Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romance Review, Romance Serial, Romantic Comedy, Series, Standalone

Review: Pucked Over by Helena Hunting

Pucked Over - Helena Hunting
Pucked Over – Helena Hunting
Pucked series book 3

Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong?

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene.

But casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to get pucked over.

This series just keeps getting better. I was indifferent to Miller’s pal Randy Ballistic and actively disliked Sunny’s best friend Lily LeBlanc in the past book and expected to be pretty meh about their story. That was definitely not the case because I couldn’t put this book down. I guess one of the things that draws me in is how much Hunting can make me care or like a character I disliked or didn’t care about in the previous books. That’s skill and honestly, it’s kind of magical.

Lily and Randy’s story is a nice change of pace because there’s no puck bunny drama, no media interference, no pathetic inability to communicate. It’s a straightforward tale of two people whose insecurities prevent them being willing to admit they’re in love. I love Lily now, she’s awesome. It didn’t take long either, because I was in her corner from the beginning, she’s so likeable and fun.

Randy’s very likeable too and they’re both sympathetic characters. Randy’s sleazy dad abandoned the family in their darkest hour, while Lily’s dad never even acknowledged her existence. They both have deep scars due to the family circumstances. Randy won’t let himself get close to anyone because he believes he’s destined to be like his slutty dad, a deadbeat husband and father. Lily is poor and has sacrificed all her life, especially when she had to abandon her figure skating dreams on the cusp of Olympic trials because her sperm donor stopped paying child support and her struggling single mom couldn’t fit the bills for the expensive training.

What starts as a casual fling quickly morphs into more and while they both seem to handle it just fine at first, when feelings start to happen, everything changes. Randy refuses to acknowledge he wants more from Lily and can’t even consider the thought of a relationship. He just doesn’t think he’s capable or deserving. The poor guy won’t let himself show her how he really feels, believing he’d only hurt her eventually. Lily wants more but she doesn’t think Randy does so she ends things. Her friends are there to pick up the pieces and luckily his friends are there to give him the kick in the pants he needs to truly assess his situation.

This is a simple but engaging story of two people who want to be together but just don’t know how to do it. There’s no outside obstacle or jealous third party or silly trope and it’s a very enjoyable read.

All of the books in the Pucked series can stand alone or be read as a series but of course I have to encourage any interested readers to start with Violet and Alex’s story because it’s just so good. It’s important to note that Forever Pucked is book 4 of the series but it’s the sequel to the first book, so a continuation of Alex and Violet’s story. Squeeeee! That makes me seriously happy. Likewise, book 5 is the sequel to book 3 and there’s a crossover novella with Helena Hunting’s Clipped Wings series called Get Ink, which is available separately but has also been included in Pucks & Penalties.

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