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On the Surface (In The Zone Book 1)

On the Surface (In The Zone Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Kate Willoughby
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

Book one of In the Zone

NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After "Bottlegate," he's traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he'll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who's never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim's autograph at a PR event in hopes of impressing the doctor she has a crush on. When an obnoxious fan gets pushy toward Erin, Tim rushes to defend the pretty stranger, throwing a punch in the process.

Grateful for the rescue, Erin agrees to stand by Tim during the resulting press conference and host him at a hospital charity event. Their chemistry is palpable, and soon their lives are intertwined. But Erin doubts a hockey player is capable of anything resembling a real relationship. And if Tim can't get her to see beyond what's on the surface, they'll never last longer than a single season…

95,000 words

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 775 KB
  • Print Length: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Carina Press (14 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #28,845 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars great read 22 Jun. 2014
By shell
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great read I will be getting the next on in the series the characters are great the story is really well written
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed 28 Oct. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Enjoyed reading this story. It's been a while since I read a hockey romance. Good storyline. Looking forward to the next instalment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars 12 Nov. 2014
By vicky
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved this book really good read
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  43 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A rating... 14 April 2014
By Smitten with Reading - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was simply a fun, entertaining contemporary romance with the added benefit of a sports/hockey setting which I loved.

Tim is a pro NHL player coming close to the end of his career and starting out at a new team in San Diego. He's been one of the greats over his career and I liked that this book wasn't about him being washed up. In fact, he has a great year overall with his playing.

Erin is a nurse in the pediatric wing of the local hospital. She's not a hockey fan... at all. In fact, she's never even watched a game, but they meet when she stands in line to get his signature for one of the docs at her hospital that she has a crush on.

The book felt very real. Erin is a normal girl and Tim is not a normal guy. He's a pro athlete, gorgeous, fit, sexy, rich. She knows this isn't going to last, but she plans to enjoy it while she can. As a result, Tim is MUCH MORE "present" in the relationship than she is. She doesn't even allow herself to think about them long-term whereas Tim is already seeing forever in their future. It was a great dichotomy because I could see any normal person feeling that way in a relationship like this.

There are several different layers of the story on this one, but my favorite aspect of it was Tim's little girl that died from leukemia. Of course, this has left lasting scars for Tim. He doesn't want kids ever again. He can't do that again. But Erin loves kids...she works in pediatrics. This is a huge thing between them and it really worked as a plot line in this story. It was heart-wrenching, but at the same time, you could totally see where he is coming from. The resolution to that part of the story was so perfect and unexpected. I loved it.

I love hockey themed books and this is a great example as to why. Everything about this book just worked. Tim is a great guy with a great circle of friends. I even enjoyed the scenes where the three of them were working out in the off-season. I liked that the author still had him very much as a force on the team as well as the PR stuff going on...especially working with kids. The kids scenes in this book were GREAT! Erin is a normal girl, but she has such incredible heart. I loved how she discovered her love for hockey. The Hockey for Dummies scenes were great.

I highly recommend this one and can't wait for more from this series and author. She's a new author to me and I like her!

I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This book is filled with sweet and sexy. I can’t wait to read more about The San Diego Barracudas. 15 April 2014
By Guilty Pleasures Book Reviews - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
On The Surface is the first book in the new In The Zone series by Ms. Willoughby. She has delivered her readers a beautiful story that is fast-paced and full of lots of action on and off the ice. It’s a winner for anyone who is a fan of sports theme romance, a fan of hockey, or any reader that loves to sink into an emotional sexy story full of passion and love.

Erin and Tim could not have been more ill-suited for one another. He is a professional hockey player whose entire life has always revolved around the game and Erin is a pediatric nurse who takes pride in healing and helping people. She knows nothing about hockey and only has preconceived ideas that it’s all about violence and fighting.

When circumstances arise that force them together there is an immediate connection that neither can deny. I loved the way their relationship started out. She was not about to jump in bed with him just because he is a famous sports star. As a matter of fact, the first half of the story is just foreplay that helps to build up the anticipation and sets the stage for a guaranteed explosive scene when they finally give in to their desires.

Tim has some heartache from the past he has to learn to deal with. He lost a daughter to leukemia when she was just five. Since then he has made a vow he is never having children again. He will never willingly put himself in a position to feel that hurt again. As he and Erin start to plan a future, this is a major issue that they have to face. I always think this is one of the hardest conflicts in a romance book. Whatever the reason for one or another not wanting children, it’s a rough concept to face. It’s not like a compromise can be made, it’s much harder to deal with than the location or career conflicts. I don’t want to spoil anything within this book, but I thought it was handled very well. There was a lot of growth and acceptance with both characters. Their trials and struggles really helped to solidify their love.

I absolutely adored Tim. He is a sweet caring guy, who is always willing to show Erin how much he loves her. Yes, he has his faults too. No man, even a fictional character can be completely perfect, but he knows when he screws up and is quick with his apologies.

And I loved watching Erin go from knowing nothing about hockey to end up loving everything about it and becoming a huge fan. Everyone should love hockey! It’s the best sport ever!

This book is filled with sweet, it’s filled with sexy, it’s filled with love and understanding, and best of all it’s filled with tons of actual hockey time from a writer that knows the game. I can’t wait to read more about The San Diego Barracudas.

Review copy provided for an honest review.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well Balanced Sport Romance That Dazzled Me With its Characters and their Romance 14 April 2014
By Sophia Rose - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
My first hockey themed contemporary romance and I loved it. Shhh, don't tell my hubby or he'll rub it in because his efforts to educate me in this sport have been only moderately successful at this point. I enjoyed the detail given to the sport and the camaraderie amongst the players who were friends, but I also enjoyed the character and romantic development too.

The story opens when Tim Hollander first comes to San Diego as a new veteran player for the local NHL team. He has a lot to prove between a poor previous season and a PR fiasco. His friends, Alex and Jason, are both on board with working hard and playing their best season ever. Shortly before the preseason he finds himself once again the focus of the news media for losing his temper with a fan. He is left relying on that cute, attractive nurse who was there at his signing booth to stand beside him and set everyone straight. That should have been the extent of it, but Tim doesn't want to part ways and he can't get enough of Nurse Erin even if she has yet to see his good side between the fight and then later when he spends the night getting sick.

Erin Collier loves her job in pediatrics and it doesn't hurt that she is crushing bad on one of the doctors. Dr. O doesn't seem to know she exists so she decides to up her game to gain his attention and one quick trip for a lunch run gives her an idea. Dr. O loves hockey and there is a signing going on at the burger place so she'll just get one of those player's signatures and make Dr. O really sit up and take notice. Instead of an autograph, Erin walks away with the whole hockey player. She does her duty by defending him to the press when a jerk fan tried to hurt Erin and then she feels sorry for him when he gets violently ill. When he seems better, she plans to step graciously back out of Tim's life, but instead she nods okay to breakfast, lunch, a day at the beach, invitation to come see him play. Erin feels like its all one big dream and soon reality will come crashing in. She wants to put the brakes on and Tim's hitting the gas pedal. Does she take a chance on all this?

Sometimes I can be such a reading coward. I think I've been burned lately by a few drama llamas and over the top angst-filled plots so that when I got into this book and saw where it was developing, I braced myself for the impatience, irritation and dissatisfaction to follow. But... all the stuff I dreaded didn't happen. Of course there was some barriers and conflicts to get past and of course the characters had flaws that affected their relationship, but when the heat of the moment was over, they handled their biz like adults. I was left in awe a few times. Soooo refreshing! It was amazing to read a story where the issues were allowed to just wax and wane naturally without overdoing it. The characters exchanged turns telling the story and their relationship developed quick in ways, but the deeper portion took some time. Passion was there and it was hot between them.

What a great series opener that introduced future main book characters for me to look forward while giving a strong and engaging romance set against a sports backdrop. Lovers of sports romance should really give this book a try.

My thanks to Net Galley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice start to this new series 22 Sept. 2014
By Paris Hansen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Actual Rating: 3.5 Stars

Overall, this was an enjoyable book. I am a fan of hockey and a big fan of books with athletes as the main character. Kate Willoughby did a great job of actually incorporating hockey into the story. A lot of the time, the sport is ignored or glossed over, which always bums me out. Instead of doing that, Kate not only let her hero play the game multiple times during the book, she actually had other people around him play and talk about the technicalities of hockey. I really loved that Erin got a Hockey for Dummies book so she could learn. It was important that the sport was included in this book and in these characters lives.

I really liked Tim and Erin. I thought they were pretty great together and I really enjoyed how they met. The reason I marked the book down from a 4 star read to a 3.5 star read is that there were some things that just didn’t feel real enough. The whole situation with Dr. O and Erin’s infatuation with him never felt genuine. It was just a plot devise to get Tim and Erin in the same place and create the drama that shoved them together. Then it felt like it was all an afterthought, and had to be wrapped up to get him out of the way. The relationship drama could have been a little more touch and go. Ultimately, I didn’t feel like it was all much drama to begin with. Neither of them seemed like they were willing to give up, so I wasn’t worried at all that it might not work out.

I really enjoyed this book though and the subjects that it covered. Girls can play hockey too. You can’t let fear run your life, even if what you’re afraid of it losing the important things/people in your life. I thought it was great that it was Tim’s ex-wife that kind of put things into perspective for him. He needed to hear those things and then he needed Erin to really make everything clearer. I am extremely excited to read Calder’s book. He seemed like he’d be a lot of fun, so I’m eager to get to know him better and of course, I can’t wait to get back to the hockey action.

Arc provided by the publisher via Netgalley for an honest review
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read. 27 Sept. 2014
By Book Lady - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was my first book by this author and I don't think that it will be my last, at least not in this series.

**This review may contain spoilers**

Tim has recently been tranfered to a new hockey team and uses it has a chance to get a fresh start and move on with his life. He hasn't been playing well and cannot seem to get out of the shadow of Bottlegate. Erin is a nurse with a crush on a doctor that she works with, when she just happens to get burgers at a place where Tim is meeting fans, she seems it as a chance to get closer to her crush doctor. Tim gets in a fight when a man pushes Erin, she defends him right back in the media. The couple of lots of chemistry and quickly fall into a relationship. But Tim has problems moving past his history and Erin has to decide if she can still have a future with him. This was enjoyable and fast paced. I liked getting to know the characters and how they developed throughout the book. While there are some heavy elements to this book, the author keeps it all fairly light. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good rommance, don't be put off that its a sports rommance. .
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