Series: Hellions Angels #3
Publisher: Avon Impulse
Release date: March 6th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Sports, Romance
Source: Pure Textuality PR
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Practice Makes Perfect
Patrick “Patch” Donnelly has what it takes to be the best goalie in the NHL…if only he could learn to control his temper. When Coach orders him to get his head in the game with private yoga classes, Patch isn’t having it. There’s no way this tough Boston guy would be caught dead downward dog-ing his way to inner peace. But if he refuses, he risks his starting position and the dream he sacrificed everything for, including joining the priesthood.
Yoga instructor Margot Kowalski is over men. After yet another toxic relationship, she’s eager to forget love and focus on growing her business. Doing the Hellions head coach a favor by helping out a troubled player can't hurt, and it might give her career a high-profile boost. But free-spirited Margot is soon charming the pants off Patch. Literally. Her sassy combination of sweet and sexy proves irresistible to the goalie. Before Patch can give into temptation though, he’ll have to confess his biggest secret:
He’s a virgin.
But Patch is hiding more than sexual inexperience, and his dark past soon threatens to destroy his shot at true love.
The Faerie Queen’s review
TW: High school bullying, grief, drug use, stalking
Anyone who has stuck around for the last three years of me blogging will know that I developed a love for ice hockey romances. Don’t ask me why. I’ve never watched a game, and about all I know is that people play with sticks, pucks, and fists, and the game is divided into periods, not halves or quarters. That’s it. But books about ice hockey players really get me going, and I’m just going to go with it.
I figured this book would be a safe bet. A goalie with a bit of a temper is sent to relax with a yoga instructor. Said goalie also happens to be a virgin (wow, a virgin hero?!), while the yoga instructor is a few years older and a quite a bit more experienced. Neither wants relationships for different reasons. And it could have worked!
Except it didn’t quite get there for me. For a start, there seemed to be about 100 pages missing. Despite Patch’s aversion to intimacy and Margot’s man-break, they’re quick to jump into bed, and also quick to start using the L-word. It just didn’t make any sense to me. This could have been a great slowburn story, with Patch trying to work out his issues before immediately gaining superpowers that granted him the ability to perform perfect oral on the first try. There could have been angst and confusion and a growing inferno of heat before falling into bed. And not giving Patch the chance to mess up and figure out sex for the first time was a missed opportunity. I know how well private yoga lessons can work in books thanks to Breathless, and it’s a shame the author felt the need to rush this book. It was like a last-minute submission minutes before the deadline.
That being said, if you mentally fill in the getting to know each other stuff yourself, there was chemistry between Patch and Margot. It was interesting to read about an almost-priest who can quote scripture, and yet it never felt preachy. (Preachy books are an instant turn-off for me.) And I loved how the Margot and her friends had each other’s backs, and how Margot was so outspoken against slut-shaming. (I cheered when she told off the college girls.) So there were some winning moments.
Unfortunately, though, this was a bit too rushed, a bit too insta-love, and a bit too unbelievable with Patch’s magic sex skills. I’m bummed.
Margot stood on tiptoe, both hands clutching the front of his t-shirt, and kissed him full on the mouth. Their ragged breaths mingled a moment. He tasted the brown sugar in her lipgloss before she broke free, pressing a quick second kiss to the tip of his nose.
“Go to bed,” she whispered, clearing her throat and stepping back. “And have a great game tomorrow.”
It took every last shred of Patch’s willpower not to close the space again, to consume her. “There’s something else you should know.”
“I’m not going to get a lick of sleep if you leave.”
“If I stay, you won’t sleep either,” she shot back, shrugging into her jacket.
“I’ll take those odds.”
She shook her head slowly as if with reluctance. “I’ve got to fold. “Goodnight.”
He took her hand and held it between his own. Her skin was cooler than his. He didn’t like that. He wanted to tuck her against him, warm her up. “Do me a favor and call when you get home. I want to know you got back safe, especially driving on that spare.”
“It’s been a long time since anyone has cared if I got home,” she said with a smile. “Careful, you might be turning into a gentleman.”
“Don’t get carried away. The things that I want to do to you are far from gentlemanly,” he said in a husky tone.
She rocked her head back and unleashed a frustrated moan. “Quit leading me into temptation. I’m trying to respect your virtue here.”
“My virtue can take a long jump off a short fucking bridge.”
“That might be. But . . .if we end up taking that jump. I want it to be special. That’s important. I want you to feel special.”
Blood rushed to his ears. “Funny, I feel the same way about you.”
“Then we’re in agreement and I’m leaving.” A wicked gleam entered her gaze. “But while you wait for my call, slip into something more comfortable.”
“Nothing at all.”
She blew a kiss, pirouetted, and was gone.
From VIRGIN TERRITORY. Used with permission of Avon Impulse. Copyright © 2018 by Lia Riley.
Open to US shipping addresses only. Five winners will each receive a paperback copy of Head Coach by Lia Riley. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Avon Romance. Giveaway ends 3/18/2018 @ 11:59pm EST. Avon Romance will send the winning copies out to the winner directly. Limit one entry per reader and mailing address. Duplicates will be deleted.