Former collegiate athlete and successful sports agent, Charlotte “Coach” Coachman, is a straight shooter who has a very strict policy—no dating clients. The loves of her life are coaching little league basketball and managing the careers of her players, leaving no room for men.
Coach hasn’t met an athlete she couldn’t handle and a deal she couldn’t close—until she meets Alex Parker—the NHL’s most notorious bad boy both on and off the ice.
Alex is the best defenseman in the league, breaking records along with hearts. He’s made a name for himself as a womanizer, and after a scandal involving the owner’s granddaughter, Alex is traded to Philadelphia. Still reeling from the loss of his father, Alex is on a downward spiral, drowning himself in booze and women, until Coach takes him under her wing.
She might be attracted to the sexy hockey star, and certainly not immune to his charms, but Coach can see that Alex needs her help, and coaching players is what she does best. Now that the lines are blurred and the passion between them is too strong to deny, Coach has to decide if Alex is worth making an exception to her rules.
Amazon | Goodreads
It’s release week for Parker by Jillian Quinn, so today as well as my review I’ve got an excerpt from the book for you to enjoy, plus a giveaway for those of you from the US or Canada!
As my cell phone rings, Tony mumbles that he’s going to grab us a few more beers, and then he disappears into the hallway. I do not recognize the number on the caller ID, but I do know the 215 area code. Philadelphia.
I press the button to answer, and before I can even say hello, a woman on the other end of the line says, “Parker, this is Coach. Mickey wanted me to call personally, so here you go. You’ve got me for all of two minutes and thirteen seconds.”
It takes me a minute to remember the name before I realize it’s Mickey’s girl, Charlotte Coachman. Her voice is so stern and confident, yet she’s exactly what I expected from what I’d heard about her from Mickey and some of her clients. She has made a name for herself in the sports world, and she’s one of the few women who didn’t sleep her way into that position, which is rare in this business.
“Hello to you, too, sweetheart.”
At first, she chuckles, but then her laughter slowly turns into a cackle. “Call me that again, Parker, and watch what happens. Let’s get something straight. I’m not one of your puck bunnies. I have a name. That name is Coach or Charlie, but it sure as hell isn’t sweetheart. You got that?”
This chick is crazy and feisty, and I kind of like it.
“One minute and thirty seconds.” She sounds like she’s chewing glass, the words harsh and painful on the tip of her tongue. “In the interest of saving ourselves the headache, I’ve arranged for my secretary to meet you at the apartment building. Please don’t look at her, smile in her direction, or flirt with her because I’m sick of replacing secretaries. I did you a solid with the Philly deal, so I’d appreciate you doing the same and keeping your hands to yourself.”
She went from intriguing to working my last nerve in a matter of seconds.
“Give me some credit at least. You make me out to be a total creep.”
“That’s not entirely off base, Parker. You seem to have a problem with keeping your pants on—or is it finding them?”
I can hear her covering the phone and chuckling to herself before she returns to being a mega bitch.
Damn those stupid YouTube videos.
What is her problem?
She’s so uptight, she might snap in half.
“Like I was saying, Kayla will meet you at the building with the keys. If you need food, clothes, whatever, just let her know, and she will have it delivered. I put my ass on the line for you. Please make sure you’re at practice on time.”
“Sure thing, boss lady. Anything else?”
She sighs loudly into the receiver. “No. My cab is here, and I have to hang up. Mickey said you had the address and Kayla’s contact info. Just call her when you arrive. That’s all.”
I’m about to speak when I realize she already hung up on me and without even saying good-bye. I guess she sucks with them as much as I do.
Every second of our phone call replays in my mind as I try to wrap my head around what the hell just happened. It’s not hard to see why Charlotte is Mickey’s favorite agent and close friend. She’s the female version of him.
Alex Parker is down to his last chance, after a scandal involving the granddaughter of the owner of his hockey team he is traded to another team. Charlotte the agent who managed to get him this deal, ends up looking out for him when it appears like he might continue on his downward spiral. Soon sparks start to fly between them, but it’s against Charlotte’s rules to date a player, will she make an exception?
There seems to already be a running theme for me in Jillian Quinn’s books, strong feisty women that I absolutely adore! Coach is an amazing character; she’s determined, resilient and passionate. It’s great to see that she has an important position in what is largely a “male industry”, and that she is respected for that. Her no-nonsense attitude made me warm to her straight away, and even though she didn’t have the easiest childhood, I admired that she didn’t let that hold her back and worked hard for everything that she had achieved whilst giving back to her community.
What can I say about Parker, well I never thought I’d be more interested in a sportsman over a mafia man but Alex Parker has certainly converted me. He has plenty of confidence and bravado but also has a sensitive soul, qualities that make for a really good book boyfriend. It was really nice to read about his relationship with his dad and how that shaped him as a person and of course as a catalyst for his behaviour before he meets Charlotte.
The two of them together really does make for some seriously sizzling chemistry. I liked that with each other they were able to open up and show different sides, I also liked that it came from a place of friendship first, there was an obvious attraction but their need to look out for each other wasn’t just because they had feelings for each other. It felt like they recognized a kindred soul in the other, and that’s why they could be so honest with each other.
I enjoyed the storyline, how their paths crossed and how the relationship developed and it was good that the crisis in their relationship was caused by something plausible, instead of being something related to another female or another such trope that a lot of romance books use. My only criticism is that I felt that the tension maybe resolved itself a little quickly, I would have liked to see how it affected them a bit more, a little bit more in-depth exploration of their time alone. For me, it would have added a little more impact on the ending.
I really enjoyed this book, it is such an entertaining and fast paced read, it’s hard not to compare books by an author but personally, I think this is a big step up on Corrupt Me. The writing seems to flow a little better in Parker, I don’t know if it’s just because it’s a subject that incites more passion in the author or it’s just her finding her stride, but I can say that I am definitely looking forward to what comes next. Hopefully there’s not too long to wait!!
As an extra added bonus there is a giveaway for those of you in the US or Canada, click below to win…
a $10 Amazon gift card
Jillian loves Mafia men, sports, bad boys, dirty talkers, strong female characters, and books with plenty of heat, all of which you will find in her books. As a lover of all things bookish, she has a serious book hoarding problem and runs a book blog in her free time. When she’s not reading, writing, or blogging, she’s obsessively fangirling over hockey players and can be found wherever she can catch the next hockey game.
You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads and her Website.