Review: On the Surface (In the Zone #1) by Kate Willoughby

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…

*I received a copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

I really love me some sports novels and this is another great one to add to my ever growing collection. A really strong start and I will be on the lookout for the next books in the series.

Tim got traded to San Diego after an incident with a fan, which was the last drop for management. The man doesn't have an attitude problem, but when after only being in town for a couple of weeks and he beats up a guy at a fan event, you kind of make a name for yourself. The PR people are of course in a frenzy, no matter if he did it to save a damsel in distress. Luckily the damsel is ready to stand by his side and defend Tim.

Erin has never even seen a hockey game, but before she knows it her life entwined with Tim's. There is no denying he's gorgeous, but he has his pick of the ladies so why would he choose her, right? So a slight hesitation because of some ideas Erin has about hockey players, other than that they are a go.

Everything moves kind of fast, but when things feel this good there is no reason to hold back. I loved their whirlwind romance. Tim was such a refreshing sports character. He has slept around, but that was in his rookie years. The man is in his early thirties now. The thought of settling down doesn't scare him at all, he even welcomes it. Now he just needs to convince Erin he's serious about her. She has trouble believing everything is true. Not that she doesn't believe what he says, it's just like fairy tale come true and that scares her a bit.

There are still some hurdles to overcome and Ering might need to give up the second most important thing she wants in life. Tim being number one on her list. Choices will need to be made and maybe even some sacrifices.

On The Surface is a really wonderful start of a new series. Both main characters are very loveable and so easy to connect with. Tim and Erin are so down to earth, everything flows so natural between. It was a pleasure to read their story!

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The Author
Kate is in love with the sport of hockey. And the entire Los Angeles Kings team. Having lived most of her life completely uninterested in professional sports, she is surprised at the intensity of her enthusiasm and her growing collection of Kings merchandise.

She has held a variety of jobs—podiatrist's assistant, telemarketer, typist, gift wrapper, painter, illustrator's assistant, paste-up artist, calligrapher, teacher, transcriptionist and barista—but her favorite by far is author. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband, their two sons, and a Chihuahua named Mochi.

She is also a member of the Romance Writers of America and Los Angeles Romance Authors and winner of the 2009 EPPIE Award for Best Fantasy/Paranormal Erotic Romance.

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