Title: Pucked Off
Author: Helena Hunting
Series: Pucked #5
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
Published: February 21st 2017
Rating: 4/5 stars ★★★★
“I’m not sure I believe that time heals all wounds. I don’t think it’s as simple as that. Sure, time is a factor in washing away old pain, but it’s what, or who, those losses and wounds are replaced by that makes the real difference.”
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.
4 of 5 stars to Pucked Off by Helena Hunting
I’m not sorry I have to skip two books in the series. I just had to have my hands on Lance’s story!
I didn’t need to ask Helena Hunting to know that Lance is his favorite hero in the Pucked series. It’s obvious in the way she took her sweet time prepping us for his story, with the small glimpses we see of him in the first installments; with the way she carved his character with a lot more depth and emotion. From these glimpses alone, I surmised that Lance is a player and I hated how he made so much more trouble for Buck than was already happening. He seemed like such a bad influence that I thought, would I even want to read his story?
But the moment Poppy was introduced in Buck’s book, I felt a compelling desire to know more of her story with Lance and in the process give Lance his chance. She was such a sweet girl talking to Buck about her high school crush on Lance while removing the phallic drawing on his forehead. I knew at that moment, I wanted her for him; this seemingly sweet and innocent lady who would be good for someone like Lance; Lance who’s on the brink of self-destruction.
Pucked Off is probably the most special out of all the Pucked installments because the story is more emotional and profound. Lance’s life had been full of pain and sorrow that he never knew what to do with the good. I sympathize with his struggles over accepting anything remotely kind because he thought he didn’t deserve it. His mother and eventually Natasha, ruined him for that… until came Poppy who reminded him of all the good things in life.
Poppy is exactly what Lance needed. She is sweet, kind, hopeful and strong. She has her fair share of disappointments and heartbreaks but she remains positive. Lance unintentionally forgot about her even with the many times they met but she never held that against him.
I was ready for a cry fest, angst even, after reading the blurb but was quite disappointed to find that Hunting chose to keep this book light despite the heavy themes about abuse. I guess it makes sense, seeing that this is a sports-romcom. It’s just that the story could have been more.. if the ending wasn’t rushed and some conflicts were resolved thoroughly.
Having said that, Lance and Poppy’s book shall remain close to my heart.
***cover art: 2/5 stars. Nothing to say about it that hasn’t been already said.***