The Penalty Box

NY Blades Series - Book 4

By Deirdre Martin

Berkley - March 2006

Contemporary Romance

Katie Fisher didn't think it could get any worse. Her sister was going through rehab, so she had returned home to the town of Didsbury. She would help her mother raise her nephew while she gathered interviews for the book she was writing. Then her mother dropped the truly horrific news - she had signed Katie up to attend her class reunion. It wasn't as though Katie didn't want people to see how she had turned out. Not only had she dropped a lot of weight, but she was very accomplished. It was the horrible memories of not having friends, and the taunting that she, as one of the unpopular kids in school, had to endure. People change, as Katie was quick to learn. Not only was there Denise, who had changed from Dennis, but the spiteful popular kids had grown into mature, repentant adults.

Paul van Dorn had once been a hotshot hockey player, until several accidents on the ice caused him to retire early. Now he had returned to Didsbury to run his new bar. Going to the reunion as a has-been pro-hockey player wouldn't have been Paul's preferred choice, but running into the now-sexy Katie Fisher was definitely the high point of the evening. He had given her some grief when they were younger which he regretted, but now Katie was giving him the grief.

She wouldn't go to eat for fear of all the calories in the food, she didn't want anything to do with possibly staying in Didsbury, and, worse for his ego, was not interested in dating him. Katie accused Paul of living in the past, his tavern - the Penalty Box - was testimony to that. But Paul knew that unless Katie could ever accept her past, and look beyond the negative to all the good to be found in Didsbury, she would never be able to accept him.

I absolutely have fallen in love with Deirdre Martin's romances revolving around the athletes of the New York Blades. With wry humor, Ms Martin creates complex characters that are well developed. She always delivers a romance with contemporary issues - even when relating to the secondary characters. And only Ms Martin could take the cocky smart-mouthed Paul van Dorn who readers probably would have wanted to slap when he was a hockey star, and portray him as a hero who readers will want to weep for. Deirdre Martin is a rising star of contemporary romance.

Kathy Andrico -