12 February 2015

#Throwback: Should've Known Better

Sarah Jenkins, a math geek and hockey fanatic, is thrilled when the NHL hires her as an adviser for the Buffalo Storm. She gets to marry her two loves in this perfect job.
Sebastian St. Amant is a young hockey player looking to make the jump from the minors to the big leagues. His lifelong dream is within reach, but he needs to convince the Storm's management and coaches he's ready.
When Sarah and Sebastian meet, sparks immediately fly. Both want to succeed, but neither can ignore the growing attraction and a relationship is out of the question—Sarah’s an influential staff member and Sebastian’s a player, not to mention over ten years her junior.
But the impossible becomes the necessary when they can no longer fight their attraction. As everything crashes around them, the strength of their relationship is tested. Will it weather the storm, or should they have known better?
As a fan of Ms. Carr’s writing and a lover of sports romances, I was all over this one. That the female lead was a math geek who had just gotten a job working with a hockey team, well my excitement knew no bounds because even though I’ve never actually watched a hockey game, hockey romances are probably my favorite type of sports romance. For the icing on the cake – a strapping young hockey player as the male lead. Having read and loved Ms. Carr’s Safe Harbor series, I couldn’t wait to see what she had in store for Sara and Sebastian. While I found Should’ve Known Better to be an enjoyable read, it didn’t pack quite the same punch as her Safe Harbor series.

Sara is a woman working in a male-dominated organization – the Buffalo Storm hockey team – and the author does a nice job of realistically illustrating many of the barriers that she faced. I liked that Sara had to prove that her analytical skills had value and did so over time rather than her gaining her male colleagues’ respect after just one or two successes. The obstacles she faced made it easy for me to understand why she fought her attraction to Sebastian for so long and then why she wanted to keep their relationship a secret when she finally gave into his constant pursuit.

As much as I liked Sara, I found her preoccupation with the age difference to be annoying, but not nearly as annoying as when her boss chastised her for her relationship with Sebastian telling her that at her age she should’ve known better than to get involved with him. It was only a 10 year difference between them and we’re talking about a 24 year-old man NOT an 18 year-old boy. I haven’t read a hockey romance yet that didn’t talk about puck bunnies (this one included), so for her boss to suggest that she took advantage of Sebastian’s youth when the man had his choice of puck bunnies just rubbed me the wrong way. Despite my indignation of Sara’s behalf and my fondness for her character, I found myself in a cycle of connecting and disconnecting with her character. As times there seemed to be a subtle shift in the way in which the story was told that would leave me feeling distanced from Sara and Sebastian. I found this happening throughout the book, including during sex scenes – which meant that there were some scorching sex scenes and some that were not. I hate to say it, but I find that for me, Ms. Carr’s MF romances fall into my “good read” category while her MM romances have a level of steam that usually lands them directly on my reread list.
Cassandra Carr is a romance writer whose work has been praised by many prominent publishing industry media outlets such as Publisher’s Weekly and Romantic Times and has won several "Best Of" awards. Her novella Unexpected Top was nominated in the E-book Erotic Romance category of RT's 2013 Reviewers' Choice Awards. When not writing she enjoys watching hockey, tending to the vegetable garden she planted with the help of her young daughter, and hanging out online.

She thinks the best part of being a writer is how she weaves tales about love and sex while most others struggle with daily commutes, micro-managing bosses and cranky co-workers. Her inspiration comes from everywhere, but she'd particularly like to thank the Buffalo Sabres, the hockey team near and dear to her heart.
To learn more about Cassandra, check out her website at http://www.booksbycassandracarr.com; like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/AuthorCassandraCarr, or follow her on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/Cassandra_Carr. She appreciates reviews, both good and bad, and thanks you, the readers, for taking the time to write them.


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