Pucked Under - Helena Hunting
Book Review, Contemporary Romance, Romance Review, Romance Serial, romantic comedy, Series, standalone

Book Review: Pucked Under by Helena Hunting

***The 5th standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

Randy Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc are head-over-heels, bed-breakingly, screaming orgasmically in love. But even they have their challenges, mostly outside of the bedroom.

With the off-season coming to a close and the boys gearing up for training camp, one more weekend of fun is the perfect way to welcome the new season.

The entire crew piles into vehicles and drives to Alex and Violet’s Chicago cottage for a few days of relaxation – and hopefully a chance for Randy to shake the anxiety that’s been plaguing him.

Accidental wardrobe malfunctions, typical Violet inspired overshares, and a whole lot of private time round out the perfect weekend getaway.

But the moment they return to the city, all of Randy’s angst resurfaces with the arrival of a surprise houseguest.

This is the second part of Lily and Randy’s story. It was fun because I really like these two and they’re pretty funny. I didn’t think it was possible to love them any more than I already did but this book changed my mind. Randy Ballistic is one of the best players in the NHL and he’s drop-dead gorgeous but even this guy still has some insecurities. I like seeing big tough manly men be vulnerable with the women they love and Randy personifies that in this book.

We learn more about his sleazy dad who abandoned the family when they needed him most. Turns out that old dad wants to visit all too often and just happens to always need money from Randy, too. Despite the fact that he’s a far more talented hockey player and a much better person in general than his father, Randy Sr. has the ability to make Randy doubt himself. He never fails to criticize how Randy’s been playing and warn him that he won’t be first string for long.

When his dad lets himself into the house yet again, Randy tries to put his foot down now that Lily lives there, too. Randy Sr. isn’t having it and proceeds to be a huge pain in the ass on top of being a sloppy mess of a drunk. Randy’s trying to grit his teeth and bear it, only because he knows his father will bother Randy’s poor mom if Randy turns him away but the situation is terrible for him.

Lily is patient with Randy and willing to withstand Randy Sr. because she wants to support Randy but she has a breaking point. She’s willing to grin and bear the verbal abuse he lobs at her, calling her a gold-digger and puck bunny, but watching him bully his son is too much. Lily’s so completely badass when she goes off on Randy Sr., she’s my hero – and Randy’s too. Their chemistry is still as white hot as it was a year ago when they first got together but this look at the couple highlights their emotional connection to show them in another dimension.

This story is as hilarious as the others and Randy in particular is a great source of humor, even if he doesn’t mean to be one. His jealous streak is legendary but we get to see it in action when he introduces himself to a guy as Lily’s boyfriend who she lives with in his together. Their friends are full of jokes about Lily and Randy’s extremely active sex life – from five thousand dollars worth of damage to a hotel bathroom, which Randy declared worth every penny, to Violet’s way too personal questions: Is your beaver made of titanium? I think someday your beaver’s just going to run away. The couple takes it in stride, proud of their hot connection but this story shows us that there’s so much more to their relationship.

Like the others before it, this is a great feel-good story and I’d never get tired of the Pucked gang so I wish Hunting would give us more. I did read Little Lies, which is about the children of the Pucked gang but I didn’t fall in love with them the way I did with their parents. I was hoping for more of an All Saints High thing. I read LJ Shen’s Sinners of Saint series, loved it, and went into the next generation series with very minimal expectations but ended up loving it more than the original series. That’s not the case here so I just want more Pucked.

Pucked Under on Amazon.

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 Hunting’s Clipped Wings series called Get Ink, which is available separately but has also been included in Pucks & Penalties.

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