Sunday, September 5, 2010

Random Romance Sunday: Love And Murder On The Gridiron

The Book: Impulsive by Catherine Hart

The Particulars: Romantic Suspense, Kensington Zebra, 1998, Out Of Print

The Blurb:

Jessica Myers is a spirited freelance journalist who has just caught her biggest break: a feature story on the NFL expansion team, the Columbus Knights. She figures the perfect place to start is by hiding out in the team locker room--until she finds herself trapped inside a jammed locker and running out of air. Now, Jessica has no choice but to reveal her embarrassing predicament to the dazzling Knights' quarterback, Tyler James, who mistakes her for some whacked-out groupie.

Ty had enough on his mind worrying about taking the Knights to the playoffs. But then management orders him to pose as the headstrong reporter's lover so that his fellow players will open up to her during interviews. Ty is absolutely furious. Instead of chasing adoring cheerleaders, he's being sidelined by this nosy woman who had the audacity to trespass on sacred team ground and has a knack for putting her two cents in where it doesn't belong.

Now, in close quarters, the inescapable attraction between the feisty reporter and the ultimate player is too hot for either to ignore. And soon, the pair discovers they are in desperate danger of losing a game where no rules apply...the game of hearts.

Is It In Wendy's TBR?: Uh, no. After picking up too many "sports romances" that spiked my blood pressure because the author didn't do her homework, I pretty much stay away from them now. Note to authors: girls like sports too. We're not going to overlook sloppy research just because you give us a Mr. Hunky McHunkikins. Well, at least I'm not. /end rant

Any Reviews?: Quite a few actually. The Romance Reader gave this one 3 Hearts (equivalent to a C Grade):
Impulsive is basically a very lighthearted romance-romance, and when it stays a lighthearted romance it works well. It's the addition of the grim subplot (with all the players dying) that seems very out of place. The villain is obvious and the suspense is not very suspenseful.
All About Romance was a teeny bit kinder with a B- Grade:
The mystery subplot is a let down. Players begin to turn up dead, and as the bodies piled up, I began to lose it. The ending is way over the top even for me and I am more than willing than most to suspend disbelief. However, if you ignore the subplot and concentrate on the wonderful romantic comedy byplay between Ty and Jesse, you will have a good time with this book - even if you are not a football fan. If you are a football fan, well, so much the better.
And RT gave this one 4 Stars:
Ms. Hart chooses to set her latest tale of romantic suspense in the high profile world of professional sports. Those looking for danger and passion spiced with humor will find she delivers.
Anything Else?: The college football season kicked off this weekend, hence you all get a "football romance" for Random Romance Sunday. I also thought it would be a good idea to showcase a Catherine Hart book, on the off-chance that someone out there has news to share. She was extremely prolific back in the day, dropping off the radar in the late 1990s. But I'm not kidding folks, I still routinely see her books (especially her historicals) come through InterLibrary Loan here at work. So people are still reading her. Anyone know what her story is? Is she still with us? Retired? Still writing, but publishers ain't buying? Curious minds want to know.

And on a final note: Cherubs? Really, Kensington? Romantic suspense featuring a football playin' hunky hero gets us cherubs holding a trophy on the front cover? If a quarterback hero doesn't warrant a beefcake cover, I'm not sure what does!


ms bookjunkie said...

I love Catherine Hart, her books are on my keeper shelf (from my teen years so they give me the warm fuzzies). Someone please tell me what happened to her. And please, for the love of tiny chubby cherubim, bring her books back into print so I can get my hands on the ones that are missing from my collection!

Oh, and I've read IMPULSIVE. It's not my favorite Catherine Hart, but I found it a hoot and a giggle. And I don't know anything about American football.

(My all-time favorite Catherine Hart book is IRRESISTIBLE. It's about a preacher and a fallen woman, traveling on a caravan to Oregon after the Civil war. He's traveling with a bunch of orphans …and she's traveling with a bunch of whores. Hijinks ensue.)

Lil Sis said...

Mr. Hunky McHunkikins? Is he related to my daughter Chubby McChubbikins? :)

A Library Girl said...

Can you really run out of air in a locker? Just wondering, because all the ones I've seen that a person could actually fit inside have vents.

Eh, I don't think I'd be impressed with this one, and not just because I don't usually read sports romance. Based on the description, I can't see anyone taking Jessica seriously. I mean, the only chance she has at getting good interviews is to hide in a locker and then be the quarterback's pretend girlfriend? Really? I think I know a female sports journalist who would take issue with this.

Wendy said...

Ms. Bookjunkie: I might have to look up Irresistible now! Mileage varies from reader to reader when it comes to "hijinks" but a preacher and a fallen woman is just too irresistible (ha ha!) for me pass up!

Lil' Sis: Could be! Although Chubby McChubbikins is "cute" as opposed to "hunky and manly."

Library Girl: Journalist heroines tend to send up warning flares for me personally. It's way too easy for them to come off as too-stupid-to-live. And the running out of air while in a locker thing? Yeah, not likely to happen. Unless she's claustrophobic? In which case, she never would have gotten into the locker in the first place!

Alie said...

Kind of reminds me of the Carly Phillips 'Hot Zone' series:

I liked those, but I can't take too many sports books. The only sports I really understand are tennis and soccer!

nath said...

Hmmm, this actually sounds interesting and something I would enjoy reading. It sounds way more like a contemp though than romantic suspense. Too bad it's OOP, that means more work for me ^_^;

I think cherubs were in style back in the 1990's. I mean, this cover is pretty generic, there's tons of it... but I know what you mean, surprise that Kensington followed that trend.

Wendy said...

Alie: I almost highlighted Hot Zone for this post! LOL I was looking at football books :)

Nath: One to add to the list!

Most of the reviews I dug up suggested that the rom/com stuff was well done - but reviewers seemed less enamored with the suspense.....