This is the first book in Helena Hunting’s All In Series — which is a spin off from her Pucked series. A hockey themed romance that centers on Chicago’s fictional NHL team. I have been enjoying most of the books in Pucked, and no matter how many books I’ve neglected to read, Ms. Hunting somehow makes going back into it virtually painless. I don’t know if it’s because she writes the most memorable characters, or is it because simplicity of plot, characters, settings makes it so.
In this novel, we meet RJ; a once rookie, now a superstar in his own right basically trying to escape the wilderness of professional hockey. The partying, the women who throw themselves at them, and the media hounds. On his flight to Alaska, he encounters Lainey, a biologist who was on a research trip to study the Alaskan wildlife. Long story short, their meet-cute was awkward but their chemistry was undeniable – one that they couldn’t ignore. When Rook abruptly left due to family emergency, Lainey had no means to contact him. Months later, they meet again, but the reunion was far from sweet.
I can never turn down a hockey-themed romance. I have no clue why. It’s not like I’m a huge hockey fan to begin with. We do have an NHL team in my city that I follow but not as religious as I follow the LA Chargers. I think it’s the aggression that I tend to see when they play on the ice. And while I actually haven’t read about a hockey player whose aggression follows him in the bedroom, I still think hockey players are hot. Lol.
Rook is no different. He may be a bad mofo on the ice, but he’s a teddy bear in real life. He truly cared that he lost touch with Lainey and did his best to try and make amends when they were finally reunited. I also loved Lainey. She’s an independent woman who made do with the hand that she was dealt. There was a surprise here that I absolutely loved. I know some romance readers don’t like that plot device, but I’m a huge fan.
Serial books aren’t always fun from one installment to the next but one thing is for certain: Hunting knows hockey romance. She could keep writing books in this world and I’ll keep reading them.