The Fictional Hockey League

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

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Virgin's Secret Marriage: Post 9

Chapter 5: You’re not the boss of me!

(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.)

Well, hello faithful FHL readers! I’ve MISSED YOU SO MUCH. Let us never part again! (…no promises.) Can you believe it’s the end of the regular hockey season? And my Coyotes couldn’t even properly tank all the way (but still did worse than the Oilers, my usual yardstick, admittedly along with the Sabres, for how bad a team is doing.)

But you didn’t come here to read me talk about how terrible my team did this year. No! You came here to read about the incredibly odd choices of Emma and Joe, brand new rightwing for the Carolina Storm.

After all this time since I’ve posted, you might be wondering “who?” Let me ‘splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. /princessbride.
Seven years ago: AHL player Joe and college student Emma met, fell in love, ran away together, got married, and thirty minutes later got it annulled because Joe found out that Emma was the daughter of team owner of his team’s main club (the Storm), to which he’d just been called. Emma’s parents found out, and she never explained that she hadn’t been coerced, and Joe was sent back to the minors and traded.

In the intervening years: Joe has become a successful NHLer. Emma has stayed a virgin (hence the title) and become a wedding planner, which necessitates frequently working very closely with Joe’s mother. Meanwhile, there has also been a sports reporter/gossip named Tiffany Lamour who has been pretty much sexually harassing her guests and has it in for Joe because he has refused to succumb to her “charms.”

Three days ago: Joe signed with the Storm under the stipulation that he stay away from Emma but was also strong-armed into house sitting for the team owner. Emma went to said house, all unknowingly, leading to the extremely unlikely scenario of the two of them grappling in the darkened kitchen, naked, flinging utensils about (cookie jar, rolling pin), and the police and media being called.

Two days ago: Joe went camping to avoid the press. Emma lost a major job because the bride’s parents suspect her morals.

Today: Joe had a press conference to announce his signing with the Storm which was preempted by the gossip about Emma. Emma took over and spun things only to be blindsided by Tiffany Lamour who had found out about their clandestine marriage and discovered that they had not, in fact, successfully annulled it.

Joe and Emma went to the Most Useless Lawyer ever. Then decided that the Very Best Course of Action would be to get re-married and pretend that they’d been in love and together the last seven years.  They do this immediately in Emma’s apartment, inviting their parents, a photographer, the clergy and the media.


Now the two of them are (unhappily) remarried. Emma has declared to herself that she will absolutely, in no way and under no circumstances, fall in love with or sleep with Joe. Yeahhh, that’s gonna go well

Emma assumes that Joe is going to leave her apartment now that the official festivities are over, so that she can sleep alone, as per usual. She says no one would know but the two of them. Joe points out that if someone finds out—like the newsvan that is still sitting in her parking lot just waiting to see if they’ll honeymoon or if he’ll leave because it’s a sham marriage—then the whole deception was for naught.

Emma gets doubly irritated. On one hand, she doesn’t want to share a bed. On the other hand, she’s annoyed that he’s looking at the situation from a practical point of view in order to protect his career. Now, I’ve said before and will say again that you get to feel how you feel. (And I get to write crappy sentences like that one.) All emotions, even nonsensical, contradictory ones belonging to fictional characters, are valid. But these seem to stem from some deep confusion in Emma. She was hurt in the past by Joe choosing his career over her (he broke off the relationship upon finding out who she was—which says to me he also broke it off because she’d been lying to him for months) seven years ago.  So she wants him to value her instead of his career now, I guess? But it’s been seven years; I don’t think she gets to expect that.

The conversation gets interrupted by a phone call, during which the overbearing mama who had fired Emma for being morally suspect now wants her back as wedding planner because her (re)marriage was just on the news and now Emma is married to a famous, successful professional athlete. Charming. Since Emma still gets her full fee (because, according to a previous chapter, she was fired so close to the wedding, I would have told this person to shove it and still collected my paycheck. Emma, however, is all sweetness and light and grace and a better, more sugary person than I am and agrees to continue working for the family.

Post phone call, Joe returns to the question of sleeping arrangements, saying that they can handle one night in Emma’s bedroom together, since they’ll move into his house the next day. This ignites a whole other conversation, with Emma pointing out that she likes her apartment and she isn’t going to move.

“Yes.” Joe braced both of his hands on his waist. “You are.”
Emma tossed her head. “You are not the boss of me” (70).

Emma is, however, acting like a pre-teen. Does anyone seriously say “you’re not the boss of me”? Like, ever? Especially after the age of maybe 12? I’m not saying I like Joe’s highhanded decision making (that they will move into his house), but I do think that Emma hasn’t been thinking—they’re going to live together to make this (incredibly stupid) deception work, and her reaction is laughable.

Joe doesn’t give it much attention, either, choosing to just scoop her off her feet and carry her to her bedroom.

 My loathing for this couple isn’t quite at the level as it was for the one in Play the Man, but my credulity of their stupidity is pretty damn strained.

*Yes, I used to be a HUGE Supernatural fan, why do you ask?


  1. Welcome back, Commish! I hope you had a good time in Vancouver, and it's great to have your posts back regardless of how frequently they appear.

    The Coyotes almost made it to the bottom, and all they need is a little lottery luck. I think they're already set up well for next season with lots of good young talent. I watched the World Juniors, and you've got two of the standout players. I also think that Buffalo's GM may have angered the hockey gods when he declared that Ted Nolan was fired because the team came in last, and not because Murray traded away all the good players.

    Am I avoiding the elephant in the room? Yes! Books like this are why I don't read much romance (other than hockey romance). I will say only this, a town where a news crew can spend so much time stalking a hockey player must have zero crime and excitement. And now I want to say "You're not the boss of me" to someone today. Too bad I'm self-employed.

    1. Vancouver was faaaaaabulous. Sadly, couldn't see a game because the 'Nucks were finishing up their last roadtrip while I was there, but c'est la vie. Maybe next year.

      ::sigh:: My poor Yotes. At least we still have OEL, is what I keep telling myself. And not just because he's hilarious to talk to and totally posed for a picture with my stuffed bat without hesitation.

      I now live in a small town. And some Big News broke in small town last week. And even here, with Big News that impacted many, many people (albeit in a very, very small way), and which had a juicy salacious gossip aspect to it, it was still slower to travel than the news crew and rumor in this book. I maintain that Fictional Small Towns are in an entirely different dimension that real ones and that they thus operate under different laws of reality.

      If you think this was bad, though, just wait until Wednesday. Because OMG... I can't explain without giving it away but ... yeah. Wednesday's post is speshul.