2017 Pop Sugar Reading Challenge, Book Reviews

Bearly Pucked (Alpha Champions #1) by Janna Rayne

Bearly Pucked B.C.

I hadn’t read a shifter book in a while and decided I felt like reading on again. I’d gotten this novella on sale a few months ago and decided to read it to get it off my Kindle. It was actually better than I expected it to be.

The story follows Griff, an bear shifter pro-hockey player, as he is put on a week long suspension for having a short temper. The love interest is Maddox, a half-bear shifter athletic trainer who grew up in a human family. Maddox is sent by Griff’s team trainer to check on Griff while he is on suspension. The two instantly connect and the rest of the story is them accepting and celebrating being together. There are a couple issues that pop up with Maddox being half-shifter, but for the most part it is a simple, happy, sexy read.

The story line isn’t super inventive but also not completely stale. The characters are decently developed and the family dynamics are interesting. There is actually only on shift throughout the entire novella. The majority of the shifter integration is through the instincts and increases senses. There was also not any hockey either. They talk briefly about Griff being a player, but the mechanics, skill, and professional responsibilities aren’t mentioned. The characters were decently developed, but they could use a lot more fleshing out. There was also no real events where Maddox dealt with being half-bear shifter. She’d mention it, others mentioned it, but it was just kind of like a “that’s all I can be and I accept that” feel, no real actual dealing with it.

I can’t say I was disappointed with the book, but it wasn’t really interesting enough to read again or get me to continue the series. The only other book I might be interested in reading is the one about Griff’s older brother, but there is no mention about that in the works right now. For someone getting into shifter books, this is a good starter. For regular readers of shifter books, this would be a filler read when you just needed to pass the time

My rating:

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Book Reviews

On the Surface (In the Zone #1) by Kate Willoughby

This book popped up on one of the Twitter feeds I follow the other day as being a “Good Read on Sale” for $.99 in the Kindle store so I picked it up since I was looking for a simple read for the night. I was quite impressed with it. I thought it was a fairly original story line and done quite well.

The story follows a seasoned hockey player (Tim) as he works to remake his image in the league. He happens to meet a local nurse (Erin) by accident at a signing event, and the story unfolds. I don’t want to give too much away, but there are a lot of emotional highs and lows in the book relating to past and how each character deals with it. They really pull at your heart strings. I was absorbed while I read it. The characters are developed extremely well and go through a wonderful development of a relationship. There was also quite a bit of hockey bits and pieces here and there, which I liked being a rather novice hockey fan (I am in no way a hard-core fan LOL but I am learning to love the game). It gives a great impression of what a player’s life is like and the glimpse into that world is as fascinating as the growing relationship between the couple. There are some steamy sex scenes, but they definitely do not rule the book. The story grows and develops focused on the characters, not the sex. I am hoping in the following books, we will interact with Tim and Erin again in the future to see how they continue on and grow.

I found this to be a surprisingly good novella. This is an adorable read for anyone who likes hockey, or a good, fairly original romance. I will probably be reading it again, which definitely is saying something.

My rating:

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