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On the Surface

(In the Zone #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,605 ratings  ·  187 reviews
NHL player Tim Hollander lost his temper one time and threw a water bottle at an abusive fan. After "Bottlegate," he's traded to the San Diego Barracudas, where he'll need to keep the bad publicity to a minimum while proving he can still compete with the younger guys on the ice.

Erin Collier is a pediatric nurse who's never seen a hockey game, but gets in line for Tim's aut
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published April 14th 2014 by Carina Press (first published March 4th 2014)
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Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,605 ratings  ·  187 reviews

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Apr 16, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kindle, reviewed
Oh good God! Once again I'm alone with my two-star rating. While I did find it to be a good story, it was the execution of it that didn't work for me. All the emotions, scenarios, words, everything - all of it felt forced. I wish I could explain it better. All of it came across as too good to be true; that all the pieces of a puzzle fell in the right place with no jarring of any kind. Then there's the protagonists, Tim and Erin. I'm sorry, but honestly I didn't feel any chemistry or heat between ...more
Feb 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Not great but not terrible


Not good, not bad. You see a theme here?

Setting / Time / Genre: Current, San Diego

Length: 272 pages

Series: Yea

Sexy times: Yes, I forget how descriptive or not descriptive they were. They did use the more common nomenclature ie rooster and kitty.

Plan on reading more by the author: Maybe

Synopsis: Hero is a hockey player traded to a San Diego based team. Heroine is a nurse. They meet at an autograph signing. Hockey player is among the older members of his team so has a fe
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Review posted: Happily Ever After - Reads
Blog rating: A

His lips turned upward, but his eyes narrowed. “Sweetheart, this is not foreplay. I’ll show you foreplay. I’ll foreplay you all the way into tomorrow.”



Tim meets Erin at fan event when she gets in line for his autograph to give to a doctor that she has a crush on at the hospital where she works as a pediatric nurse. She has no idea who Tim is and doesn’t understand anything about hockey, but her doctor-crush loves hoc
Monty Cupcake ☠ Queen of Bloodshed ☠
So a 2 star rating, why? Because this could've been a lot shorter story. I'd have given it 3 stars if there'd been about 100 pages cut. The story just kept going & I thought it definitely could've been trimmed down in a lot of places to give a more fluid & faster paced book. The extra material made it drag.

The story itself is cute. Nurse is trying to get an autograph from a hockey player, fan gets rough with her, NHL player defends her, they start dating, etc. I liked both characters, e
Christi Snow
Mar 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
My Review:
I really enjoyed this book. It was simply a fun, entertaining contemporary romance with the added benefit of a sports/hockey setting which I loved.

Tim is a pro NHL player coming close to the end of his career and starting out at a new team in San Diego. He's been one of the greats over his career and I liked that this book wasn't about him being washed up. In fact, he has a great year overall with his playing.

Erin is a nurse in the pediatric wing of the local hospital. She's not a hoc
I knew I was going to like this book when I read all the less-than-clever, yet totally realistic hockey nicknames at the beginning of the book. And when I read that the jerk Bottlegate fan was from Philly? Also realistic!

It's really refreshing to read about adults, handling themselves in adult ways. The way Erin and Tim (can I also say I liked that they had regular names?) met was really clever and adorable.
Elle Rush
Apr 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book! I loved Tim and Erin and I'm so glad they got their happily ever after. There were some terrific secondary characters as well, and I'm happy to know we're going to see them again. I'm not even a big hockey fan but that didn't matter - the hockey was the setting, not the plot. It was a beautiful love story wrapped up in great writing ribbons.
Apr 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
5 Stars

Tim Hollander was part of the team that just won the Stanley Cup but he was traded to the San Diego Barracudas to make a PR nightmare go away. He is fortunate he is now on a team with his two best friends; together they have committed to starting training camp in the best shape ever. They are not the young hot shots anymore, they need to play some great hockey and stay out of trouble. That was exactly what Tim planned on doing until a rowdy autograph seeker gets out of control. He is sure
May 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
After having thrown a water bottle at an abusive and mean fan, Tim changes hockey teams and now has to prove he can still keep up with the youngsters and lead a scandal-free life.
Erin tries to score an autograph for her crush, who is also her boss. When she gets into a fight with a guy in the queue waiting for an autograph of Tim, Tim jumps in and rescues her, to ease off the attention of the media after this new incident, Erin agrees to stay and explain the situation to the press along with hi
Eli Paz
Apr 28, 2015 rated it it was ok
It was cute.
I have to confess that I've read this book in five days? Maybe.
I was in a really blurry state of mind where I was studying my ass off and I NEEDED TO READ SOMETHING FOR PLEASURE.
Bad choice.
Cute hero.
Cute heroine.
Cute plot.
Everything was so cute and perfect that it was meh.
Too much perfection.
At one point I was like, wait a minute, where are we going and what's the problem here. WHERE IS THE PROBLEM?
If something showed up like Tim getting hit, everything evolved in le
Apr 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
re read via audible.

I was wondering how this would hold up on re read. I really enjoyed it! Again.

Prior comments

4.5 stars. What a sweet romance! Tim could not have been sweeter. Slightly damaged from a terrible tragedy. Did not feel like I got to know Erin beyond the surface, but she was a solid heroine. Their relationship was totally driven by Tim, which I liked. And there was no real heart wrenching drama. It was a fun, light read. Just what I needed after a couple of dark ones!

safety gang (vi
May 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
Very sweet story full of humor, sexy moments and no silly angst. Tim and Erin are extremely likable and I enjoyed their quick journey to their HEA. Great afternoon read.

4.5 Sweet STARS

“I know. It’s fast. I just don’t see any reason to waste time playing games. I know how I feel about you.”

Told in 3rd person POV.

Tim Hollander, NFL player who has won two Stanley Cups, has been traded to the San Diego Barracudas after the “Bottlegate” incident when a fan trash talked about him and said something way too close to home (relating to the loss of his daughter). At age 33, he is not as young and fast as some of the new players so he works extra hard to impress the co
Jacqueline J
Okay but not ultimately memorable. It lacked a certain zing I guess. The story was fairly well developed as were the characters but that was about it. There were certain times where I felt like the time line was wonky. For example: the guys went to a gym. It seemed like later that day or the next one the hero and heroine meet. Then they've been going to the gym for 10 weeks but no, it's the day after the hero and heroine meet. What?

That wasn't a huge problem. The bigger problem was that I didn't
Monica Cardoza
Sep 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This story was filled with love, laughter and sadness.

This is the first installment in the In the Zone series and I absolutely loved it. It was a story that sucked me in from the very beginning and I couldn’t it down. I enjoyed all of the characters especially Tim and Erin. There were couple of times that I couldn’t help but laugh out loud because of the situation. I loved when Tim took Erin ice skating and how the author describes the other kid skaters and how fast they were going around her. T
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review originally posted here:

I adore my hockey books, and while I’ve enjoyed many that I’ve read in the past, Willoughby absolutely blew me away with this one. This may be my new favorite hockey romance, or at least it’s in the top 3!

Tim loves playing professional hockey. It was always his dream, and one incident with a fan almost ruined his career. He let his temper get the best of him, and now he is paying the price by being traded to a new team. Tim i
Under the Covers Book Blog
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it

I had this book on my radar when it first came out and then quite frankly forgot all about it. It was recommended in a group I'm on Facebook and since I was feeling a need for a sports romance I gave it a go. And I'm so glad I did!

Fans of Jaci Burton's Play by Play should definitely check this series out. Revolving around one team of hot hockey players, ON THE SURFACE kicks off with a good dose of steam, and a side helping of sweet. This romance between one of the best players in the team and a

Jul 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was given a review copy of this book via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I'm not a lover of this particular cover as the model I just don't see as Tim. I do like the background colour though.

I really enjoyed reading this book but there was moments when I thought something huge would happen but it never happened the way I thought it would. I don't usually mind that I book isn't predictable but in this case I think it would have added more to the story because at times it was a littl
Mar 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance
This book popped up on one of the Twitter feeds I follow the other day as being a “Good Read on Sale” for $.99 in the Kindle store so I picked it up since I was looking for a simple read for the night. I was quite impressed with it. I thought it was a fairly original story line and done quite well.

The story follows a seasoned hockey player (Tim) as he works to remake his image in the league. He happens to meet a local nurse (Erin) by accident at a signing event, and the story unfolds. I don’t wa
*sigh* such a cute book, I wish I would have a similar first encounter, not the fight part, but where a super good looking guy gets interested in little ol' me and asks me out XD

- The hero's past was Bottlegate, that fan was just and old plain asshole, and it's just wrong how the media crucify him on the smallest wrong, when he's such a nice guy.

- I liked his honesty as well, how right from the start he told the heroine he was interested, and kept up his pursuit not pushing or pressuring her.

- I
I'm undecided on the rating. I really liked this for the first half but by the end I was pretty frustrated with the conflict and resolution. I'm just... when there's a fundamental difference in what two people want, particularly when they had only known each other for about six months, I felt like it should have been handled differently. If nothing else, it's something they should have discussed before getting engaged very publicly. The proposal was probably where the wheels started to fall off ...more
1-Click Addict Support Group
Jan 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
4.5 HUGE Hearts!!

That's it! I am a huge fan of Hockey Romance! It was a little slow starting but Tim just melts your heart. From the first encounter with him and Erin I was hooked!! They make such a good match and the things that Tim does....swoon! This story was really personal to me because I lost a baby sister very young so I know how heartbreaking that can be.

Fantastic job on pulling the emotions out. I was so sad to see it end but I thought it was wrapped up beautifully and I'm anxious to r
Dec 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I found the situations believable and I loved how much hockey was included in the story. Many times with sports themed romances, there aren't any actual sports in the book but that was not the case with this story. If I had any criticism about the book, it was the pretty much insta-love. I'm just not a fan of that story line, but other than that, I felt that Tim and Erin were good together and pushed each other in believable ways.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I enjoyed the flow of this book, from all characters' perspectives. I found myself getting deeply involved with everything that was happening in their lives, even the ones that weren't the main focus. I could feel the emotion from every character. Loved this book! Now on to book 2!
Dec 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first Kate Willoughby book, but I really enjoyed it. I liked the character development, the story and how everything unfolded. I felt more like I was living it all right along with them due to the very well developed conversations. Can't wait to start the next in this series!
Mar 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Super cute!! Loved it!! Can't wait for the next book now!!
One of the better hockey books that i have read in a while. Loved that they discussed their problems, and that they didn't have perfect lives before they met. Looking forward to more!
Chris Mc
Mar 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Good read

Enjoyable read. There were a few lol moments that had me cracking up. Planning on getting the other books in the series
Jun 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
Defiantly one of the more well written hockey stories. Love hockey! Love this book!
Miranda Elaine
Oct 05, 2015 rated it liked it
It was an enjoyable read but until the end it didn't seem like enough was happening. While the end did pick up it was still kinda predictable.
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Blogger Lift: Interview with Kate Willouhby 1 8 Jun 02, 2014 05:42PM  
  • The Winning Season (Feeling the Heat, #2)
  • Should've Known Better (Storm, #1)
  • Goalie Interference (NHL Scorpions, #2)
  • Tempting the Player (London Legends, #3)
  • Offside (Heller Brothers, #5)
  • One Night with a Quarterback (Santa Fe Bobcats, #1)
  • Game On (Out of Bounds, #1)
  • Game Play (Power Play, #1)
  • Risky Business (Bomb Squad #1)
  • Imaginary Lines (New York Leopards, #3)
  • Seduced by the Game
  • Backfield in Motion (Seattle Lumberjacks, #4)
  • Breakaway (Penalty Kill #1)
  • Thin Ice
  • Fresh Ice (Ice)

Other books in the series

In the Zone (4 books)
  • Across the Line (In the Zone, #2)
  • Out of the Game (In the Zone, #3)
  • Under the Spotlight (In the Zone, #4)
“you’ll drive yourself crazy if you live your life constantly thinking about what’s missing in your life. Celebrate what you have. Appreciate it. Make the most of it.” 3 likes
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