Review: Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

THE GOOD LUCK CHARM
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: August 7, 2018

Is it love, or is she just his good luck charm?

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting absolutely delights with this witty and fun standalone contemporary romance.

Lilah isn’t sure what hurt worse: the day Ethan left her to focus on his hockey career, or the day he came back eight years later. He might think they can pick up just where they left off, but she’s no longer that same girl and never wants to be again.

Ethan Kane wants his glory days back. And that includes having Lilah by his side. With her, he was magic. They were magic. All he has to do is make her see that.

Just when Lilah might finally be ready to let him in, though, she finds out their reunion has nothing to do with her and everything to do with his game. But Ethan’s already lost her once, and even if it costs him his career, he’ll do anything to keep from losing her again.

AMAZON

You’re in my soul, Lilah. That will never change.”

This book is comfy yoga pants with a glass of wine, chilling by the pool sort of easy. It has all the warm and fuzzies wrapped in a sweet and steamy second chance romance. It’s a light, feel-good sort of read that had a smile on my face from beginning to end.

But nothing could ever prepare me for being this close to the man who took my heart, crushed it, and gave it back to me in pieces.

Ethan and Lilah were childhood friends turned high school sweethearts. They had all the makings of forever, until Ethan left to pursue his professional hockey career and broke Lilah’s heart.

Eight years later, Ethan is back, after being traded to the team in his hometown. But he’s never forgotten or gotten over Lilah and he’s determined to be back in her life. But Lilah never got over the pain this man once caused her. Coming from a broken home with an absentee father, Lilah never lost touch with Ethan’s parents, even though their son shattered her fragile heart. I loved the relationship she had with his parents and the way they cared for her as well. But even though his parents adore her and Ethan is swearing he’s not the naive boy he was when he left her, Lilah isn’t so eager to open her heart to him again.

Nothing you say is going to change the past.” “It could change the future, though.”

I loved the way that Ethan is slow and patient with Lilah. He’ll take anything he can, even friendship, while he yearns for more from the girl he never stopped loving. He was such an easy hero to fall in love with. He’s sweet and patient, sexy and playful, with this incredibly endearing boyish quality to him that I couldn’t get enough of.

I adored their slow burn reconnection and the way that they slowly find back to each other.

He’s slow and careful, he’s sweet and gentle. He’s the boy I fell in love with as a girl, grown into a man I don’t think I ever fell out of love with, between the then and now.

This was such a sweet romance with just the right amount of tension thrown in to make it interesting. There’s no crazy drama. No painful angst. Just two people that never stopped loving each other, discovering what it means to love and sacrifice. It was a perfectly charming romance that I recommend to anyone looking for a perfect read to spend a warm summer evening with.

Review: Hooking Up by Helena Hunting

HOOKING UP
Series: Shacking Up #2
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception ― but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him. They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

AMAZON

He’s sweaty, I’m sweaty, we’re both glistening from the exertion. I glance down, checking out his abs as they ripple. His body is unreal. He should never wear clothes again. Ever.
“Hungry?” He’s grinning.
“That was my vagina asking for more orgasms. We need to know how long it’s going to be before ‘Oh God’ can provide more of those.”

It’s official: I’m obsessed with Helena Hunting’s words. This series has become my go-to when I need a sexy and feel good romance that’s full of laughs and sizzle. It just never disappoints and I will never get enough of it. Admittedly I did things a little backwards by reading I Flipping Love You before this book, but since these are all interconnecting standalones, I never felt like I lost anything in the story by doing that.

Hooking Up was a totally addicting read full of laughs and sizzle. The premise of the story was a delicious page turner. I was riveted to the pages from beginning to end with a goofy smile on my face the entire time. I simply couldn’t get enough of these characters.

What could be the worst thing to happen on your wedding day? For Amalie Whitfield, it’s hearing your brand new husband getting a bj from someone that’s not you over the reception loud speakers. Talk about your embarrassing disaster. So what’s a girl to do? Cut herself out of her dress with shears and proposition her soon to be ex-husband’s incredibly hot cousin in the bridal room, of course. What? A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Besides, she did Lex before her groom. It just happened to be that he looked like the epitome of bad boy and too good looking to be good for her. She’s not exactly known for her great choice in men. Her current predicament is a prime example. In an embarrassed and devastated fog, she decides to go on her honeymoon alone to recover…only for Lex to end up on the same tropical island to work a deal for his family’s hotel business. Suffice it to say, steamy moment ensue.

Can I just tell you all of the ways I adored Lex? God, this man was utter perfection. He’s sweet with a side of dirty talker, tatted, muscled, and totally gone for Amelie. They know that all the odds are stacked against them, but a tropical temporary fling can’t hurt, right? Until feelings get involved. And then things get a whole lot more complicated.

Amelie was a great heroine. I loved her sass and how she took no sh*t from her cheating “husband”. As for Armstrong, the douche? I have never wanted a character to be killed off more than I did him. I swear I spent half the book hoping he’d be hit by a bus. Talk about your king of douchebags. This man took the cake. I absolutely hated him.

The romance was fantastic! I loved Amelie and Lex together. I loved their chemistry, in and out of bed. I loved their banter and watching them fall hard for each other.

If you’re looking for a lighthearted, feel good romance that’s full of steam and humor, this series is an absolute must read. Hooking Up was another amazing addition to this addicting series, and I’m already itching for my next fix.

Review: I Flipping Love You by Helena Hunting

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU
Series: Shacking Up #3
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: May 29, 2018

A new kind of love story about flipping houses, taking risks, and landing that special someone who’s move-in ready…

SHE’S GOT CURB APPEAL

Rian Sutter grew up with the finer things in life. Spending summers in The Hamptons was a normal occurrence for her until her parents lost everything years ago. Now Rian and her sister are getting their life, and finances, back on track through real estate. Not only do they buy and sell houses to the rich and famous, but they finally have the capital to flip their very own beachfront property. But when she inadvertently catches the attention of a sexy stranger who snaps up every house from under her, all bets are off…

HE’S A FIXER UPPER

Pierce Whitfield doesn’t normally demo kitchens, install dry wall, or tear apart a beautiful woman’s dreams. He’s just a down-on-his-luck lawyer who needed a break from the city and agreed to help his brother work on a few homes in the Hamptons. When he first meets Rian, the attraction is undeniable. But when they start competing for the same pieces of prime real estate, the early sparks turn into full-blown fireworks. Can these passionate rivals turn up the heat on their budding romance — without burning down the house?

I FLIPPING LOVE YOU, set in the Shacking Up world, follows two people, both working in real estate, who find themselves vying for the same properties in the Hamptons, leading to a sometimes-not-so-friendly competition.

AMAZON

That is what wanting someone is. This is the pinnacle of desperate attraction. This is the chemical reaction that ignites and burns until there’s nothing left but ash.

*dreamy sigh and googly eyes*

This book was so flipping cute. I have an newly found obsession with all things Helena Hunting, but most especially her Shacking Up series. It’s the perfect blend of rom-com, steam, and feels. It’s just one of those easy, feel-good sort of romances that will leave you with a big ole’ goofy and satisfied grins on your face when you’re finished. And it had quite possibly one of the best meet-cutes I’ve read in quite a while. I mean, how funny when the gorgeous man staring at you in the grocery aisle is actually mistaken you for your fraternal twin sister that scratched his car and drove off? Well, Rian doesn’t find it very funny, but I did. And the sparks were immediate between her and Pierce!

We’re having a sleepover. We’re going to do this all night, and I’m going to cuddle you like a motherfucker after I finishing sexing every last orgasm out of you.”
“Okay.” I mean, what else can I really say to that?

I loved Pierce’s slow and thorough persistence in going after skittish Rian. Rian is done with gorgeous man and their defined bodies. She needs a 9/10 match, and that seems to set her up with boring but safe man that she has zero chemistry with. And of course it would figure that Pierce’s mere presence makes her entire body tingle. But he’s everything that shouldn’t give into. She’s focusing on getting her life back together, her real estate endeavors with her sister, and the gorgeous man that tempts her beyond reason doesn’t fit in that picture. Unfortunately for her, he refuses to take no for an answer.

Did you do that math in your head?”
“Yes.” He crowds me.
“You need to stop that.” I have to tip my head up so I can meet his serious gaze.
“I need to stop doing mental math?”
“In public places, yes.” I bite my cheek to keep my smile in check.
“Do I want to ask why?”
“Because I find it sexy, and it makes me want to do inappropriate things to you in this aisle.

Pierce was absolutely delicious. I loved his unrelenting pursuit of Rian almost as much as I loved to see her unsuccessfully fight the connection between them only to inevitably give in to the explosive fireworks. Pierce was the steady force to Rian’s somewhat indecisive and skittish nature, and it was the perfect balance.

Everything about this book worked for me; the chemistry, the pacing, the character development. It was funny and steamy and absolute romcom perfection. I enjoyed it thoroughly and cannot recommend it enough. I’m also hoping to get a bit of redemption for Lawson with the next book, because he drove me crazy with his mood swings in this one and I’m itching for the details of why.

Read the first chapter of HOOKING UP by Helena Hunting

HOOKING UP
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: November 7, 2017

Amalie Whitfield is the picture of a blushing bride during her wedding reception–but for all the wrong reasons. Instead of proclaiming his undying love, her husband can be heard, by Amalie and their guests, getting off with someone else. She has every reason to freak out, and in a moment of insanity, she throws herself at the first hot-blooded male she sees. But he’s not interested in becoming her revenge screw.

Mortified and desperate to escape the post-wedding drama, Amalie decides to go on her honeymoon alone, only to find the man who rejected her also heading to the same tiny island for work. But this time he isn’t holding back. She should know better than to sleep with someone she knows, but she can’t seem to resist him.

They might agree that what happens on the island should stay on the island, but neither one can deny that their attraction is more than just physical.

Filled with hilariously scandalous situations and enough sexual chemistry to power an airplane from New York City to the South Pacific, Hooking Up is the next standalone, laugh-out-loud romantic comedy from Helena Hunting, the New York Times bestselling author of the Pucked series and Shacking Up.

AMAZON

One

Wedding Unbliss

Amie

This is the happiest day of my life. I allow that thought to roll around in my head, trying to figure out why it doesn’t seem to resonate the way it should. This should be the happiest day of my life. So I’m not exactly certain why the uneasy feeling I associate with cold feet is getting worse rather than dissipating. I’ve already done the hard part; walked down the aisle and said “I do.”

My husband excused himself to go to the bathroom several minutes ago and, based on Armstrong’s itinerary for the day, speeches are supposed to begin promptly at eight-thirty. According to my phone, that’s less than two minutes from now, and he’s not here. The emcee for the evening is awaiting Armstrong’s return before he begins. And then the real party can start. The one where we get to celebrate our commitment to each other as partners for life. As in the rest of my breathing days. Dear God, why does that make my stomach twist?

I sip my white wine. Armstrong pointed out that red is not a good idea with my dress, even though it’s my preference. Besides, I don’t want it to stain my teeth. That would make for bad pictures.

I glance around the hall and see my parents, who are probably celebrating the fact that I didn’t walk down the aisle with a convicted felon. And frankly, so am I. My dating history pre-Armstrong wasn’t fabulous.

The sheer number of people in attendance spikes my anxiety. Speaking in front of all of these people makes me want to drink more, which is a bad idea. Tipsy speeches could lead to saying the wrong thing. I check my phone under the table again. It’s after eight-thirty. The longer Armstrong takes to return, the further behind we’ll get. The music playlist, devised by Armstrong with painstaking efficiency, leaves no room for tardiness. If we don’t start on time I’ll have to take out a song, or possibly two, to compensate for his delay and he’s selected the order in such a way as to make that difficult and that will annoy him. I just want today to be perfect. I want it to be reflective of my decision to marry Armstrong. That I, Amalie Whitfield, can make good choices and am not a disgrace to my family.

“Where the hell is he?” I scan the room and take another small sip of my wine. I should switch to water soon so I don’t end up drunk, especially later, when all of this is over and we can celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other without clothes on. I’m hopeful it will last more than five minutes.

Ruby, my maid of honor and best friend for the past decade, puts a hand on my shoulder. “Would you like Bancroft to find Armstrong?”

Bancroft, or Bane for short, is Ruby’s boyfriend who she’s been living with for several months. Recently I find myself getting a little jealous of how affectionate they still are with each other, even after all this time. Cohabitation hasn’t slowed them down on the sex or their PDA. I have hope that Armstrong and I will be more like Bane and Ruby now that we’ll be sharing the same bed every night.

I’m about to tell Ruby to give him another minute when a low buzz suddenly fills the hall. It sounds like a school PA system. I start to panic—they can’t start the speeches without Armstrong at my side. What’s the point of speeches if the groom isn’t present?

I’m halfway out of my seat, ready to tell the deejay, or whoever is behind the mic, he needs to wait, when a very loud moan echoes through the room. The acoustics are phenomenal in here, it’s why we chose this venue.

I glance at Ruby to make sure I’m not hearing things. Her eyes are wide. The kind of wide associated with shock. The same shock I’m feeling.

Another moan reverberates through the sound system, followed by the words, “Oh, fuuuck.”

A collective gasp ripples through the now-silent crowd. While the words themselves are scandalous among these guests, it’s the voice groaning them that makes me sit up straighter, and simultaneously consider hiding under the table.

“Fuck yeah. Ah, suck it. That’s it. Deep throat it like a good little slut. Fuuuuuccckkkkk.”

My mouth drops and I look to Ruby to ensure I have not completely lost my mind. “Is that—” I don’t finish the sentence. I already know the answer to the question, so it’s pointless to ask. Besides, I’m cut off by yet another loud groan. I clap a hand over my mouth because I’m not sure I’m able to close it, my disbelief is as vast as the ocean.

Ruby’s expression mirrors mine, except hers is incredibly animated since she’s an actress. “Oh my God. Is that Armstrong?” Her words are no more than a whisper, but they sound very much like a scream. Oh no, wait, that’s just Armstrong on the verge of an orgasm. But these sounds are nothing like the ones he makes when he’s in the throes of passion with me.

I clutch Ruby’s hand. The next sound that comes from him is a hybrid between a hyena laugh and a wolf baying at the moon. And every guest at our wedding is hearing the same thing I am. Our wedding. Someone other than me is blowing my husband at my own wedding. My mortification knows no end.

I grab the closest bottle of wine and dump the contents into my glass. Some of it sloshes over the edge and onto the crisp white tablecloth. It doesn’t matter. There’s plenty more where it came from. I chug the glass, then grab Ruby’s.

People lean in and whisper to each other, eyes lift to the speakers. A few people, the ones who are probably just here for the social-ladder-climbing potential, question who it is.

“Is the deejay watching porn?” That comment comes from a table full of mostly drunk singles in their early twenties.

Several eyes shift my way as I carelessly down Ruby’s wine and someone asks where the groom has disappeared to.

The grunts and groans grow terrifyingly louder. This is nothing like what I’m used to in bed with Armstrong. The dirty words aren’t something he ever uses with me, mostly it’s just noises and sometimes a “Right there” or “I’m close,” but that’s about it. He’s never talked to me like he is to the woman currently providing oral pleasure. And I’m very adept at oral. Although with Armstrong it’s very polite, neat oral, with no sounds other than the occasional hum. Slurping is uncivilized and a definite no-no.

I reach past Ruby for the bottle of red since I don’t really give a flying fuck about purple teeth right now. As I sink low in my seat I pour another glass of wine, surveying the people in the ballroom from behind the cover of the centerpiece. The centerpieces are huge and excessive and I don’t like them at all, but at least provides a protective barrier between the guests and my disgust, which I’m certain they must share. He sounds like a wild animal rutting. It is entirely unsexy. I have no idea who he’s getting intimate with, but I’m suddenly very glad it’s not me.

And doesn’t that tell me more about our relationship than it should.

It’s only been about thirty seconds—the most humiliating thirty seconds of my life—before Armstrong comes. How do I know this? Because he says, very clearly, “Keep sucking, baby, I’m coming.”

And “baby,” whoever she is, makes these horrific gurgling noises. It sounds like some form of alien communication. It’s way over the top, and apparently Armstrong is loving it, based on the string of vile profanity that spews from his asshole mouth.

“Holy crap. Is this for real? That was really fast,” Ruby mutters.

I guzzle my glass of wine. Then decide the glass is unnecessary and take a long swig from the bottle before Ruby snatches it away. Wine dribbles down my chin and onto my chest, staining the white satin purple. My dress is ruined. I should be freaking out. But I really don’t care.

“Come on,” Ruby tugs on my hand. “We need to get you out of here while people are still distracted.”

My older brother Pierce and the emcee are standing in the middle of the hall, gesturing wildly to the speakers above us. My other brother, Lawson, is on his way toward the podium in an attempt to do something. I don’t think there’s anything he can do to stop this train wreck from there.

Ruby tugs again, but I’m frozen, still trying to figure out what exactly just happened. Well, I know what’s happened. I just can’t believe it.

The sound of a zipper and the rustle of clothes follows. “Thanks for that, now I’ll be able to last later tonight,” Armstrong says.

“What about me?” A female asks. Her voice is nasally and whiny.

“What about you?”

“Well I helped you, aren’t you going to help me?”

“Didn’t you come with a date?”

“Well, yes, but—” God her voice is familiar. I just can’t figure out where I know it from.

“My cousin, right? He loves my sloppy seconds. Speeches are starting. I gotta get back to my ball and chain.”

Gasps of horror ripple through the room, followed by a few giggles. These people really are assholes.

I think I’m going to throw up. I can’t believe he’s going to come out here and pretend nothing just happened. Like some other woman didn’t just have her lips around his cock. His distinctly average cock. Maybe even slightly below average in length, if I’m being one hundred percent honest.

A door opens and closes.

Lawson turns on the mic behind the podium and taps it, sending screeching feedback through the room, making people cringe. Too bad no one did that a minute ago.

Murmuring grows louder and glances flicker to the head table and then away as Brittany Thorton, a seriously skanky debutante, comes strutting through the doors, using a compact to check her lipstick. She’s made it her mission to attempt to get into the pants of half the eligible men in this room. She’s followed, not five seconds later, by a very smug-looking Armstrong.

“I’m going to kill him.” I grab the closest steak knife, but it appears my hasty, and possibly felonious, plan is unnecessary. My brothers leave their respective posts and stalk toward him. Across the room my mother is gripping my father’s arm, whispering furiously in his ear. Great. Just what I need, additional family drama.

“Oh shit,” Ruby gasps.

I follow her gaze to find Bane converging on Armstrong with my brothers. Bancroft is a tank and he used to play professional rugby. I’ve seen him with his shirt off, he’s built like a superhero and he’ll probably crush Armstrong, or at least break something. Possibly multiple somethings.

For a second I consider that Ruby should probably stop Bane from destroying Armstrong’s pretty, regal face, but then I realize I don’t actually care. In fact, the possibility that he might break Armstrong’s perfectly straight nose fills me with glee. Armstrong’s wellbeing is no longer my concern, it’s more about Bane ending up in prison for murder.

“I hope Armstrong has a good plastic surgeon, he’s going to need it once Bane is done with him.” Ruby echoes my internal hopes and her chair tips as she jumps up. “Come on, let’s get you out of here.” She nods to the right.

I notice my mother and father engaged in a heated discussion with Armstrong’s parents. I really don’t need this right now. Not the drama. Not the humiliation. All I wanted was a nice wedding. Instead I end up with a husband who gets a blow job during our reception—and it’s broadcast to everyone attending.

Ruby urges me into action. “Don’t worry about them. Get your stuff and we’ll get you the hell out of here. I’ll have the limo meet you by the entrance near your bridal suite as soon as I can.”

I nod and stumble unsteadily to my feet, thanks to having consumed the better part of a bottle of wine in the last minute and a half. It’s amazing how ninety seconds can change a person’s entire life.

All hell breaks loose as more men jump in to either pummel or extract Armstrong from the pummeling. I grab my clutch and phone from the table, gather up my stupid, too puffy gown, and head for the bridal suite, where I had prepared for what was supposed to be the most amazing day of my life. And now it’s likely the worst, at least I hope the mortification level I’m experiencing can’t exceed this. I feel like the foulest version of Cinderella ever.

I rush down the empty hall and grab the doorknob as I fumble around in my clutch for the key. I’m surprised when it turns. I thought I’d locked it before we left for the ceremony. Regardless, I need to get away from everyone before I either lose it or commit a felony. Maybe both. Murder in the first. Armstrong will be my victim. And maybe that horrible skank, Brittany.

I thrust the door open and slam it closed behind me, locking it from the inside. Tears threaten to spill over and ruin my makeup. Not that it matters since there’s no way I’m going out there again. I can’t believe my forever lasted less than twelve hours. I can’t believe the man I’m supposed to spend the rest of my life loving couldn’t be faithful to me for even one day. What the hell is wrong with me? With him? I’m as devastated as I am angry and embarrassed. Once I annul this farce of a marriage I’ll become a spinster. I should probably go ahead and adopt six or seven cats tonight.

“I need to get out of this dress,” I say to myself. I reach behind me and pull the bow at the base of my spine. Instead of unfurling, it knots and I only succeed in pulling it tighter. Of course my dress has to be difficult. I growl my annoyance and rush over to my dressing table where my makeup and perfume are scattered from earlier today. Half a mimosa sits unconsumed beside the vase of red roses Armstrong had delivered.

The card read: I can’t wait to spend forever loving you.

What a load of bullshit. I drain the contents of the champagne flute, not caring that the drink is warm and flat. Then I throw the glass, because it feels good and the sound of shattering crystal is satisfying. Next I heave the vase of roses, which explodes impressively against the wall, splattering water and shards of glass across the floor.

I yank out a couple of the drawers and find a pair of scissors. They actually look more like gardening shears and seem rather out of place, but I don’t question it. Instead I reach behind me with my back to the mirror and awkwardly try to cut myself free. It’s not easy with the way I have to crane my neck.

“Goddammit! I need to get out of this stupid dress!” I yell at my reflection. I think I might actually be losing it just a touch now. I stop messing around with the laces in the back and shove the scissors down the front. I nearly nick myself with the blade—they’re a lot sharper than I realized—but that doesn’t slow me down. I start hacking my way through the bodice; layers of satin, lace, and intricate beading sliced apart with every vicious snip.

I just want out of this nightmare.

Review: Shacking Up by Helena Hunting

SHACKING UP
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Comedy
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: May 30, 2017

Ruby Scott is months behind on rent and can’t seem to land a steady job. She has one chance to turn things around with a big audition. But instead of getting her big break, she gets sick as a dog and completely bombs it in the most humiliating fashion. All thanks to a mysterious, gorgeous guy who kissed—and then coughed on—her at a party the night before.

Luckily, her best friend might have found the perfect opportunity; a job staying at the lavish penthouse apartment of hotel magnate Bancroft Mills while he’s out of town, taking care of his exotic pets. But when the newly-evicted Ruby arrives to meet her new employer, it turns out Bane is the same guy who got her sick.

Seeing his role in Ruby’s dilemma, Bane offers her a permanent job as his live-in pet sitter until she can get back on her feet. Filled with hilariously awkward encounters and enough sexual tension to heat a New York City block, Shacking Up, from NYT and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting, is sure to keep you laughing and swooning all night long.

AMAZON | iBOOKS

This man is like a nuclear bomb of sexy, just waiting to go off. I’m honestly surprised women aren’t super-gluing themselves to his body like in one of those men’s spray deodorant commercials. He may actually need women repellent.

Girl, you tell NO lie. Bancroft “Bane” Mills was a whole different level of hotness and I’d lick the hell out of him….erm…LIKE. LIKE. I mean like the hell out of him. OK. No. I didn’t. But whatever. Moving on.

Every time I pick up a book with a ridiculously hot cover, I’m always extra nervous. Is the story going to live up to the cover? Is it going to overwhelmed by too much sex with a hot half nekkid dude on the cover. Yes, I just asked that. Quit giving me the stink eye. Even us perverts have standards. For the most part. Anyway. Moving on again.

I’m happy to report that the story was even better than the cover, and that cover is pretty freaking spectacular. It’s full of zingers, hilarious banter, slow burn romance, adorable pets, and awesome chemistry.

Did you kiss him back?”
I shrug.
“You didn’t even know who he was!”
“I was caught off guard. He’s a good kisser. And have you seen him? That man could revive a corpse with his hotness.”
“Sometimes you’re very creepy, you know that?”

Ruby is determined to make her dream of starring on broadway happen. But being a triple threat and the daughter to the man running a pharmaceutical empire hasn’t given her a boost. She walked away from everything to chase her dreams, even her father’s financial support. Everything is riding on her making the audition the next day…until a sexy, drunken and sick stranger proceeds to kiss her and sneeze on her, effectively infecting her with the flu from hell.

When Ruby realizes that the sexy stranger is none other than her best friend’s finance’s cousin, uber rich, ex Rugby superstar Bancroft Mills, she’s not exactly thrilled. But she’s also now homeless with no roles in prospect and no job, and Bane happens to have her solution in his very sexy hands; move into his apartment to take care of his pets while he’s away on a business trip. Sounds simple, right? Until their shacking up leads into an unlikely friendship with a heavy underlying of sexual chemistry that’s so thick, it’s practically suffocating. Add into the mix Tiny the tarantula and an adorable ferret, an it’s a recipe for a laugh out loud romance.

I love a good slow burn and the one here was perfection. Ruby and Bane’s relationship goes from texts to FaceTime to something much, much more…

Bancroft shirtless is a vision. Bancroft naked is damn well fucking phenomenal. “Oh God, that is huge!” I say when I finally reach the visual destination of Erectiontopia.

With just the perfect amount of steam, Shacking Up was a laugh out loud, feel good romance sure to put a goofy smile on your face and a swoon in your heart. Helena Hunting effortlessly mixes humor with undeniable chemistry and endearing characters to create one delicious story that enjoyed from cover to cover.

Release Tour & Geri’s Review

PUCKED OFF
Series:
Pucked #5
Genre: Contemporary Romance 
Author: Helena Hunting
Release Date: Feb 21, 2017

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***

I’m NHL defenseman Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance.”

I’m notorious for parties and excess. I have the most penalty minutes in the league. I get into the most fights. I take the most hits. I’m a player on and off the ice. I’m the one women with no inhibitions want.

Not because I like the notoriety, but because I don’t know how to be any other way.

I have secrets. Ones I shared with the wrong person, and she used them against me. Sometimes she still does. I should cut ties. But she makes it difficult, because she’s the kind of bad I deserve.

At least that’s what I believed until someone from my past gets caught up in my present. She’s all the good things in this world. She lights up my dark.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do.

I should leave her alone.

But I won’t.

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For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.” 

Full disclosure: This my first Helena Hunting book ever. And I know it’s already the 5th book in the series and all that but this was marketed as a standalone. Not only that, the blurb/summary for this book spoke to me. This is my kind of book.

Lance is an NHL defeseman known for his excesses and hotheadedness on and off the field. Despite being successful at hockey and surrounded by people everyday, Lance still feels lonely and isolated. It’s a theme throughout his life.

His pain and loneliness was exacerbated when he got into an ill-advised relationship with their team trainer. The relationship crashed and burned and it left Lance more broken than ever.

I kept hoping she’d decide I was enough. Stupid, huh?”
“It’s not stupid, Lance. Sometimes it’s hard to tell your heart not to want someone, even if all they do is hurt you.”

Enter Poppy, a woman who shares a history with Lance. For Poppy, Lance is her “what could have been.” She has this idealized version of Lance that is far from who he is now. The problem is Lance doesn’t quite remember her.

What I really loved about this book is the way Lance and Poppy’s story sort of came full circle. Not just their love story and how that developed but also with their character arcs. Poppy is the perfect foil for him. She’s light to his dark. She’s everything that Lance craved and wanted for in so long but never succeeded in attaining.

There’s something about a broken hero who strives to be good but fails most of the time. He’s also the kind of hero who made mistakes and has to pay for those mistakes. Lance embodies that perfectly.

You’re all the good things I didn’t know I was missing.”

My only complaint–and this is probably because I’ve never had a chance to meet her before this book–is Tasha. She’s bordering caricature villain. The only perspective we got is from Lance, which isn’t flattering to say the least.

Again, maybe those who’ve read the book will have deeper understanding about her character but for me, meh. Despite all the “bad” things she’s done to Lance, her character is uninteresting. And while her presence served as a conflict at the beginning of the story, it got weaker and weaker towards the middle and through the end.

Despite my issues, this was a book that captured and held my attention from beginning until the end. Lance and Poppy’s HEA was well earned and well deserved. And that sweet epilogue was just icing on top.

My darling girl. I’ve never had someone who was just mine, body and soul—mine to protect and hold and love. And that’s what Sarah is . . . she belongs to me now. We belong to each other.

Armed with my clipboard, I walk down the hall to the waiting room. Lance is impossible to miss. Despite the fact that he’s wearing a sweatshirt and the hood is covering half of his face, he’s more than six feet of broad, hockey-playing man.

He’s so wide his shoulders encroach on the chairs on either side, which would explain why no one is sitting next to him. He’s slouched down so his head rests on the back of the chair, and his hands are clasped in his lap, a baseball cap hanging off one knee. His lips, plush and soft—I know since I’ve had them on mine; it might have been a decade ago, but I remember it clearly—are parted. He looks like he’s asleep.

I clear my throat. “Lance Romero?”

He doesn’t move.

Bernadette, the receptionist, gives me a meaningful look.

I clear my throat again and call his name a second time. He jolts awake and the hood falls back, exposing his face. It’s not in good shape. He has a black eye and bruises on his left cheek. There’s a fly bandage across one eyebrow.

Sadly, he’s still hot.

He blinks a few times, yawns, and smacks his lips, his tongue touching the split in the bottom one. His gaze sweeps the room and finally lands on me. Heat explodes in my cheeks and courses through my limbs, warming me from the inside out as he starts at my sneaker-clad feet and roams up over my yoga pants to my company-issued T-shirt before stopping at my face. I can’t look directly at him for more than a couple of seconds. I sincerely hope he doesn’t remember me. I cannot go there and also be professional.

I’m sure the smile he gives me has melted many a panty off a slutty bunny. Mine stay right where they’re supposed to, wedged up my ass.

I force a polite, professional veneer. “I’m ready for you now.”

NYT and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She’s writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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