Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Crashing the Net by Cheyenne Meadows

Breaking barriers on the ice is just the start for a woman who craves so much more.

Ranger Deacon can’t believe the team’s bad luck. First, their season falls into a steep slump, then their number one goalie goes down with a knee injury. Morale is in the dumps and the coach springs one outrageous development on them—a woman would be joining the team to finish out the remainder of the games. He’s skeptical until he sees her play and loses a piece of his jaded heart in the process.

Piper Darrow is a hockey prodigy, a goalie at the top of her game in the women’s professional league. She just finished a stellar year when the opportunity of a lifetime presents itself—becoming the first woman to play in the men’s professional league. Plenty of obstacles stand in Piper’s way, including acceptance from the fans, the players and even her own teammates. That, along with some hard hits from opponents, she can handle. It’s the fierce desire she feels for Ranger that throws her for a loop.

Playing in a man-dominated sport is difficult enough without the additional challenge of falling for the captain of the team. Piper knows the score, is determined to get the job done, but can't help but wonder if there's more to Ranger than excellence on the ice.

Reader Advisory: This book contains references to domestic abuse, child abuse and some hockey-related violence.

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Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

The story of the NHL’s first female player fighting to prove herself in one of the world’s most brutal professional sports is an exciting read. Piper is both fierce and funny, and I loved her strength and resilience.

I loved the sports action in this book. I was fully invested in Piper’s struggles on an underdog team. Even though I can still remember Manon Rhéaume as the first female NHL player in 1992, I believed in Piper’s struggle to be accepted by her teammates and respected by her opponents. Piper has to be tougher than any male goalie and she has to take more abuse from hockey fans, management, and opposing teammates. She has the cleanest mouth of any hockey player I’ve ever met – male or female – but I loved her grit.

I do have some reservations about the romance in this book which stops me from awarding a full five stars. Piper (the fierce professional hockey player) is a virgin. Really? Seriously? And after all sorts of infantilizing, possessive, chauvinistic posturing, Ranger takes her virginity and makes Piper his. Urgh. This is why I have pretty much stopped reading m/f romance. Even when the female character is a worthy heroine, we still get the virginity nonsense.

Beyond the sex, I did like Ranger and Piper’s relationship. It starts with respect, then friendship before they become intimate. Ranger probably would’ve/should’ve been benched for playing protective boyfriend during professional hockey games but for the most part, he does respect Piper’s skill and strength. I enjoyed Piper’s family and I loved their teammates.

Aside from the whole virgin subplot, I enjoyed this. I loved the hockey action and I enjoyed much of the romance.

I really enjoyed this unique sports read.

Piper Darrow has been playing hockey most of her life, and when she’s offered the chance to become the first female NHL player, she jumps on the chance. Piper knows going in it’s going to be tough to prove herself in the male dominated world of the NHL, but she lets her talent speak for itself. Piper sets out to not only be accepted by her own team, but by the other teams and fans as well. Ranger Deacon is the captain of his NHL team that’s having a bout of bad luck and he thinks it’s continuing when they wind up with a new female goalie… until he sees her play.

Ranger and Piper’s story is sweet. but I found the whole Piper being a virgin thing a bit of a reach. Other than that though, it’s a great read, definitely fast paced and the characters are all interesting, I hope the author does more from the other players. I loved Piper’s fierceness, loyalty, and all around great attitude – that’s rare to see in a sports read like this and I found it refreshing. I look forward to reading more from this author!

Growing up in the Midwest, I began reading romance novels in high school, immediately falling in love with the genre, to the point where I decided to write professionally for a career. However, that dream splattered against a brick wall, resulting in a quick death in my first writing class in college when my professor told me bluntly that I wasn't any good at it. I shifted gears quickly, and left my writing dreams behind, eventually settling on becoming a nurse.

A few years back, I stumbled across a fan-fiction writing site on a favorite author's webpage. I began to read stories others wrote, not only making some wonderful close friends from the experience, but also, really learning to write for the very first time. Here I was able to share short stories, practice my writing skills, and truly develop into a writer. More than that, the experience allowed me to revitalize my dream, as I rediscovered joy in writing. Now, I spend my days off with my alpha male characters, quick witted heroines, and see how much trouble everyone can get into.

When I'm not working or writing, I enjoy working in the garden, canning, and seeing my backyard as a living canvas for my whimsical landscaping, and, of course, reading romance novels.

Connect with Cheyenne

Facebook  ~  Blog  ~  Goodreads


Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Crashing the Net by Cheyenne Meadows to read and review.

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