Rating: 3.5 stars
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Bronwyn Perry and Brody Hill have been together for years. Their relationship has lasted through high school, most of college, and to present day as Bronwyn plays for the women’s hockey team at the Snow and Ice Games. Brody didn’t make the cut for the men’s team, but he’s there at the games to supposedly support Bronwyn. However, Brody likes to look out for himself.
After an injury derailed Ash’s dreams of the NHL, he now coaches women’s hockey and he’s primed for his team to win. He has always kept his eyes on the game and not on his players, not like that anyway. However, Bronwyn catches his attention like no one else ever has.
When Bronwyn finally has had enough with Brody, their relationship implodes publicly, and Ash is there to get his star player’s head back in the game.
On the Edge of Scandal brings us to the third book in Parker’s Snow and Ice Games series. The series follows different pairings of athletes at the games. The games are the connection and so far each book can be read on its own.
This book is written in first person, dual point of view, which may just be my favorite style. However, I found this book slow and lacking chemistry between the main characters. Bronwyn is the star of the women’s hockey team and she has her long-standing boyfriend hanging around as he failed to qualify for the men’s team. Brody doesn’t exactly treat her well and talks about her behind her back. Bronwyn is aware of this, but stays with Brody out of convenience and because she doesn’t want to be alone.
Ash was a hockey player himself until an injury sidelined him. He started coaching so he could stay in the game and he treats the women as athletes. Brody has never crossed a line with any player, but he will admit that Bronwyn turns his head. When Bronwyn and Brody break up, Ash is there is to comfort Bronwyn and keep her focused on the game. Yet, Bronwyn needs more, and Ash becomes her comfort zone, which leads to a physical relationship between them. I never felt the chemistry between these two and it seemed rather transactional. We see Ash thinking about Bronwyn, but Bronwyn never thought of Ash as anything but a coach. We see Bronwyn needing someone to turn to and since Ash is safe, he becomes the guy. Bronwyn is also completely wrapped up in herself and what she needs and she never even considers what Ash might be going through.
Both characters spend a lot of time in their own heads, as do many of the characters in this series overall. This book also follows an underlying theme of a secret relationship and the characters here are once again insular as the action takes place mostly in Ash’s room over just the course of the games, which is similar to the other two books before it. The pace was slow for me here and it was a lot of going through each emotion with each character and as if they were narrating their own lives. On paper, that style sounds intriguing, but the execution here lacked romantic chemistry and the characters were ultimately bland and flat. The resolution with Brody was also expected and he was a stereotypical character that came off as two dimensional.
There was more on page sports action here as there were several scenes of hockey games, which added much needed movement. I was looking forward to this series for a number of reasons and so far, neither the sports nor the relationships, have drawn me in. This series is also the first I have read from Parker, but if you know you like her work, then it might be worth a look.