Author: Jami Davenport

Review: Skating on Thin Ice by Jami Davenport

Posted October 7, 2014 by Sherri in Contemporary Romance, Reviews / 8 Comments

Review: Skating on Thin Ice by Jami Davenport
Skating on Thin Ice by Jami Davenport
Series: Game On in Seattle #1
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Sports
Published by Cedrona Enterprises on September 29th 2014
Format: eARC
Pages: 249
Source: Author, Tour Host

Purchase Links: AmazonBarnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Overall Rating:

Book Description:

Book Description
A billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city's team, Ethan plans to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team's testosterone-loaded staff. So when Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team's weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own--for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level. Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss.

Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions--for the team, for hockey, and for each other. Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?


Reviewed by: Sherri

Why I Choose this Book:  Jami Davenport had me at hockey, hockey players and Stanley Cup playoffs. As a player, I couldn’t resist this sports based contemporary romance.

Short and Sweet Summary: Undercover boss lies to female who has been screwed over and ignored by the men in her life, falls for her and then has to earn back the trust he destroyed.

Female Lead:  Lauren is a strong character that is passionate about her job, loyal to her hockey team and under appreciated by her bosses and family.  She is a self-reliant female firmly entrenched in a male world that is stuck in 1950’s.  I liked that Lauren is smart enough to figure out that something is going on with Ethan and doesn’t initially trust him.  However, Ethan slowly wins over her trust and she begins to fall for him. But can her love survive the lies that Ethan had to tell?

Male Lead:  Ethan is passionate about hockey and wants to bring a team to his hometown of Seattle.  He finally has that team but is forced by a gag order to say nothing until the playoffs are over.  So Ethan’s desire to finally bring a team to Seattle is in conflict with his desire for Lauren; as well as his morals.  This leads to, perhaps a bit too much, guilt from Ethan. I loved Ethan’s enthusiasm and drive to realize his dreams.  He was born into a financial empire but carved his own way and then wanted to do more with his life.

What I Liked:  The hockey!  I loved how Ms. Davenport was able to bring the hockey world to life in a realistic way.  The hockey terms and scenarios were accurate; which I appreciated. I can’t say how disappointed I have been with some previous hockey romance novels with their inaccurate use of hockey terms (i.e. hockey is played for three “periods” not “innings” as a previous book described them).  I should note that even if you do not like hockey Skating on Thin Ice is a terrific romance novel. The romance between Ethan and Lauren is realistic and natural and progresses at a nice pace.  I also thoroughly enjoyed the supporting cast of hockey players; which includes such a variety of characters that Ms. Davenport should have plenty to draw on for upcoming Game On in Seattle Series novels as the team settles into their new digs.

What I didn’t Like:  Perhaps my only complaint is the number of times that Ethan reiterates that he hates misleading Lauren.  Other than that minor issue nothing else distracted me from the story.

The Recap:  Overall, Skating on Thin Ice is a fun romance while highlighting the difficulties a woman faces in a male dominated profession.  I definitely will be checking out Crashing the Boards, the second book in the series due out in November or as part of the “Seduced by the Game” anthology and the “Playing for Passion” sports romance bundle.  It features Cooper Black the snarly captain of the team and he absolutely captured my interest in Skating on Thin Ice.

Excerpt

Lauren had stepped over the line. She’d possibly insulted this man, and his blue eyes had blazed, not with anger as much as a challenge, one she didn’t wholly understand.

The next several weeks would be pure, absolute torture. Not only was Ethan an enigma, but he was attractive as hell. With that same sixth sense which made her a wizard at evaluating hockey talent, she sensed there was more to Ethan than he’d revealed. He was hiding something, and that unknown made her uncomfortable and intrigued at the same time, not to mention she was hot for him. She’d be a liar to deny it.

As she pondered this bewildering mess she’d found herself immersed in, Kaley, her friend and the coach’s administrative assistant, peeked around the door. “What did you say to him?”

“Probably too much. I don’t trust his motives.”

Kaley glanced over her shoulder and then back. “You don’t trust anyone’s motives.”

Lauren shrugged. Kaley spoke the truth.

“Did you see the hot guy with him?”

Lauren thought Ethan was pretty damn hot for a businessman, not her normal type. “Uh, I hadn’t noticed.”

Kaley narrowed her eyes and studied Lauren. “Don’t you dare go crushing on Ethan. He’s trouble; I have a sixth sense about guys like him.”

“Look at you. Warning me when you’re drooling over his partner in crime.”

“I am not, even if he is sexy as hell, and I get an orgasm looking at him. But orgasmically sexy doesn’t mean anything. It’s all look and no touch. I don’t date rich pricks with an ego bigger than Cedric’s.” Cedric was their charismatic forward, who played as hard off the ice as he did on it.

“So you just date poor pricks or what?”

“I do have soft spot for them.” Kaley shrugged one shoulder and studied her fingernails.

“You have a soft spot for good-looking men in general, forget about their personalities.” Kaley was a serial dater, and Lauren lived vicariously through her since dating didn’t seem to be her forte or even one of her sins. Her life revolved around hockey, and unless the man was on skates, had a wicked slapshot, or an even more wicked right hook, she wasn’t interested. Of course, she didn’t date hockey players, at least not anymore. She’d taken a few for a spin around the rink in her college days and decided they made better friends than lovers, except for the one she’d married. That biggest mistake of her life drove home the no dating of hockey players, which she’d amended to any man involved in hockey just to play it safe.

Kaley wagged a finger at her. “Just remember, play nice. The league has been trying to land a buyer forever that would keep the team in Florida. So let’s hope this guy gives a favorable report to his bosses, or we’ll be sold to that Seattle group who’s been circling like a shark. Next thing you know, we’ll be sipping lattes on the waterfront, watching ferry boats putter around.”

“In the pouring rain.”

“Well, there is that,” Kaley acknowledged with a toss of her black hair.

“How do we know this guy isn’t working for the Seattle group?” Lauren frowned as she put to words fears she’d been harboring since Sunday.

For a moment a cloud passed over Kaley’s face, then she smiled, slipping back into her create-my-own-reality mode. “Because Ike said he wasn’t.”

Just thinking of Seattle shot dread through Lauren. She didn’t have a thing against Seattle, but she was an East Coast girl through and through. Moss and mold made her sneeze. Huge trees and mountains gave her claustrophobia. And the geeks Seattle was famous for didn’t buy hockey tickets, did they?

A tall man with dark blond hair and dancing blue eyes poked his head in the doorway. “Hey, I’m looking for Ethan.” He turned his panty-dropping smile on Lauren but it lingered on Kaley. As usual, most men couldn’t get past her long black hair, curvy body, and dark, mysterious eyes. “Hey, hi, again.”

Kaley literally purred as she stopped next to the guy and wrapped her fingers around his arm. “Hi, yourself. Brad, you know Lauren Schneider, our assistant director of player personnel?”

Brad smiled at her, a player this one and obviously good natured and fun-loving. “So you’re the poor girl who gets to babysit the man. Good luck. He’s a handful.”

“I’m sure I can handle him just fine.”

Kaley, in full flirt mode, batted thick eyelashes at Brad. “Let’s see if we can find Ethan. Lauren has work to do.”

Brad laughed, a full-throated laugh. “As long as she’s the one doing the work, and it isn’t us.” He came across as the type of guy a girl couldn’t help but like—gregarious, fun, and not a mean bone in his body.

Together Brad and Kaley strolled down the hall in the opposite direction of where Ethan happened to be meeting with the coaches.

Lauren shook her head. Leave it to Kaley to hustle the hot guy. But anything that helped their cause was more than worth it, as long as it wasn’t Lauren doing the hustling.

With a sigh she went back to work on her statistics and spreadsheets, making notes here and there and jotting down items for Ethan’s attention, items which painted the current team and staff in a positive light.

Anything for the good of the team.

 

About Jami Davenport

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

New Release Spotlight & Giveaway: Skating on Thin Ice by Jami Davenport

Posted September 29, 2014 by Sherri in Book Spotlight, Giveaways / 6 Comments

skating on thin ice_jami davenport

About the Book

Title: Skating on Thin Ice
Author: Jami Davenport
Series:  Book 1 in Game On In Seattle
Genre:  Contemporary Romance, Sports
Published:  September 29, 2014
Book Links:  Goodreads
Hosted By:  Tasty Book Tours

Book Blurb:

Jami Davenport presents Game on in Seattle, a new series featuring Seattle sports teams, hot men, and strong women.

He trusts his gut, she trusts her numbers, and neither trusts the other, as a billionaire’s mission to bring hockey to Seattle clashes with his passion for the woman who holds his heart.

Ethan Parker, a billionaire determined to bring a professional hockey to Seattle, will stop at nothing to realize his dream. After signing an agreement to purchase another city’s team, Ethan is anxious to make the move to Seattle, but a gag order by the League forces him to keep the sale a secret until the season ends, leaving him no choice but to go undercover as a consultant to study his team during the playoffs.

Lauren Schneider, Assistant Director of Player Personnel for the Giants hockey team, gets no respect from the team’s testosterone-loaded staff. When Ethan bursts onto the scene, full of charm and genuinely interested in her opinions, she shares the team’s weaknesses and discovers a weakness of her own–for Ethan. But when his true identity is revealed, and he starts cleaning house based on her unwitting input, his betrayal cuts deeply on both a professional and personal level. Bound by an employment contract, Lauren reluctantly moves to Seattle to work for the newly christened Seattle Sockeyes and her sexy, infuriating boss.

Lauren and Ethan must come to terms with their passions–for the team, for hockey, and for each other. Will their situation build a frozen wall between them, or will their love burn hot enough to melt the ice shielding their hearts?

Purchase Links:  Amazon  |  B&N  |  Kobo  |  iTunes  |  Smashwords

Excerpt

Lauren followed Ethan to the arena concourse. The Giants lost a heartbreaking game, and thinking about it made Lauren sick to her stomach.

Right now she should be thinking life didn’t get better than this. Despite their first loss, they were still in it, skating in their first playoff series in years; next to her stood a man who might well be the team’s savior, and he was an incredibly attractive man.

His eyes lit up with unbridled enthusiasm every time they discussed the team and its potential, almost as if he had a personal stake in the Giants, rather than being a hired consultant. She loved the interest he showed in all aspects of the team; hopefully, his employers shared his enthusiasm.

Yet, his level of enthusiasm and involvement didn’t quite fit, and niggling suspicions that things weren’t as they seemed prevented Lauren’s complete trust in the man, not that she trusted easily. She’d been burned too many times from family members to friends to lovers to one cheating husband. It made a girl cautious as to whom she granted that precious trust. Ethan would need to earn it by his actions and his words. For now, she’d enjoy looking at him, because that was purely a joy, and feeding him positive tidbits about the team and staff. That very team who’d lost its first playoff game by one goal.

“I want to see how the coach and team handle the loss,” Ethan said, grim determination etched on his handsome face.

“The coach doesn’t like anyone in the locker room directly after the game.”

Ethan gave her one of those looks which clearly said he didn’t give a shit what the coach did or didn’t like, but he’d damn well do as he pleased. Turning, he showed security his badge and headed down the tunnel with Lauren on his heels.

“Ethan, this isn’t a good idea.” The infuriating man kept walking, which really pissed her off. He barged into the locker room with her hot on his heels then stopped so abruptly that she bumped into his backside.

The players sat around the locker room on benches, heads hanging, frowns on their faces, and in various states of undress. Lauren had seen the men many times before in this situation, but this was sacred ground, and Ethan did not belong in here.

Coach Ferrar, fondly known as Coach Fur by staff and team alike, stopped mid-sentence and glared at the unwelcome intruders. While Coach wanted the Sleezers out of team ownership, he, like Lauren, didn’t exactly trust Ethan either, and even worse, he hated change. As Lauren saw it, the coach figured the devil he knew—the Sleezers—was better than the devil he didn’t, in the form of Ethan and his anonymous employers.

At the coach’s silence, every player glanced up, their gazes shifting from Coach to Ethan and back to Coach. They held their collective breaths, as if sensing a good fight in the making, and Lauren bet all the money was on Coach.

She glanced at Ethan, who didn’t seem the least bit affected by the coach’s laser sharp gaze. “Just pretend I’m not here.”

“It’d be better if you weren’t,” Coach Fur growled.

Ethan didn’t move. Instead he smiled as if Coach couldn’t possibly be referring to him.

“Look, I know we’ve been ordered to cater to you, and God knows we want the Sleezers out of ownership, but that doesn’t mean you can walk in here like you own the place. This is private business between the team and coaches.”

A muscle ticked in Ethan’s strong jaw, but his calm voice echoed through the silent room. “I’m examining all aspects of this team for the prospective owners, including the locker room atmosphere.”

The team captain, Cooper Black, muttered something to his buddy, Cedric.

“What was that, Black? You got something to say, say it so I can hear it.”

Coop’s eyes narrowed, and he met Ethan’s direct gaze with a challenging one of his own. “I said since when do owners—prospective or otherwise—give a shit about what goes on in the locker room as long as we win on the ice?”

“This group does. They’re very hands-on.”

“Great, just what I fucking need. Owners who think they can tell me how to coach.” Coach slapped his clipboard against his thigh, obviously beyond annoyed. Several of the guys nodded their heads in agreement.

“And me how to play,” Cooper didn’t seem impressed with Ethan or his billionaire employers.

“I’ve interrupted enough. I’ll fade into the background. Continue as if I’m not here.” Ethan wasn’t the least bit moved by their words, or put off. He just shrugged and took a seat as if he was one of the guys. Lauren wrung her hands and tried to think of a way to get him out of there. No one came into the locker room directly after the game. No one. Coach would have her head for letting Ethan in, as if she could have stopped him.

Ethan sat back as if he were in a movie theatre and the show was about to begin. Lauren wanted to throttle the man with her bare hands.

Realizing their unwelcome guest wasn’t leaving, the coach turned to his team. “It’s only game one. We know a lot more about our opponents than we did yesterday. We’ll get them tomorrow. That’s it, guys. Meet back here in the morning, usual time.”

He purposely didn’t say what time to keep Ethan out of the loop. The team stood, going back to their post-game routines. Ethan met Lauren’s gaze and raised a decidedly amused eyebrow.

“Don’t you think we should leave now?”

Ethan sighed and stood. He held the door open for her and she gladly exited from the locker room. As soon as they were in the hallway, she turned on him. “What the fuck did you think you were doing?”

“I told you. I’m evaluating the team and its operations.” His calm voice infuriated her even more, and she did have a bit of her father’s temper.

“And that includes invading the sacred sanctuary of the coach’s post-game speech?”

“It especially means that. I wanted to see how coaches and players handled the loss. How a team handles losing is more important than how they handle winning. Do they mope, do they get fired up, do they hang their heads in defeat, or do they immediately look to the next game and what they can do better?”

“They handled the loss fine, but they didn’t handle you fine.”

About Jami Davenport

An advocate of happy endings, Jami Davenport writes sexy contemporary and sports romances, including her two new indie endeavors: the Game On in Seattle Series and the Madrona Island Series. Jami lives on a small farm near Puget Sound with her Green Beret-turned-plumber husband, a Newfoundland cross with a tennis ball fetish, a prince disguised as an orange tabby cat, and an opinionated Hanoverian mare. She works in computer support in her day job and juggles too many balls, but she wouldn't have it any other way.

Tourwide Giveaway

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