Harlequin Blaze/February 21, 2012
Sign up for recreational adult programs now!
Class: How to Drive Him Crazy
Instructional program for women unexpectedly facing the totally dishy guy from their past. Everyone welcome!
NHL coach Mark Diego's plan to spend his off-season volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend - and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy.
When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don't just burn angry - they burn very, very hot! But that'll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he's planning on playing very dirty, too.
This was a fun, quick read. If it was summer time, I'd say it's a perfect beach read. The hero may be a hockey coach but it's off season and hot and steamy when he and his players are trying to repair their image by volunteering in the community. Mark is a local boy and not only does he still have family in the area, he finds a girl from his past is all grown up and not a little girl anymore.
Rainey Saunders' world is is shaken up when Mark Diego comes back to town. Rainey's teenage crush is still very crush worthy but Rainey is an adult now and not into crushes. She's into long-term relationships and with Mark only there for the summer, long term isn't in his plans. Rainey keeps busy at the local Rec Center where she works as the junior sports coordinator. The center is in part of town where the kids really need a place to go after school where they are kept safe and out of trouble. Rainey's compassion comes through when working with the kids. It was interesting to see her watch Mark coach the teen girls and realize there's more to the star hockey coach than meets the eye.
Mark Diego may not be a star player but he does share the spotlight often enough with his players. He's young, sexy and available. He may seem like a ladies man but the guy has more going on than just his good looks. Mark is an extremely likable hero - almost too perfect. Which can drive Rainey crazy at times. He's one of those guys that's annoyingly good at just about everything! I did like Mark but he could have used a bit more bad-boy-genes to make him more interesting and not quite so perfect.
Rainey and Mark's personal lives collide with their work lives. Working at the Rec Center lets them seem how much they have in common, seeing as they both care about what happens to the kids there. There is also a sub-plot of troubled teens that adds stress to Rainey and Mark's lives but also shows them how much they care about each other. I did like how Mark and Rainey joined forces to help the kids which brought out strong emotions and made them confront their own feelings for each other.
The plot may have been fairly predictable and the hero a little too perfect but it still made for a lively romance.