Tag Archive | Sports Romance

REVIEW: Pucked by Rachel Walter

Pucked Book Cover Pucked
Rachel Walter
Contemporary YA Romance / Sports Romance
February 10, 2015
Kindle
328
The Author
Beat The Backlist
August 15, 2017

Does life get in the way of love or does love get in the way of life?

Riley Silk, captain of the Warriors Ice Hockey team at Dalesburg High, doesn’t think life can be lived if love is present. If there’s two things in life he knows to be true, it’s that love causes pain and hockey is his ticket to a better life. He’s worked hard to maintain his Frozen Silk reputation in order to stay focused on his duties and goals.

Audrey Jacobs, the Warriors’ number one fan, believes life can’t be lived without love. She can find love and beauty in the muddiest of situations. Her best friend, Riley, is under a lot of stress at home, so she does her best to brighten his mood whenever she can.

When lines cross and blur, they struggle to keep control of the simplicity their friendship once held. With Audrey’s outlook on life usually surrounded by light, the growing darkness of her doubts and insecurities threaten to deflect her toward the wrong path.

Can she find her true self before her world burns around her? When truths become lies, can Riley find the strength to fight his way through his own personal darkness that clings to his mind and soul? Can he win this face-off that life has dropped in his zone, or will fate take him out of the game completely?

Who keeps the puck?

**Warning- Several abuse topics are discussed in this story, which includes parental alienation, physical abuse, alcohol abuse, and mild drug abuse.**

Review

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Let me start by saying I hate sports. I don’t “get” them and don’t follow them. I always work during the Superbowl because I could care less about the game. That said, I loved this YA sports romance! This book made me want to be a hockey fan. I mean, sports still bore me, but Rachel Walter made me feel like maybe I’m missing out on something.

This book is very deep, especially for a YA novel. Riley has a very shitty home life. His mom is a real piece of work and he has basically raised his little sister since his dad left 5 years ago. When his dad left he shut down. He turned to hockey as his only outlet, his way of making something of himself and getting out of his crappy situation.

Audrey is his best friend. She’s the only one who really gets him. She’s the only one he doesn’t ice out. Their friendship is perfect. And then he kisses her and things get weird.

Told in dual POV (Riley and Audrey) this book takes place over a long period of time. It’s not a quick romance, and I loved it that way. So much happens over a long period of time that I really got to know these characters. I was rooting for them. When Riley proclaimed time and time again that love gets in the way, my heart broke. I kept waiting for Audrey to fix him. But his issues ran so deep it wasn’t a quick fix and I think the author did the subject matter justice by not making it seem like one girl could fix a boy so broken. All she could do was help.

So yeah, I loved this story. I loved these characters. And this book made me want to love hockey as much as the Mighty Ducks movies did when I was 12! A+

So, should you read it? YA contemporary fans will eat this one up. And I can attest to the fact that you can hate sports and still love this story!


Quotes

The pissed off, Frozen Silk look comes back. The look that turns his iceberg blue eyes into sheets of steel. The same look that my dad says is rage turned to stone. But it doesn’t scare me on Riley.


I can’t hear anymore. Not everyone has a happily ever after. And not every couple stays together.


“Why do you keep apologizing?”
I sit back on my knees and help her up.
“Lots of reasons. First, I just pucked you.”


He doesn’t get to kiss me and then give me away to his best friend. Not me. Not him. I turn away from my locker, fully preparing to lay into Riley.


“I was beginning to think you wanted me to be the next crazy, cat lady.”
He smiles gently. “Never, you deserve more than cats. Maybe a ferret, they’d keep you on your toes by hiding your keys.”


Love gets in the way of everything. If I could kick my heart to the curb, I bet I could get through life easy.


“Wear the yellow dress, and he’ll do anything you say.”
“You’re trying to thaw him out, not heat him to a boil. Do not ever wear that dress around Riley again!” Candy argues.


Love is pain.
Love is empty.
Love hurts.
Love isn’t in my house. My house is a hellhole.


In my head, this is a play. It’s a one on one with interference, I feel like the puck. I’m passed, I’m sliced, I’m shot, I’m backhanded, and I’m blocked from both nets. The net minders are in control.


Ice is relatable. It’s unforgiving but freeing.


“I wasn’t sure if we would ever give our relationship a name-,”
“A name? It’s not a pet, Audrey.”


There’s ice in my head, ice in my lungs, and ice in my heart.


“Louise was right about you,” he says softly. “You’re too young to be this old.”


My (Writing) Life

I just got done with the loooongest weekend in a while. 7 hour shift on Friday, 12 on Saturday, and 8 on Sunday. Whew! It feels good to just stay home today!

Of course, my work at home is never one either. I’ve spent my morning so far setting up Amazon ads for some the books at my pub house. I’ve still got a few more to set up, not to mention covers to design, files to format, and so on.

I got word this weekend that the Peace group is planning some fun writing projects for October. So stay tuned and I’ll post more details about that soon. (Or you can just follow our Facebook page!) All I know for sure is that I’ll be writing a short flash fiction Halloween tale involving JoJo (Summer of Peace – Feb 2018) and Valerie (Peace in Flames – April 2018) which takes place before the events of both novellas. It should be fun!

I finished my proof reading job last night (woohoo!) and will have a review for that book in the future. Seriously, getting paid to read is the best. And now that I’m done with that project I can really focus on finishing the editing on Peace in Flames and the re-writing of Summer of Peace. THEN I can dive into my YA contemporary romance series, hopefully just in time for NaNoWriMo!

But enough about this. I’ve got work to do!

Did you have a long, busy weekend like I did? Or were you able to sit back and relax?

REVIEW: Crossing The Barrier by Martine Lewis

Crossing The Barrier by Martine Lewis

Series: Gray Eyes #1

Read: July 14 – 21, 2016

Format: Ebook (Kindle)

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: March 22, 2016

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Genre: Contemporary Romance (with a minor touch of paranormal)

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

High school student Malakai Thomas, star wide receiver of the varsity team, collides with band member Lily Morgan on his way to football practice. As days go by, Malakai cannot get the petite clarinetist out of his head.

Lily Morgan can feel everyone’s emotions. She loses her ability to shield herself against them the day Malakai runs into her. Now she must try to maintain her sanity in the emotional jungle that is high school, as well as deal with her growing feelings for Malakai.

Can Malakai get over the social stigma and his own internal struggle to be with Lily? Is Lily’s secret too big to accept, even for him?


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

I went into this book expecting a YA paranormal romance, instead I got a YA sports romance with a touch of paranormal.

Right off the bat I have to state that I hate sports. So reading about sports doesn’t interest me, already that puts this book at a disadvantage for me. I’m a paranormal girl, I like to get lost in worlds where I need to extend my imagination and suspend belief. Contemporary novels, for the most part, don’t hold my interest. I get enough of reality in the real world. I want a little bit of magic.

The paranormal in this book comes in play with the main female protagonist, Lily. She’s an Empath, meaning she can sense / feel other peoples emotions. Normally she has mental shields to block the emotions out, but early on in the book she loses those shields. What I found more interesting about Lily is that she’s basically living a Cinderella life. Her father has passed away, leaving her alone with a mother who never wanted her. Anyone would be able to see just how unwanted Lily is by her mother Beatrice, but by being an Empath, Lily can feel every evil, nasty, vicious thought and feeling toward her. It’s a classic case of both physical and emotional child abuse with how badly Lily is treated. A girl growing up being treated so badly, you’d think she’d be forced to grow up pretty quickly, but I was actually surprised at now painfully naive she was at times. At one point I wanted to throw my Kindle at the wall and yell at her.

Meanwhile, Malakai, has his own demons at home. His mother left when he was a child and no one has ever told him why. His father is military, constantly leaving him home alone for weeks or months on end since he turned seventeen. Malakai starts out as a very good and chivalrous guy, but by the end of the book I really didn’t care much for him. He became almost controlling of Lily, and though from the thoughts that are presented to us through both his POV and Lily’s Empath ability, we know his actions are in no way malicious, but they just rubbed me the wrong way. He also became full of self-loathing. What happened to the confident boy in the beginning? I wasn’t feeling that.

I ultimately failed to love this book for a few reasons. The first being the aforementioned genre, it reads very contemporary and the paranormal is very light. That’s just not for me. The other things that drew me out of the story were the follow:

  1. As is common in YA books, there is a good amount of info dumping in the very beginning. Things I’d rather see happening than be told about.
  1. The author uses a lot of passive language which prevented me to actively engage with the events as they happened, i.e.: “She had wanted to go with him…. Lily had wondered….”
  1. I never could fully grasp what the central plot was. I think it was the romance between Lily and Malakai, but I’m not sure. In the beginning Wes and Zoe were sort of the villains, then they disappeared until the end when I’d all but forgotten them. Beatrice then became a bigger villain, shifting the focus from Wes and Zoe. Then we touch on Malakai’s parental issues. For me, all of the different conflicts never really “meshed” together well enough for me. I guess I just prefer the 3 act story arc formula.
  1. Malakai’s reactions. I mentioned above about the self-loathing, but Malakai has something happen near the end of the book and he reacts in a way that seemed completely out of character for him. Because we read half the book in his POV this shift in character could easily have been explained with his own internal monologue, but instead we’re given nothing. I actually had to stop and think, wondering if I’d somehow skipped ahead in the book and missed an important chunk of text that described his internal emotional turmoil. But I didn’t. I checked.
  1. The ending (before the epilogue) was cheesy. I think young teens girls will eat it up. For me personally, it didn’t work. It felt too soon and out of place.

That seems like quite a list of things that I didn’t like or didn’t work for me, but there were things I did enjoy. This book touches on a lot of relevant hot topics including bullying and racism, which is important to me. It’s obvious that the author really cares about her characters and though she gives them obstacles, it’s easy to root for them to get past them. I will also say this. Despite all of my grievances with this book, the epilogue piqued my interest (and seems to show that the series will PROBABLY be going in a more paranormal or sci-fi direction and I will quite likely read it and hope to see the author continue to grow as a writer.

Final thought: If you are a fan of contemporary romance (especially sports romance) you might enjoy this. I think younger teens will enjoy this book more than older teens and adults due to the writing style.



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