Book Review: Rachel Gibson’s See Jane Score

image from Amazon

Anyone who has ever salivated over a sports pro or mooned after a movie star will relish this fanciful romance between brainy Seattle Times columnist Jane Alcott and hockey player Luc Martineau. Luc, nicknamed Lucky for his ability to score with women and keep his opponents from scoring on the ice, is less than thrilled to hear that Jane will be reporting on the team’s games and digging into his unsavory past. Still, he can’t help feeling attracted to the pint-sized writer, despite her drab clothes and unfortunate profession. For Jane, the assignment is the perfect opportunity to stop writing fluff and break into serious reporting. But following the progression of the puck turns out to be less challenging than getting the players to talk, particularly Luc, whose lusty looks make her want to ditch her black clothes and wear red. The two eventually wind up in bed together, but Luc’s fear of commitment and Jane’s fear of abandonment may keep them from taking the next step.”

– From Publisher’s Weekly

This was my first Rachel Gibson novel, and I was not disappointed! I’m at that point of my romance novel journey where each novel I read now seems too formulaic—however, that was not the case with See Jane Score.For those that enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillip’s Chicago Stars series, this would be a book to read. And, judging from this one novel, this series would satisfy your contemporary sports romance cravings.

Jane, the female protagonist, is aptly named since she is made to be known as a plain Jane, which I am a sucker for. However, unlike many romance novels, this wasn’t her only defining quality—other than respectably writing for the Times, she also writes smut for a men’s magazine to supplement her income. She possesses a character depth that is unusual in this genre.

Luc, on the other hand, fell a little flatter in comparison to the heroine. He was a very typical hero in a plain Jane novel: at first, he didn’t really notice her—he even antagonized her a bit—but once she proves that she looks fine in something more appealing, he hones in with single-minded focus.

The plot was well developed. Sometimes, romance novels get so wrapped up in the romance as its sole plot that we forget the characters have lives outside of their relationships. This was not the case with Gibson and it was a nice change of pace. Usually, in romance novels, I enjoy the heart-twist effect that shows how involved I am in the novel; in See Jane Score, I totally got it. There were even some tears as the novel came to an end.

Overall, See Jane Score became one of my favorite contemporary novels and made me interested in reading more from the Chinooks Hockey Team series as well as her other works. From the first page, I was captivated by Gibson’s pleasant, humorous tone that propelled me into reading it in one sitting. It was evident from the beginning that this was a book that didn’t take itself too seriously and would offer a gradient of emotions that would stick with you for a while.

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