There are no penalties in this debut novel by Sophia Henry. This fun, fantastic book came out on September 1st, 2015. I've been patiently waiting my turn to review and promote a great book in a new series!
She closed her heart long ago. He just wants to open her mind. For fans of Toni Aleo and Sawyer Bennett, the debut of Sophia Henry’s red-hot Detroit Pilots series introduces a hockey team full of complicated men who fight for love.
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 have a soft spot for sports fiction. But I’m often hesitant because sometimes the sport aspect takes center stage — that becomes the plot of the story and not the relationship. No need to worry about that with Delayed Penalty. In fact, don’t worry if you don’t know much about hockey, because the focus of this story is on two flawed, but very redeemable people who you want to see make it.
Auden is a college student whose just trying to make it in life. Enter Aleksandr, the Russian hockey player that is the stereotypical alpha male… only that he is not. He comes across that way initially, which is why Auden could care less for him. She is his translator…and that’s it. Until he becomes more than that. As she gets to know him, the dynamic chemistry between them unveils a relationship that i both sweet and searing.
Sophia Henry renders her characters with a sculptor’s touch. She gives just enough detail, allowing the reader to fill in the rest—making the characters that much more relatable. Their budding romance is refreshing. The story isn’t about the intimacy — it’s not about a play by play — it’s about learning something about human nature and how people who are damaged—flawed--can find completion from the most improbable partner.
As a side note, I loved the little details of the Russian culture. I learned things and in some cases recognized them as traditions that were assimilated into my culture. The authenticity of these details added color to the world Henry created.
Highly recommended. Looking forward to more from this author.
Sophia Henry, a proud Detroit native, fell in love with reading, writing, and hockey all before she became a teenager. She did not, however, fall in love with snow. So after graduating with an English degree from Central Michigan University, she moved to North Carolina, where she spends her time writing books featuring hockey-playing heroes, chasing her two high-energy sons, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings, and rocking out at concerts with her husband.
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