The Fictional Hockey League

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

Monday, April 27, 2015

The Virgin’s Secret Marriage: Post 14

Chapter 10: Emma Hart, Girl Detective

(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.)

Emma is greeting at the Wedding Inn by Joe’s mother telling her that she has that “honeymoon glow” (127), which, I don’t know about you, but I find kind of creepy coming from her mother-in-law. On the other hand, Emma and Joe apparently have had All the Sex during the night and that morning. I imagine Emma must be pretty sore, geez.

Then the Subplot Bride shows up in tears and Emma hurries away to in quire what’s wrong. Turns out that the Subplot Groom has been having “secret conversations on the phone” and “sneaking out around two this morning, only to sneak back in around four” (128). I sincerely hope you all see what’s going on here because the book is broadcasting it loud and clear. Emma, however, only sees that she needs to get the Subplot Bride & Groom back together, or else her reputation as a wedding planner will suffer.

Then Joe shows up at the Wedding Inn, because apparently he has nothing better to do between workouts, and they bother the Inn’s cook long enough to steal some lunch. Then Mac the Sheriff arrives to tell Joe and Emma that there’d been another break in the night before (around four am, ::cough, cough:: ) and they’d been caught, and they’d had a list of homes that had been broken into on them, including Joe’s house. On the other hand, they did not have any of Joe’s hockey memorabilia on them.

Mac (finally) asks Joe if anyone knew how much the memorabilia meant to him or how much it was worth, since the hockey stuff is the only stuff that doesn’t fit the pattern of break-ins… which is odd since the book never bothered to tell us that there was a pattern before. 

Ooooh, mystery.
Joe thinks really hard and (finally) comes up with Tiffany Lamour.

Then, because apparently the Wedding Inn is also the Hart Family Grand Central Station, Joe’s other brother, Cal the doctor, shows up just in time to inform everyone that Tiffany Lamour has been at the hospital asking questions about Joe. Gee, that’s not suspicious at all. Thank you, convenient other brother, for that well timed information!

Mac decides that Tiffany must have some connection to the thieves and had them steal Joe’s stuff, but that there’s someone else actually masterminding the whole situation. Everyone splits up, and Emma decides to play Girl Detective. I guess since Emma no longer has “virgin” as an identity, she’s trying on new ones. She realizes that the Subplot Groom was

·         Acting suspicious
·         Needs money, due to the wedding demands
·         Is the manager of the golf club and thus knows when people are out of town

But she needs proof! (dunh, dunh, dunh, duunnnhhhh)

The Virgin Girl Detective's Secret Marriage & the Hockey Mystery ... of DOOM was probably too long a title
Conveniently, she already has plans for the Subplot Bride and Groom to have tea at the Wedding Inn that day in order to rekindle their romance. (Now, I love tea as much as the next girl. I’m drinking a mug right now in fact. And I firmly believe in the healing powers of tea, and the soothing powers of tea, and the caffeinating powers of tea. But I don’t think tea is going to be enough to bring a fighting, suspicious couple under stress back to their old romance.)

But as I said, conveniently. So Emma gets Hannah, the mechanic, to stand in the parking lot and pretend that Emma’s car is dead so she can trick the Subplot Groom into lending her his car, so she can snoop. I’m not sure why Hannah even has to be there, frankly. I mean, sure, having the town’s mechanic declare Emma’s car to be dead lends an air of authority, but was the Groom really going to ask?

“Excuse me, my car is dead, and since I’m your wedding planner and need to pick up your tux, may I borrow your car? Especially since you’re scheduled to be here having Romantic Tea with your fiancée?”

“Is your car really dead?”

I mean, that’s just not the answer one gives in this situation.

But before Emma can put her plan into action, Joe shows up again. I know it’s the off season, but damn dude, don’t you have things to do? Geez. Then he badgers her, in my opinion. He asks if she’s busy, and when she says yes, he says she doesn’t look busy. When Emma insists that he is, he demands to know what she’s doing. She says she’s waiting for someone and he says he’ll join her. When she says she’d rather he didn’t, he demands to know what he missed because he doesn’t recall them having a fight.

If you’re going to continue being so irritating, Joe, we’re going to have a fight. Oh wait, you’re fictional and Emma isn’t going to stand up to you… There’s some canoodling and Emma finally pushes him away. She doesn’t want to tell him her plan because he’s a “straight shooter” (140) and wouldn’t go along with it.

Joe still won’t leave her alone and he drops a bomb, that he’s agreed for the both of them to have dinner with Emma’s parents that evening, and that’s where the chapter ends.

Man, if I were Emma I’d be so pissed off at this guy, from him showing up all the random time, to him getting her all hot and bothered the night before but then disappearing to go freakin’ grocery shopping, to now accepting an invitation for the two of them without asking her first.

I suppose there’s a reason I’m not a romance novel heroine. Well... okay, more than one reason. Kind of a lot of reasons, actually.


  1. I would say your common sense makes you entirely unsuited to be a romance heroine. However, your affection for hockey players could be in your favour.

    Not having read the clues, I thought the subplot was going to be that the bride and groom drop out of the wedding, so Joe and Thingy get married instead! But I optimistically hope for exciting plot twists that never happen. You would think that I would have learned by now.

    1. I've tried to write romance novels, actually (regency ones, but maybe I should try hockey romance...) and I think you're exactly right. Common sense + heroine = Not a Romance. And I can't write a heroine without common sense.