by Deirdre Martin, Julia London, Annette Blair, Geri Buckley

May 2006
ISBN: 0-425-20978-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Berkley
Trade Paperback

Baseball star Parker Price is on a losing streak. Traded to the New York Mets for some big bucks, Parker has been nothing but a let down according to Mets fans...and according to radio jock Kelly OíShay. Parker knows who is to blame for his poor performance and when he heads down to Kellyís radio station to give her a piece of his mind, he finds a lot more than he bargained for in Julia Londonís Lucky Charm.

Julia London brings her natural wit, charm and humor into play in her contribution to the anthology. Kelly and Parkerís sports sparring lights up the pages and the heat they create is more than enough to score a homerun.

In Deirdre Martinís Same Rink, Next Year, Tierney OíConnor is looking forward to the arrival of the hockey team the Buffalo Herd to her Chicago hotel. She has a standing date with the Herdís goalie, David Hewson. Their no-strings-attached affair is the highlight of the year for both, but the fear of getting to know each other on a personal level prevents them from making a full emotional connection. However, a Chicago blizzard is about to change all that.

Deirdre Martin brings the perfect combination of humor, romance, and sexual tension to play in Same Rink, Next Year. Watching Tierney and David go from virtual strangers to truly connected friends and lovers is very poignant. This is yet another winner from an author who knows how to hook a reader with her hunky hockey heroes and feisty heroines.

Easily the sexiest story of the bunch, Annette Blairís You Canít Steal First features Quinn Murdock and Juan Santiago, aka ďTiago the Stealer.Ē They were childhood friends and on graduation night, celebrated by losing their virginities together. However, they were separated and their feelings were put to the side as they grew up. Now a famous baseball player, Tiago is about to embark on his Hot Ticket Express train ride to spring training and Quinn, an unhappy businesswoman in her fatherís company, has just stepped on board. Suddenly, feelings once thought long gone are resurfacing and Tiago and Quinn have to decide if this time they can make a future together.

Though Annette Blair uses the often hackneyed clichť of the playboy athlete to describe Tiago initially, readers will be pleased to learn she veers sharply off that path to imbue Tiago with a forceful personality all his own. Quinn and Tiago create some very magnetic chemistry together and itís little wonder they canít keep their hands off each other. Annette Blair stole the show in this anthology with her side-splitting and moving story of two people who are finally finding their way back to each other.

Finally, author Geri Buckley introduces Lindy Hamilton and Josh Weldon in Canít Catch This. After Josh rescues Lindy from an encounter with her ex-boyfriend, they start chatting and sparks fly. Lindy canít believe the handsome Josh is interested in her but when the truth comes out that heís on a date already, Lindy is angry. So angry in fact that she invades the menís bathroom at the local sports arena. Now Joshís attention isnít the only attention she is receiving, but itís only Josh she wants. Can their initial rocky meeting lead to something more?

Canít Catch This is a pleasant read that shows lots of promise for Geri Buckley. Though the story started off a bit bland, my interest picked up as Josh and Lindy interacted more. I ended up with a positive impression of the story because Ms. Buckley made Lindy and Joshís love so special.

These four authors make Hot Ticket an engrossing read that romance and sports fans alike are sure to take into their hearts.

Reviewed in April 2006 by Sarah.