Author: Nikki Worrell
Genre: Contemporary Romance
My Copy: Purchased
Add to: Goodreads
Synopsis: Lacey Benoit is in need of a fresh start. Her best friend, Dr. Zoe Millis, has been begging her to make the move from Maine to California. Taking a leap of faith, Lacey does just that.
Living in San Diego definitely has its perks, such as, sunshine and beaches. The best part of moving to the west coast, however, is that Steven is still on the east coast. Catching your almost husband having sex with one of your bridesmaids on your wedding day would make even the strongest woman jaded. Therefore, Lacey has sworn off men for a while, especially men who travel a lot that have easy access to loose women.
When Lacey meets the new enforcer for the San Diego Scorpions, she thinks she might be in trouble. But she is determined to fight her attraction to the sexy NHL hunk. And she is successful...for about a day.
The Enforcer is Nikki Worrell’s debut and holy smokes, she can write a smoking hockey player! Lacey Benoit’s life hasn’t been the best lately. Her brother’s death and finding out her fiancé cheated has taken a toll and she’s contemplating moving. When her best friend, Zoe Millis, mentions the San Diego Scorpions are hiring she recommends Lacey apply. Lacey accepts the challenge and moves to San Diego where her world is turned upside down. Jody LaGrange is the Scorpions newest enforcer and he has no reason to see a sports psychologist, but it’s required by the Scorpions. Reluctantly he agrees to meet with Zoe Millis, but when he spots Lacey, she’s all he can think about. Jody is disappointed when Lacey announces she’s not interested in dating, but he realizes they have an attraction. Will Lacey give into temptation or will she guard her heart?
I really enjoyed The Enforcer and being a hockey fan, I appreciate Worrell taking the time to explain hockey terms before the first chapter. It’s a treat for non hockey fans and they can understand the best game on earth a little better. Character development is strong and I really liked the way we got to know everyone in Jody’s inner circle. If I can take a moment to fangirl over Jody, he’s smoking! Female hockey fans will be able to associate with Lacey’s initial reaction when she sees Jody for the first time because we can all remember our first NHL hockey crush. I was able to associate with Lacey and her love for the game. Zoe is a hoot! She’s the best friend that you’ve always wanted and it’s clear she loves Lacey. I particularly enjoyed getting to know Jody’s teammates especially Vlad. Of course we have to have a creeper and we get that with Lacey’s ex, Steven. I won’t go into details about him, but sometimes I do wish Jody had broken all his fingers.
The writing is engaging and it is a fast paced read. I know a few reviewers have mentioned multiple point-of-views and I’m confused by what they mean unless they are talking about it being in third person. I found no problems with the narration and admit it was a breath of fresh air to read since the trend lately has been first person narrative. Ultimately, I have a preference for third person and I’d say 99% of what I read is third person. Worrell does a great job conveying feelings and making us like and care for these characters. For example, the “wanting” of Jody when Lacey first spots him, I could feel that and several times I wished he was real! I was creeped out by Steven and worried for Lacey. It’s rare to get attached to characters and wish they were real and for that, I have to give props to Worrell. There is a continuity error that made me pause and go back to a few chapters. At one point, Jody helps Lacey with her furniture and when Vlad announces it is time to leave, Lacey says she’ll take Jody home. Now Jody doesn’t live with Vlad nor is there a mention that he left his vehicle at Vlad’s house so the assumption is Vlad picked him up. A few chapters later, Lacey is going to visit Jody and she texts him for directions. If she had already been to his place there was no need to ask for directions.
I debated with the rating and it would have been a solid five had it not been for the continuity error. I do wish Worrell had incorporated a few more hockey scenes, but since the majority of it takes place prior to the actual season, I can forgive that. I also had a bit of a problem with the way the whole Steven situation was wrapped up, but his letter to Lacey at the end showcases his change and that was nice to read because normally we don’t get that type of closure. I won’t go into details about him because I don’t want to spoil things for you.
“What a shame life wasn’t more like hockey.”
“See, what always seemed to happen was that the puck bunnies conveniently forgot that the players they lusted after were just that…players.”
If you’re looking for a sport romance or have the hockey blues because your team didn’t make it to the finals, I recommend Nikki Worrell’s The Enforcer. Just don’t start it late at night, otherwise be prepared for an all-nighter and a few cold showers afterwards. Nikki Worrell is an author you want to watch for.
ETA: I spoke with Worrell earlier in the day and she mentioned the continuity error has been resolved. My copy was purchased and read before she made the changed.