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.
Have you ever read a book that at the end you enjoyed and yet still felt like there was something missing despite that fact? Well, Delayed Penalty is that book for me.I found that this was an easy read, at times it did drag, but not to the point where I felt the urge to put it down. The characters were all likable but I wanted more.
Alexsandr was quite sweet after a few missteps on his part in the beginning and Auden has a good heart, though she is pretty damn clueless to practically everything going on around her and I could definitely understand how they could be drawn to each other based on the heartbreaking losses in their lives and yet I feel like only the surface was scratched as to the true depth of their connection. Yes, there were some poignant moments between them and yet with all that they’d both been through it didn’t seem like enough. This feeling also covers the various connections Auden has with others in the book. The one that felt the most fleshed out was with her bestie Kristen and the one, outside of the H/h, that I wished there had been worked out more on the page was with Jason.
As far as the writing goes, I did find the book to be an engaging read with some humorous and sweet moments. There were a few pacing issues I had, but for a debut novel I think that the potential is there for this series to become a fun one.
The Bottom Line: Decent start to a new series and I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next one.
~ ARC received from Random House Loveswept Flirt via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~
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 the warmth of North Carolina for the remainder of her winters.
Sophia spends her days chasing after her two, high-energy sons and writing books featuring hot, hockey-playing heroes. When she’s not chasing her awesome kids or tapping away at her laptop, she enjoys reading, watching her beloved Detroit Red Wings and rocking out at concerts with her husband.