Friday, February 20, 2015

Book Tour for Game Play by Lynda Aicher (Review & GIVEAWAY)

As a fan of sports-themed romances I'm thrilled to introduce you to Game Play by Lynda Aicher, the first installment in the Power Play series.  Keep reading to get a taste of this sensual series starter set in the hockey world along with the author's views on athletic dedication.  You can learn even more about this book by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a $100 Visa GC too!

The professionals make it look so easy. Whether it’s sports, cooking, writing, acting, music—whatever. If they’re at the top, that person has a way of making that task appear simple. What we don’t see is the years of dedication and countless hours of practice it takes to get to the top level. The sacrifices that go into being the best at anything are often overlooked once success is achieved.
Doing research for the Power Play series gave me an added appreciation for just how long and hard athletes work to make it to the pros and stay there. A lot of young hockey hopefuls leave home at fourteen or younger to play on better teams. Living with host families, skating hours every day and still maintaining their education all for a dream. It’s a sacrifice they make just for the chance to play in the pros even once.
There are a multitude of choices to make regarding which leagues and team to play for. Tryouts and scouts and making a prospect list. To find an agent or not and defining the best time to enter the NHL draft. There are various ways to make the NHL including college, but there are leagues that will disqualify a player from NCAA athletics. Navigating the path along with defining the correct one for each individual is way more complicated than simply playing the game.
But of course, they also have to play better, skate faster and be smarter than the other guys on the ice. The odds of making it to the pros are astronomically low, but that doesn’t stop a kid from trying and it shouldn’t. Life is often about taking chances and going after what you want. Odds of success really don’t play into the equation when you’re doing what you love.
Maybe that’s the key. The ones who make it to the top in any area have done so because they love what they’re doing which make the sacrifices worth it. Or maybe they’re not even seen as sacrifices at that point.
What do you think? Is the time, dedication and sacrifices made to reach the top worth it?

One night, one time, nothing more. That’s all it was supposed to be. They’d agreed their first night together would be their only night together—and Minnesota Glaciers defenseman Dylan Rylie was fine with that. Giant hickeys and claw marks on his ass had never been his style, even if the very memory of Samantha Yates’s merciless sexual energy gets him hard within seconds. He needs to focus on getting a better contract, not mind-blowing orgasms.
One night, one time, nothing more. Fresh off representing the US at the Games and with nowhere else to play, Samantha gave in to one night of frantic passion with the Glaciers’ brawny hotshot. She couldn’t get hurt—not if she controlled the outcome. And she planned to leave Minnesota soon, anyway. She didn’t expect to be recruited to coach Dylan after they’d gotten down and dirty.
When brutal on-ice workouts lead to kinky locker room sessions and “one night” falls by the wayside, Samantha insists on keeping things casual, despite Dylan’s quiet hope for more. But when Dylan goes down—hard—and his career is in jeopardy, Samantha is the first one by his side. What will it take to keep her there after he’s healed?


Timing was everything, and she waited for her moment to kick up some fun on an otherwise blasé event. The charity that donated hockey equipment to kids from military families was a great cause that would benefit from a little show. At least, that was what she told herself.
“Don’t be stupid,” Meg warned in her ear.
“Why not?” Sam asked. “What do I have to lose?” Absolutely nothing. She’d never do anything to smear her name, but it wasn’t like she had a hockey career to worry about. Or a coach she was accountable to.
Or a reason to behave.
Rylie was spending as much time tipping his trademark worn brown cowboy hat at the passing women as he was paying attention to the kids looking for pointers. The ends of his brown hair curled over the back of the gray hoodie he’d worn under his jersey and seemed to match his hat color almost perfectly. Too perfectly.
Nicknamed Cowboy within the hockey world, he was dubbed Pretty Boy as well. The second label was coined his rookie season by a sports announcer and as far as Sam had heard and seen, the man cultivated both brands equally.
“Hi, Rylie,” a group of teenage girls dressed in skinny jeans and overdone makeup chorused as they skated past. Rylie shot them a nod and grin that somehow managed to be appropriate for the age of the girls.
Sam shook her head and chuckled at his easy charm. The guy had it all. Talent, looks, personality—he was a star in the making. One full of potential if he didn’t get distracted by the fame and parties he seemed to enjoy.
Walters smacked the puck toward Rylie, and Sam broke through the kids to swoop across the ice and steal the puck from the preoccupied man. A cheer went up from the kids when she circled the pro player, puck firmly in her control. The air chilled her cheeks and laughter rang in her ears as she sped away.
A quick glance over her shoulder showed Rylie chasing her, the determined pull of his brows blending with a full smile that somehow managed to put a matching one on her face. She caught sight of Meg and passed the puck off before she stopped then took off in the direction she’d just come from.
The circle of kids widened as Walters got into the play, tailing Meg. She swooped around a group of unsuspecting adults, using them as a pick to cut off Walters, and she smacked the puck back to Sam.
“Think you’re hot stuff, do you, Yates?” Rylie was at her side, jabbing his stick at the puck with no effect. She was under no illusion the man knew who she was. Her name was printed in big letters across the back of her jersey.
“Just having some fun.” She cut a sharp circle and faced off Rylie, who skidded to a quick stop.
He tapped his stick on the ice, an indulgent half smile on his lips. “Come on then.” He glanced over his shoulder. “You and me to the net.”
Her stomach did an unwanted flip when his eyes landed back on her. An interesting mix of brown and green, they seemed to dance with the same excitement that flooded her. The challenge was exactly what she’d wanted and his proposition was the best offer she’d had in months. On or off the ice.
“You are so on,” she said, grinning.




As a reader obsessed with sports romances there's a few themes common to all that thankfully get twisted a bit in this story to set it apart from the crowded field.  From its unique and rough around the edges heroine to its vividly depicted sports scenes, this read pulled me in from the very start and leaves me excited for the next hockey hero to find love.

For Samantha, hockey has been her life since she was a child and her daddy wanted a son.  She's tried to be the best ever since and for a woman she's reached as high as she can go.  Knowing that she's at the top of her game, but forced into treating hockey as a pastime as there's no money to be had for female players, has left her frustrated and closed her heart off from happiness.  She's an angry woman, angry at the men who gain fame and fortune while doing what they love, who loves showing up men whenever possible which quickly attracts the attention of fellow hockey player Dylan.  While her feelings are understandable her anger makes her hard to warm up to for readers.  She's become so bitter that she can't enjoy the happiness that's right in front of her.  It's not until she forges a new path, and finds inner happiness, that she can finally reach her HEA.

Dylan is at the top of his game too with a lucrative contract on the horizon if he can just keep up the charade he's playing regarding his persona.  He plays at being the sexy cowboy/playboy but deep down he has a more tender side.  He doesn't do one-night stands but is instead looking for something meaningful and surprisingly finds it with Samantha, though it's a difficult journey to convincing her of their connection.  He's a delectable hero, supportive of Samantha at every turn, and unashamed to accept her help when he needs it most.

Theirs is a romance that flares quickly and teems with sensual energy from the first time they meet.  Their banter is sexy and snarky with undertones of sexual tension that results in a steamy first sexual encounter.  From there their connection takes on a more personal slant as they finally take the time to get to know each other.  In their sexual interludes it's Samantha who takes the lead which I found refreshing.  It's clear that Dylan is secure in himself and his abilities to not be intimidated by a woman.  This spoke volumes in the male-dominated sport of hockey and shows how much Samantha means to him.  The author also shows a deft hand in her vivid depictions of hockey.  These scenes clearly show the ups and downs, the frantic energy, and the pulse-pounding action being on the ice cultivates.  All this pulls you into the action, both on and off the ice, and keeps you rooting for Samantha and Dylan.  This was a satisfying addition to the genre of sports-themed romances and I'm left with great anticipation as we get to know more about the other members of the Minnesota Glaciers whose brief glimpses here have left me captivated.

My rating for this is a B.

*I got this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Lynda Aicher has always loved to read. After years of weekly travel implementing computer software into global companies, she ended her nomadic lifestyle to raise her two children. Now her imagination is her only limitation on where she can go and her writing lets her escape from the daily duties as a mom, wife, chauffeur, scheduler, cook, teacher, volunteer, cleaner and mediator.



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  1. Has any one ever told you not to write or what to and how to write what you do?


  3. How did you choose such a beautiful cover?


  4. Great review, sounds like an exciting story. Thanks for sharing!