ARC Review – Back in Play by Lynda Aicher

Posted May 9, 2015 by smutmatters in ARC, Contemporary, Reviews / 0 Comments

ARC Review – Back in Play by Lynda AicherBack in Play by Lynda Aicher
Series: Power Play #2
Published by Carina Press on May 11th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Sports
Pages: 256
Format: eBook
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five-stars

For Minnesota Glaciers captain Scott Walters, skating on a bum knee—and self-medicating to keep skating on it—is all part of the game. That the painkillers he's eating prevent him from having meaningful relationships is just one more sacrifice in a lifetime of them. He's worked too hard to let his image be ruined by injury or dependency, so he hides the pain and fakes the rest—a girlfriend would only complicate matters.High school teacher Rachel Fielding never needed a man in her life, but she also never intended to grow old alone. When she meets Scott while visiting her brother, she's intrigued to find herself wanting him in her bed. For hours at a time, as often as possible. Scott is a giver, and just the memory of his attentions is enough to drive her crazy. Anything long-term is out of the question, though—the pills she finds in Scott's house indicate he's struggling with a lot more than growing older in a young man's game.When what starts out as a what-the-hell weeklong fling turns into Scott and Rachel exploring each other outside the bedroom, Rachel hesitates. But Scott asks for her support to break his addiction, and hearing him admit his secrets has her ignoring her own rules—until he breaks her heart. With the Glaciers refusing to renew his contract and his future with Rachel uncertain, Scott has some big decisions to make and a lot to prove—especially to himself.Book two of Power Play99,000 words

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I haven’t read a book this good in a long time. I don’t understand how I’ve managed to miss out on Lynda Aicher for so long, but I will be remedying that immediately. This is the 2nd book in her Power Play series, which is apparently a spinoff from her earlier Wicked Play series. I already have the first of that series saved to my Scribd library, and will dig into that very soon.

Scott Walters has played hockey his entire life. He doesn’t know anything else. He went pro at nineteen and has never given much thought to what will come next. But hockey is a physically demanding sport, and at thirty-four, he’s already one of the older players on the ice. He’s been trying to hide a bum knee that he knows could keep him from playing, but the Vicodin he’s been popping like candy is finally taking its own toll. It’s affecting his playing, his love life, and his own opinion of himself. When he finds out that it isn’t the secret he thought it was and that his current team, the Minnesota Glaciers, isn’t going to pick up his contract for the new season, his entire world is thrown into chaos.

Enter Rachel Fielding. She’s a high school calculus teacher from Atlanta who is in Minnesota visiting her brother and his partner (who have a book in the Wicked Play series). She’s happy with her job, her home, and her life, but in her mid-thirties, she’s ready for more. She wants a husband and kids, and she’s not willing to just settle for whatever comes her way. She wants the real deal. They meet at a wedding of two people I believe also had a story in Wicked Play. The chemistry between Scott and Rachel was instant and so, so wonderful and believable. They’re each exactly what the other needs.

Rachel will only be in town for a week, so they aren’t planning to fall in love. But after only a few days, Rachel learns of his painkiller addiction and her reaction to that news is exactly right and exactly the kick in the ass Scott needs to start to get his life together.

Both of these people have issues they’re struggling with. One thing I really liked about this book was that Aicher didn’t sugarcoat any of it. Scott didn’t admit he had a pill problem then magically just be over it and have his life back the way he wanted it. He went through a lot in trying to deal with it. There were no easy answers. And Rachel, while she didn’t have anything like that to deal with personally, went through a lot of that with him, as much as anyone who loves a person who’s struggling can. And she had a lot of family issues that, while mostly in the past, had her jumping to some conclusions and completely missing others. When these two fight, which was rare, they were both absolutely right and both absolutely wrong. This is a romance novel, so I don’t think I’m spoiling anything to say there’s an HEA, but it feels earned the way a lot of them don’t.

I don’t want to say too much more about this one since it’s not even out yet. But, please do yourself a huge favor and go pre-order this book right now!

About Lynda Aicher

Lynda lives in the Pacific Northwest which provides many months of rain-filled incentive to stay indoors and write. She has the luxury of being a full-time writer, that is, a full-time writer around her duties as mom, wife, cleaner, cook, chauffeur, master scheduler, banker, cheerleader, volunteer, and tutor. However, she’s a Midwesterner at heart. A perfect day has the snow falling outside, a fire warming the room, a football game on the television, a roast cooking in the oven, her family hanging out, and a good book to read.