POWER PLAY (Pilots Hockey, #2)

POWER PLAY                                                   SOPHIA HENRY

Beneath her innocent facade, Gabriella Bertucci has her reasons to be standoffish with guys. Especially guys like Landon Taylor, a star defenseman on the minor-league Detroit Pilots and the object of a serious crush since he first walked into her family's market. But when Landon comes through for her in a moment of crisis, Gaby starts to wonder if there might be more to Landon than hard muscles and fast skates.

Landon isn't afraid of telling Gaby that he's got it for her bad. The problem is, she seems unwilling to believe it. And though Landon enjoys his reputation as a cool-headed athlete, he hates losing—both on the rink and off. It's his competitiveness that makes him so damn good at what he does . . . but it also makes him just a little bit complicated.

One minute Gaby's tempted to give in; the next, she's getting cold feet. How can she trust a guy who's destined for bigger and better things to stick around? Then again, when Landon pulls her close with those powerful arms, the only thing that matters is right now.

     This was a great coming of age story of Gabriella (Gabby) Bertucci.  A young woman from Detroit, who at 16 had gone to a college party with her brother Drew, a longtime family friend and a handful of his hockey friends.  As most parties it seems these days seem to have, on college level especially, there was alcohol served.  Well, Gabby had drunk before, you know she was 16, duh!  So, she thought this night would be no different but she drunk too many in a shorter period.  One of the guys in the group that she came with was a longtime family friend that was more like a cousin/brother to her.
     Now all these years later their family still does business with his family because both Gabby’s great grandfather and his came over from the old country together and started their businesses together.  Theirs produces farm and hers the produce stands in which to sell the produce.  No 60 years later is still going strong.  But you see at the party this family friend that she trusted with all her heart raped her.  And by telling cause a riff.  She was called a liar and long short of it never was reported and they still do business with their family per her grandfather’s instructions. Gabby struggles with the family's decision with this situation and her feelings on it.
     She was working at the new store at 313 Artisans with her father.  Not only did they sell produce but they sold her mother’s eclectic artwork, others from the community, other merchandise as well and of course produce.  On this day the guy that Gabby has had a crush on forever comes in, Landon Taylor.  She knows she would love to be girl that could talk to him and one day even date him but with what she had been through she can trust herself or men.  Plus, her family are so overprotective.
     Landon Taylor is a defenseman for the Detroit Pilots Hockey Team.  He is one of four boys in his family and the second born.  Yet, the only of the couples born to them.   They adopted the other three.  Every weekend they meet as a family by coming to their fruit stand and buying 5 apples to start their journey through to marketplace every weekend so they have something to munch on.  Every weekend Gabby turns into mush.
     The thing is that Gabby doesn’t know is that Landon has had a crush on her too.  Unfortunately, today would not be the day to tell her because as he was leaving he hears Gabby make a blood curdling scream.  And after them just having a fun time bantering and her throwing a stuffed animal at his head this sends an awful chill up his spine.  Her father had fallen to the ground.  As he ran back he was calling 911.  He had planned to close the store for Gabby but her father made her stay and had her call her mother to meet him at the hospital.  He felt so bad for Gabby she looked so lost and hurt.  She was made to feel less than.  He knew that feeling.
     She told him he could leave, he said no, she said no too because Papa would upset if she let a stranger close.  She could see he looked hurt although it passed over his face in a split second but still it was there.  When he drops the bomb saying they’ve known each other forever saying he knows her.  So she started asking questions about herself she knew he would never know just to be a pain.  Because you see she knew all things Landon from the internet and from all the years he came in and watching him and his family.  But she knew for sure there was no such information on her on the internet.
     Then he tells her things she shouldn’t know.  Flooring her to the point her mouth was open like a fish.  Then he says we are not strangers please let me help.  She says how do you know all this stuff about me?  I’m a good listener when I come in.  But why?  She asked?  “Because you were my first kiss!”  Then he leaves…

     This was an interesting family dynamics.  I could relate to on so many levels.  This was a lot of the families I grew up around too.  So very believable I just wish there was an epilogue and a better ending.  I feel like we were just left hanging.  Like there is no completion.  I give this 4 stars.   Provided by netgalley.com.  Follow us at: www.1rad-readerreviews.com.

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