Passions flare both on and off the ice in this first installment of a planned romance series by Castle, a former NASA engineer and “figure skating insider.”
Dean Steele is a 26-year-old figure skater from Houston, Texas, who thinks he might be past his prime as it’s been nearly a decade since he’s skated competitively. However, a mysterious, sultry woman named Millie Foster, who wears alligator-skin shoes, asks Dean to partner with her up-and-coming skater daughter—and her offer is too enticing for Dean to resist. Millie’s 16-year-old daughter, Shannon, turns out to be a spoiled brat, and it’s up to Dean to get her work ethic to match her considerable talent. Dean and Shannon soon want to quit—Shannon finds it hard to handle the pressure, and Dean thinks she’s too immature—but Millie successfully keeps them together. Her motives for hiring Dean are soon revealed, however: She wants to have an affair with him. In this book, neither of the main female characters seems completely realistic: Shannon’s antics are exceedingly childish, even for a teenager, and Millie sometimes comes off more like character in an adult film than in a serious novel. However, the book is a consistently entertaining work of steamy fun. Some readers may enjoy the well-written skating scenes the most; they’re precise and accurate as they create tension and drive the plot forward, and one can tell that Castle knows his way around a rink. The prose is, for the most part, unadorned, but it can be awkward at points (“The two went outside into the warm, September 1998 air”), and the dialogue is rarely subtle. That said, readers who enjoy a fun, light romance will get everything they hope for.
An enjoyable romance on ice.