The Fictional Hockey League

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

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Virgin's Secret Marriage: Post 13

Chapter 9: The No-Longer Virgin’s Not-So-Secret Marriage
(Posts for the foreseeable future may be a bit brief and slapdash. Sincere apologies—it’s been a heck of a few months and the Commissioner is digging her way out of them.)

We left off with the Great Box Cliffhanger and it turns out that it actually was a cliffhanger, in that when Joe returns we discover that he did not, in fact, unpack his boxes. Instead, ::gasp!!:: they’ve been [dunh dunh dunh] stolen.

Joe is thinking all about the sex, and not about putting away the groceries or about unpacking, when he gets back to the house. But Emma wants to congratulate him for his hard work (apparently not with sex) which leads Joe discovering that all of his hockey memorabilia has been stolen, along with Emma’s jewelry box. And none of the hockey memorabilia was insured. And apparently everyone (?) knew that he owned it.

According to a neighbor that the sheriff (remember, Joe’s brother Mac) interviews, the thieves “used some sort of electronic device to open the garage door” to get in (114). Personally, I use some sort of electronic device to open my garage door every day. It’s called a garage door opener.

After Mac leaves, Joe vows to protect Emma, horrified that he’d left her home alone when the thieves might have been there—which is sort of stupid since they absolutely weren’t at the time.

Neither of them can sleep, so they decide to go to bed together, but not to have sex. There is, of course, some touching, and Emma “was glad he hadn’t shaved his chest” (116).

Does anyone else find that line really odd? I mean, not that Joe doesn’t shave his chest—I find that quite normal for the average guy. (There isn’t anything wrong with shaving one’s chest, either. I just don’t think that shaving one’s chest is so common that Emma would remark on Joe not doing so.)

They talk a bit about trying to find out where the thief or thieves might sell the hockey memorabilia since lots of it was super rare.

Anyone else think it’s just a coincidence that the day before Tiffany Lamour was in the house commenting on that same hockey stuff? No? Just me? Okay.

They agree to go to sleep, but then Emma starts touching Joe all over. Joe decides to pretend to be asleep as a tactic, but he has to drop that when she goes for his boxers. He tells her they can’t sleep together since she’s probably only wanting to because she’s had a shock. When she says he should be wanting to get in her pants (pajamas?) he says he’s just now developed “a selfless streak.”

“You’ve always been noble. That was in fact the problem. Had you not been noble you would not have refused to stay married to me when you found out who my dad was or that my parents would not approve of my even dating you, never mind becoming your wife!” (120).

Uh, what? Emma is suddenly rewriting history. That is not okay. Every time the story of their ‘marriage’ comes up, Emma has said that they got married, Joe found out who her parents were and immediately had their marriage annulled in order to save his career. And she has been bitter about that since the very first time she thought of him in this book. Suddenly that action is now cast as noble?

I love you, Calvin, but no.

“Instead, you would have taken my virginity that night and consummated our marriage, and used that fact as leverage to keep your spot on my father’s NHL team. But you didn’t, and because of that we both suffered” (120).

This description of what Joe didn’t do is such a far cry from Emma’s description of what he did do as putting her career ahead of her that it’s like it’s two different novels. What the hell?

Despite this not-very-compelling conversation, Joe still won’t sleep with her because he wants her to want him when she wants him, instead of as a reaction to being robbed. Emma gets angry about this and insists that they can have sex and still be friends. So they have sex.

Finally. Geez.

Sex, and Emma’s first orgasm, is apparently so magical that it makes Emma declare (albeit only to herself) that she loves Joe. Joe is more concerned with the fact that Emma was a virgin and hadn’t told him. She says it didn’t matter and that someone had to be her first. He asks the oh-so insightful question of, “Is that so?”

Emma didn’t want to feel like they were in the midst of a high-stakes play-off game, but that was exactly how she felt as they faced each other and he waited for a more detailed explanation of her actions. As if Joe was the star shooter, bearing down on her, and she was the goalie trying to defend the net (125).

I suppose that’s a moderately better use of hockey terminology than the penalty calling make-out scene. Marginally. Although I don’t know exactly why she feels she’s under fire, since his question was, I repeat, “Is that so?”

I mean, who could possibly resist such an inquisition?

Her internal response? So she had encouraged him to make love to her! All the way! So what? (125).

You know, just because she was a virgin doesn’t mean she has to act like a young teenager. “All the way”? Seriously? Did they “round the bases”, too?

Joe just says that now their marriage is consummated and he liked it and they’re going to have sex again. Fortunately the chapter ends before we end up seeing that. I’m grateful, because I feared it would be more hockey terminology.

I’d like to point out that the marriage is no longer secret and the heroine is no longer a virgin, so this book should be almost over now, right?

(Oh god. What if we started having hockey terminology sex, like with this book, mixed with anthropomorphized naughty bits, like in other books? … I think I just broke my brain.)


  1. So there is one advantage to being out absurdly late: I can come home and read the FHL. Of course, it also means that I am likely to have nightmares about hockey-anthropomorphic bits, and that makes me a little sad. (And o, that shooter / goalie image... Nope. Nope, nope, nope.)

    On the one hand, hooray finally getting it over with and having The Sex. On the other, lordy, what do these two see in each other? So not ok, this "relationship." But romance tropes, so. No wonder I'm so cynical.

    1. You must have been out late! Although I'm not sure what time the new posts go up.

    2. 6am eastern time, so yeah, Gutenberg was out late. (What were you doing, R??? Late night hockey?)

    3. Well, Commissioner, sort of: NHL15. It turns out that video game hockey is pretty hilarious. And you can play it in the literal middle of the night when all the rinks are closed. (How dare they close. HOW DARE THEY.)

      Upon further consideration, the revisionist history is ... more problematic than I thought. With its misogynistic subtext etc. Excellent excuse to use Calvin & Hobbes, though.

  2. I am still laughing about the garage door opener. Stupid cops are stupid.

    Anyhoo, I've been writing about revisionist history as well. And I spend far too much time wondering about manscaping—for professional reasons only, of course. It's like we live in two parallel universes, except yours in the American south and mine is in hockey-obsessed Canada.

    So, if you do the right thing and return your immature, lying young bride to her home, intact, your career gets reamed by her father. But if you defile her and blackmail her father, your career soars? I'm not quite understanding the logic of this universe.

    Calvin and Hobbs, ftw!

    1. This universe's logic *isn't*. :-P

      I wish my universe was in hockey-obsessed Canada, but it's awfully chilly up there, and it's hard to get a job in my field *anywhere*, let alone Canada. Boo.