Thursday, January 27, 2011

Pink Heart Picks: Calling The Shots

This month's pick was CALLING THE SHOTS by Ellen Hartman.

I like hockey. I don't watch it as much as I used to. As a kid my Dad and I always watched the hockey game on Saturday nights with Pepsi and chips. Our family used to catch the first game of the Hockey Night in Canada double header beginning at 5 o'clock in Calgary. But it doesn't start until 8 here and usually by that time it's wine and dvd time. We used to go to the odd Flames game too. But when the chips are down and medals/cups are on the line, we usually watch. Especially if there's a Canadian angle.

So I really enjoyed the hockey in this book...the atmosphere of the rink, the fact that the team's star player is a GIRL...

I also thought the hero, Bryan, was soooooo hot. Ex jock, good but struggling dad, good looking, not over-confident. In fact of the two characters, it's the heroine, Clare, who's most prickly. I admit I did get a bit exasperated with her around 2/3 of the way through the book, and wondered what the heck it was going to take to make her wake up and let someone in. I didn't see the ending coming, actually, but it worked so well. And it really was foreshadowed. I mean, we all know that Clare's son Tim is sick and tired of being dragged from pillar to post, and he's pretty fearless, so what he does FITS. And Bryan's daughter Allie is belligerent for a long time but finally we get to see what's really eating at her.  In the end Bryan, Allie and Clare band together to...well, I won't spoil it for you. But for four people who didn't get along with each other at the beginning of the story, it's a good thing.

There is a lot of kid in this book, and a stronger emphasis on the problems of the kids than perhaps developing the romance as much as I'm used to. After finishing, I asked myself if this was a problem. If I were judging this book solely on the romance of the main characters, maybe. But I couldn't do that, because the truth is the story of the kids - of the families - was compelling enough to keep me engrossed and more than made up for a stronger focus on the romance. Heck, I even found myself sniffling at one point, which I totally didn't expect.

But that's me - I like kids, I like hockey, and add in a romance and it's a winning combination. :-)

How 'bout you?

And now for the February Pick!

I ended up picking a book that hasn't been on my tbr very long - Kate Hardy's RED WINE AND HER SEXY EX. It was just out in the US in December, so you should definitely be able to pick it up at online retailers or as an e-book from Eharlequin or if you're in the UK, Mills and Boon (It was out in the UK in September). It's a cold January here in Canada. Spending some time at a French vineyard is just what the doctor ordered!


  1. Hi Donna,

    I read this book a while ago and loved it. Could be the hockey and kid factor for me as well. I have really enjoyed all of Ellen Hartman's books. I'm not sure if I have the Kate Hardy book or not. It sounds like a great book and I usually like her stories as well.

  2. Bingo! It looks like I did more than read about Kate Hardy's book ~ I own it. Now to get it read in a timely manner.

  3. Thanks Kaelee! I love how you're always on board with the picks!

    I`ll confess - I knew my RITA judging books were coming and I have already read Kate`s. I think you`re going to love it.

  4. Oh good ~I'm looking forward to it. I think I missed 2 or 3 picks last year but the ones I read I really enjoyed.

  5. Even if you're not a hockey fan, you'll love this book. I know squat about the game. Ellen kept me interested and intrigued because I cared about her characters so much. I highly recommend it, too.