by Helena Hunting
***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***
I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”
I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.
Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.
I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.
At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.
I shouldn’t want her.
But I do.
I should leave her alone.
But I won’t.
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5 “want or let?” stars
Pucked Off was way more serious and dark than I had anticipated. The very first chapter jumpstarts the intensity of this story and begins the journey of healing and love. But before you can get the HEA, you have to deal with all the heartache along the way and though it’s painful, by the ending, my heart was full and my smile was bright.
We met Lance in the previous books and though we don’t know much of what he was going through at the time, we know enough to understand that there are things in his life that are far from positive. Tragedy in childhood can do a number on someone and poor Lance was affected so completely by tragic circumstances in his past. He’s a tortured soul and a complex person. Filled with guilt, he has trouble accepting the good things that come into his life.
Poppy met Lance when she was young and one particular interaction was ingrained on her heart. She hadn’t seen him in a decade when she ran into him a year ago. The hopeless romantic in her thought she’d finally have chance at being with Lance when it goes terribly wrong. Now, a year later, they meet again and as his massage therapist, she wants to remain firmly in a professional relationship. Will she be able to resist her desires when Lance has other plans that may result in crossing the line?
I’m suddenly terrified of the mistake I’ve made in giving him my number.
Because now I’m not sure what’s going to be worse: him finally remembering who I am and how we know each other, or me realizing I never left enough of an impact to warrant being remembered at all.
I loved this book! It’s sweet, sexy, swoony, and funny with angst and seriousness to add depth to the story. The storyline was surprising and the characters wonderfully complex. Lance and Poppy make a wonderful pair while also being amazing individually.
I absolutely loved funny, flirty Lance. He was fantastic in every way. He is sweet, sexy, and totally swoony. He was completely different than what we usually saw of him but it turns out it is his true self we are seeing and I loved it. For as tightly closed up as he is, I loved watching him trust Poppy enough to open up to her, and that he was honest and vulnerable around her. I adored how kind and sensitive he was with her, and when he remembers the past, OMG my heart swelled. That first kiss – it was perfect, he was perfect.
Poppy is gorgeous inside and out. She is a breath of fresh air and down to earth, likable and super friendly. She is funny, sweet, and has a beautiful heart. I loved the patience and understanding she had for what Lance was dealing with and I think she was the perfect person for him.
The banter is wonderful and every interaction between Poppy and Lance is laced with a sexually charged electricity. Being with Poppy is unlike anything Lance has ever experienced and I loved how she made him feel. Situations that usually make him very uncomfortable don’t when they include Poppy.
I get it now, that this is the way it’s supposed to be. This feeling is what I have been missing.
For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.
Tash is toxic- a poison that infects Lance no matter how much he fights it and I hated her. I seriously hated her and all the things she put Lance through. I knew she was gonna mess with his life and the angst in this book made my heart beat erratically and my stomach coil tightly. When the inevitable confrontation went down, it hurt but I loved the way Poppy reacted. The maturity of her response was astounding and her levelheadedness just verified her feelings for Lance.
“I’m messed up, Poppy. I think there are parts of me that can’t be fixed…”
“I don’t need to fix you, Lance. I’ll take you as you are. I just want you to be happy.”
Though it is an intense read, there are plenty of humorous moments that take the intensity down a notch and place it back into the rom com genre of the Pucked series. Overall, Pucked Off is fantastic and one of my favorites in the series.
*ARC generously provided by the author and Social Butterfly PR in exchange for an honest review*
Pucked series deleted scenes and outtakes
Free: Kindle Ebook
Complete set of Helena Hunting’s PUCKED series autographed & personalized
The Escapist Book Blog is not responsible for this giveaway.
About the Author
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the PUCKED series, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.
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