Wednesday, January 27, 2016

New Release Blitz! ~ Pucked Over (Pucked #3) by Helena Hunting @HelenaHunting
Lily LeBlanc isn’t versed in the art of casual sex, but after seven years in an on-again, off-again relationship, she’s definitely willing to give it a shot. And who better to try it with than her best friend’s boyfriend’s best friend? What could possibly go wrong? Nothing at all.

NHL player, Randy Ballistic, lives up to his last name on the ice and in the bedroom. His best friend and teammate has recently given up the puck bunnies and traded them in for a real girlfriend. And she just happens to have a seriously feisty, extra-hot best friend on the rebound. Randy’s more than happy to be Lily’s spring board back into the dating scene.

Casual sex is only casual until those pesky things called emotions get involved. Once that happens, someone’s bound to gets pucked over.

5 Balls to the wall stars
I’m so ridiculously in love with this series and its cast of loony characters. Since first introduced to Hunting’s unique writing style in Pucked, she has become one of my favorite go-to authors and a master when it comes to penning scorching hot, outrageously humorous romantic comedies. Randy and Lily’s love story in Pucked Over did not disappoint ~ Tons of side-splitting laugher courtesy of these characters’ crazy hijinks and witty banter; Heart throbbing, intense chemistry; A broody hot hockey hunk with an overly salacious sexual appetite and a fondness for bathroom hookups; A sassy yet sweet heroine; and a storyline filled with the feels.  Randy “Balls” Ballistic and Lily LeBlanc’s journey from casual sex-turned-burning lust-turned-true love tale was another riotously funny, passion filled installment in this great sports-themed romance series.

Although this book can be read as a stand alone, you’ll miss out on all the hilarity from the previous couples’ love stories, as well as a glimpse into Randy and Lily’s beginnings. In Pucked Up, we saw Lily (Sunny’s bff and Alex’s pseudo little sister) bitterly end her seven-year relationship. In the midst of all her break-up drama, Randy (an incredibly hot NHL player and Miller’s buddy) swooped in and heroically saved the day… by giving her an unforgettable night. I was left wondering what would become of their relationship and couldn’t wait to see the fireworks these two would ignite. Holy moly, after reading Pucked Over I have to say, whenever these two got together…it was explosive!

In Pucked Up, Lily came across as an assertive and opinionated type of chick. However, there was so much more to her character and it was disheartening to see all of her woes. Lily is strong-willed, yet extremely vulnerable. Her life was filled with struggles as her dreams of being a figure skater were crushed, her self-esteem was shot thanks to her asshole ex, she juggled several jobs in order to make ends meet, and her overbearing mother made her situation worse. Stolen moments with Randy gave Lily a well-deserved escape from reality. She had a taste of something special and desperately wants more, (regardless of the fact that he’s a notorious ladies man who avoids commitment like the plague). A distraction is exactly what she needed to forget her troubles…a little fun with Randy and a whole lot of screwing. And Balls was more than willing to be her no-strings-attached rebound.

I loved seeing Lily become stronger and grow more confident through Randy’s guidance. The only issue was, she’s a relationship kind of girl. Her situation intensifies as feelings for Randy turned from casual to deeply serious. She has fallen hard for the commitment-phobic bad boy, and I was holding my breath, fearing how Randy would react to Lily’s change of heart. Nail biting anxiety set in as I anticipated and dreaded more emotional turmoil for Lily.

Now, I absolutely adore all the Pucked gents, but there’s just something extraordinary about Randy that intrigued me. His mercurial character had an air of edginess that I was highly attracted to. I loved his smugness, his witty sense of humor and his filthy mouth. I mean, come on – how could I not love a guy whose nickname is Balls and has a warped, perverted mind. Aside from being overly sexy and broody, Randy in his own way was vulnerable and insecure. There were secrets buried underneath his hipster beard…mysteries Lily (and I) wanted to unravel. In particular, why was Balls so adamant to do it only in the dark? Poor Lily, there was no chance for a peen peek….

Discovering the underlining fears behind Randy’s sexual quirks and his aversion towards serious relationships made me fall deeper for his character. I truly felt sorry for all his inhibitions. However, there were times I wanted to club him over the head with his hockey stick and force him to man up. He made some lousy decisions that added major angst to the plot and it ticked me off. I got why Randy was hesitant when it came to facing his true desires, but I was peeved when he acted like a total jerk towards Lily. Needless to say with all the charms he possessed, I was able to forgive Randy for his delirium. He finally grew a pair of big boy balls, won Lily’s affections and trust, when ultimately admitting his true feelings. Sheesh, dude took his sweet ass time getting over and moving on from his hang-ups.

In the end, I experienced a major book hangover, missing Randy, his balls, and the entire Pucked crew. I loved seeing how these couples’ lives intermingle and the dynamics of their relationships. Happy to see Miller, Alex and the rest of this whacky cast pop into the story line, as well as a hint of what is to come in the next installment. If you miss Vi, no worries, she’s just as crazy and meddlesome as ever, constantly over-sharing and creating havoc in her wake. Another winning funny and flirty read from Helena Hunting.

 ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

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Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s putting her degree in English Lit to good use by writing contemporary erotic romance. She is the author of Clipped Wings, her debut novel, and Inked Armor.

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