Title: Delayed Penalty
Author: Sophia Henry
My Rating: B
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Pilots Hockey #1
Main Characters: Auden and Aleksandr
Release Date: September 2015
Links to Purchase:
Sexual Intensity: spicy
Auden Berezin is used to losing people: her father, her mother, her first love. Now, just when she believes those childhood wounds are finally healing, she loses something else: the soccer scholarship that was her ticket to college. Scrambling to earn tuition money, she’s relieved to find a gig translating for a Russian minor-league hockey player—until she realizes that he’s the same dangerously sexy jerk who propositioned her at the bar the night before.
Equal parts muscle and scar tissue, Aleksandr Varenkov knows about trauma. Maybe that’s what draws him to Auden. He also lost his family too young, and he channeled the pain into his passions: first hockey, then vodka and women. But all that seems to just melt away the instant he kisses Auden and feels a jolt of desire as sudden and surprising as a hard check on the ice.
After everything she’s been through, Auden can’t bring herself to trust any man, let alone a hot-headed puck jockey with a bad reputation. Aleksandr just hopes she’ll give him a chance—long enough to prove he’s finally met the one who makes him want to change.
I've read a lot of hockey books, but I think this is the first book I've read to implement a Russian and all the trivia about that culture. I feel like I learned a lot in this book that I never knew before about Russian tradition...so brava to Sophia Henry for that little lesson.
There was a lot going on within this story, but it almost seemed like it was too much because some of the conflict and plot twists weren't explored to their full potential of what could be with those story lines. I would have loved to have seen more meaningful scenes between Auden and her surprise relative. I liked it when they were on the page together and wanted more of them. Her big revelation about their ties were told to him off the page. I wanted to see that scene.
And there were several details like this that I really would have liked to have gone deeper. It's like the author put too much into the book, but didn't have enough space to go in all the different directions...and any single one of them....or even two, if they'd been explored a bit deeper, could have made this a truly excellent read. I loved the detail about Auden joining the band and the conflict that brought into her life...but again, we just got to see glimpses of that. Her work with the clubs was phenomenal. Aleksandr moving up into the NHL and Auden's issues with the bunnies. Any one of these things made for some great stories, but ALL of them in the story meant that none of these really good plot lines were used to their full potential. I hate wasted potential in a book.
But at the heart of this story is Auden and Aleksandr. I did really like them together. I liked how they started out simply attracted to one another, but then found out that they truly had a lot in common. I loved how Auden won't put up with Aleksandr's antics. The translation job provided for some fun moments between them. Overall, this was an entertaining read. I liked it and will definitely plan on reading more in the series. I like the Detroit setting and that the Pilots are a minor league hockey team...so the guys are working their way up in the hockey world.
I received a complimentary copy of this book in return for an honest review.