Author: Stephanie Julian
What I’m Talking About:
Jess Gardiner has hockey in her blood. With the best scout in the NHL for a father, Jess learned the game inside and out at a young age. The problem is, women aren’t scouts in the NHL. So she works as the promotion manager for the Redtails, honestly loving her job, and feeds her scouting side by making recommendations to the coach on the side.
Will is a veteran player without much time left playing the sport he loves. However, after a recommendation to give him a look, the Redtails pick him up to be a leader for its young team. And from the moment he meets the intriguing Jess, he’s hoping he’ll stay with the Redtails for a while.
The Enforcer is a quick, enjoyable story with equal parts romance and hockey. Hockey isn’t just a setting for the book, but rather the story is infused with the ins and outs of the sport. It’s clear that Ms. Julian understands and loves hockey as much as her heroine, Jess.
Right from the start, Jess and Will experience a strong pull and mutual attraction, accompanied by the sudden realization that something has been missing in their lives. However, Jess was burned by immature hockey players in the past, and she’s worried about the impacts to her credibility on the job if she dates someone on the team. Yet, she cannot deny herself the joy of being around Will. Similarly, Will recognizes he’s getting older and doesn’t want to play games when meets a woman he really likes. Yet, he is respectful of her concerns and willing just to be friends because he enjoys her company – totally swoon-worthy. Their romance is quick, sexy, and sweet, and I really enjoyed their story.
My biggest issue with The Enforcer is the number of apparent continuity errors within the storyline. I can adjust to one or maybe two issues, but I found a handful of situations that seemed in clear conflict with something stated later in the story. For example, in a scene early in the book, Will discusses an upcoming game with teammate Justin and how a player named Mason will cause Will problems. Mason plays for Syracuse. Yet later in the text, we find out that the Redtails are playing Milwaukee. While not important to the overall story, continuity issues like this drive me nuts, and I am compelled to go back and check. Additionally, there was a mention of Will having an ex-fiancee and it was never brought up again… when an apparent bombshell like an ex is brought up in thought, I want follow up. Why is she an ex? What are the details? I would have been able to overlook one or two of these conflicts, but I spent too much time checking and rechecking facts, causing a disruption in my reading flow.
In the end, I found The Enforcer to be an entertaining story. The book is short, but the story flows well, with the exception of the issues I mentioned above. The romance is quick, but the author makes it believable and real. The fact that both Will and Jess are in a place in their lives to start this relationship, coupled with their openness and honesty, allows for the fast-paced romance.
My Rating: B, Liked It
About the Book:
Coming into a team in the middle of the season is never easy but veteran hockey player Will MacDonald is a tough guy. He’s not afraid to drop his gloves in defense of his teammates and he’s never met a woman who’s made his heart pound as hard as a good fight. Until he has a chance collision with a curvy brunette.
Jess Gardiner has been around hockey all her life. Her dad, an NHL scout, taught her everything he knows about the game and she believes Will is just what the young Redtails team needs. He’s just not what she needs in her life, even if he is huge, hot and hard-bodied.
Will is used to fighting for what he wants but winning Jess’s heart might be the toughest battle of his life.
Release Date: March 20, 2017
Publisher: Moonlit Night Publishing
Series: Redtails Hockey #3
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds