cover image Melting the Ice

Melting the Ice

Jaci Burton. Berkley Sensation, $15 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-425-26298-6

In her seventh Play-by-Play sports-themed contemporary (after One Sweet Ride), Burton pairs hockey with haute couture. Carolina Preston is living her dream of debuting as a fashion designer at New York's Fashion Week. When she asks her brother, Gray, a champion auto racer, to model for her, he invites his friend Drew Hogan along to help out. Drew is the last man Carolina wants on her mind; ever since a heartbreaking one-night stand with him in college, Carolina has had nothing but contempt for the hockey star. But Drew persists in trying to make amends. When he takes Carolina to the Rockefeller Center ice-skating rink, she realizes that the callous jock of her youth has become a sweet guy who signs autographs for kids. Burton maintains the romantic and professional tension while allowing themes of regret and forgiveness to come through. This light romp lacks thrilling highs or gut-wrenching lows, but it follows the protagonists smoothly to a satisfying conclusion. (Feb.)