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The Penalty Box (New York Blades, #4)
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The Penalty Box (New York Blades #4)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,677 Ratings  ·  90 Reviews
Can a jock and a nerd find true love together?

Everyone from Didsbury High remembers Katie Fisher as the dumpy brainiac from the poor side of town.

Everyone from Didsbury High remembers Paul van Dorn as the school hockey star and heartthrob.

But now they're facing off -- and matching up in more ways than one. Katie's lost the pounds, added some self-confidence, and become a d
...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published March 7th 2006 by Berkley
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Sports Romances
43rd out of 637 books — 1,350 voters
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Best Hockey Romance
44th out of 181 books — 612 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Shawna
3 stars – Contemporary Romance

This contemporary romance about an ex nerd/fat girl turned knockout and esteemed Sociology professor/writer who goes back to her small hometown for a year to look after her nephew and has a fling with her high school crush, an ex hockey star turned local bar owner, has some humorous parts, but the characters are all rather annoying. The H/H both have self-esteem and identity issues masked with big egos, and the sexual banter and constant bickering is exhausting and
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Tammy
Isis already wrote a great review on this one, and I agree whole-heartedly with what she had to say, so I won't bother with a full-fledged opinion. Paul, a former hockey player, was sort of a jerk (at first). The heroine (can't even recall her name at the moment!) was annoying and had deep issues. It started grating on my nerves every single time she whined about the lack of a Starbucks in her small town. Even her visit(s) to "Fat Fighters" and the way she obsessed with her weight became obnoxio ...more
jenjn79
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jac (For Love and Books)
Jan 24, 2014 Jac (For Love and Books) rated it did not like it
I have absolutely been obsessed with hockey romance lately, the latest being the New York Blades series by Deirdre Martin. Unfortunately? This book nearly ended that streak. I’ve written a lot of “Gushing” reviews lately. Talking about how I love the big bad hockey players, and the conflict both on and off the ice. But this one? This review is one of those I hate to write.

This book? Didn’t do it for me. And I’m going to tell you why. (All the painful stuff, even talking sock puppets. I wish I wa
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Juniper Shore
Jan 10, 2016 Juniper Shore rated it it was ok
I'll go out on a limb here and assert that romance does not mix well with professional sports. I know, I know, there's this manly thing associated with beating up people in the rink, but that's more about sex appeal than love. Maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I like a romance that has more personality than lust in it. That's not to say it's impossible to do a good romance-on-the-ice (I thought The Cutting Edge was great), but the main characters have to have something in common.

Anyway. The Penalty
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Ines Ben Hamad
Apr 24, 2015 Ines Ben Hamad rated it did not like it
***Minor Spoilers***

Although I enjoyed other books in this series, it was very hard to finish this book.

The characters lack depth and connection, their bickering is exhausting instead of being witty and amusing.
Ultimately, what bothered me about this book was that the characters aren't likable. The female lead is a woman who used to be overweight and bullied in high school, but has since become a hot university professor. When she returns to her home town to take care of her nephew she sparks a
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Mia
Apr 02, 2014 Mia rated it liked it
The book is amusing but lacking in depth . The banter between the H/H goes on for too long and at some point it starts being annoying. Paul was a total jerk in the previous books and yet it was never really address why,his issues and story feels like the author just skimped over it. Katie was just a tad bit annoying with all her issues and her big ego, her weight is mentioned continuously but yet again the author never really addresses the issue. This could have been a great story because it had ...more
Barbara ★
This is my first Deirdre Martin book and I was sadly disappointed. Neither of the main characters were even likable. Ex-hockey player Paul van Dorn was obnoxious and just plain annoying. After his third head shot, he's forced to retired from the NHL and he's miserable. He's moved back home and bought a bar where he reminisces daily about his glory days. Boring!

And our heroine, Katie Fisher is a whiny former fat girl who spends the entire book obsessing about calories. Yet she spends a whole lot
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Becky
May 04, 2015 Becky rated it did not like it
I don't like to abandon any book, but I couldn't finish this one. I didn't like the characters and the plot wasn't working for me either. The main character comes back to her hometown where she used to be an outcast because she was poor, fat, and nerdy. She's still poor (she's a professor, not much money in that, although the author seems to think there is) and she's still very much a nerd. But, miracle of miracles, she's not fat anymore and that makes everything all right. The boy who used to p ...more
Meg
Mar 15, 2014 Meg rated it liked it
Shelves: romance-sexy
I love nerd/jock stories. I'm a sucker for them. Although I had decided last year to skip any more of this series, when I ran across this one, i had to read it. And I am glad that I did, it was enjoyable.

Although Katie also lived in a world of Denial (I've only read two books this year and both have Katherine's that live in a world of denial), I enjoyed her much more because she admits to her mistakes and accepts the consequences without doing a complete 180. I loved the nerd and the sociology
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Micah
Feb 22, 2012 Micah rated it it was ok
The Penalty Box has a very promising premise: The nerdy overweight girl from high school has returned to town for the 10 year reunion and she's now this super hot chick with a fabulous job. After running into the most popular guy/jock who used to torment her in school hijinks ensue. A predictable outline, but not bad.

Unfortunately for The Penalty Box the characters start to wear on the reader after about a third of the book. There's only so much of listening to Katie discuss how much she wants
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Kyraryker
Jul 25, 2012 Kyraryker rated it it was amazing
What is it about a Deirdre Martin book that I get giddy excited just reading the first sentence of the book? The character of Katie and Paul are classic Deirdre Martin, real- with all their flaws and insecurities.
I was a little astonished at how soon Katie gets over her embarrassment and nervousness around Paul; they end up sleeping together on their second date, the first date she ended up throwing up.
Have I mentioned I love the humor Deirdre Martin writes in her books, because I do, I really d
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Jen
Well, this book didn't get great reviews on GR either, but I actually liked it....better than the last one. It's about Paul, who you got to know a bit in a previous book, and honestly, he seemed like a real prick. It was interesting to see his personality after his hot-shot career as a hockey players ended....really not such an ass. I actually liked him pretty quickly, even though he acted like a man-whore by sleeping with that bitch Liz at the beginning, which made me want to throw up!

Our heroi
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Nisha
Aug 16, 2009 Nisha rated it really liked it
I couldn't help but like this book. Yea, its not the best book of its kind, but it was quite entertaining and worth a read (even during finals). It was more than a romance and thank god it did not include an incompetent heroine. Katie was flawed though; she overanalyzed people, especially Paul, the guy she crushed on during high school. He was also the same guy who tortured her during those years. so did many of the other classmates that she meets. But she does end up forgiving them, which is no ...more
Sarah Eiseman
Dec 29, 2010 Sarah Eiseman rated it liked it
This was the third book in the NY Blades series. As I mentioned in a previous post, Martin is fast becoming one of my go-to authors. The book before this one, Fair Play, was my top choice for 2010. I don’t mean to be harsh, but I think this one was one of my bottom choices for the month. I finished the book because I really wanted to find out what happened in the end. But if I’m being honest, the romance didn’t seem realistic, nor did the ending. I didn’t care about the characters because they a ...more
Smut Junkie
Well, this book didn't get great reviews on GR either, but I actually liked it....better than the last one. It's about Paul, who you got to know a bit in a previous book, and honestly, he seemed like a real prick. It was interesting to see his personality after his hot-shot career as a hockey players ended....really not such an ass. I actually liked him pretty quickly, even though he acted like a man-whore by sleeping with that bitch Liz at the beginning, which made me want to throw up!

Our heroi
...more
Kelsey
Oct 07, 2011 Kelsey rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jillian (NetGalley Addict)
Nov 07, 2012 Jillian (NetGalley Addict) rated it liked it
Shelves: romance
Paul is retired from the New York Blades; he goes home where he opens a sports bar. He is the hero of the town and bored out of his mind, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He gets drunk and sleeps with an old girlfriend, sneaking out of her house after her son finds him the next morning. Katie used to be the fat smart girl, she moves out of town goes to college loses the weight and becomes a hot professor. Katie comes back to help her mom with her nephew and maybe go to her schools class ...more
Vicki
May 15, 2011 Vicki rated it liked it
Recommended to Vicki by: Renee
Hmmm, I wish I could say I loved this book, but it just isn't the case. It wasn't as good as the first two books in the series, but it was marginally better than the third.

In 'The Penalty Box' we meet two new characters in the series - Katie Fisher and Paul van Dorn. The story starts off with the high school reunion for Dibsbury High. Katie reluctantly attends. She's a successful professor now and a knock-out stunner to boot but back in her high school days she was over weight and the butt of co
...more
Erin
Aug 05, 2013 Erin rated it really liked it
I'm giving this one 4 stars because I like Paul.

I did not like Katie though. She seemed a bit one dimensional. Or perhaps it was just guilt over the fact that I'm off the clean eating wagon and didn't like reading about Katie obsessing over every single calorie. (Especially when how I eat is 100% contrary to the brainwashed low-calorie opiate of the masses that Katie subscribes to.)

Like I said, I like Paul. (Now, not when he was being a dick back in book 2.) I was actually quite surprised that M
...more
Ochie
Apr 29, 2015 Ochie rated it liked it
It really took me awhile to connect with the characters. I felt like I'm seeing them always at arms length. Though I've had my moments when I was touched with some parts of the book - little Tuck with Paul, etc and there had been times that it made me laugh (Paul going out of Katie's window and injuring himself). But still, I just feel that there's something missing.
Rie_dominique
Jul 01, 2011 Rie_dominique rated it it was ok
Jujur saja, saya agak kurang suka dengan karakter Katie. Dengan gelar profesornya dia menganalisa seseorang tanpa tahu seperti apa orang itu sebenarnya. Padahal dia sendiri termasuk orang yang bermasalah dalam menghadapi masa lalu sebagai pecandu makanan. Terus sikapnya yang ngerasa Paul ga sepadan ama dia karena Paul cuma mantan atlet yang ga punya gelas sarjana sementara Katie sendiri adalah seorang profesor...

Kalu saya yang jadi Paul, udah lama si Katie ini saya tinggal. Ga sedikit kok cewek
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Makii
Aug 13, 2014 Makii rated it liked it
"—Tengo que darte una noticia: a veces, lo que hemos planificado para nuestras vidas y lo que el destino nos depara son cosas distintas."

Paul
De verdad, que no se merecía todo lo que le paso. Aun cuando antes llego a ser bastante idiota.

Y Katie, definitivamente no te mereces a Paul. Que mujer idiota e insoportable!!
...more
Norma
May 23, 2010 Norma rated it really liked it
Shelves: sports-romance
I've just remembered why I read Deirdre Martin books! I loved this book. I love her Blades team and wished I could have visited with them during this story. Ex-Hockey Player Paul and Sociology Professor Katie were both a little immature and they stayed apart in this story for far too long and for no good reason.

But they came together beautifully and I had a chance to get to know them both and enjoy doing so. Often with Ms. Martin's books I've found the H and h didn't over come what was keeping t
...more
Tin
Feb 02, 2015 Tin rated it it was ok
Shelves: ebook, 2015
Katie Fisher is my least favorite New York Blades leading lady. Wait, to say "favorite" implies i like her at least. But no. More than halfway through the novel and she is yet to endear herself to me. By the time she redeemed herself (to me), it was already too late.
Lisa
Jan 30, 2014 Lisa rated it really liked it
This was not your typical, predictable love story - there were a lot of deep psychological scars and healing. The formerly overweight girl was portrayed as strong, though flawed, and not desperate for attention as so many who grew up fat and bullied are. Her constant struggles with eating were very well integrated and true to life. This book was more 'real' than just about any book I've ever read.
Mary Sperry
Feb 05, 2014 Mary Sperry rated it liked it
What surprises me most about Deirdre Martin's books is her willingness to deal with difficult issues. Of course, things resolve by the end of the book, but she deals with tough situations honestly.
Catalina Sennett
Dec 13, 2010 Catalina Sennett rated it liked it
A cute love story about falling in love with someone you went to high school with but never talked to. And it has hockey!
Katie goes to her ten year high school reunion looking like a new person. She meets ex-hockey star Paul, who used to make fun of her in high school. Now they have both grown up and are totally attracted to eac other. There is also tuck, Katies nephew who doesn't want to live with his mom now that she is out of rehab, he just wants to live with katie and go play hockey.

I like
...more
Carrie
Oct 03, 2008 Carrie rated it it was ok
When you're fat, you're miserable; when you're thin, things go your way. Katie was fat in high school and everyone picked on her. At her 10-year reunion, she's thin and people like her, including the hottie former hockey star (who tormented her in high school but only did it because his girlfriend made him, so it's pretty easy for Katie to forgive him) and the formerly thin, currently fat (karma?), popular girl. Katie, in my opinion, is nothing more than a MarySue, a stand-in for the author. Thi ...more
Dawn
Oct 01, 2012 Dawn rated it it was ok
This started out interesting at first. And funny. The dialogue was hilarious, but once or twice, the humor went overboard and just seemed corny. I finished the whole book, but after they have gotten together, which was around the middle of the book...I lost a bit of interest. There wasn't enough depth. The chemistry between Katie and Paul was good. I thought it was well-tempered. The sex was alright. It was more of a fade-out, but the tension was entertaining enough. The romance factor was good. ...more
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

New York Times Bestselling Author Deirdre Martin was six when she wrote her first "book,”a Peanuts parody. In addition to penning bad, maudlin poetry in junior high school and serving as the Arts Editor on her high school newspaper, she was also the Arts Editor at her colleg
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More about Deirdre Martin...

Other Books in the Series

New York Blades (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • Body Check (New York Blades, #1)
  • Fair Play (New York Blades, #2)
  • Total Rush (New York Blades, #3)
  • Hot Ticket (contains New York Blades, #4.5)
  • Chasing Stanley (New York Blades, #5)
  • Just A Taste (New York Blades, #6)
  • Power Play (New York Blades, #7)
  • Icebreaker (New York Blades, #8)
  • Breakaway (New York Blades, #9)
  • Hip Check (New York Blades #10)

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“I lend you a thousand bucks to pay for a date with myself. I let you talk me into wearing a damn tuxedo. The least you could do is hold my hand.' - Paul van Dorn” 11 likes
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