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Title: Time Out
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
May Contain Spoilers
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Class: How to Drive Him Crazy
Instructional program for women unexpectedly facing the totally dishy guy from their past. Everyone welcome!
NHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his off-season volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend—and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy….
When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry—they burn very, very hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty, too…
I loved this book! Time Out is the first Harlequin Blaze that I’ve read, and the only reason I gave this one a try is because it’s written by Jill Shalvis. I enjoyed Animal Magnetism, and when I saw that Time Out is about an NHL coach, I was all excited to give it a test drive. I gobbled this up in record time, and didn’t want to put it down. The characters are fun, the dialog is snappy and clever, and it features one of my favorite romance tropes – the second chance. Or Hero was too stupid to see a good thing when it’s right in front of him. Ah, maybe that is a little wordy for a romance trope…
Rainey works at a rec program for disadvantaged teens, and when a nightmare from her past resurfaces in the form of Mark Diego, she finds herself on thin ice. She has been attracted to Mark forever, and the night she finally worked up the nerve to confess her feelings to him ended in disaster. She’s been trying to avoid him ever since, even though sparks still flare out of control whenever they are together. When her boss, a close friend from childhood – and Mark’s younger brother – informs her that Mark will be volunteering for the off-season, her world starts to spin out of control.
I loved the character interactions in Time Out. From the sizzle between Rainey and Mark, to Mark’s endearing attempts to whip his team of teenaged girls into shape for the softball season, there is a lot of humor and laughs packed into this book. It is brain-candy of the best sort, and I wanted to eat the entire book in one sitting. I was able to completely disconnect from my reality and get totally sucked into Rainey’s, and I didn’t want the fun to end.
If I had one quibble with the read, it’s the abusive parent that was worked into the plot. I just didn’t feel that this plot thread was developed as thoroughly as it could have been, and aspects of it came out of left field. This is the only story element that didn’t convince me to suspend my sense of belief, and it just didn’t work for me.
Aside from that one plot device, Time Out is an engaging, funny read, and I am looking forward to discovering more Blaze gems like this one.
In stores February 21
Review copy provided by publisher
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