only temporary. But can they drop their defenses for love, even if it means getting a little bit sinful?