Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.
If you follow the blog you already know that I love contemporary romance, and you can’t love contemporary romance without loving Ms. Shalvis’ books. So when I saw this book on Netgalley I was a happy reader.
If you’re a fan of this author you probably know that besides writing great small town series, she also writes steamy books for Harlequin’s Blaze line, books such as this. A sexy and fun contemporary romance that’s great for those days where you’re feeling bored and want something entertaining to do that won’t take much time or effort.
Famous NHL coach, Mark Diegos, is in his hometown with a couple of his teammates to coach some kids. When he arrives he gets a couple of surprises: first the kids are girls, and second the person running the program is Rainey Saunders. Mark and Rainey have a bit of a past, she used to be in love with him but because she was so young he kept her at arm’s length. However, she was persistent and one day she decided to seduce him. The problem was that she chose the wrong day to do it because when she got to his College dorm room he was having sex with a girl. The shock and humiliation of the event ended up separating them and it’s been years since they last saw each other. Now they must work together while trying to figure out what to do with the attraction that still remains between them.
To be perfectly honest the first thought that crossed my mind when I finished the book was “nothing new here”. Perhaps I’m being unfair because the book delivers exactly what the blurb promised, but I felt like I had read this book before. Girl used to have painful crush on guy; guy liked the girl but she was too young so he becomes a star in (insert profession here) and sleeps with lots of women; years later they reunite and are forced to work together; they have magic sex and discover they love each other; The End. Been there, done that a hundred times. I’m not as annoyed as it may seem, but I think it’s time for originality and freshness. Having said that, Ms. Shalvis is an excellent writer and I was able to enjoy the book regardless of the overused plot.
I liked Rainey and Mark, they were good and hardworking people. They enjoyed life, had good, fulfilling jobs, and the only thing missing was love. Rainey was ready for a serious relationship, and so was Mark, but he had yet to realize it. They were likeable and great people to be with, they had chemistry and because they knew each other previously their love story was believable.
There’s no real character development or journey, just two people falling in lust and realizing that there’s more between them than sex. The book has a whole bunch of romance stereotypes like the hero and heroine deciding to have a no-strings-attached sexual relationship, then the heroine falling in love, and the hero being stubborn and blind until he has an epiphany, etc. etc. etc. Don’t expect the unexpected because you won’t get it here.
As I said before, this is the perfect beach read because it’s short, light and fun. It lacks originality but the writing makes up for it. Fans of spicy contemporary romance should enjoy it, just keep in mind that it is what it is, so enjoy it for that and don’t ask for more.
Review by Brie
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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…
Harlequin. February 21, 2012.