Monday, January 4, 2010
No Penalty for Love
Author: Shellie Foltz
Publisher: Avalon Books
Copyright Date: 2009
Print Date: October 2009
Book Description (from dust jacket):
Patricia Smythe’s life is as orderly as her grade book until Josh Northshore, the handsome hockey player and older brother of her student Abel, shows up with an interesting proposition. Agreeing to accompany the team over Christmas break to help Abel earn back his credit to graduate is a crazy idea, but the story of the brothers’ sad past convinces her it’s the right thing to do.
Patricia privately acknowledges her appreciation of Josh’s handsome form, but his attentions are making it increasingly difficult to focus on schoolwork. While Abel studies Tennyson, Patricia studies A Girls’ Guide to Hockey and celebrates the holidays with all the romance and sentimentality they inspire. But will love be enough to win out over Josh’s painful past?
I just deleted my entire comments section! Agh! I hope I can remember everything...
I saw this in the "Something New" section at the local library, thought it looked interesting, and checked it out. For the past four weeks it's been holding a place on my "possible reads" list. The first week it was listed, the author requested that I read and post my thoughts. I've never had an author interact on this blog or had an author request anything like that before, so I'll admit I'm feeling a bit nervous. (The pressure!)
This is a contemporary romance written in first person. Not something I'm used to in this genre (though I've read a few others), and it required some adjusting. My biggest hesitation with this POV is that I had to trust Patricia's interpretation of Josh's reactions, etc. Of course, her interpretations aligned with the author's plans for the overall story, but I'm more familiar (and comfortable) with a more omniscient POV.
Patricia's speech is a bit formal, but the other characters' speech patterns aren't as stiff, so I think that's due to her being a high school English teacher. Besides, she becomes less stiff and formal as the book goes on.
I appreciated Patricia's involvement with teaching an adult literacy class. While I haven't had any personal struggles with literacy, I know it's a problem that many people overlook (at least in adults), and I think authors can (and do) play a role in helping if only by drawing awareness. I know some other authors have supported adult literacy through their characters (Judith McNaught) or even by writing special materials (Sara Hoskinson Frommer).
Anyway, back to this story...
Overall I found this an enjoyable read. I liked the hockey-theme (even though I know next to nothing about hockey). While the hero's brother has experienced some darkness, the story overall is light with a nice touch of humor. And for those interested, there weren't any sex scenes.