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Hip Check

( 25 )

Overview

Esa Saari is a hockey player for the New York Blades with a bad-boy rep both on and off the ice. But when he suddenly becomes the guardian of his eight-year-old niece, Nell, he knows his excessive lifestyle is about to get body checked.

So he hires a live-in nanny. Her name is Michelle Beck, and she gets along great with Nell. What surprises him, though, is that he instantly hits it off with her, too. Getting romantically involved would be a ...

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Hip Check

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Overview

Esa Saari is a hockey player for the New York Blades with a bad-boy rep both on and off the ice. But when he suddenly becomes the guardian of his eight-year-old niece, Nell, he knows his excessive lifestyle is about to get body checked.

So he hires a live-in nanny. Her name is Michelle Beck, and she gets along great with Nell. What surprises him, though, is that he instantly hits it off with her, too. Getting romantically involved would be a bad idea, but he’s finding it impossible to ignore the intense connection between them.

Michelle, however, takes her job very seriously, and must decide whether to listen to her head or her heart. And Esa’s got to decide if he can give up his bad- boy image for the love of a good woman…  

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Martin’s fans will welcome the 10th New York Blades hockey romance (after Breakaway), in which playboy Esa Saari’s charmed life takes a well-deserved turn for the chaotic. Esa’s sister dies and his niece’s guardian abrogates her responsibilities after a year, so Esa reluctantly takes over caring for eight-year-old Nell. Flailing, he hires the first nanny he interviews: Michelle Beck, a petite, bossy brunette who upends Esa’s Barbie-doll notion that desirable women are “tall, blond, and malleable.” Esa celebrates his liberation from child care in a drunken threesome with twin models, and his eventual romantic wakeup call is his sudden inability to get it up for women who aren’t Michelle; meanwhile, the self-sufficient nanny falls inexplicably hard for her careless, thoughtless employer. Brassy British Nell steals the show from the lusting, dithering adults (though readers may not appreciate her use of “mong,” short for “mongoloid,” as a cutesy epithet). The supporting cast is amusing, but both plot and emotional development are thin. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goodman Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Library Journal
Finnish hockey player Esa Saari is devastated when his sister, Danika, is killed and he becomes the guardian of Danika’s eight-year-old, London-bred daughter, Nell. A member of the New York Blades, Esa is beyond over his head, since his well-deserved reputation comes from his hard play on and off the ice. What does he know about little girls? Schoolteacher–turned–professional nanny Michelle Beck is just what the hockey star ordered. She’s not his usual leggy blonde, though, so he doesn’t expect to be distracted, but she is bossy, always telling him what to do. It’s soon clear that Michelle loves Nell, identifying with a child who lost her mother at a young age; she also sees more “uncle” potential in playboy Esa than he recognizes in himself. Will a sudden mutual attraction cause a faceoff in their rocky domesticity?

Verdict This latest Blades tale from Martin (Breakaway) includes hilarious jibes from teammates in support of our hapless hockey star. Coming from pro hockey players, the language here is as rough as the sport (the book includes a good deal of game action as well). The sex scenes aren’t numerous, but they aren’t particularly dainty either. This fun title is recommended for Martin’s fans and readers who enjoy romances involving professional sports.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal

(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Bad-boy pro-hockey player Esa Saari lives for hockey and not much else, and he doesn't see why becoming the guardian of his niece has to change things--no matter what the cute-but-demanding nanny has to say about it or how much she's getting under his skin. Blades star Esa Saari's world is turned upside down when he becomes the guardian of Nell, his 8-year-old niece, and knocked sideways when he realizes he has a thing for Michelle Beck, the nanny he hired to care for her. For a man who's always appreciated the smooth glide of an uncomplicated life, he's finding it harder and harder to remain detached and disinterested, especially with Michelle encouraging him to step up, participate more and to be honest about his emotions with the sweetly fragile girl. Esa was raised in an emotionally distant home, and he's never stopped to consider an alternative. That is, until now, when even he notices that Nell is looking to him for support and comfort. Michelle is a guiding light for both of them, and together, the threesome forms a protective cocoon against the world. But when Esa acts on his blazing attraction for the nanny and she responds, their cozy world will be ripped apart by a slew of negative factors, and their fledging relationship will be tested by family, friends and his very public lifestyle and negative reputation. Martin has penned an emotionally touching romance set in the tough, raw world of professional hockey, and her characters are realistic and appealing, with relatable, coherent arcs that make sense and show appreciable growth (though a touch less vulgarity in the dialogue would have been welcome). Even when Esa and Michelle make irritating, troublesome choices, they make sense for the flaws and struggles of the personalities involved, and we cheer for them as they overcome their mistakes and vulnerabilities. A sexy, successful contemporary romance, with chemistry, heat and a feel-good, affecting happy-ever-after ending that its intended audience will approve.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425251157
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/5/2013
  • Series: New York Blades Series
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 642,730
  • Product dimensions: 4.10 (w) x 6.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Deirdre Martin is a New York Times bestselling author. She lives with her husband and two Newfoundlands, Rocky and Winston, in Ithaca, New York.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 25 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(15)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(0)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 25 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2013

    Loved this Book

    Strong characters, great storyline. A very touching, believable story about a playboy bachelor hockey player who inherits his sisters 8 year old daughter when his sister is killed in a plane crash... He hasn't a clue what to do with a little girl and his love life is seriously cramped... Enter a highly competent, no nonsense Nanny and you have the makings of a very enjoyable story...Read and enjoy!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2014

    cute read

    Note her best but still a fun read.

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  • Posted April 26, 2013

    If you like hockey you will love this series of books. If you do

    If you like hockey you will love this series of books. If you don't know much about hockey it might want you to explore the sport a bit more, or at least give you an appreciation for the players. This latest in the series is as good as the others I have read. Diedre Martin really develops the characters in an interesting way. She's a great writer of this genre. I didn't want this story to be over at the end, always a good sign in a book! Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Posted April 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Deidre Martin pens another wonderful NY Blades story in HIP CHEC

    Deidre Martin pens another wonderful NY Blades story in HIP CHECK.

    Winger Esa Saari is a hockey player who has the bad boy rep down to a science. He knows how to have a good time on or off the ice. His party time comes to a halt when he gets custody of his orphaned 8 year old niece Nell. Esa knows nothing about raising a child let alone a young girl. He needs a nanny stat and hires a live in one.

    Michelle Beck is used to high powered individuals in her job as a live in nanny. Her heart breaks when she hears the story about Nell and agrees to become her nanny. Michelle has her hands full getting Esa to understand his role in raising Nell. She also is concerned about her growing feelings for Nell’s uncle.

    Esa and Michelle give into their desires and their passion is off the charts. But will they be able to make a go of this relationship when so many things stand in their way.

    Deirdre Martin’s Blades series are the best. I love the male camaraderie of the players on and off the ice. When they fall for their mates is fun and delightful to watch. Esa and Michelle relationship is one of the best and watching Esa grow to love his niece is extra special.

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  • Posted March 8, 2013

    Another winner by Deirdre Martin!

    I'm hooked on the New York Blades! I freely admit that! The only problem is you have to wait on the next book to come out and it always seems like an eternity when in reality it really isn't.

    I immediately fell in love with Nell, Esa's niece. Who wouldn't love an orphan? My heart broke when Esa just didn't know how to deal or relate to her. At least they both have Michelle.

    Loved it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2013

    Good

    Another in the NY Bladrs series. It was good as always

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    5

    I know Martin usually only writes one book love stories per hockey player, but this story could have a great follow up. How does Esa propose? What happens when girls start flirting with Esa after they know he's off the market and michelle has to witness it? How does Michelle transition from nanny to aunt/mommy figure? Does Jamie, the meddling brother, just accept this or does he cause problems? Michelle suddenly goes from being poor to rich and thrust into the spotlight-how does that go? Do Esa and his family mend fences, or does the fighting continue? Does Kidco make a big hooplah PR thing about Esa and michelle's impending wedding? I would love to hear more about this couple. This story could be so much more.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 17, 2013

    Excellent

    A great story Nice to see real emotional and family issues as plot twist instead of the normal misunderstanding, old flame plot twist As expected they have the HEA

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2013

    Enjoyable

    Another in the Blades series. It tried some deeper issues that it didn't quite pull off but competent and readable

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    ~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blo

    ~Reviewed by FRANCESCA & posted at Under the Covers Book Blog

    “ If you like a sweet, feel good and sexy sports romance then you won’t be disappointed with this one.” ~Under the Covers

    HIP CHECK was my second read by this author and I’m glad I gave it a try. I was drawn to the series because I was looking for another sport romance to get into and the last book in this series, which was the first I read, didn’t quite get me excited. Maybe it was that the setting was pulled from New York, which is where the team plays, to Ireland. Not sure. But this one I really enjoyed.

    Esa Saari is a young, carefree and a total playboy. He likes it that way. But things change when his sister back home dies and he is left as the guardian of her daughter. Now he has a big lifestyle adjustment to go through. But to help him deal with a kid while he’s working, he has to hire a nanny.

    Michelle Beck has been working as a live in nanny for the rich and famous but is out of a job right now because she didn’t want to move out East with the last family she was working for. This sounds like the perfect job for her.

    I always love seeing the playboy fall for the good girl and in this case it was perfect. Michelle used to be a teacher and now loves taking care of kids, but she’s tough and straight in her views. She was good at putting Esa in his place but also nurturing and understanding of his feelings. He’s also grieving the loss of his sister but not in a way that he can show people. Michelle was the perfect piece for him to open up and even connect with his niece.

    And then there’s the kid. She was adorable, with her accent and how she started opening up to Michelle.

    The romance between Esa and Michelle was slow to develop and started more as a friendship, then a partnership where the kid was involved and then it eased into more. Although the attraction was always there and when they get together it definitely exploded. If you like a sweet, feel good and sexy sports romance then you won’t be disappointed with this one. And yes, the books in this series work well as standalones, so don’t be scared to dive right in.

    *ARC provided by publisher

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  • Posted February 7, 2013

    Esa Saari, star player (and playboy) for the New York Blades bec

    Esa Saari, star player (and playboy) for the New York Blades becomes the sole guardian for his eight-year-old niece Nell after his sister dies in a plane crash. Hockey season is just around the corner, he has no experience with children and it is really crimping his lifestyle, he needs a nanny FAST!




    Enter Michelle Beck, Michelle is an amazing nanny who recently gave up her position with a celebrity family. Hearing what Nell has gone through breaks her heart and she knows this little girl needs her. 




    Accepting the live-in nanny position she immediately bonds with Nell.  She can relate to Nell because she too lost her mother at a young age, and  has a take no prisoner’s attitude when it comes to making sure Esa does what is right for Nell.




    Esa is not used to someone telling him what to do (especially when he is technically the boss), but he knows deep down that Michelle knows what is best for his niece. The more Michelle and Esa work together for Nell, the more sexual tension begins to build. 




    Will playboy Esa realize that his feelings for Michelle are real, and will Michelle cross the employer/employee line and give in to her feelings for Esa, especially since it could really be detrimental to Nell if it doesn’t work out?




    Deirdre Martin did it again!  I have loved all of her New York Blades books, so far, but this one is near the top of my favorites list. The chemistry between Esa and Michelle is electric, and let me tell you Ms. Martin knows how to make a love scene S-T-E-A-M-Y!  Reading this  also felt like attending a family reunion for me, revisiting with some of my other Blades favorites, Therese & Michael Dante, Rory & Erin Brady, Jason & Deililah Mitchell (and of course STANLEY!!!), Nutty Ulf, Lou… the list goes on.

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    Posted March 8, 2013

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    Posted February 17, 2013

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    Posted June 21, 2013

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