by Jaxine Daniels

February 2003
ISBN: 1-894869-71-0
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It seems the world of romance has discovered a new breed of heroes – ice hockey players. Harsh environments, strenuous workouts, and a full physical sport combine to produce hard bodies and handsome men, which accurately describes A.J. Charbonneau, new goaltender for the Seattle Storm.

His first encounter with Jamie MacMaster, however, is anything but romantic. She’s busily serving tea to two small girls who have just “dressed” her as their hostess. Not the most promising start to a relationship. But the foundations of the attraction are certainly there, and before long the romance takes off on a long and surprisingly bumpy ride.

The strength and power of this story rests firmly on the shoulders of A.J. Charbonneau. With his charming fractured English, and his devastating good looks, it is his character that cements this tale into a solid and spellbinding romance. Jamie is a great heroine, complete with her own set of emotional baggage, but is a bit overshadowed by A.J. The secondary characters, good guys and bad guys, are clear and well drawn, and although the suspense is there, any mystery/suspense fan will peg the progress of this tale without much difficulty.

It’s A.J. who shines and A.J. whose growth from shuttered and private man to passionate and devoted lover is overwhelming. Ms. Daniels gets us inside A.J., and lets us share his pain, his joy and his extraordinary love for Jamie when it is put to the test. Reading the last couple of chapters is moving and romantic – keep those tissues handy, because this happy ending really is wrenchingly wonderful.

A lovely story with a superb ending, I look forward to more from Ms. Daniels.

Reviewed in March 2003 by Celia.

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