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Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny- Cindi Madsen

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Blurb

Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.

Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.

Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.

Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.

Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.

Review

 When this book came across my radar everything about it called to me.  The description, the cover, the very high chance for a happily ever after (I really need my books to have a HEA).  Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is an NA sports romance and #4 in the Taking Shots series by Cindi Madsen.

For some reason, I hadn’t realized that this book was a part of a series, while reading out of order is not typically something I would do I decided to persevere without pausing to read the others in the series first.  I’m so glad that I did.  This book was cute and sweet with an excellent beta hero.  While it was clear there were other couples that came first the story didn’t rely heavily on knowing this details and I was able to follow alone without any problem.

Now, the good part.  We need to talk about Ryder.  I just love a sweet, smart, caring hero and Ryder had it all going for him.  A hockey player with muscles upon muscles who’s sensitive and sweet and academically smart? Yes, please!!

Lindsay the heroine is a reformed puck bunny just trying to make it to graduation without slipping back into her puck bunny ways.  The two big obstacles are Ryder and her math grade.  Unfortunately for her, the best shot at conquering the math problem is spending more time with Ryder while he tutors her.  As she gets better at math, she starts to realize staying away from another hockey player is harder than she thought.

“If things were different . . . I could really see myself slipping.”

“Just slip.” I reached up and ran my thumb across her bottom lip, my blood pumping hotter at her sharp exhale. “I’ll catch you.”

I LOVED Ryder but I wasn’t a huge fan of Lindsay in the beginning of the story. She put up a lot of the obstacles between them. I found she was sometimes unnecessarily mean and actually fairly immature even though she was two years older than Ryder (although, can I just mention how much I love that our hero is younger?) He was thoughtful and considerate of feelings for most of the book like a true beta would be. Ryder really took his time, chased her, and always saw them as long-term even when Lindsay couldn’t.

“In the moments she laughed and fired off those quick comebacks, I was sure she felt the same spark I did, but before she let herself fully enjoy it, she’d quickly pull away.”

The story was fairly predictable but oh, so sweet and I was right about the HEA.  Overall this was a well written, very sweet NA story and I’d recommend it to anyone looking for an easy read with a guaranteed happy ending.  I’m definitely adding the other books in the series to my to be read list!

 

Note: I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

Find Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny here:

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Catch Up On the Series!

Getting Lucky Number Seven

Anatomy of a Player

Crazy Pucking Love

 

About Cindi Madsen:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

You can visit Cindi at: www.cindimadsen.com, where you can sign up for her newsletter to get all the up-to-date information on her books.

Follow her on Twitter @cindimadsen.

 

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The Hating Game- Sally Thorne

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Blurb

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

Review

The Hating Game was hands down one of my top 5 favourite books of 2016.  As soon as I finished it I read it again…and again…and again. When I was debating my fourth reread I thought maybe I should give the audiobook a chance.  It was just as great listening to it on my commute and it was reading it the first three times!

Some of my favourite books are office romances and hate to love plots, but they’re also so difficult to pull off.  I’m not always a fan of rotating POV and so many enemy to lover stories feature an asshole-ish hero who becomes a reformed womanizer, not something I’m a big fan of.  You won’t find either in the Hating Game.  Told from the single POV of heroin Lucy Hutton the story is a slow burn between two co-workers who are straddling the line of passionate and competitive.  Joshua is her surly but oh-so-attractive colleague and when they made out they’re competing for the same position an already tense working situation becomes worse.

I have a theory.  Hating someone feels disturbingly similar to being in love with them.  I’ve had a lot of time to compare love, and these are my observations.  Love and hate are visceral

Joshua is absolutely everything, and he’s a strong contender to beat out my best book boyfriend of all time, Will Sumner from Beautiful Player.  I love a smart, lanky, broody hero who is self-assured and full of dirty talk, Joshua checks every single box.

…if I were your boss, I’d work you so fucking hard. So fucking hard.

Don’t let the candy coloured, cartoonish cover art and slow burn fool you, this book isn’t chick lit.  It has some steam! I’d categorize as New Adult, falling in that middle ground of not quite erotica and not quite romance.

Like every good hate to love the banter is key and Sally Thorne nails it.  Joshua was totally swoon-worthy and his one-liners were hot.

-‘I didn’t ask for you advice, Joshua. I get so mad at myself, letting you drag me down to your level all the time.’
-‘And what level are you imagining me dragging you down to? Horizontal?’

The Hating Game is the debut book by Australian author Sally Thorne, although you’d never have guessed this was a first book.  I’m sure it’s going to remain a constant on my reread list and I’m anxious to read anything else she puts out!  I highly recommend reading, and then rereading.  The Hating Game by Sally Thorne.

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Sally Thorne lives in Canberra, Australia, and spends her days writing funding submissions and drafting contracts (yawn!) so it’s not surprising that after hours she climbs into colorful fictional worlds of her own creation. Sally believes that romance readers are always searching for intensity in their next favorite book—and it isn’t always so easy to find. The Hating Game is her first novel.

 

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