PaperBackSwap Blog

Romance Review – Hot Ticket


Hot Ticket: Four Sexy All New Stories That Will Make You Stand Up And Cheer…

Same Rink Next Year / Lucky Charm / You Can’t Steal First / Can’t Catch This

by Deirdre Martin, Julia London, Annette Blair, Geri Buckley


Review by Sobia A. (SoBe)


So, if you can’t tell by the synopsis, (or just forgot it), Hot Ticket is a sports themed anthology, with 4 stories, in all. They’re all pretty quick reads, I finished the whole book in less then a day.


Lucky Charm by Julia London

Let me start by saying I have very limited knowledge regarding sports,…baseball, football, hockey, whatever, with the exception of the World Cup, I don’t pay attention to any of ’em. But what usually happens when I read a sports based  story, or when  I watch a sports based movie, is that they make me think I should give said sport a chance. The fans, the  love of the (whichever)  game, the camaraderie, they all just look like so much fun! However, Julia

London’s contribution to this anthology was the first I’ve come across that made me glad I wasn’t a sports, (specifically baseball) fan… and even more glad I don’t listen to sports radio.

For me the biggest issue was the heroine, I just really didn’t like her, she came off as a bit too selfish/self involved for me to like. Maybe it was the page restrictions, as we didn’t get enough time to spend in her head, but for me, everything that came out of her mouth was of the ‘me!me!me!’ variety, rather than the self assurance *I think *  the author was after. The hero was irritating too, but not nearly as much, at least not IMO. He, by the end of the story, gets over himself…admits he’s overly sensitive, that he was acting like a big baby…and by the time I finished the story I didn’t mind him, half so much.

As for the story itself, it was just meh…. Whiney hero meets heckling sports dj, blames her for his slump, demands a meeting, sparks “fly” insert drama, drama, drama, resolve drama, the end….and again maybe it’s the lacking length,  but their relationship just didn’t come off as believable, not for me anyhow. I never could figure out why they were even together!

Having said that, this is my third and last Julia london read. She’s a decent writer, but  I keep trying just to end disappointed, so 3 strikes and I’m done. And I’ll admit, starting the book off with this story, almost made me stop reading! As it is, it’ll probably be awhile before I go anywhere near another sports romance. A generous 2 stars.


Same Rink Next Year by  Deirdre Martin

Another meh. This was a sweet story, but had very little substance. It was in no way bad, but thankfully it was short as not very much actually happened.

The Hero and heroine reunited ( their first meeting takes place before the story begins, but is lightly flashbacked later on)  they had sex, they talked a bit, they doubted their relationship, they resolved their issues.  The characters were all okay, the secondary characters were okay, though there did seem to be a few too many, and the story ends in a weird place…well, more like in an unfinished place…I’m not even sure I’d call it an HEA…more like a HEA for now…

And  I don’t really understand why it’s labeled  as part of  Martin’s NY Blades series… There weren’t any Blades or any mention of Blades in the book! 2 stars.


Annette Blair’s ‘You Can’t Steal First’

This was (I think) only my second Annette Blair title and as such, pretty much left me feeling indifferent towards her as an author.

The story itself was irritating mostly because of inconsistencies within the story…like its implied that the heroine was pretty good friends with the Hero’s sister before growing apart, but then later in the story we find out that the H’s sister almost died…how would a really good friend not know that? It’s one thing not to keep in touch after high school, another thing entirely to not know someone who’s supposedly close to you, is on their deathbed. Again maybe it’s the length, playing its vile games on what could’ve been a good story, but as it was I kept getting pulled outta the story by little inconsistencies like this one.

Oh and character development overall seemed pretty weak, for instance the hero’s Latino, and there were only two things that implied it…his name ( is Tiago a Latino name?) and one word of Spanish….honestly if we hadn’t been flat out told he was Latino, I never would’ve guessed. Also I couldn’t seem to figure out if the hero was a player, with a girl in every port, or if he was just playing a part, a sort of, you gotta do what you gotta do, sorta thing…Maybe it’s the restricted

length again rearing its frustratingly ugly head, but in a longer story I can almost see his character start out in a not so great way,  but then grow into a hero worthy of being called a hero…but the way it is now,  it feels like one minute we’re supposed to think he’s an overly promiscuous batter, the next he’s Dudley studly do-right. It just doesn’t least not for me.

Honestly, I think the best use of Annette Blair’s story is to test drive her writing style,  to see of you can put up with it or not. .I can’t. . It seemed more piecemeal than any cohesive story.  2 stars.


Geri Buckley’s Can’t Catch This

This  last story wasn’t bad, but I think it was the weakest out of the 4…  And considering my opinions of them, that’s saying something!

It takes place mostly at a football stadium, but the main character isn’t a sports player of any kind, so maybe it’s just me, but the story sorta felt outta place…however, it was also the only story to explain the sports terminology it used ( and for me, that was a much appreciated

bonus!) …it also had no conflict, at least not really. Stuff just happened, no build up, no climax, and only a mediocre resolution.  It was just so bland…and  for an anthology length story , it had far too much unnecessary filling! 2 stars



Altogether, this anthology  never really goes beyond the realm  of ‘just okay’ . None of the stories WOWed me, none captured my full attention,  and none  sent me on a buying (or requesting) binge…if you’re in the market for an easy read, maybe at the beach or in a waiting room or anywhere you need some mindless entertainment  without the threat of avid, engrossing interest, Hot Ticket fits the Bill. Otherwise, everything just felt too rushed, too quick,and too lacking in details,  for it to really be enjoyable.



Tags: , ,

One Response to “Romance Review – Hot Ticket”

  1. Cathy W. (Firefly) , says:

    I like sports themed romances, but am not much a fan of anthologies. Sometimes I pick on up if the stories look interesting. I think I may steer clear of this one if I run across it. Thanks for the review! 🙂

Leave a Reply