Sunday, August 11, 2013

BOOK REVIEW: FIRE ON ICE by Dakota Madison

BY: Dakota Madison

PUBLISHED: July 16, 2013 by Short on Time Books

GENRES: NA (New Adult) • College • Ice Hockey • Contemporary Romance • Life Issues • Emotional Abuse/Recovery • Sexually Explicit • Language • Mild Suspense

SOURCE: E-book copy donated by author

NOTE: Due to explicit sexual content and language, I would not recommend this book to those under 17 years of age. 

He’s Fire on Ice and she’s afraid to get burned again…

“You always think a guy is going to be different until he’s not.”

Firestorm Center Kian Kavanagh dominates the ice like a rock star dominates the stage. He’s the hottest new player to be recruited for the Firestorm, a newly established professional hockey team in Northern Arizona.

After Taylor Thompson’s heart was completely shattered by her high school’s most popular jock, she vowed never to date another athlete. And she keeps that promise through her first three years of college by putting up impenetrable walls to protect her from heartbreak.

But after a chance meeting with the charming and irresistible Kian Kavanagh, Taylor’s carefully constructed walls are in serious danger of being burned down by Mr. Fire on Ice.

•  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •  •

Some of you may be shaking your heads after reading the overview. Another bad-boy-man-whore-meets-good girl-with-a-past NA novel? While the bare bones does reflect the over saturation of this basic storyline in the New Adult fiction genre, I would say this has enough uniqueness to stand apart.

I applaud Madison for incorporating a sport that is not frequently used. There are so many football, soccer, lacrosse and basketball themed books. Even skiing seems to frequent the shelves more than hockey. Her use of the sport's terminology, lingo and play descriptions were a bit long winded and overly specific. I will admit I was a bit crossed eyed at a few points. It almost seemed like she was trying too hard to prove her knowledge of the sport and overdid it. That being said, I am sure there are many avid hockey fans out there jumping with glee over the details.

I found the book overall entertaining. Kian was your typical bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. He's the guy who got all the girls and managed to get his way. 

What I found intriguing about him was that he quickly saw the meaningless of his ways soon after meeting Taylor and grew as a person. He had a lot of growing up to do and did quite a bit of it throughout the book. I will say he seemed OCD about Taylor and I found that disturbing. I'll talk about that later in the review. My favorite aspect to him was that he was frugal and had his Plan A and Plan B for his life. He was secure in that aspect and I found that a refreshing change from so many male characters out there.

Taylor was the girl who was hiding from the world... or at least, the world of men. After what happened to her in high school, I didn't blame her. She found comfort in a male friend who swore he was platonic. What was unique to this relationship was the secrets this "friend" hid.

Taylor also found trouble in another guy, but I don't want to give anything away. Let's just say that this character provided the mild suspense to the story. He lent a very creepy but awkward aspect to the plot. I felt like this aspect either needed to be stepped up a few notches or scratched. 

What I found hard to swallow was that she would not go to the police when she was having trouble. I just felt that was unrealistic. 

The one aspect to the story that was a larger concern for me was the last section of the book. The wrap up to this book was not as tight as I would have hoped. There were cliffhangers to leave the reader in suspense till the next installment, but I felt that the items were too loosely handled and rushed. An editor giving it another pass would have helped polish and refine that section perfectly.

The relationship between Kian and Taylor had a great opening and was my favorite section of their relationship. They were then drawn in too quickly for my taste. If she really had all those issues, she would not have dove into that relationship and she would probably of had a higher commitment phobia. 

There was no friendship, just lust. And I think it set a bad tone. The fact that he became so OCD about her is disturbing. It reminds me of several books out now with a similar storyline.

I would love to see healthier relationships, ones that are more realistically based. That being said, I think Madison did a great job with the secondary characters. They were actually my favorite part of the book. They were unique, refreshing and engaging. Taylor's sister was by far the star of the book. Unfortunately, the ending was rushed and flattened her character like a pancake. But before that I was hooked on her.

The sexual content for me was a bit overwhelming. I felt that dealing with someone who had been abused was enough, but add in a man with 100s of partners and a girl who does two at a time and it crossed into erotica and out of the New Adult genre in my mind.

There was something bewitching about the story. It flowed nicely even with the hiccups and I thought the characters were interesting. It kept my attention, except for the hockey scenes. My recommendation would be to tone back the sports lingo and sexual descriptiveness, add in more of the sister, expand the storyline and give everything an extra run through with the editor for the next installment. If those things happen, Madison will definitely get the puck in the net and won't be anywhere near the penalty box! :)

So for all those over seventeen, if you are looking for an ice hockey romance, then you will really enjoy this book! With the questions left at the end of the book, I am looking forward to reading book two to see what happens! Enjoy :)