Hip Check (New York Blades #10) By Dierdre Martin
February 5, 2013
Hip Check is the tenth book in Ms. Martin’s sports series which focuses on the lives and loves of a fictional hockey team-the New York Blades. A romantic contemporary that addresses the real life concerns and issues facing two completely different individuals who have found themselves drawn together over the well being of a little girl. Written in a strong conversational style format, we watch our two protagonists, Esa and Michelle, lock horns and lips in a battle of wills that becomes a battle for their hearts.
This installment carries a deep vein of sadness to it that isn’t present in the previous books. Esa Saari has a lot on his plate. His contract is up for renewal and the Blades aren’t knocking down his door to resign him. His antic in his personal life has not reflected well on him. He has also just gained custody of his niece, Nell. A confirmed playboy bachelor, he has no idea what to do with an 8 year old little girl. His friends come through for him in the form of Michelle Beck-professional nanny.
Michelle, a former school teacher turned nanny with some deep seated issues of her own, just got out of a job from hell and was looking to take a break but cannot help but feel for the motherless child. The sparks fly when Esa and Michelle first meet. He just wants to get back to his lifestyle sans pre parenthood and she can’t believe he has no clue to what he is doing and doesn’t seem to want to learn.
Martin does a good job of pairing two characters together who, at first glance, seem the exact opposite of each other. Esa lives a carefree life while Michelle is more grounded and stable. Yet, as you get to know them, you realize they are more alike than you think. Both Esa and Michelle’s childhoods have caused them to seek careers that give them a sense of family without actually having to make the commitment to one. As we watch their interactions with others, you can see the walls they have erected. Both of them try hard to be what they think others expect of them, yet you can feel the dissatisfaction with their lives in general.
Read the rest of my review at Smexy Books.