cover image Power Play

Power Play

Deirdre Martin, . . Berkley Sensation, $7.99 (290pp) ISBN 978-0-425-22451-9

Martin’s uneven seventh New York Blades romance (after 2008’s Just a Taste ) mixes professional hockey with the high-pressure, high-drama world of daytime soap opera. Soap actress Monica Geary’s lofty position is threatened by a reputation as a recluse and a slutty new co-star, and new Blades player Eric Mitchell (brother of Chasing Stanley ’s protagonist Jason) wants to win over fans and teammates. They strike a deal: pretend to be a couple for increased mutual publicity. When they start to develop a real attraction, Mitchell panics and breaks it off, but then realizes he’ll do anything to get Geary back. Martin’s attention to detail enlivens her portrayals of actors, writers, players and fans, but Mitchell’s fumbling courtship and Geary’s harsh mockery are a little too realistic; the stars’ glamour and chemistry may not be enough to keep readers engaged through the bouts of petty sniping and selfishness. (Oct.)