A sizzling hot and sweet story that will pull at your heartstrings.
Infamous NHL defenseman Lance “Romance” Romero is known for his excess. Too many women, too many fights in and out of the hockey rink. The last of which sent him from the hospital to massage therapy, something he avoids at all costs because he barely tolerates people touching him. But instead of the crawling feeling he usually gets, when a sexy and sweet therapist puts her hands on him he experiences the opposite.
Perhaps he feels a comfortable warmth because she seems vaguely familiar and the more time he spends with her the more he craves not just her touch but her company as she fills his dark voids with goodness and a happiness he doesn’t believe he deserves. But he trusted the wrong person once and it’s only caused further damage to his already tortured soul. Can he trust his redhead therapist with his bleak secrets?
“I wanna deserve you. Why can’t I find a way to deserve you?”
Expecting Pucked Off to follow in its predecessors same lightness mixed with naughty humor I was pleasantly surprised by Lance’s deep, touching story. Helena Hunting expertly pens a well-balanced story between sweet moments, blistering hot attraction and fun dynamics, but it was Lance’s complicated back story that engrossed me.
“I don’t know how to exist without the chaos, and I seek it because it confirms the message beaten into me as a kid: I deserve to be a victim.”
Having had a less than ideal upbringing, Lance’s self-worth and worldview has been harshly distorted. He can barely stand being touched and has acquired harmful patterns he can’t seem to break free of. If that wasn’t enough to feel for the guy, the only person he had confided his secrets in, used them against him and made him feel he’d never be worthy of the love he desperately craves. Especially when his friends are all in loving, committed relationships.
He’s perfect in his imperfection. I wanted to hug him and badly needed him to find someone that could see past his notoriety, who’d care and love him for his goodness. Who better than the girl who had seen glimpses of the real him a decade earlier? Our heroine is absolutely perfect for him. She’s strong and independent, but also sweet, kind and forgiving.
Even though trusting her with his secrets took him time, courage and a huge leap of faith, Lance doesn’t hesitate to show her how much he’s interested in wholly being with her. He’s not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and display his vulnerability with her. I loved how their relationship developed, it felt real and beautifully heartfelt. It was hard not to fall completely for this wonderful couple.
Lance’s story had been building throughout the series, I just wasn’t aware that he was so damaged but I loved it, because I love reading about broken characters. I feel so much for them and with them, but mostly what I love is that wonderful emotion I get when after too many struggles they manage to free themselves of their hefty burdens and find contentment. Their journey towards a happy ending is just so much sweeter.
On a last quick note I just want to quickly mention that it was great catching up with the rest of the Pucked guys and gals from the series.
Pucked Off is book #5 in the Pucked series by Helena Hunting. It is a heartfelt, emotional standalone contemporary romance that had me flipping pages until the very end. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.
Amazon -> http://amzn.to/2kCzn7r
* I was given an ARC of this book via NetGalley. The excerpts taken from that copy. Images are from pinterest. *