Monday, June 23, 2014

Book Review: On The Fly (Book 1) By Katie Kenyhercz

On the Fly

By: Katie Kenyhercz

Book 1 in the Las Vegas Sinners Series

Published March 18th, 2013

Reviewed by : Sandra Long

On the Fly is said to be a romance by genre and it is, but it is more than that. It is also a sports novel that shows an in-depth knowledge of the game of hockey, whether from personal experience or a lot of research we don’t know, but we do know that this author has incorporated the game and the romance into a storyline that is both entertaining and educational.

Our main characters are a young woman named Jacey ( actuallyJacqueline but her dad always called her Jacey and like most nicknames, it stuck). Jacey and her younger brother, Madden, lost their mother at an early age. Their dad loved them both dearly and spent quality time with them, but he was also a workaholic so they also had nannies. Jacey took young Maddie, as she called him, and nurtured him throughout their childhood years right up until she left for college. Maddie graduated Yale with a MBA, fell in love and lived with her boyfriend up until one year before our story begins. She had visions of marriage and a lifetime with Alex, and especially after she found a receipt from a jewelry store in his pocket. One week later she found another woman in their bed with Alex . Her broken heart had started to mend but she had decided no man could be trusted so she had pretty much given up on love.

Madden spent his time and his money on parties, women and mostly his severe gambling problem. When he got in trouble his entire life he had always been able to use his good looks and charm to bail himself out of most things, but not gambling debts—for them he went to family and Jacey had never let him down. His dad didn’t either but when their dad past away the month before our story opens, his will had left the family business empire to Jacey and his extravagant mansion jointly to both of them.

As our story begins Jacey is on a plane for Las Vegas, where their dad’s house and business are located. The business is a professional hockey team. He had owned hockey teams most of his life so both kids had grown up in the sport, but more so Madden. He had been so sure that his dad would leave the team to him that he had quit his job and was also moving to Vegas but now he had to plead with Jacey to give him a job. Naturally she did, but as her assistant, because he still seemed so immature that she did not fully trust him to make decisions or to stay away from the casinos.

Their dad had owned a winning team in the past but this was a young team, a new team, and up until now, a losing team. The big guns in the profession were very upset at having a female owner and felt she did not belong in their good old boys club so they were out to get her from day one, watching for any mistakes. The team’s general manager had quit shortly before her dad’s death and the coach resigned the day he learned she was the new owner. Her first day at work the team captain, and star player, came to her office looking for junior. His contract was up for renewal and he had a much better offer from another team and he had been in negotiations with her dad about a salary increase to match the other offer before he signed the new contract. Her dad had made an offer, which he felt was the best he could do since the team was not really making any money yet. The offer was less than half what the other team offered, so team captain Carter Phllyn, came in with guns blazing to demand more money or quit when he met with “junior”. He walked in on Jacey and was shocked when she said that she was the new owner—he had thought everyone was saying J.C., so he was expecting the son. It was instant attraction between these two and by the time his agent arrived to demand more money or else, Carter was agreeing to accept the lower salary.

As the storyline develops, the sparks between these two are so obvious that the gossips immediately start. It seems Carter already has a reputation as a playboy and a local reporter who is determined to make big time by-lines at the expense of Jacey and Carter, takes every opportunity she gets, including dating Jacey’s brother, to gather tidbits that can be twisted and turned into headlines that sell. This brings the national board of hockey team owners down on Jacey big time. And, when she names her father’s office assistant, a woman who is the daughter of a once famous hockey coach, as the new head coach of her team, the big boys get even more upset.

Jacey is still dealing with trust issues from her last relationship as well as the grief of losing her father and the determination not to let him down by losing or selling “his” team. She lets these fears keep interfering in her slowly developing relationship with Carter. Madden is a help to Jacey in learning about the game of hockey and is a real help to her most of the time but he lets himself start gambling again.

Here we have all the ingredients for a great storyline—a love that must be kept hidden or denied altogether if the hockey team is going to survive, a team that has been nothing but losers with a female coach determined to turn them into winners, a gambling problem thought to be cured resurfaces and a younger brother struggles with his own immature and irresponsible behaviors and tries to atone. All these plots and sub-plots make for a very interesting, very entertaining read. I would highly recommend this book to lovers of romance and as an added bonus, the reader will finish with a conversational knowledge of the game of hockey.

Jacey Vaughn has a newly minted MBA when her father dies unexpectedly and leaves her his NHL team. Well-versed in business but not so much in hockey, Jacey navigates this new world with a few stumbles. She definitely doesn’t plan on falling for the team captain. At the first hint of scandal, a local Las Vegas reporter latches on, and Jacey finds herself in the newspaper with headlines that hurt instead of help. Jacey’s determined to keep her father’s legacy alive and make the team successful, but while she has no problem denying her feelings to the media, she can’t lie to herself.

Carter Phlynn has known nothing but hockey his entire life. Drafted into the NHL at age eighteen, winning the Stanley Cup is all he’s ever wanted. Nothing has ever disrupted his focus. Not until he meets his new boss. Jacey gets under his skin like no one else, and while dating the team owner would be a disaster for his career and reputation, he can’t get her out of his head. Carter has never had a relationship last more than a month, but the more he’s around Jacey, the more he can’t picture his future without her.

I live in Little Rock, AR with my husband and Motley the cat, and I write hockey romance. 

I played one season of roller hockey when I was fifteen--it hurt enough that I decided I liked it better as a spectator--and it's been true love ever since! My fictional team is the Las Vegas Sinners, and my real-world team is the Pittsburgh Penguins.

I like strong, capable heroines who bring out the vulnerability in their tough guys.

Website  //  Twitter  //  Amazon  //  Goodreads

Full Strength

By: Katie Kenyhercz

Book 2 in the Las Vegas Sinners Series

After a bum knee ended her soccer days, Alexandra—Allie—Kallen has dedicated her life to helping injured athletes cope and get back in the game. As the new team sports psychologist of the Las Vegas Sinners, she starts out with just one player, but he’s a handful. Goalies are stubborn, and she would know. She’s determined to figure him out and return him to the net good as new, especially after she sent her last patient back to the ice too soon. The problem is, she sees so much of herself in Shane, and their chemistry is off the charts. Falling for him isn’t in the plan. Is love worth losing her career?

Shane Reese’s entire identity has been wrapped up in being a goalie since he was five years old. When he gets a high ankle sprain right before playoffs, he doesn’t exactly take it well. After putting his fist through the physical therapy room wall and hitting a few joking teammates, he’s ordered to see the new shrink. All he has to do is convince her he’s seen the light, and he can get back to defending his team as soon as his ankle heals. The problem is, she sees through him like no one he’s ever met, and the more time he spends with her, the less hot he is to get back to the ice. Could something mean more than hockey?