A woman with an obsession, a man with a weakness, a girl with a dream. This contemporary romance novel series develops around a mother/daughter/young man romantic triangle. The story traces the figure skating career of a Houston pairs team from their rocky startup, working their way up the competition ladder all the way to the Olympics. It depicts the effort and sacrifice that go into, and the agony and ecstasy that emerge from top-level figure skating competition. It contrasts the lifestyle and attitudes of a wealthy family with those of a young middle-class bachelor working his way through graduate school. The quest for a gold medal requires dedication, sacrifice, and resiliance. It is complicated by teenage pique, unspoken desires, emotional demands, and unfair competition. This first book in the series covers the rocky startup and early development of the pairs skating team. Accurate in its treatment of the sport of figure skating, it shows what determined competitors must be willing to do to survive the competition, both on and off the ice. "Passions flare both on and off the ice." "An enjoyable romance on ice. A consistently entertaining work of steamy fun." "Readers who enjoy a fun, light romance will get everything they hope for." "The well-written skating scenes are precise and accurate. Castle knows his way around a rink." - Kirkus review. "Titillating melodrama takes to the ice rink in this story of ambition and exploitation with a vividly portrayed setting." "Kent Castle’s well-researched novel explores more than the petty fights that fill the air with tension. Castle relies on his extensive knowledge of figure skating to create a glitzy, exciting setting." "Seduction mingles with humor in riveting scenes between Dean Steele, the experienced skater, and Millie, the mother of the aspiring young skater. They interact, adding a sexual charge by getting physical with each other. Their relationship is titillating" "This down-and-dirty view of competitive ice skating edges into a shock-worthy presentation that ranks high in entertainment value. It is likely an enjoyable tale for fans of this popular sport." - Clarion review. "The pace is fast and keeps the reader engaged. The plot is logical." "This is an adult book with explicit sexual content." - Blueink review.
“You did that on purpose!” The young woman said through clenched teeth as she picked herself up off the ice. “Did what?” Her skating partner asked, with a look of innocence. “Dropped me on the damn ice!” Shannon said. “I know you did! I could feel it.” “No,” Dean replied, “I just went off balance and lost control.” “Liar! You laid me down like a bowling ball, right in front of God and everybody. I’ve never been so embarrassed in my life!” “Maybe your fat ass has gotten too heavy for me to hold up in the air!” The girl fumed. “You did it because I ate that banana split! Damn you Dean!” “No, I just slipped. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.” “Jerk! You made me mow down that whole beginners class. I could have killed those little kids!” “Now, if eating the first banana split sends you sliding across the ice in practice, what’s the second one gonna do for ya?’” “You wouldn’t dare!” “You could end up doing a belly flop in front of the judges table at thirty miles an hour, right there on ESPN.” “You wouldn’t dare drop me during a performance!” “Look up the word ‘partner’ in the dictionary, you insolent little bitch!” “I know what it means, dammit! I just want to look … voluptuous.” “You’re a skater, Kid, not a porno queen. I have to lift your ass over my head with one arm. I don’t mind lifting muscle and bone, but my contract don’t say I gotta carry lard around!” “One ice cream won’t make me gain any weight!” “Bullshit! You’re gettin’ heavy faster than I’m gettin’ strong! You’ve got twenty pounds on any pairs girl in the business!” Shannon softened. “But you make it look so easy …” “It’s not easy! I just try not to show the strain.” “OK,” she sighed, “I was a bad girl. I’ll do better.” She grinned coyly. “How do I make it up to you?’ “Just keep your weight down, Shannon.” “No, I just figured ...” Her face lit up. “Maybe I have to submit to some disgusting sex act to atone for my sins!” “Not today, Smartass.” “A confession, then?” “There’s a Catholic church down the street. Go sit in the little booth and tell the nice man what a bitch you are.” “But don’t you want to hear about all the tacky things I’ve done?” Her eyes batted coyly. “I see all the tacky things you do!” “Oh, but I’ve done lots of naughty things you don’t know about.” She grinned knowingly. “Don’t you want to hear about ‘em?” “Like what? Poppin’ your gum in class?” “Oh, it’s loads worse than that, Dean!” The girl was in a playful mood. Dean was curious what transgressions she might offer up. “Maybe later,” he said. “Right now we’ve got practice.” Shannon’s mother sat next to Dean on the couch in his apartment. “When you skate,” she said, “It’s like you’re the bad little boy who just raided the cookie jar. And the audience knows you ate that cookie, and you’re absolutely unrepentant! You might pop a triple jump, or even a back flip, just for fun. Nobody’s gonna tell you what to do!” She moved closer. “I want to have a romantic relationship with you, Dean. I’ll even cover the out-of-pocket expenses. All you have to do is show up and bring your body.” Her face moved close to his. “I’ll take good care of you, Dean. No more painful nocturnal yearnings or embarrassing bulges in your clothing. Millie will keep the beast within as tame as a kitten and satisfy all your desires.” “You paint a picture of sensual enslavement, Millie. It’s straight out of ‘Samson and Delilah.’” “Try it for a week and see, Sonny Boy. No slave ever had it so good!” She put her mouth close to his ear. “Give in, Dean,” she whispered. “It will happen … and you’re gonna love it!” Millie smiled knowingly as she left. Dean shook his head and exhaled a sigh. Millie's childhood friend, De-de Lindstrom, appeared at the Country Club Halloween party expensively dressed as a peasant girl and dripping with diamonds. “Who’s your friend, Millie?” De-de asked in a sly, accusative tone. “Oh, that’s Shannon’s new skating partner, Dean Steele.” “He sure is cute, Millie. Did you pick him out?” “Actually ... I did.” “Millie Foster, shame on you! You've found yourself a boy-toy, and you’re being perfectly obnoxious about it! Bringing him here so I can drool over him.” “It’s all perfectly innocent, I assure you,” she said coyly. “Millie, I’m ashamed to admit I know you!” “No, you’re just jealous because you don’t have one.” “Millie Foster, you are slime! You’re getting your bell rung on a regular basis by … Tarzan over there, and you won’t even tell your dearest friend every juicy detail!” “I assure you, De-de, if anything … romantic should ever happen between us, I’ll call you on my cell phone the instant he rolls off of me.” They laughed. “I wonder if he’d like to come over and … clean my pool sometime.” “I’ll clean more than your pool if you so much as touch him,” Millie lectured, grinning. “I'd offer him a Corvette and a Givenchy wardrobe,” De-de said, “Not to mention an apartment with a king size bed and mirrors on the ceiling.” “De-de, you’re an animal! Mr. Steele is a nice young man. He thinks only of skating.” “With you around? I’ve seen your work, remember? Don’t play innocent with me, Millie!” "It’s all strictly business between us.” “You’re a despicable tease, Millie Foster. You were teasing boys in the second grade, and you’ve only gotten worse with the passage of time.” De-de paused. “OK, Millie! Just send him over to my house one afternoon a week, and I’ll be your friend forever!” “You already are my friend forever!” “OK, then, I’ll give you my jewelry.” “Oh, shit, De-de!” Millie laughed. “You’d never part with those gaudy bangles.” “You’re cruel, Millie.” “I’m not going to stand here and be insulted by the likes of you, De-de Lindstrom! Come over here and meet my friends.”
Kent Castle is a retired NASA engineer and a figure skating insider who lives in Houston, Texas. He has written three college textbooks and over sixty scientific articles, and has served on the faculty at four major universities. He also serves as an advisor to industry and government agencies. His fiction style combines consistent character behavior with accurate timing and detail. As a result, his stories sound like they actually happened. His characters act like real people with their strengths, weaknesses, motivations, and emotions laid bare. The plot unrolls more through dialogue that description. Each character's attitudes and desires become clear as they guide his or her behavior. Skating fans will appreciate the insight and attention to detail in his description of the figure skating world