I have a Top 5 list and a cover reveal this morning for Victoria Denault’s NA hockey romance, One More Shot. This is the first book in Victoria’s Hometown Players series.Read more
Please welcome special guest Dominic Chekovsky to the virtual offices this morning. Dominic took some time away from his busy practice schedule to introduce himself, so give him a big hello!
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Describe yourself in five words or less.
[Dominic Chekovsky] Dedicated, competitive, sincere, misunderstood, and sensitive. What? I am.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share a typical day in the life of Dominic Chekovsky?
[Dominic Chekovsky] It’s all about hockey and Diana. I get up and plug in the coffee maker for Diana while I make a protein shake for myself. Usually this takes about an hour, because Diana strolls into the kitchen looking adorable with her curls going in every direction and distracts me. Then I head to the arena for hockey practice. I play hard. It’s going to be a banner season. By the evening, I’m ready to reconnect with Diana again and relax. We’re homebodies lately, preferring to entertain ourselves at home. She’s still trying to beat me in sock hockey. Once in awhile I let her win, because it benefits me. In two weeks, we’re taking a few days to travel to Cottage Grove and meet up with our friends.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you had to choose one moment that made you the person you are today, which would it be?
[Dominic Chekovsky] *grows serious* My parents. Their unending support and dedication in my career have made me the man I am today. My father gave me the advice as a young boy, "Whatever you do, throw your heart into it and you’ll always be happy." I think that’s true, don’t you?
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What three words come to mind when you think of Diana?
[Dominic Chekovsky] Hot, Mouthy, Adorable. *sighs on a smile* She’s perfect for me.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What do you find most exasperating about her?
[Dominic Chekovsky] *scoots to the edge of his chair and lowers his voice* She argues a lot. Don’t tell her I said this, but her attitude drives me crazy. Sometimes I’ll argue with her just to set her off, so I can see the passion in her. She’s beautiful but when she fights, she steals my breath away.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] If you could change one thing you’ve done in your life, what would it be?
[Dominic Chekovsky] Ugh. I approached Diana all wrong back when I first met her. I’ve learned a lot about women since we got together, thanks to her. It all worked out for the best but if I would’ve known the secret to handling women, I would’ve stayed out of trouble early on in my career. I would’ve learned to say no to them sooner, before my life derailed.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] What’s one thing you won’t leave home without?
[Dominic Chekovsky] My car keys. Only because if I don’t take them with me, Diana steals my Porsche out of the garage. I’ve never seen a woman so attached to a car before. She drives way too fast.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Can you share your dreams for the future in five words or less.
[Dominic Chekovsky] Babies. *grins and looks away* Yeah, babies with Diana.
[Manga Maniac Cafe] Thank you!
[Dominic Chekovsky] Thanks! It’s been fun. Don’t forget to watch the San Jose Sharks. We’re gonna kick ass this season.
To learn more about Dominic and Diana, be sure to read Debra Kayn’s Seductively.
Check out Wildly Book One in Debra’s Playing for Hearts series, too
About the book:
Title: Falling for the Backup
Author: Toni Aleo
May Contain Spoilers
This novella did not work for me, and judging from the ratings on GoodReads, I am definitely in the minority in regards to this title. I wanted to read Falling for the Backup because it’s a sport romance with hockey, and I love hockey. How can I not? I’m from Detroit, and hockey is in our blood. What else is there to look forward to in the middle of the long, dreary winters? Why, the battle for the Stanley Cup is about all that keeps us from falling into a bleak, seasonal depression.
Jordan Ryan is a goalie for the Assassins, but after an injury that almost ended his career, he’s gone from superstar to backup. Frustrated with his life, he’s watched his career go down the toilet, his fiancée left him when he was at his most vulnerable, and now he’s warming the bench for a hotshot youngster who’s taken his position, as well as the all of the glory that goes with it. Desperate to play again, he’s shopping himself around the league with his father’s help. His father is his agent, and he’s adamant that Jordan stay on the straight and narrow and that he doesn’t do anything to jeopardize a contract offer from another team. Easy enough. Jordan’s only interest in life is getting back on the ice full-time.
Until he meets Aynslee on a flight home to Nashville. After he accidentally dumps a cup of coffee on her dress, Aynslee can’t keep her eyes, or her mind, off of Jordan. She thinks they have a connection, but after disembarking, he takes off with a curt good-bye. No phone numbers are exchanged, and Aynslee is confused. And disappointed. How could the most breathtaking guy she’d ever seen take off without even getting her number. Ugh!
When they continue to bump into each other, Jordan finally gives in and allows Aynslee to sweep him off his feet. The timing stinks because he’ll be leaving town once he signs with a new team, but he lets her know up front that they aren’t, and can’t be, a long term thing. Aynslee goes along, willing to put her worries about their breakup in the back of her mind. She’s sure that Jordan will change his mind and that they will figure out a way to stay together.
Why didn’t this work for me? Because Jordan and Aynslee are obviously meant to be together, but Jordan is too caught up in himself to even think of asking Aynslee to go with him to his new team. He’s convinced himself, without asking her, that she’s got a perfect life, with perfect friends, in Nashville, and that she would never consider moving. This just frustrated me, because after dismissing a long distance relationship because they never work out, he is resigned instead to breaking up with the love of his life and moving off to reestablish his glory on the ice. Aynslee isn’t much better, because she can’t seem to discuss their impending breakup, either. She’s just content with the way things are, and she has faith that things will work out, without any effort on her part.
The other aspect of the novella that bothered me was that both characters acted too young for their ages. Jordan is in his early thirties, but his behavior was closer to a guy in his early twenties. Sure, his confidence has taken a few knocks after losing his starting position and after getting dumped by his girlfriend, but it was like he reverted to a much younger version of himself, and I just couldn’t buy into that.
This is a quick, steamy read, and you can get beyond the contrived conflict, it will make a great beach read.
Review copy provided by publisher
I’m excited to help with the cover reveal for Toni Aleo’s Blue Lines. This is book 4 in Toni’s Assassins series. What do you think? While I love the guy’s back, I don’t think I’m over the moon about his jeans. Would I like it better without them? Ummmm…yeah. What do you think?
About the book:
Random House and other retailers: http://www.randomhouse.com/book/227840/blue-lines-the-assassins-series-by-toni-aleo
Cover Shot! is a regular feature here at the Café. I love discovering new covers, and when I find them, I like to share. More than anything else, I am consumed with the mystery that each new discovery represents. There is an allure to a beautiful cover. Will the story contained under the pages live up to promise of the gorgeous cover art?
This is another YUM! cover! And since we didn’t get much hockey this season, I may as well read about it. Taking the Shots by Toni Aleo will be available in May.