Sinead O’Brien is a high powered attorney focused on her career. She has a strict rule about not dating her clients. That’s not only her personal policy but it’s also frowned upon by her firm, although the male partners don’t seem to think the rule applies to them. However when she starts to get to know her most recent client—star of the NFL hockey team The Blades—she begins to rethink her dating policy.
Adam is known for his aggressive style on the ice and his no nonsense approach to the game. He’s a seasoned player and retirement is in his future so when he is brought up on the charge of assault stemming from a borderline hit on an opposing team member, his last shot at the Stanley cup is in jeopardy. Now he’s depending on Sinead, who knows nothing about hockey, to handle his case so he can focus on the task at hand—ending his career on a high note by taking the Stanley Cup.
Although on the outside, Sinead is a highly focused cool professional, she is insecure when it comes to personal matters such as relationships and love. She is divorced and has convinced herself that she doesn’t care if she finds love again and that she is happy focusing solely on her career. However through her inner dialogue we learn that she yearns for the full package; a relationship, family and career. We also learn that she is still wounded from her previous marriage and quite insecure most of the time. The Sinead she projects to the world doesn’t go with the flow, she controls the flow. But the private Sinead comes off like an uncertain teenager at times. She turns down pizza for fear of breakouts, and needs to reassure herself before sex:
“He really cares about me. I’m precious to him. And he’s showing me.”
And during sex her inner voice says:
“Am I really worthy of such a look of desire?”
I think this was supposed to show the vulnerable side of the unflappable personality but it didn’t work for me and I thought Sinead came off silly and too insecure. She kept bringing the memory of her ex-husband into her relationship with Adam as well which I found off putting, especially when her mind would wander to thoughts of the ex while making love to Adam.
The conflict in their relationship arises when Sinead suggests that she and Adam break up temporarily so that if she is questioned by the partners in her firm regarding her relationship, she can truthfully say no, they are not dating. Adam of course is hurt and reacts badly causing a fight and hurt feelings on both sides. Both Adam and Sinead are firmly committed to their careers and it seems they hit a block wall when it comes to compromise.
When Sinead and Adam first meet she perceives him as a “hulking twit incapable of putting two sentences together.” This is partly due to his preference for only speaking when he feels there is something needs to be said. Sinead becomes frustrated with his reluctance to elaborate on the incident in question and Adam becomes defensive when Sinead digs into his background to learn things about him that could help her win the case. In her research she finds that Adam is a very generous man that helps those less fortunate while insisting on keeping a low profile. But his viewpoints conflict with her more modern ones.
Now, usually I pull for headstrong couples to fight it out and work out their differences, however there are times when I come across a hero and heroine that I think should just give up the fight and move on. Sinead’s all-or-nothing personality combined with Adam’s traditional, (dated) viewpoints on relationships, marriage and children made for a couple that were constantly hot and cold, fight, make up, have sex, and break up. Adam and Sinead just seemed to love each other, not LOVE each other. I suppose in a romance novel I expect LOVE to balance out all the reasons a couple should not be together, therefore justifying their reason for sticking with the relationship and I just didn’t feel it here. That combined with a predictable ending made this book a miss for me.
Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin
February 1st 2011 by Berkley
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