Tag: Deirdre Martin

Retro Review: Fair Play by Deirdre Martin.

Posted July 19, 2017 by Rowena in Reviews | 8 Comments

Retro Review: Fair Play by Deirdre Martin.Reviewer: Rowena
Fair Play by Deirdre Martin
Series: New York Blades #2
Also in this series: Body Check
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 3rd 2004
Pages: 368
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Series Rating: three-stars

A little competition never hurt anybody...

Theresa Falconetti has it all: brains, beauty, a quick wit, and her own PR business. To the Deep disappointment of her large family, she never dates Italians, men from her old Brooklyn neighborhood, or professional athletes. Especially not athletes...

Michael Dante, popular hometown hero and winger for the Stanley Cup champion New York Blades is all three—and he is head over heels for her.

For Michael, Theresa's NO HOCKEY PLAYERS rule is a check to the heart. Nothing he does seems to melt her resolve. His stubborn refusal to give up on this wisecracking brunette, who—he knows—is hiding from her roots, is driving them both nuts. And whe he hires her to publicize his family's restaurant, more than the kitchen heats up. Then Theresa finds herself an Upper East Side kind of guy and Micheal is forced to take his game to the next level.


*****As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we’ll be re-posting old reviews that make us cringe, laugh or sigh all over again.

Holly: I remember when Body Check, the first book in this series, was released. Everyone raved about it, but I didn’t care for it at all. I felt so vindicated after Rowena wrote this review because the heroine drove her crazy. Good times.

This review was originally published November 18, 2007

The book following Body Check follows Janna McNeil’s best friend, Theresa Falconetti’s journey to true love with Michael Dante’. We met Michael Dante’ in Body Check when he was trying to get at Theresa but failed to impress her because he’s everything she doesn’t want in a man…mainly he’s Italian and from Brooklyn and a hockey player so she’s not trying to have anything to do with him. She’s very snooty and she’s very stubborn and I found that I just couldn’t like her. No matter what DM wrote about Theresa, it set my teeth on edge. I understand that things happened in the first book that made her into the person that she is in this book but she had two guys in her life…one that was absolutely perfect and everything she SHOULD have wanted in a man but didn’t and then another one who was just totally slimey and wrong for her and who does she want?

Contestant # SCUMBAG!

It got on my hot damn nerves and I wanted to frickin’ shake some hot dang sense into her. Goodness each and every time she pushed Mikey away, I wanted to take a bat and beat her with it. He was so good to her and she just kept kicking him in the teeth and when he finally lost it and yelled at her I got mad at him for apologizing about that because he had every right to yell at her the way he did because he didn’t deserve everything that she put him through, he went out of his way to make sure she was comfortable AT ALL TIMES and what did he get for his trouble? A swift kick to the knee caps and every time she got pissed off because her family invited him to dinner at THEIR house?

Yeah, I wanted to smack the crap out of her. It was just more and more of all things annoying where Theresa was concerned, she was so annoying that even Janna was annoyed with her.

The whole Reese thing made me want to hurt someone because for her to want THAT when she could have someone like Mike totally went right over my head…I didn’t get it, AT ALL and the more she fell in “love” with Reese, the more I wanted to choke her the heck out.

This book was easy to read but it was easy to piss me off too…the more I read about Theresa, the more I wanted to backhand that tramp and the more Mike tried to win her over, the more I wanted to run him over with a motorcycle to get him to open up his dang eyes because he deserved so much more than Theresa gave to him and for him to pine away for her when he could have had any number of girls bothered me because it kind of made him look like a wimp to me…but my dumb ass still liked Mike. I loved watching him and Anthony fight and threatened and throw things at each other, I loved watching him with Gemma and the moonstone, she gave him was totally cute, the candles she gave him made me smile too. He was such a superstitious cutie patootie that I wanted so much more for him and I totally think that his reasons for not going to Theresa (the lie thingy with Anthony) at the end to tell her the truth was totally lame but whatev, I got over it.

The book could have been better but it was okay, I guess…It’s a total C read, not the best but it’ll do.


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Review: Breakaway by Deirdre Martin.

Posted February 22, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Breakaway by Deirdre Martin.

Hero: Rory Brady
Heroine: Erin O’Brien


They had it all planned out: college, marriage, happily ever after. But it didn’t quite work out that way…

Erin O’Brien was everyone’s favorite in Ballycraig, while Rory Brady was the town’s golden boy: the local lad who moved to America and became a professional hockey player. Rory promised to return to sweep Erin away to the life of her dreams in New York. But the bright lights and late nights turned his head and he never came back.

Two years later, Rory realizes he’s made the worst mistake of his life. Heading back to Ballycraig, he’s confident that all he needs to do is flash his winning smile and Erin will fall back into his arms. But Erin’s moved on.

Racing the clock, Rory needs to prove to her that the man she fell in love with is still there. But can happy-go-lucky Erin risk it all and give another chance to the man who broke her heart?
I haven’t read a Deirdre Martin book in a long while and she’s hit or miss with me. Some of her books I’ve really enjoyed and some, I haven’t liked. I’m happy to say that I enjoyed reading this one. Rory and Erin were childhood sweethearts who had plans to get married and live happily ever after but when Rory changes his mind, Erin is left in Ireland brokenhearted.

Rory went to play professional hockey in the states and left the country town of Ballycraig behind. He up and left without looking back, ditched everything and everyone. Broke Erin’s heart and pissed his best friend Jake off. In all the time that he’s been gone, he’s realized that he misses what he had back home and he’s going back to get it.
He also knew that grudges were made and will definitely be held against him but that wasn’t going to stop him from going back home to get what’s his. But just because he knew that they were going to have it out for him didn’t mean that he didn’t understand why they were all so bleeping mad at him. He had his reasons for dumping Erin and for walking away from Jake. He knew that he was an ass for hurting his best mates but what’s done was done and he was going back to make amends.
Martin did a great job of showing us just how pissed off the folks of Ballycraig was of the home boy turned Yankee. They gave him lip every chance they could but they also forgave him when he proved his worth to them. He won them over slowly but surely and I enjoyed seeing them make him sweat it out before they welcomed him back.
Erin was a great heroine. She was smart, knew her own mind and had plans for her life that at first didn’t include Rory. What I liked most about her was that she didn’t deny her feelings to herself for very long because she knew that she still loved the hell out of him but it was nice to see Rory win her over as well. I loved how loyal she was to Sandra and the kids.
Rory had a lot of ground to cover when he came home so he had already learned his lesson, this book was about showing him win everyone over again. I enjoyed getting to know him and I enjoyed the romance between him and Erin. I thought they were cute together so I was rooting them on throughout the entire story.
Overall, this was a great contemporary romance with a charming cast of characters and a setting that I want to visit in real life. I’m glad I read this one and would definitely be up for more New York Blades story goodness.
Grade: 3.5 out of 5
This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Hot Ticket by Deirdre Martin, Julia London, Annette Blair, Geri Buckley.

Posted December 26, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Rowena’s review of Hot Ticket by Julia London, Deirdre Martin, Annette Blair and Geri Buckley.

Lucky Charm by Julia London.

Hero: Parker Price
Heroine: Kelly O’Shay

Uninhibited radio host Kelly O’Shay loves to take on the egos of overpaid sports stars. then she goes after hot-shot shortstop Parker Price, whose losing streak takes an unexpected turn when he goes head-to-head with his lovely nemesis-on the air and off.

This story was a great big ball of corn. I mean, we have a whiny hot baseball player who keeps whining about how the talk show radio host keeps talking about him (badly of course) on the radio and then he blames her for her poor performance on the field? Yeah, how is a whiny baby hero going to make me drool with delight? He didn’t. I just didn’t really care for the story, it was too short and just really corny.

Grade: 3 out of 5

Same Rink, Next Year by Deirdre Martin.

Hero: David Hewson
Heroine: Tierney O’Connor

I’m not sure what it was about this story that I just couldn’t get. It fell flat for me, I couldn’t really connect with the characters and I really wanted to because this story had such good potential to be such a cute story but the dialogue felt forced and the witty characters and most especially the talk between the hockey players seemed…silly. I know, that word silly gets me in trouble with rabid fangirls but I can’t help it…that’s how I saw it, it may work for others but it just didn’t work for me. I read the chats between David and his friends as, not good. It didn’t flow well with the personalities of the hockey players, it just didn’t fit. But David and Tierny were good together, although once while they’re getting jiggy, I laughed because well, while they’re going at it, he says stuff like, “Better?” and “You like that?” and it totally just takes me right out of the scene…but it wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever read, it just wasn’t the best either. So while the story could have been cute, it just sort of is silly.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5.

You Can’t Steal First by Annette Blair.

Hero: Juan Santiago
Heroine: Quinn Murdock

Famous for his big numbers at bat, Juan Santiago’s struck out only once in his life–with Quinn Murdock. Now the Red Sox star player is getting one more shot with the sexy sporting goods magnate. But first he has to prove he’s not just playing the field.

I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I did not really care for this story either. I mean, Tiago and Quinn are long lost lovers who have this big misunderstanding and go all these years without seeing eachother or talking to each other and then Quinn’s friends throw her on his train thats heading for Orlando for Spring Training and on the train, they fall in love again? Hmm, okay, but the dialogue between these two, can it get any cheesier? Tiago didn’t have as much game as he thought he did, if he said some of the things to me that he said to Quinn, I would have laughed at him. I didn’t get how him and her kissing making it on the front page of the newspaper was funny…it seemed childish and juvenile. I just didn’t get this and I didn’t feel any kind of connection between Quinn and Tiago, though one thing that was a sure winner for me in this book, was the name Tiago…I like that Latin lover name, it’s yummy!

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

Can’t Catch This by Geri Buckley.

Hero: Josh Weldon
Heroine: Lindy Hamilton

Lindy Hamilton got her two-timing boyfriend right where it hurts–by stealing his pricey tickets to the Florida Moccasins football game. When she discovers that the really interesting action is in the stands, it proves to be the hottest season opener on record…

Okay, I think this was the worst of all of them. I really wanted to like ONE of the stories a whole lot because I love sports and sports stories like SEP’s were such winners for me, but this one fell right on it’s face for me. I was bummed because I felt like, ehhh, I can’t wait til I’m done with this book so that I can read something else already. The problem that I had with this story was I didn’t care for Lindy and Josh fell in love wayyy too fast with her, I didn’t see them connect anywhere and yet faster than you snap your fingers, they were in love..it was unbelievable and I just didn’t enjoy the interactions between Josh and Lindy. I thought the nephew was cute though, but that’s about it. I thought it was really weird that Josh’s cousin used Lindy as his lucky charm considering he had never met her or talked to her, it was hooky but whatever…so yeah this story was just blah for me.

Grade: 2 out of 5.

Overall grade: 2.5 out of 5.

This book is available from Berkley. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Icebreaker by Dierdre Martin

Posted February 25, 2011 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 2 Comments

Publisher: Berkley, Penguin

Mary‘s review of Icebreaker (New York Blades, Book 9) by Deirdre Martin

Attorney Sinead O’Brien’s new client is Adam Perry, the star of the New York Blades. It’s a good thing she doesn’t date clients, especially jocks. Charged with assault on another player, the private, no-nonsense Adam knows this is his last shot at Stanley Cup glory. Sinead quickly discovers that there’s a wounded man under that helmet, and she’s falling for him-hard. Can they play on their feelings without penalties?

There’s something to be said for hot hockey players, especially those with all their teeth. Seriously though, athletes are hot, and Adam Perry is no exception. The captain of the New York Blades and a hard-core, hard-hitting player, he’s determined to take his team all the way, despite a charge of assault hanging over his head. Sinead O’Brien is the top lawyer hired to defend Adam.

The first time Sinead meets Adam, she thinks he’s just another brain-dead jock, especially since he’s sitting there at the conference table, not saying a word in his defense. Adam’s impressions of Sinead are no better—he sees an uptight, workaholic lawyer.

Though Sinead doesn’t know much about hockey or the hot team captain, she does her best to find out more about him. This proves to be incredibly difficult, considering Adam’s a very tough nut to crack. But he’s kind of into her so he plays her game. However, he isn’t willing to give Sinead any information about himself unless she does the same for him. And, it turns out, they have more in common that they first think.

Both Sinead and Adam take turns at being sympathetic and frustrating to both each other and the reader (well, me). Sinead has a great connection with her family but she’s pushed her sister away because of a new baby and her fear that kids don’t like her (she’s a little jealous, too). She’s so uptight about everything—if I knew this girl in real life, I’d take her out and get her drunk, just so she would relax a bit. But she’s passionate about what she does, she’s a good friend, and a great lawyer. Then there’s Adam. He’s so taciturn, so closed off from everyone, I can understand why Sinead sees him as a dumb jock at first. Really, he’s an introvert who shines on the ice. There’s a lot more to him than meets the eye, some of it good and some not.

This romance felt very real—the relationship developed at a good pace, but not so fast as to be unrealistic. They had their battles and, though I did feel they were a little too willing to walk away from each other at times, they worked out their differences in a true-to-life way. When the romance heated up and headed into the bedroom, they weren’t the hottest couple, pretty plain vanilla in fact, but they burned strong and true. But, you know, there’s something to be said for plain vanilla. I felt it dragged a little bit when they were having their various break-ups and make-ups (Hey, I haven’t read a straight-up, contemporary novel in quite a while—I’m usually all about the urban fantasy/paranormal with lots of action) but it wasn’t anything that made me want to give up on the story.

I really like the secondary characters, especially Anthony and Oliver. Anthony (who is from another book in the NY Blades series, JUST A TASTE, I believe. Definitely going to have to read that one—he was great!) is the one who talks sense into Adam when he’s acting like a jerk, which he does sometimes, spouting off his antiquated ideas about women. Then there’s Oliver, Sinead’s hard-drinking, over-the-top, horny lawyer friend. He is, by far, my favorite character and just what Sinead needs when she’s the one being stupid. I can see him as a great leading man, one who needs a strong woman to help him get his head on straight.

It’s a tough thing to write a strong romance between two such stubborn, closed-off workaholics but Deirdre Martin manages to do just that in this novel.

Rated 3.5/5.0

The series:
Body CheckFair PlayTotal Rush (New York Blades)The Penalty Box (New York Blades)Hot Ticket (Berkley Sensation)Chasing Stanley (New York Blades)Just a Taste (New York Blades)Power Play (Berkley Sensation)Icebreaker (Berkley Sensation)

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Excerpt: Icebreaker by Deirdre Martin

Posted February 8, 2011 by Holly in Promotions | 0 Comments

Icebreaker (Berkley Sensation)Check out this excerpt from Deirdre Martin’s latest release, Icebreaker (available now from Berkley Sensation).


“There’s a $20 dollar tip in it for you, Ashok, if you get me there in ten minutes.”

Sinead O’Brien was rarely late, no matter where she was going. The only female partner at the law firm of Callahan, Epps, and Kaplan, she was known not only for her punctuality, but also for her sharp intellect and history of getting successful outcomes for her clients. Sinead believed whatever success she had came from working her tail off, which is what she’d been doing today, despite it being Sunday. Her parents called it “workaholism.” Sinead called it dedication.

Her parents’ lack of appreciation for her dedication baffled her. Irish immigrants, they’d broken their backs for years—seven days a week, year in, year out— to make the Wild Hart a success. She realized part of their concern stemmed from worries about her health, but she was a big girl and could take care of herself.

O’Brien Sunday dinner together stretched as far back in her memory as she could remember. The whole family would go to Mass, and then come home for a large, early afternoon meal. Now that she and her siblings were grown and living their own lives, it was a way for them to come together once a week catch up.

She walked into her parents’ kitchen, girding herself for a steely glance from her mother. Everyone but Liam, her younger brother who lived in Ireland with his wife, Aislinn, was here: her older brother Quinn, a successful journalist, and his French wife, Natalie; her sister, Maggie, and her husband, Brendan. Their baby, Charlie, sat in a high chair between them. Sinead ducked her head sheepishly as she slid into the sole empty seat at the table.

“Sorry I’m late,” she said, reaching for the steaming bowl of mashed potatoes in the middle of the table. She was famished.

“I thought maybe you weren’t coming,” said her mother coolly.

“I would have called.”

“I don’t like it when you work on Sundays,” said her mother.

“It’s the Lord’s Day of Rest,” Sinead, Quinn, and Maggie chimed together in unison.

“Will you listen to that?” her mother said to her father with mock indignation. “Making fun of their own mother.”

“If you can’t mock your mother, who can you mock?” asked Quinn.

For a split second, Sinead’s eye caught Maggie’s, and Maggie smiled tentatively. So did Sinead. Their relationship had cooled a bit since Charlie was born. Sinead desperately wanted children; her ex husband, Chip, was initially on the fence about the issue. When they were finally in accord and ready to start a family, Chip, who came from a wealthy family, had very traditional ideas about child rearing, namely that Sinead should give up her career. Sinead disagreed and proposed a number of compromises, all of which Chip rejected. They started to fight vehemently—about everything. Eventually, they both admitted that their differences were irreconcilable, and divorced. But that didn’t mean Sinead’s hunger for a child went away, and seeing how happy her sister was with Charlie made her envious. It was painful.

Her father studied her face. “You look tired.”

“Dad, you say that every time you see me,” Sinead said, amused. “I’ve looked tired for years. There are circles under my eyes in my first Holy Communion picture.”

“You need a holiday,” her mother declared. “When’s the last time you had a holiday? When’s the last time you were up at your weekend place?”

Sinead was silent as she speared two pieces of ham and put them on the plate.

“Thought so. Maybe you should go visit Liam and Aislinn.”

“I’ll think about it.”

“That means ‘Get off my arse, ma,’” her mother said with a sigh.

“Yup, it does.”

Maggie cleared her throat nervously. “I was wondering,” she began, looking at Sinead, “if Brendan, Charlie, and I might use the house one weekend? Just to get away for a bit.”

“Of course,” said Sinead. “Just let me know when and I’ll call the caretaker to come air it out and clean things up a bit.”


Sinead had always let her siblings and friends use the house. In fact, Quinn and Natalie had their wedding there. It made her feel better about spending all that money on a place she didn’t use as much as she should.

Dinner conversation turned to the usual subjects: gossip about relatives and pub patrons; chat about favorite TV shows and various familial health ailments; the occasional heated political discussion. And of course now that baby Charlie had joined the family, everyone, especially Sinead’s parents, focused a lot of attention on him. It made sense: he was their first grandchild, after all. Sinead thought Charlie was cute, but she didn’t know how to connect with him, exactly. She was awkward with him. It made Sinead wonder if she was cut out for motherhood at all. Shouldn’t this stuff come naturally?

When dinner finished, Maggie went off to nurse Charlie, and the men went into the living room to watch the Jets game. Typical.

Eventually it was just Sinead and her mother alone in the kitchen as Natalie went off to annoy Quinn with questions about football.

“You know, I noticed something at dinner,” her mother continued.

“What’s that?”

“You didn’t hold Charlie. Not once.”

“I’m not good with babies, ma, okay?”

“I think you’re afraid to hold him.”

Sinead swallowed painfully. “Could we not talk about this?”

“Maggie misses you.”

“Stop meddling, mom. Please.”

“I just worry about my girl. You seem so unhappy.”

“I’m fine, ma. Honestly.”

“But you must be getting a bit lonely, no?”

“Don’t start,” Sinead begged. “Please.”

“Don’t you think it’s time to find a good man?”

“I’m not sure there are any,” Sinead lamented. “And I’m certainly not going out looking for one.”

“Is it because you’re afraid of getting hurt again?”

“So you made a mistake. Big deal. Live and learn, I say.”

“If it’s meant to happen, it will, mom,” said Sinead, hugging her mother tight. “Now stop fretting and hand me that dish.”

We’re giving away a copy of Icebreaker. Check out Deirdre Martin’s guest post to find out what you have to do to win!

This book is available from Berkley Sensation. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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