As an NHL player, relationships haven’t been my thing. Shrouded in secrecy and speculation, they never last very long. But then that’s what happens when you require an NDA before the first date.
Until Charlene. She’s like a firefly. She’s elusive, and if you catch her she’ll burn bright, but keeping her trapped dulls her fire and dims her beauty.
I caught her. And as much as I might want to keep her, I’ll never put the lid on her jar. Not at the risk of losing her. So I’ve let her set the rules in our relationship.
But as long hidden secrets expose us both, I discover exactly how fragile Charlene is, and how much I need her.
We’re all broken. We’re all messed up. Some more than others. Me more than most.
The FINAL standalone novel in The Pucked Series.
I was excited for Charlene and Darren’s story because she’s been a great supporting character in this series. Darren’s been pretty mysterious throughout and all the hints and suggestive references to their kinky sex life really piqued my interest. Theirs is an interesting story but I just didn’t get into it like I did with the others. I love Charlene but Darren is still kind of an enigma to me even after reading it. It’s a good book but his character just isn’t developed enough for me.
Darren’s nothing like the other guys, all of whom seemed familiar and real despite being superstars but he’s sort of one-dimensional for me. This was disappointing because I expected Darren to come to life on the page like Lance, Alex, Miller and Randy all do in their stories but it didn’t happen. He’s sweet and his love for Charlene is deep and true, I just didn’t get much of a sense of personality for him. He does have a sad, damaged backstory that explains some of his weirdness but it doesn’t compare to Charlene’s because holy mother of god, her story is crazy.
She’s such a happy-go-lucky person and wonderful friend, she’s been the perfect foil for Violet while managing to have a distinct personality, which isn’t an easy feat. A lot of writers get that wrong or even get it right but can’t keep it up, so it’s refreshing to see it done well here and continue through the series without faltering. Charlene has worked hard to give her life the stability she never had as a child and even her closest friends had no idea she lived every day in fear but she has to repress those fears in order to live her life. When the past catches up to her, Charlene seems to struggle briefly with the worry that her carefully-crafted world is just an illusion and nothing has really changed but thankfully, that’s an empty fear. Not only does her life withstand the earth-shattering revelations of her past, that life, her relationships and Charlene herself are all better for it and stronger than ever.
Darren and Charlene’s story is crazy but it’s also funny, happy and sweet like all of the others. They’ll never unseat any of the other couples in my heart but I enjoyed it and like knowing everything that went into making them both the quirky people they are today because I never would have guessed what shaped them.
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.