The Trouble with Valentine's Day (Chinooks Hockey Team Series #3)

The Trouble with Valentine's Day (Chinooks Hockey Team Series #3)

by Rachel Gibson

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It's the one day each year when being single is a sin . . .

The Trouble With Valentine's Day?

It just plain stinks!

Kate Hamilton should know. Dumped by her boyfriend, burnt out by her job, she's returned to Gospel, Idaho, where a Mountain Momma Crafters' original poetry reading is about as good as it gets on a Friday night. Then her first attempted seduction of a hunky stranger is completely rejected. So much for her self-esteem!

It turns out that Rob Sutter, former ice hockey madman, owner of Sutter's Sports—and the hunky stranger who told her to get lost—has been more than burned by love and isn't looking for a relationship. But then he and Kate find themselves in an ultra-compromising position in the M&S Market after-hours, giving the phrase "clean up in aisle five" a whole new meaning, and causing a whole lot of gossip in Gospel . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060009267
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 12/26/2012
Series: Chinooks Hockey Team Series , #3
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 806,284
Product dimensions: 4.34(w) x 6.66(h) x 1.01(d)

About the Author

Rachel Gibson began her fiction career at age sixteen, when she ran her car into the side of a hill, retrieved the bumper, and drove to a parking lot, where she strategically scattered the car’s broken glass all about. She told her parents she’d been the victim of a hit-and-run and they believed her. She’s been making up stories ever since, although she gets paid better for them nowadays.

Read an Excerpt

The Trouble With Valentine's Day

Chapter One

Valentine's Day sucked the big one.

Kate Hamilton lifted a mug of hot buttered rum to her mouth and drained the last drop. On the "things that suck" scale, it ranked somewhere between falling on her face in public and her great-aunt Edna's bologna pie. One was painful and embarrassing, while the other was an abomination in the eyes of the Lord.

Kate lowered the mug and licked the corners of her mouth. The hot rum heated her up from the inside out, warmed her skin, and cast the room about her in a nice, cozy glow. Yet it did nothing to lift her mood.

She was feeling sorry for herself, and she hated that. She wasn't the sort of woman to sit around and get all weepy. She was the sort to get on with life, but there was nothing like one whole day devoted to lovers to make a single girl feel like a loser.

A whole day of hearts and flowers, chocolate candy and naughty undies delivered to someone else. Someone undeserving. Someone who wasn't her. Twenty-four hours to remind her that she slept alone, usually in a sloppy T-shirt. A whole day to point out that she was just one bad relationship away from throwing in the towel. From giving up her Fendi pumps for Hush Puppies. From driving to the animal shelter and adopting a cat.

Kate looked around the Duchin Lounge, where she sat on a barstool inside the Sun Valley lodge. Shiny heart garlands decorated the brass rails, while roses and flickering candles sat on each tabletop. Red and pink hearts were taped up behind the bar and on the big windows looking out at snow-covered pines, groomed runs, and night skiers. Spotlights poured down the slopes, washing them in white gold and darker shadow.

Those inside the Duchin were decked out in the latest skiwear chic. Ralph Lauren and Armani sweaters, UGG boots and Patagonia fleece vests. Kate felt a bit like a poor relation in her jeans and dark green sweater. Her sweater fit well and matched her eyes, but it wasn't a brand name. She'd bought it at Costco, along with a bag of bikini-cut Haines Her Way, a gallon of shampoo, and about five pounds of margarine.

She turned sideways on her stool, and her gaze moved to the big windows across the bar. When had she started buying her underwear in bulk at a warehouse instead of at Victoria's Secret? When had her life become that pathetic? And why had five pounds of margarine ever seemed like a good idea?

Outside the Duchin's windows, downy snowflakes drifted past the outside lights and softly touched the ground. It had started snowing earlier that afternoon, shortly after Kate had hit the Idaho/Nevada border, and it hadn't let up. As a result of all that snow, the drive to Sun Valley from Las Vegas had taken her almost nine hours instead of the usual seven.

Normally, she would have driven straight through without stopping, but not when it was snowing so hard. Not when it was so dark that one wrong turn in the Sawtooth Wilderness could land a girl in one of those tiny towns where men were men and sheep were nervous. The next morning she planned to drive the last hour to the small town of Gospel, Idaho, where her grandfather lived.

Kate ordered her third hot buttered rum and turned her attention to the bartender. He looked to be in his late twenties with curly dark hair, and he had a wicked little glint in his brown eyes. He wore a white dress shirt and black pants. He was young and cute and wore a wedding ring, too.

"Can I get anything else for you, Kate?" he asked through a smile that oozed boyish charm. He'd remembered her name, a quality that made him a good bartender, but the foremost thought in Kate's head was that the man probably had a few girlfriends on the side. Men like him usually did.

"No thank you," she answered and purposely shoved her cynical thoughts to the back of her mind. She didn't like that she'd become so negative. She hated the pessimist who'd taken up residence in her head. She wanted the other Kate back. The Kate who wasn't so cynical.

At the tables and booths, couples laughed and talked and shared kisses over bottles of wine. Kate's Valentine's Day blues sank a little lower.

This time last year, Kate had been having dinner in Las Vegas at Le Cirque with her boyfriend, Manny Ferranti. She'd been thirty-three, Manny thirty-nine. Over shrimp cocktail she'd told him she'd booked them a suite in the Bellagio. Over roasted veal she'd described the crotchless panties and matching cutout bra she was wearing beneath her dress. Over dessert she'd brought up the subject of marriage. They'd been together for two years, and she'd thought it was time to talk about their future. Instead of talking, Manny had dumped her the next morning. After he'd put the hotel suite and those panties to good use.

At the time, Kate had been a little surprised at how fine she'd been with the breakup. Well, maybe not fine. She'd been plenty ticked off, but her world hadn't fallen apart. She'd loved Manny, but she was also practical. She didn't know why she hadn't seen it before, but Manny was commitment phobic. Thirty-nine and never married? The man obviously had serious issues, and she didn't wanted to waste her time with a man who couldn't commit. She'd been there before, with other boyfriends who'd wanted to date for years but never quite commit to more. Good riddance to bad relationships.

The Trouble With Valentine's Day. Copyright © by Rachel Gibson. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Trouble with Valentine's Day 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 98 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys chick-lit. The book is entertaining and the characters are easy to fall in love with. I finished it in one sitting. I felt relaxed and happy after reading the book.
BookChick79 More than 1 year ago
This was a reread for me and I will be going back again and again. I love the two main characters and all the supporting characters. I love the plot line and the dark backgrounds of both main characters that helps deepen the love story between them. The ending of the story is one of my favorite endings of any romantic novel. It is a quick read and will keep those pages turning as you read. It's great for a beach read, rainy weekend, or just a day when you want to lose yourself in an amazing love story. Note: Read this one after Rachel Gibson's "See Jane Score" because the characters overlap. If you haven't read "See Jane Score", it isn't a problem as this is not a sequel. It just shares some characters and reading "See Jane Score" first made this story all that more special to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was typical, but lacked serious character development, especially Rob's character. Some of the steamier scenes lack serious emotion that makes romance novels so great. I wouldn't recommend this to my friends as a good read.
gaele More than 1 year ago
AudioBook Review: Stars: Overall 4 Narration 3 Story 4 The first I’ve encountered in this series, I wasn’t 100% certain if the hockey would be prevalent (I love hockey) and it wasn’t over-mentioned. Sure, Rob is a retired player who now owns a sporting goods store, and is doing everything he can to outlast and revamp his image as a hard driving player, on and off the ice. See, he’s still regrouping from a puck bunny encounter gone Fatal Attraction that ended his marriage and almost derailed his career. He’s a ‘hands off’ guy now when it comes to getting involved, relationships and even easy encounters in bars. Kate is having a rough day, week, life. She’s just frustrated and running to regroup – and moving to Idaho just may help her do that after the go-go-go of Vegas. Smart, funny and now OH So Bored –she’s intrigued by the handsome man, and a few drinks in give her the liquid courage to make her move. Which he turns down. Flat. Oh this was fun – Kate is smart, funny, determined and not willing to take any guff from anyone. Rob is cute and adorable, even with his history: it really was clear that he wanted to move on and not be the center of gossip and speculation, and until Kate, he managed this quite well. Adding to their connection is a full frontal series of conflicts that plays on the fact that both are a bit uncertain about relationships and trust, and make their interactions sing. With a sweet romance building between Kate’s grandfather and Rob’s mother, and some wonderful town gossipy moments – the story is clever, sweet and fun. Narration was provided by Kathleen Early and she does a solid job narrating this lighter story: Kate is instantly available to listeners, and Rob, while not solidly ‘masculine’ in tone does have a variation in delivery and a slightly deeper register, allowing his voice to be recognized. Other characters are brought to the story neatly, if a bit generically, and present with a touch of audio interest to hold attention. Fun and light, this is a nice mix of romance and woman’s fiction, with a touch of fun fantasy thrown in. I received an audio copy of the title from the publisher via AudioBook Jukebox for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
AskAJulie More than 1 year ago
I love a good, quick-read, especially when it is Chick Lit. The main characters were well developed. Sometimes backgrounds of characters are only mentioned briefly, but the history of these characters and their personal experiences really shaped who they were and how they acted in their relationship. The plot was fairly typical. Two characters who didn't click initially find themselves in a situation, and their relationship develops from there. But it was fun novel that flowed really well. I read it quickly because I couldn't put it down. Although it isn't mentioned, I saw in other reviews that this novel should be read after the author's See Jane Score novel because it has some of the same characters. I didn't realize that until after I finished Trouble with Valentine's Day, so I am looking forward to reading another one of Rachel's novels.
blingtastic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
will not read of Gibson's worst books. Hero was a joke...not sincere at all...Rob was not very likable at all (between the adultery and the disturbing facial hair), and when he finally does "declare his love" it feels totally false, like he's just saying it to get her back. Honestly, I had no illusions that this couple would "live happily ever after" because the way this book ended, they won't.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Though I cringed and was a bit doubtful of the credibility of how the main characters first met (rang false to me), this ended up being an okay read. The main characters have a lot of chemistry, and I found myself really only reading for that, as the rest of the story bored me a bit...If you like sexy, steamy reads, try this one out.
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For Kate Hamilton, the trouble with Valentine's Day is that she's thirty-three and single and just been dumped by her boyfriend. Her confidence is at an all-time low, so she decides to hit on a hunk in a bar. Not a smart move. This is a funny romantic comedy set in Gospel, Idaho, the setting of one of Rachel Gibson's earlier books. A few of the earlier characters make an appearance, but it's basically the story of Kate, who has returned to Gospel to help her widowed grandfather with his small grocery store. Kate has had one 'run-in' with former hockey player Rob Sutter [who, as you have guessed, shot her down on Valentine's]. Turns out Rob owns the sporting goods store across the square from her grandfather's store. Plus her grandfather and his mother begin dating. I found this to be a fun story, and it certainly has its steamy side. I have read a few negative comments about Rob - he's imperfect. He hasn't always handled his life well. He's made Mistakes. And he's hirsute. All I can say is that I had a great visit to Gospel, Idaho.
TheBooknerd on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this book quite a bit -- even more than I anticipated. I enjoy Gibson's work in general, but I have to admit that some of her books are better than others. I rather expected this one to be among those "others" when I bought it, simply because Rob Sutter never impressed me much in the other Chinooks books. However, I'm very happy to say I was wrong. Rob was a fun character with quite a bit of substance to him, as was Kate. The interactions between these two were very entertaining but also believable -- the perfect composition of a good love story. Moreover, this book was sexy and humorous. Of course, for the sake of thoroughness I will point out some long-standing issues I have with Gibson writing, which are present in this book. First, she tends to overwrite scenes -- telling you about each step the character takes in making a pot of coffee, or pointing out that she threw a candy wrapper in the trash, or what have you. Overall, it's not a big deal, but sometimes this is distracting and slows down the pace. Second, Gibson doesn't spend much time on the Big Conflict that inevitably takes place before the Big Resolution. She's fairly formulaic on this: the couple hooks up, the couple is happy on the surface, conflict occurs and the couple fights or separates, they're both miserable for a few pages, they reconnect and everything is perfect. Personally, I like a dose of angst with my romance, and I really wish Gibson wouldn't rush to the Happily Ever After -- especially since I otherwise love her writing.But, yes, I liked this book and will continue to read novels by this author.
lrobe190 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Dumped by her boyfriend and burned out in her job as a private inventigator, Kate Hamilton is on her way to visit her grandfather in Gospel, Idaho. Stranded at a ski lodge for the night, she meets a handsome stranger at the bar and uncharacteristically attempts to ""pick him up"". Turned down flat, her pride is bruised. Imagine her surpise and embarrassment when she realizes that the owner of the new sports equipment store next to her grandfather's market in Gospel is Rob Sutter, the man in the bar. This book is full of humor, hot sex and memorable characters. Kate and Rob are both strong characters with a hot sexual attraction between them. The interaction between Kate and the townspeople is funny. This is a very enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Did not care that sex was the main theme rather than a good story.
caroldh4 More than 1 year ago
The Trouble With Valentine’s Day is book three in the Chinooks Hockey Team series by Rachel Gibson. Rachel is a new to me author and I chose this book because I was looking for something fun to read in honor of Valentine’s Day. I have to tell you that I am seriously in love. This book delivered on every level, it was fun, sweet, fast paced, sexy and just made me swoon. I finished it at bed time last night and when I woke up this morning and thought about it, I still got the tummy twirls. Kate Hamilton was a successful private investigator for a large firm in Las Vegas. After she was dumped by her boyfriend of two years, something happened at work, something that made her doubt herself in every way, so she quit and walked away. She decided to spend some time with her widowed grandfather in Gospel, Idaho. Her grandfather was seventy years old and still owned and ran the local grocery store. But he had never gotten over the loss of his Tom Jones loving wife. On the way to Gospel, Kate stops for the night in Sun Valley. It’s Valentine’s Day and Kate, for the first time ever, decides to proposition the very good looking man she is sitting with at the bar, only to be rejected. Even with the blow to her dignity, at least she’ll never have to see the man again. That is, until he walks into the front door of her grandfather’s store two weeks later. “No doubt about it, Rob Sutter was hot. The kind that made a girl tingle in interesting places. Not Kate, though. He didn’t make her tingle. She was immune.” Rob Sutter was a successful hockey player for the Seattle Chinooks. He was living the dream, until poor judgment on his part triggered a chain of events that ended his career and changed his life. He moved to Gospel to be near his mother and ended up loving it there. He started Sutter Sports, selling and renting summer sporting equipment, and took up fly fishing. He had learned as a boy how to tie his own fishing flies and took great pleasure in the art now. It calmed him. Rob had his reasons for turning down the beautiful woman that had propositioned him that night in the bar. But he hadn’t forgotten her. Something about her stayed with him. When he got home from his ski trip two weeks later and walked in to the grocery store across from his shop and came face to face with her, he was surprised. Whether it was a good or bad surprise had yet to be determined. “I think about you when you’re not around, and the really pathetic part is, I’m not sure you even like me very much.” “I like you. Even when I try really hard not to like you.” “Just think of all the fun we could have if you didn’t try so hard.” While Rob and Kate are each dealing with plenty of personal issues, they are also dealing with their growing interest in each other. Although what these two feel is instant lust, they don’t immediately act on it and I liked that about these two. It was kind of a slow build and so worth it when they both finally gave in. Their banter was so much fun and I really enjoyed being able to get into both of their heads. All the while, Kate is not only trying to help her grandfather move on but to find her own purpose in Gospel as well. This book was just delightful. I loved every page of it and could not stop reading. These two have etched themselves into my heart. I love it when I try a new author and fall in love. I most definitely want to read more of Rachel’s work. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Grandma_K_ More than 1 year ago
Gibson is hilarious! Her heroine is feisty and fun. This book has some truly memorable characters, including the hot, romantic duo who spar and then kiss and makeup...and do it again...and again. Best of all, this book has a big heart with sweet ending. Almost better than chocolates!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed. Look forward to other books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
ejrER More than 1 year ago
This was the most trashy book I have ever read. I had no clue of this by reading your recommendation on my Nook. Now I want to know how to get rid of it on my Nook.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought the characters would be more engaging based upon the other reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed the book. My one complaint - the repeated use of Rob's vehicle make. Felt like a commercial should come on. Hope the author received a free HUMMER for the over use of the logo.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed reading always liked author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Omg i thought we had something we kissed. Ur so friggin desperate.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
We r a couple .
Anonymous More than 1 year ago