The Fictional Hockey League

Critiquing hockey romance novels, of which there are many. Overthinking it is the point.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Body Check: Post 7-

Chapter Four: Magic Pants & Public Sex

The last chapter ended on a cliff-hanger, where Brody and Hayden ran into each other (literally) in the bowels of the arena and realized who each other is. While Hayden’s father is still there, they  pretend not have any real (or carnal) knowledge of each other, to the point where Hayden even says “charmed” in response to “it’s nice to meet you.”

After telling Brody that Hayden teaches “art” and then saying that that’s the same thing as art history, Presley hurries off to conveniently talk with the team coach, leaving the two of them to talk more openly. This scene is from Hayden’s point of view, but she can tell that Brody is feeling because apparently she can see all his emotions in his eyes. (On page 46 alone, amusement dances in his eyes, he blinks innocently, and his eyes darken “to a sensual glitter.”)

He flirts, seduces, and blackmails his way into having drinks with Hayden, saying that if she says no, he’ll tell her father what she’s saying no to. Which, I wonder if he actually would. He seems serious, and Hayden believes him. She thinks to herself that her father could handle knowing she has a sex life but that he’s very against her dating hockey players, having once delivered a diatribe to her when an opposing team’s player had asked her out, even though she’d declined. But honestly, I think in this scenario Brody has more to lose. Sure, it wouldn’t violate his contract or anything, but he’s entering free agency and the narrative has already been explicit about the role that Presley plays as team owner. If he doesn’t want Brody re-signed, he wouldn’t be re-signed. And having sex with his daughter might well be enough for that to occur.

Hayden is torn, though, since she did, obviously enjoy the sex (and the five orgasms, as Brody has her tell him), and so she acquiesces despite her better judgment. Plus, he mentions the word “fantasy” and she starts thinking about tying up Brody. I have to say, it’s refreshing to see a woman in a dominant fantasy position and it goes back to my thoughts in the third post. Plus, it makes Brody’s “easy way or hard way” blackmail method of getting a date a little more palatable.

I’m thinking the magic pants also helped. Hayden admires Brody, thinking he

…looked so darn edible in gray wool pants that hugged his muscular legs and a ribbed black sweater that stretched across his chest (46).

This struck me as odd (we’ll get to the magic part in a moment) because NHL players have a dress code. They are contractually obligated, at least since 2005, to wear suits to and from games, not wool pants and a black sweater. The narrative didn’t show Brody’s arrival at the arena, so he might have arrived at work up to par and then in his rush out the door put on easier to manage clothes… that he happened to bring along with him. We can, of course, handwave this because nowhere does it say that this is the NHL, as I’ve harped on before. This is the Chicago Warriors not the Chicago Blackhawks.

However, we cannot handwave the fact that while the two of them are still in the hallway discussing whether or not Hayden will join Brody for a drink, her drops her gaze to his crotch,

…almost expecting to see the long ridge of arousal pressing against the denim of his jeans. Fine, no almost about it. He had an erection all right… (49).

I would be far, far more surprised to find his pants had magically changed from gray wool to denim than I would be to see he has an erection, given they’ve been talking about sex.

What’s odder still than the magic pants is that when they get to the Lakeshore Lounge, it has “a strict dress code—blazers required” (50). Which means that had Brody just been wearing his contractually obligated suit, it wouldn’t matter if the owner “turned a blind eye to Brody’s casual attire” (50). And the jeans weren’t just a one-time typo. If it had been, if Brody were still in his gray wool pants, he’d probably fit in better. But the text declares “[h]e wanted nothing more than to shuck his jeans” while they’re in the bar (530.

Magic trousers aside, the whole trip to the bar is about sex. Hayden is surprised that they went to a bar at all, having thought drink was a codeword, as “nightcap” had been the previous evening. They find a secluded table and they get their drinks (a gin and tonic for Brody and a white wine for Hayden). Hayden declares that the previous night’s sex was just that: sex. “It’s not like the damn earth moved” she insists (52). Apparently Brody takes that as a challenge and within a few more small paragraphs, he has his hands up her skirt and in her panties.

Brody eventually brings Hayden to a silent orgasm, despite her token protestations, in an attempt to convince her that she wants a replay of the previous night’s activities as much as he does. Unfortunately, while she manages to keep quiet, she shakes, knocking over her wineglass so that it shatters on the marble floor and banging into the table so that the ice cubes in his glass jingle. As the waiter hurries over, he asks “Still want to tell me the earth didn’t move?”

Which is cute and all, but no, it didn’t. The table did. Just sayin’.


  1. Magic pants would be SO USEFUL. As would a good editor...

    1. I really hope that in the years I worked as a proofreader I never let anything as egregious as magic pants get through.