Under the Spotlight (In the Zone) - Kate Willoughby

Actress, Christine Caspary, recruits San Diego Barracudas right winger, Joe Rutherford to meet a little girl whom she met through the Grant A Wish Foundation.  The two have chemistry, but their schedules and point of their careers make a relationship challenging.

 

I enjoyed Joe’s character.  He has lived and breathed hockey his whole life.  Now nearing the end of his career, he has to decide what his life will entail after he retires.  It does not help to be surrounded by people that are at the start of their careers.  Joe is a great guy.  He cares about others. I love that Joe had a crush on Christine before she contacts him.

 

I like that Joe mentored rookie, CJ Noonan.  Having rookies live with a host family or a veteran player is a big thing in hockey.  I enjoyed reading about that situation.   Noony’s character transformed a lot through this story and added interest to the book.  He went through some relevant growing pains that were very realistic in his situation.  Having a son who plays hockey, I enjoyed some of Joe’s tips like keeping a journal about how he played in his games and things that happened so he could refresh his memory before he played that team again.

 

Both of my parents were born in Hungary.  So I love that Christine is Hungarian.  I could relate to her family’s traditions, especially the food and holidays.  It made me crave my family's cooking.  Kate Willoughby did a great job capturing the Hungarian culture.

 

I appreciated the similarities between Joe and Christine’s professions, for example; they are both very superstitious; they are away from home a lot; and they are in the eye of the public.  They were things that made it easy for the couple to relate.

 

The plot was believable and thoroughly constructed.    The hockey scenes are well described.  A lot of things happen that keep the reader engaged.

 

This is the first book I have read by Kate Willoughby.  I really enjoyed her writing style.  I definitely want to back-track and read the preceding books in the In the Zone Series. I have a feeling I would have even enjoyed Under the Spotlight more having known the history of the characters from the previous books.  I highly recommend this book to lovers of sports romances.

 

Complimentary copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.