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Pucked #5

Pucked Off

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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.

***A Standalone novel in the Pucked series.***

400 pages, ebook

First published February 21, 2017

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About the author

Helena Hunting

72 books22.9k followers
Helena Hunting is the author of The USA Today and NYT bestselling PUCKED Series. She lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes everything from romantic sports comedy to new adult angst.

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Profile Image for Angie - Angie's Dreamy Reads.
686 reviews13.5k followers
February 21, 2017
HOW DO I GET OVER THAT? Seriously, how on earth do I get over such a phenomenal story?

I'm just ::: stares into space, grasping for words::: I'm overwhelmed. Overwhelmed by all I'm feeling, and all I'm thinking. I almost don't know where to start with this review. And I most certainly feel as though I just had a moment. A BOOK MOMENT. One where I read something that affected me so deeply, I can't even form words to describe it.

I mean, my first response after finishing was to release several breaths, close my eyes, and savor the moment, the journey, I had just gone on. And then I had an immediate urge to go and re-rate other books I had read in the past because this story changes the way you see things. This book PUMMELS you in the feels. And I'm here to tell you that I have MAJOR FEELINGS for this book. My feelings are so HUGE, so MASSIVE, so ALL ENCOMPASSING they can barely be contained. And because of that this review is going to be long-winded and a little all over the place, so be prepared.

First off, before I even begin to get into things, I want to say.... I WAS NOT EXPECTING THIS. I was not expecting the deep, torturous, gut you, make you cry, emotions that Pucked Off had in it. I mean, I am no stranger to this standalone series. I have read Pucked (which I LOVED) and I did read Pucked Up (which I, unfortunately, didn't totally love and because of that I passed on Lily and Randy's books. That said, I do plan to go back and read those now)! So yes, I know this series, and it's always been light and sassy and kind of OTT on the humor. And so, going into Pucked Off, I was expecting the same light feels as before... BUT NO. JUST NO.


Lance's book is deep and ache inducing and completely heartfelt. And it, from the very first sentence, steals the air from your lungs and traps you. I was literally STOLEN from the first chapter. It gave me a sensation of feeling fevered with the need, the urge, to know what was going to happen. Only a few books have done that to me in the past, and this was absolutely in the "group" of reads that I would classify as unforgettable. And I think so much of that had to do with Lance Romero.

Lance was one of the most breathtaking characters I have ever had the pleasure of reading. This man DESTROYED me. I mean, DE-FUCKING-STROYED ME! I had this clawing need to climb inside my kindle, wrap my arms around him, and LOVE HIM. LOVE HIM DEEPLY and THOROUGHLYuntil he knew he was an amazing book soul. This man is broken. So damn broken. His past is full of demons that are haunting him. And those demon's have shaped his perception of the world, of who he is as a person, and Lance is barely getting by. His view is so distorted that his destructive patterns are ripping him apart at the seams. And things are coming close to not only affecting his career, but his friendships, his life, his everything.

Lance, though, is the definition of a book boyfriend. But not in the way you're thinking. Not in that over the top, I am man, I am alpha, cookie cutter way we are used to. No, he is a book boyfriend because his struggle makes him FEEL REAL, ALIVE. It gives him LIFE to the reader and makes him RELATABLE. He is simply so easy to love because at his core, this man is good. HE IS ALL THINGS THAT DEFINE GOOD. And you just can't stop yourself from falling. It's a visceral, overpowering sensation.

But Lance doesn't see himself as anything of worth, and his behavior breaks you as a reader. When this mystery girl enters the picture, she breathes life into Lance's dark world. Honestly, this girl takes this book from SPECTACULAR to PHENOMENAL. She, for me, was one of the most incredible heroines I have ever read. The way she dealt with Lance, even despite the pain he had caused her in the past (and oh yeah, they have a past), was AWE INSPIRING. She was so sweet, so generous, kind, smart and forgiving, I was enthralled by her.

Reading Lance's love story invigorated me as a reader. Lance's vulnerability when it comes to this mystery woman was refreshing, and watching their relationship take shape inspired me, and it made me realize why I LOVE reading romance. There is something so very profound about the concept of soulmates. And I feel like that is what keeps me a romance reader. The idea of having that one person that is DESTINED to be yours and only yours.


And I love that sensation of falling in love as the characters fall. It's intoxicating. The way Helena Hunting wrote this book, I felt as though I was living it. It was palpable, visceral, tangible, like I could reach out and touch this romance, make it my own. I swear, I'm crazy in love with these characters. Their love story was raw and heartbreaking, beautiful and life giving, and that was because Lance's mystery girl was so good and pure, and Lance, who's broken and sad and desperate, lets this woman in and allows her to INSPIRE him to change and heal and CHOOSE a new way of living.

God, I hope that even makes sense, lol. But this was so much more than I was expecting and I was taken by how deep I fell in love with these characters. I truly don't know what else to say except, it's beautiful. The story is so beautiful, and I feel so romanced by it. I just want to talk about it, think about it, and LIVE in it forever.

Overall, you can obviously tell that I am LOSING my mind over Pucked Off. I MORE THAN LOVED IT. It's a standalone romance. YOU CAN START the Pucked Series here. Really, you can. And if I were you, I would. I just think out of ALL the books that have come out of this series, this is hands down the best. The most real and heartfelt. I give it infinite stars. I know I will always think of this book when I think of my ULTIMATE favorites. Romantic, sweet, heartbreaking and unforgettable, Lance Romero is the reason books boyfriends exist, and Pucked Off should be a mandatory read for every romance reader around. Phenomenal. Breathtaking. It was everything.

ARC received in exchange for an honest review

Profile Image for Helena Hunting.
Author 72 books22.9k followers
May 1, 2017
Lance is HERE!!!!!


Read on for an excerpt from Pucked Off:

I’ve agreed to go out with Lance. On a date. Two actually. I don’t even know what to think. I grab my purse and slip into my jacket. As fall settles in and the temperature drops, layers are becoming necessary.
When I return, Lance is standing at the desk, checking his phone. He’s smiling.
“Ready to go,” I say.
He hits a couple of buttons, pockets his phone, and turns that grin on me. “Cool.”
I lock up the clinic, and Lance walks me across the lot. This time he doesn’t leave the usual space between us, and the back of his hand grazes my hip.
I’m nervous when we reach my car. His Hummer is parked right behind my Mini this time. I adjust the strap of my purse and look up at him. Strangely, he looks as nervous as me.
He scans my face and takes a small step closer. I can see his hand lifting in my peripheral vision. My hair is in a ponytail, which is sitting on my shoulder. He fingers the end of it.
“Why do I always want to pull this?”
I don’t have the opportunity to answer, because he drops his head and his lips skim my cheek.
“I want to kiss you.”
“You just did,” I whisper.
“I want do it again, but here.” His thumb touches my bottom lip.
He’s so close. His lips almost touching mine as he asks, “Can I do that?”
“Yes, please.”
His lids grow heavy, and he kisses the corner of my mouth. Lance strokes my cheek and rests his palm on the side of my neck. The other hand skims the length of my arm until he reaches my fingertips.
He leans back a little, and for a second I think it’s over before it’s even begun, but he takes my hand in his. Uncurling my fingers, he lifts it and presses my palm against his cheek. A full-body tremor runs through him, and his eyes drift closed. He turns his head toward my palm, and I smooth my thumb along the contour of his bottom lip. A deep sound comes from the back of his throat, making my skin prickle and heat blossom in my belly.
When he opens his eyes again, the fire in them matches the heat flooding my entire body. “Can you keep yer hand right here?”
“If you want me to, yes.”
“I definitely do.”
He leans in and brushes his lips over mine again. It’s soft and warm. The next time he takes my bottom lip between his, he releases it slowly, and then does the same with the top one. When his tongue flicks out, I might whimper. Light fingers cup my head, and I tilt it back farther.
I part my lips, and his tongue sweeps my mouth. His groan is low, sending a shiver down my spine. He drops the hand that’s keeping mine pressed against his cheek. His arm winds around my waist, and he pulls me in tight against him.
I expect the kiss to grow in intensity. It doesn’t, though I can feel the heat building inside me. That feeling I’ve been searching for all these years is finally back.


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Profile Image for Karen Mc .
948 reviews726 followers
February 23, 2017

You don’t find love. It finds you. It’s got a little bit to do with destiny, fate, and what’s written in the stars.

Love found me in Helena Hunting’s newest hockey romance, Pucked Off. Oh DID I LOVE THIS STORY!!! So deep and different...unlike any other story in the Pucked series...JUST WOW!!!

I started Pucked Off with a big smile on my face as the books in the Pucked series have been a mix of a lot of humor, heat, and heart and a little heartbreak. After a few words on the first page, I wiped that smile off of my face, replacing it with a mix of a serious meets sad face. My eyes were already ready to bleed tears. I KNEW from just one page that this book would break me, and that it did. Pucked Off BROKE ME IN THE BEST WAY!!!

After just a few pages, I was UTTERLY ENTHRALLED. Pucked Off was ADDICTION…MY ACHE…MY ALL!!! I did not want to…could not…stop devouring this soulful story. After just a few pages, I KNEW THAT THIS STORY WAS SIX STARS, A TOP 2017 READ.

You may think you know hockey player, Lance ‘Romance’ Romero, from the glimpses of this hot Scot who looks like a fiery Viking with his red hair, tall and muscular body, and piercing green eyes…BUT YOU HAVE NO CLUE!!! There is way more to Mr. Romance than meets the eye. Mr. Mystery is finally solved and you will be besotted with his soul-searing story like I was.

I’m a legend. I’m the one people whisper about, even though half of the rumors aren’t true. I’m the man women with no inhibitions want. And I f**king hate it.

Lance collides with a beautiful ginger who is as sweet as pie. Her life is pretty routine until it’s uprooted by a certain hockey player.

The instant connection between this couple was palpable. It wasn’t just chemistry; it was a feeling of fate.

I could kiss her forever. I could live in this memory – past fused with the present. This kiss would be my heaven.

This story sparked to life as magic poured from the pages. I SWOONED SO MUCH at these tender and touching words that kissed me as butterflies fluttered around my heart.

I want to be worthy, and I’m afraid I’ll never be.

This broken man BROKE ME!!! I was GUTTED…UNGLUED by Lance as my heart was crushed along with his.

I have a broken boy who’s become a broken man, and as stupid and naïve as it may be, I want to be part of what heals him.

Lance is broken but light lingers through that dark exterior, ready to burst and break free, waiting for an angel to save him from the dark.

“I think there are parts of me that can’t be fixed.”

Pucked Off was nothing I expected at all: it was MORE! So much more! This story stole, scorched, and shattered my soul. This book broke my heart, hitting it hard like a puck to the gut, shattering it like pieces of ice. Pucked Off is all of the heart and all of the soul! Heart-wrenching and heartwarming, this hockey romance will break your heart in the best way!!!

I felt every word I read in Pucked Off where I was left gasping for air, wading in an explosion of emotions. Pucked Off is sorrow…soul…swoon…sensations…SO MUCH OF EVERYTHING! Pucked Off OWNED EVERY PUCKING PIECE OF ME!!!

This devastatingly beautiful book is Helena Hunting’s most PUCKING PERFECT romance yet and a top 2017 read!!! Pucked Off BLEW ME AWAY!!! Pucked Off is the most heartfelt hockey romance I’ve ever read. Helena Hunting brought her A-Game in Pucked Off. This game is still far from over for me, as my heart is still pounding for Mr. Romance.

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

★★★★★★ pucking perfect stars

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Profile Image for Shayna.
1,813 reviews594 followers
February 7, 2017
One of my FAVORITE masters of Romantic Comedy goes deep in her latest Pucked novel, PUCKED OFF - which if you're a fan of this AMAZING series, you will know that this is Lance's story. It feels like I've been waiting for his happily ever after for forever, so when it was finally in my hands, I couldn't get myself to read it right away. I was scared to be honest with you. I knew that his story was going to be unlike any other in the series, and I was afraid where that might have led. I mean, his story has been built up through multiple books, and I just didn't want it to end yet.

"I wanna deserve you. Why can't I find a way to deserve you?"

So, I finished this in about 3 hours, which is way faster than my normal. You wanna know why? Because I couldn't put this book down for the life of me. I was entranced, captivated, and absolutely STUNNED by this book! I had NO idea that Lance's demons ran that deep. I felt my heart breaking with every turn of the page. It left me breathless, speechless, and enamored. And I thought to myself, Helena Hunting put me under her spell AGAIN! I don't know how this author does it - constantly pushing the boundaries on this series and surprising us with every new release. My heart might have been breaking throughout this story, but Ms. Hunting carefully mended it back together with the ease of a FANTASTICALLY TALENTED romance author. The second I finished this book, I wanted to experience it all over again! THAT is what makes this a 5 STAR READ! THAT is what makes this an absolute MUST READ! And THAT is what makes PUCKED OFF one of my FAVORITES of the series!

pucked off teaser

Profile Image for Amy.
1,617 reviews165 followers
February 19, 2017
As much as I have enjoyed Helena Hunting's Pucked series, I had no idea how much I needed Lance's story. He's a character who always intrigued me, sliding through the backgrounds of Alex's, Miller's, and Randy's stories. I wanted to know more about his relationship with Tash, the team's physical therapist, and I was curious about him. But did I *need* him?

It turns out I did.

Lance's story is the richest, most emotionally compelling of the Pucked series. Helena Hunting made me cry, and she made me so desperate to find out what happens with Lance that I kicked sleep to the curb.

Lance "Romance" Romero earns by his reputation as a ladies' man with apparent gusto, but the truth is far from that. He gives into his urges, yet he wants what his friends have. Alex, Miller, and Randy have serious, stable relationships, and Lance has a yearning for that. So desperate is he for stability that he misplaces his trust and endures a toxic relationship.

His inner turmoil manifests itself physically (in more than one way), which leads him to a massage therapist. Lance fails to recognize that he first met her ten years ago and reconnected with her (in a way) the previous year. She, though, remembers Lance, having romanticized him to a certain extent. When she has to knead his glutes, she finds herself practically living a fantasy.

For a romance to blossom between Lance and his massage therapist, our hero needs to overcome a horrific childhood. There is so much more to Lance than Hunting has led you to believe. His is a story with depth, and he will break your heart. And then Hunting takes this in a different direction from what you might expect, placing the power in the relationship with her heroine. This woman is not a woman who pines for her man. Rather, she is a woman who believes in the power of love yet refuses to succumb to the fantasy.

And, yes, Hunting treats you to some scorching hot headboard rocking. As effective authors do, she uses the sexy times to reveal more about her characters and to increase the emotional impact of the story. Of course, you will squeeze your thighs together as she delivers the quiver, so be warned: you will need to strap on your vibrators when Lance gets going.

I loved this book. I love Lance. I thought my heart belonged to Alex and Violet, but now I'm thinking that Lance might just nudge Alex out of the top stop.
Profile Image for Sarah.
1,631 reviews1,254 followers
February 23, 2017


OMG!!! Pucked Off is completely and totally AMAZING! Helena Hunting has outdone herself with the newest edition to the Pucked series. It is heartbreaking yet still contains a message of healing and hope, angsty yet still contains the humor readers love from the series, and romantic yet sexy. It is the complete and total package, and, to be honest, I expected nothing less from Lance Romero and Helena Hunting!

Lance is one of the main reasons I love this book so much. My infatuation with this character began with his appearance in Forever Pucked, and I lost my mind when I found out Lance would be the hero of the next book in the series. My fangirling is completely warranted, as Lance is so incredibly complex and tragic, yet still shows incredible strength and grit. My heart lies in pieces over this man. The self-loathing, knowingly emotionally harming himself with a toxic relationship, broke my heart into tiny little pieces throughout this book. I had an actual ache permeate throughout my heart. I just wanted to hold him and tell him that he is worthy of love from himself and others. Even though he has this self-hatred and low self-worth, he still is incredibly caring and sweet. Watching him with his heroine and his friends as the novel progresses, only showcases how worthy he is of all the greatest things this world has to offer, but more than anything he is worthy of real love Watching him learn this lesson is so hard, but it is worth it. When he evolves throughout the novel and finally gets that HEA, my heart was so full with love for him and his lady.

The heroine of this story is also incredibly wonderful. She is so caring and gentle, yet she takes great lengths to protect herself. She doesn’t, though, shut him out in order to guard her heart. She is also completely intuitive, picking up on things that make him tense, angry, or cause him to shut down, and instead of using it to her advantage it, she uses to help him heal and to show him he is worthy of love. She also shows him the importance of self-love and self-preservation as she is unwilling to roll over during the conflict of the novel. I would have adored this character on her own, but the fact that she helped one of my favorite characters evolve and heal and become a better version of himself only makes me love her that much more.

This story is a little different from the previous books in the Pucked series, which is to be expected, as Lance is the most damaged. Helena Hunting has crafted a story that shows the long and arduous process of healing from years of hatred and manipulation from others and sometimes self-inflicted. Her development of Lance throughout the story will hurt you with each memory that is told, and readers will completely empathize with his character. They root for him! They want him to see his value as they do! They want him to find love with his lady! Ms. Hunting does an amazing job at blending his story of redemption with the romance with his heroine. The way she weaves these two plot lines together has them being supports for the others. His evolution as character coincides with their evolution as a couple. What I love most about this story line is that while the conflict revolved around who I thought it would, it didn’t play out the way I thought it would, which only exemplifies how much Lance has changed and grown from his healthy and loving relationship with his lady. The ending of the story is also the stuff of dreams, providing the reader the happy ending that these two characters desperately deserve.

Helena Hunting is a fantastic author, an automatic one-click writer for me, and she gets better and better with each book. I honestly don’t know how she continues to do it, but I hope it never ends, as her stories have heart, humor, and heat, which is everything a phenomenal romance should have. Pucked Off is all of this and more. It is true angsty romance perfection.
ARC received in exchange for an honest review.

For more reviews and other book news, check out Musings of the Modern Belle at www.modernbellebooks.com.
Profile Image for Michelle.
2,101 reviews1,254 followers
March 8, 2017
ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest review

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Pucking Amazing!!!!!! Helena Hunting has once again worked her literary magic of a hat trick as she has me totally smitten for that ginger hockey bad boy, Lance Romero and of course his leading lady, Poppy.

 photo blackPNG_zpswiaij4yr.png “I savor her— taste her mouth, sample the sweetness of her tongue and the press of her body against mine. I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. I don’t want to claim, fuck, devour. I want to be worthy, and I’m afraid I never will be. This is exactly what makes me a bad person, because that won’t stop me. I’ll get inside her. I’ll find out how good it feels to be with her, even if I never deserve her.”


If you have been following the series, we have watched each of Chicago’s premier hockey players slowly get their pucking happily ever after and of course Helena Hunting had to save the best for last. That’s right Lance Romero is finally getting his aye happily ever after and let me just say it’s one unforgettable story.

Lance’s story was everything that I could have wanted, hoped, and expected from Helena. In all honesty, Helena has me on a Lance and Poppy high. I don’t want to say much because this book is all about experiencing and getting to know the real Lance. And the real Lance Romero is beautifully broken and vulnerable.

 photo blackPNG_zpswiaij4yr.png “For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.”

From Hunting’s sophisticated prose, smart and witty dialogue, charismatic characters, and epic love story, she creates one unforgettable story that was brimming with visceral raw emotions. I can go on and on about how amazing this story is but I won’t because I don’t want readers to miss out in falling in love with Lance Romero and Poppy. So if you are looking for a story, where you want to spend seven minutes in heaven with one sexy ginger then I highly recommend you to go pucking crazy and read Pucked Off.

 photo MICHELLE1_zps3515xymk.jpg Helena Hunting

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Profile Image for Cristiina♡Reads.
574 reviews3,303 followers
February 26, 2019
➳With an emotionally captivating love story, filled with emotions and actions that bring a new definition of passion and adoration, Helena Hunting absorbs the reader’s imagination and heart with such an eloquent love story that will have you tearing up for Lance and Poppy…

➳Any basic story would start off with a prologue, identifying the story behind one or both main characters. Or, it could start off with the past story in a timeline representing something that may have triggered the main character to do certain things that would affect it in the future, and come back to bight it in the ass. Helene Hunting does neither of those. In this love story of Lance and Poppy, Helena does add the idea of reencountering the first encounter of the main characters- that’s when Poppy and Lance come in. Lance has a reputation- a reputation a reputation that has made him known for his unique ways of being intimate with others, a reputation that has messed up his mind emotionally and mentally. When he opened up to someone emotionally, about his past that has caused him physical and emotional pain in his present life. He cannot be touched due to his past and what his mother did, bringing a dilemma to his present life, especially when it comes down to women and being intimate with them. Poppy on the other hand is such a sweetheart and handles her situations that are problematic in a suave pace. She processes things down to the details that they should be. With lance however, she has a history with him that at first he cannot remember since he has tried to keep his bad memories packed away, even if the good ones are there as well. Everything in her life was normal until he walked in and kissed her. And it goes the same way with Lance, Poppy changes his life and his way of letting people in once again even after that one person whom he let in destroyed his trust. With Poppy, he views things differently and adores being in her presence;
“Poppy is nothing like the women I usually end up in bed with. She’s not brazen. She’s not looking to break conventions. She’s the opposite, and I want to be exactly what she needs, except I’m not sure…”

➳As a hockey player, Lance has away games and whenever he was far away from Poppy, he always felt that a part of him was missing. That’s when he realized that her touch is something special, something that he did not get to experience before and wants it… no, CRAVES it. Not wanting to let go of her, he comes to a conclusion that even though his past has had a major effect on him and how he has not been able to be intimately personal with someone, with Poppy it was different.But when the media takes its hold, and his past “conquest” comes back to hunt him again, Poppy comes to realize that maybe they are not meant to be. Their ups and downs are very well balanced which is what I appreciated from Helena’s writing since you mostly read stories with the main characters fighting all the time, but this had an excellently balanced charisma and a sense of relationship reality to it.

➳Overall, this story was beyond compelling with a mixture of emotions, heartache, physical attraction, and the honesty of finding the one in our lives. Thank you Helena for letting me read this magnificent and tasteful love story that is part of a great series. I hope we get to read more on Abby and Rookie in the future (question mark?) **wink, wink** They would be a fun ride to read about for sure...

➳The Pucked Series:
Pucked (Pucked #1)Pucked Up (Pucked #2)Pucked Over (Pucked #3)Forever Pucked (Pucked #4)Pucked Off (Pucked #5)

➳Hero rating: 5.0
➳Heroine rating: 5.0
➳Sexual tension rating: 4.5
➳Sex scenes rating: 5.0
➳Sex scenes frequency: 5.0
➳Plot rating: 4.5
➳Dialogue rating: 5.0
➳Storytelling rating: 5.0
➳Story ending rating: 5.0

➳Pre-Order Links:

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ARC kindly provided by author & publisher in exchange for an honest review…
Profile Image for Patty ~ Wrapped Up In Reading Book Blog.
1,260 reviews9,962 followers
February 25, 2017
{ARC Generously Provided by Author}

We’re both full of fire, and his past is full of pain he carries with him. But I’m willing to try, because I want him. And more than that, this man is the kind of beautiful I need in my life.

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I think I just fell that much more in love with Helena Hunting!! This series has been nothing short of STELLAR for me. It is definitely, by far, my most favorite Sports RomCom series ever! Each book is simply superb! I have been waiting for months to be able to read Lance “Romance” Romero’s story and you know how they say “some things are worth the wait”? That saying perfectly describes this book. It was like an early birthday present that has left me with a permanent smile on my face. I had a feeling Lance’s book was going to be different from the previous books because of the darkness that seemed to always surround his character and even though this one lacked the hilarious laugh-out-loud moments we have come to expect from the Pucked series, it didn’t make it any less fabulous!

We have gotten to know Lance through every passing book in the PUCKED series, but what I can tell you after having read this one, those little snippets barely scratched the surface of what this complex character was really like on the inside. I have always stood firm on the fact that I am an Alex Waters girl, but I think he may have to share the spot of #1 in my heart with Lance now. This man is utterly broken but it is his inner frailty that makes him truly beautiful. Lance has had a very hard life, particularly it’s his childhood that all of his painful darkness stems from. Always having been reminded that he was nothing by his own mother and having been the victim of child abuse, has left lasting damage to Lance’s psyche. Everyone thought that he was the bad guy in the scandal that surrounded his romantic involvement with the team’s trainer, Natasha. What we should have learned after having read so many books in the series is that things don’t always appear to be the way they seem. Tash is nothing short of an evil, conniving witch and she used Lance’s brokenness to inflict her special kind of torture and head games.

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After having gone on a drunken binge which was spurred on by yet another hurtful encounter with Tash, Lance ends up getting the crap beat out of him in a bar fight. His body is covered in bruises and he can barely move around on the ice, so he is ordered by one of his trainers to go for a massage session. It’s the last thing he wants because he has an adverse reaction to any kind of physical touch to his body. He does go for his massage appointment since he is warned he’ll be benched for the next game if he doesn’t go. As soon as he sees his massage therapist, he’s instantly attracted and drawn to her and miraculously her touch is actually soothing to him. Little does he know that she is no stranger to him, but unfortunately his drinking and his ability to turn off memories from his past has him totally forgetting the beautiful and sweet woman who has never forgotten him.

Lance isn’t the type of man who ever wanted to be in a relationship with a woman since there has never been one who he could stand to be touched by, but something about Poppy brings him peace and a sense of longing he can hardly comprehend. This woman is pure and is nothing like Tash or the puck bunnies he has been accustomed to. Once he realizes that this connection that is building between them is what he wants more than anything will he be able to hold on to the happiness that he’s so sure he’s undeserving of?

I was completely consumed by Lance’s story and there were even times that I got a bit misty eyed and my heart ached for this beautiful broken man! If you have not read this series yet, I STRONGLY recommend it! It’s nothing but pure goodness!

PUCKED OFF is currently available! Make sure you one-click!! This could be read as a standalone but, you’re crazy if you don’t read the previous books!!

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iWXrAJ
Amazon UK: http://tinyurl.com/zs5ltao
Amazon CA: http://tinyurl.com/znznqfc
Amazon AU: http://tinyurl.com/hboua56
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Profile Image for ✰ Liz ✰ .
1,349 reviews1,264 followers
February 25, 2017
"You see the little redhead? She's mine."

Pucked Off is the fifth book in the Pucked Series by the fabulous Helena Hunting. There is truly no words to express the magnitude of my love for this series. The colorful characters, witty dialogue, complex plot, and undeniable steam intricately crafted in one beautiful package NEVER GETS OLD! Each and every NHL player and their girl have kept me entertained with every single turn of the page. Lance Romero, AKA Lance “Romance." is one player I have been dying to get to know better. And as I expected, Pucked Off exceeded all my expectations tenfold and I am happily PUCKED once again!

"I wanna deserve you."
Lance is quite the player (both on the ice and in the bedroom). After trying to survive a scandalous affair with the team trainer Tash, Lance has been left hurting and alone. Watching all of his best friends and teammates pair off with the loves of their lives has only served as a painful reminder that he is never meant to be loved or give love. With Tash still trying to wreak havoc in his life, it seems as though Romance will never find a sliver of peace. But when an injury sends him straight to a massage therapist named Poppy, suddenly everything changes.

"Loving this man isn't going to be easy, but I still want to try."
Poppy couldn't be more horrified to see Lance (her first crush) laid out on her table for a therapeutic massage. Her last interaction with Lance was less than stellar. When Lance doesn't shy away from Poppy's touch, it becomes evident that these two have a connection. Lance doesn't quite remember Poppy and Poppy is afraid to reveal her identity to the hot hockey player! As the spark begins to flourish between the two, Lance and Poppy form a beautiful bond. The two spend time together and as each moment blends into the next the passion, romance, and friendship become an unstoppable force. Or is it? With Tash and the paparazzi ready to pounce on this new budding love, Poppy and Lance will need to find a way to hold on tight to each other and trust in their love.

"I hope your beaver is ready."
Told in dual POV, Pucked Off is absolute perfection. Lance is complex with his sordid past and constant desire to isolate himself from intimacy. Poppy is a perfect match for our damaged hero. The fact that they have a history together only sweetens this plot that much more. The passion between Lance and Poppy is addictive, and I simply did not want this one to end. This installment of the series maintained the upbeat tempo, witty banter, and sexy steam that I have grown to love and yet, Pucked Off offered an additional richness with the complexities hidden in Lance's past. In true PUCKED fashion, we get a happy dose of all of our favorite players and their girls! The relationships embedded in this series are unique as this hockey family is full of love for each other. The constant presence of loyalty, family, and friendship is just another reason I simply cannot stay away from this series.


Overal, Pucked Off is a must read! The Pucked Series is full of unforgettable characters, smoking hot steam, and a plot that continues to develop and grow with each book release. I don't consider myself a huge sports romance fan and yet, I have been PUCKED from the very first word on the first page read! If you are looking for a sexy romance that will make you laugh, cry, and swoon, then look no further Lance, Poppy, and all of the Pucked characters are exactly what you need! I will simply never get enough!

Pucked (Pucked, #1) by Helena HuntingPucked Up (Pucked, #2) by Helena HuntingPucked Over (Pucked, #3) by Helena HuntingForever Pucked (Pucked, #4) by Helena HuntingAREA 51 Pucked Series Deleted Scenes & Outtakes (Pucked, #4.1) by Helena HuntingPucked Under (Pucked, #4.5) by Helena HuntingPucked Off (Pucked, #5) by Helena Hunting

*ARC graciously provided in exchange for an honest review!

For more reviews/reveals/giveaways visit:
July 2, 2021
Pucking A!

The following ratings are out of 5:
Narration: 🎧🎧🎧🎧
Romance: ❤️💙💜💚💛
Heat/Steam: 🔥🔥🔥🔥
Story/Plot: 📙📕📗📘📔
World building: 🌎🌏🌍🌎🌍
Character development: 😌🤓😬😯🤗

The heroine: Poppy O’Conner - a massage therapist at a clinic. She once knew Lance and had a crush on him and a few months ago they crossed paths again and he didn’t recognize her and ended up sleeping with her friend.

The Hero(es): Lance “Romance” Romero - he has appeared in some of the previous books. He has a lot of wild parties at his house which are full of puck bunnies. He had a contentious affair with the team trainer and she got fired for it after they were caught together in the locker room at the stadium.

The Story: Lance has a lot of issues stemming from his childhood. Poppy had a schoolgirl crush on him and had put him on a huge pedestal, their last meeting when he was drunk and didn’t recognize her had him falling off that pedestal right quick. Now that Lance has become a client of hers, she is loving the fact that she gets to touch him for an hour straight.

Lance has and on again off again girlfriend and it is not a good situation. He wants more and she wants more people. Just when he is fed up with her, he meets Poppy. The story was super steamy and very good. I liked the narration as well. Lance is Scottish and the accent isn’t the greatest but I got the idea. The book is dual POV and I liked both narrators.

I liked the angst and the fact that Lance was the one that was damaged and Poppy was a strong character. There was just as much humor as previous books and I was very happy with the story. This one has more feels than the previous books but was just ass good. I liked the story and both characters. The Heroes and heroines from the previous books made some appearances as well.

Profile Image for NMmomof4.
1,515 reviews3,761 followers
February 25, 2017
3.5 Stars

Overall Opinion: This was a cute, sexy, easy read. After reading the first book and enjoying it I had started the second book in this series, Pucked Up, and I couldn't get past the OTT attempts at humor -- so I was really happy that this book had a more serious tone. I might need to go back and read the third book, Pucked Over, since that seems to be a favorite too. I really enjoyed the H in this one. I love a damaged hero that finds his perfect h, and we get that here! While this didn't blow me away or earn a spot on my favorites shelf, I still enjoyed it for what it was. :)

Brief Summary of the Storyline: This is Poppy and Lance's story. The story starts when Lance is sent to get a massage from Poppy after a bar-fight. They've met before, but Lance doesn't remember. There are a few awkward encounters, but eventually they start dating. There is a good bit of personal baggage that Lance has to work through, some sexy times, and a few funny moments...and they get a HFN ending.

POV: This alternated between Poppy and Lance's POV.

Overall Pace of Story: Good until the abrupt ending, otherwise it flowed well and I never skimmed.

Instalove: No, they take a while to develop stronger feelings.

H rating: 4.5 stars. Lance. Poor, damaged Lance. He was messed up by the women in his life ~ so much I couldn't help but sympathize and love him! I just wish he was more honest with the h and included her in his life all the way.

h rating: 4 stars. Poppy. I liked her. She seemed to be just what the H needed.

Sadness level: Low, no tissues needed

Push/Pull: Yes

Heat level: Good. They have some good tension, chemistry, and scenes -- but not so much it takes away from the story.

Descriptive sex: Yes

Safe sex: Yes

OW/OM drama: Yes

Sex scene with OW or OM: Yes

Cheating: No

Separation: Yes

Possible Triggers: Yes

Closure: This had the conflict being resolved and then went straight to the epilogue. I wanted some more time with them as a public couple, and navigating their relationship! I would call it a HFN ending even with the jump ahead epilogue .

How I got it: It was part of my scribed subscription.

Safety: This one is either Safe with exception or Not Safe for most readers depending on personal preferences.
Profile Image for  Sonya ♕Chatterbooks book blog♕.
965 reviews1,091 followers
February 23, 2017
⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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Knowing that this was going to be very first Helena Hunting read, I was beyond excited to start this. I made a snack, grabbed my favorite blanket, and parked myself on my very comfortable sofa because I had no plans to move any time soon. Now after finishing this, I can honestly say that I regret not reading the other books in the series because this was one so good!! Am I a new fan of this author now? You bet. Am I an idiot for not being on board sooner? Hell yes.

“I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. I don’t want to claim. Fuck. Devour. I want to be worthy, and I’m afraid I never will be. “

Lance “Romance” Romero is not your average guy. He’s always been content to be known as the party guy and the one who starts fights on the ice but there’s so much more than meets the eye. Growing up in a difficult childhood has made him prone to chaos that he’s always seems to find himself apart of. Having a scandal of his own no so long ago with the former team’s trainer, Lance is now trying his best to move forward and leave all bad stuff behind him.

When a incident injures most of his body, he’s forced to see a physical therapist to work out his kinks. No problem right? Wrong. Lance doesn’t like to be touch and seeing that visiting a massage therapist requires touching, he’s not in a good position. But he’s about to learn the true meaning of the midas touch and meet the one woman who will forever change the course of his life.

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“Poppy is nothing like the women I usually end up in bed with.
She’s not brazen. She’s not looking to break conventions. She’s the opposite, and I want to be exactly what she needs, except I’m not sure…..”

Poppy has always loved her pretty simple life. She’s content and she likes the fact that things are easy and drama free. When she temporarily takes on a new client, she doesn’t expect to see her past staring at her in the face. So what do you do when the one person who you never forgot about is now your uninvited present?

I really enjoyed this story and I loved the fact that Poppy and Lance had different childhoods but their bond was so strong from day one. They had an unspoken kindship that made their connection seemed flawless and their attraction they had with each other felt very natural. I did have one major issue with this one though and quite frankly it left me extremely frustrated with a certain character to the point where I’m still questioning things. I really wished that this problem was handled differently but that’s just me. Aside from that, I think if you’ve been a fan of this series, then you’re going to fall in love with this one.

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Profile Image for Dali.
1,797 reviews456 followers
March 9, 2017
A sizzling hot and sweet story that will pull at your heartstrings.

Infamous NHL defenseman Lance “Romance” Romero is known for his excess. Too many women, too many fights in and out of the hockey rink. The last of which sent him from the hospital to massage therapy, something he avoids at all costs because he barely tolerates people touching him. But instead of the crawling feeling he usually gets, when a sexy and sweet therapist puts her hands on him he experiences the opposite.

Perhaps he feels a comfortable warmth because she seems vaguely familiar and the more time he spends with her the more he craves not just her touch but her company as she fills his dark voids with goodness and a happiness he doesn’t believe he deserves. But he trusted the wrong person once and it’s only caused further damage to his already tortured soul. Can he trust his redhead therapist with his bleak secrets?
"I wanna deserve you. Why can't I find a way to deserve you?"

Expecting Pucked Off to follow in its predecessors same lightness mixed with naughty humor I was pleasantly surprised by Lance’s deep, touching story. Helena Hunting expertly pens a well-balanced story between sweet moments, blistering hot attraction and fun dynamics, but it was Lance’s complicated back story that engrossed me.
“I don't know how to exist without the chaos, and I seek it because it confirms the message beaten into me as a kid: I deserve to be a victim.”

Having had a less than ideal upbringing, Lance’s self-worth and worldview has been harshly distorted. He can barely stand being touched and has acquired harmful patterns he can’t seem to break free of. If that wasn’t enough to feel for the guy, the only person he had confided his secrets in, used them against him and made him feel he’d never be worthy of the love he desperately craves. Especially when his friends are all in loving, committed relationships.

He’s perfect in his imperfection. I wanted to hug him and badly needed him to find someone that could see past his notoriety, who’d care and love him for his goodness. Who better than the girl who had seen glimpses of the real him a decade earlier? Our heroine is absolutely perfect for him. She’s strong and independent, but also sweet, kind and forgiving.

Even though trusting her with his secrets took him time, courage and a huge leap of faith, Lance doesn’t hesitate to show her how much he’s interested in wholly being with her. He’s not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve and display his vulnerability with her. I loved how their relationship developed, it felt real and beautifully heartfelt. It was hard not to fall completely for this wonderful couple.

Lance’s story had been building throughout the series, I just wasn’t aware that he was so damaged but I loved it, because I love reading about broken characters. I feel so much for them and with them, but mostly what I love is that wonderful emotion I get when after too many struggles they manage to free themselves of their hefty burdens and find contentment. Their journey towards a happy ending is just so much sweeter.

On a last quick note I just want to quickly mention that it was great catching up with the rest of the Pucked guys and gals from the series.

Pucked Off is book #5 in the Pucked series by Helena Hunting. It is a heartfelt, emotional standalone contemporary romance that had me flipping pages until the very end. Told from both points of view with a happy ending.

Amazon -> http://amzn.to/2kCzn7r

* I was given an ARC of this book via NetGalley. The excerpts taken from that copy. Images are from pinterest. *

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Profile Image for Christy.
3,814 reviews32.4k followers
April 11, 2023
4 stars
We’re both full of fire, and his past is full of pain he carries with him. But I’m willing to try, because I want him. And more than that, this man is the kind of beautiful I need in my life.

It's been such a long time since I've read any book in the 'Pucked' series, but I wanted to finish it this year so I thought I would pick back up where I left off. To be honest, I thought Lance's story would be super light and funny like so many of these books are and it did have it's light moments, but it also had a lot of emotion. I loved Lance and Poppy both, and it was great to see some of the old Pucked crew. Poppy was the kind of woman Lance needed in his life and this probably would have been a 5 star for me if we would have gotten more of them as an established couple, especially towards the end.
Audio book source: Audible
Story Rating: 4 stars
Narrators: Jacob Morgan & Rose Dioro
Narration Rating: 4 stars
Genre: Romance
Length: 9h 36m

Profile Image for TJ *Book Twins Reviews*.
1,049 reviews2,411 followers
March 7, 2017
This book is seriously Pucking Good! I'm so in love with Lance!

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Before we begin, I have a couple confessions to make.
1. This is my first Helena Hunting read.
2. I know absolutely nothing about hockey.

Still with me?

Okay....I made those confessions so that anyone else who hasn't tried this series will know firsthand that while those things may add to their enjoyment, they're absolutely unnecessary. What's important to note is the writing is phenomenal. The characters are beautifully written and complex. The relationship development and character development are unparalleled. And above all, the storyline and execution are exceptional.

Here's the breakdown: Lance Romero is the stereotypical man-whore athlete. He's known for partying, hooking up, and having a bit of temper. His less than healthy relationship with his ex-lover is beyond complicated. Actually, Lance himself is a bit complicated. But what happens when he finally finds the one - The woman who calms the turmoil raging inside his head and heart?

What I Absolutely LOVED: Lance. He's perfectly imperfect! There's something about a wounded soul that speaks to me. However, he's so much more than that. His struggles and issues define him for a portion of the book, but his gradual growth and the subtle changes to his character were beautiful to witness. His complete and total evolution once he finds true loving relationship was definitely heart-warming to see.

"I get it now that this is the way it's supposed to be. This feeling is what I've been missing."

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

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I loved everything about his character. It was heart-breaking, but ends in pure joy! He's my new book bae for sure!

The relationship development and back story of the main characters was exceptionally well planned and detailed. I enjoyed seeing the events from each of their perspectives. It made me love them both even more. These characters were so great with and for one another!

The writing and execution is beyond reproach. I was immediately drawn into the story and had to finish it as quickly as possible. There was no lag, no wondering thoughts, nothing but intense focus and admiration for this perfectly written novel.

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Overall, this book is a TJ Top Fave. I Pucking Loved IT! I couldn't love it more. I was absolutely blown away and cannot wait to read the series from the beginning. Helena Hunting has a new rabid fan! I highly recommend this book!

***A Standalone novel in The Pucked Series***
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2iWXrAJ
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Profile Image for Kat.
Author 8 books352 followers
April 17, 2023
I’m really liking Helena Hunting’s hockey player’s series. I can’t remember which of my awesome GR friends reviewed this series and made it sound so yummy, but thank you! This book is a bit darker than some of the others. Lance has been in an abusive relationship, and keeps going back to his ex, who is terrible to him. He also had an abusive childhood. He meets Poppy, a massage therapist, who helps him get over his fear of being touched, and sparks fly. This one is definitely a bit darker than some of the others, and Lance’s ex is crazy-pants! Still, I enjoyed seeing him and Poppy find their happy ending, as well as see the previous couples moving forward in their relationships.

Trigger Warnings”

Profile Image for Madita.
522 reviews18.9k followers
May 5, 2022
I actually thought this book was pretty good. Lance was always this mysterious kind of guy throughout the entire boon kk and when we were first introduced to him Tash and Poppy I was worried he was going to end up with the wrong person.
Thankfully I rooted for the correct couple. Lance’s past was not only sad but also trauma filled and I think the touching aspect of this story was really good actually and as a person that hates body contact I really liked seeing it.
I definitely felt the chemistry between the two and the overall development of their story was cute but it was still a hit fast paced in the beginning.
I am not the biggest fan of love or connection at first sight and this book was definitely that trope but everything else was pretty good.
Poppy is also the most normal girl from all of them and I really appreciated to see that in this book.
Profile Image for ✰ Bianca ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰ .
2,150 reviews1,205 followers
February 20, 2017



Eeeeeep - we're finally back with our #Pucked darlings!!


This time it's Lance Romero's turn.
We heard a bit about him in the previous books. Especially about him and former team trainer Tash. But we never heard his side of the story - and it's pretty horrible. Tash is not a nice person at all. Thank god she's not the heroine of this book - I would've stopped reading! ☺

Our heroine is Poppy. We already met her before for a second, Lance did too, but he doesn't remember. He even met her ten years before we met her. He's been her first kiss. But his life as a kid/teenager was so effing horrible and complicated, that he just doesn't remember that time.

After he gets into a fight - off the ice - he needs to see a massage therapist. Enter Poppy.
She of course remembers - and she's still horribly attracted.

Lance can't stand it when people touch him - left-over trauma from his nice childhood!
But it's Poppy's job to touch him - and he doesn't mind at all. Which is a first for him.

But can the NHL bad boy and the sweet red-head use their second chance? And what about horrible Tash - she might have to say something about that too!!!

We can expect LOTS of adorable, moving, sad, frustrating, funny and super-sexy moments!
Mostly I just wanted to hug Lance and make all the bad things in his life - in his past disappear! ♥

I had the feeling that this book was a bit more serious than the others, especially all the others featuring lots of Violet! ☺ Even though we have some LOL Violet moments here too!
I really enjoyed reading this story!

Perfect addition to the #PUCKED series!


Please PUCKED series - DON'T EVER END!!! ☺

PUCKED OFF was just as amazing as all the other books in this series!


Smokin Hot Book Blog Email
Profile Image for Wil Loves Books!.
1,120 reviews461 followers
February 23, 2017
“For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.”

I’m going to make this one quick. This was all sorts of AMAZING! The FEELS, the FEELS, all of the capital letter FEELS with this one!!! I read/heard this one in one sitting, one really long, didn’t go to sleep, can’t stop, won’t stop reading sitting. That is how much I loved Pucked Off. I just want to scream from the rooftop: YOU MUST READ THIS!!!

“I could kiss her forever. I could live in this memory—past fused with the present. This kiss would be my heaven.”

I’ll admit a few things, this series has grown on me. Pucked I couldn’t even finish, but the last books, especially Randy’s and this one have been absolutely amazing. I will also admit that I’m a sucker for well-written broken heroes, and this one was very, very broken. If you’ve read the Clipped Wings books you know Helena can do broken hero like a boss (hello Hayden!), you also know that she can do really good angst. But since the Pucked series was a little more lighthearted and over the top, I never saw Lance coming, especially since in the previous books he was more of a manwhore sidekick.

“I get it now, that this is the way it's supposed to be. This feeling is what I've been missing.”

So, what can I say, this was a very welcomed surprised and it has easily become my favorite HH book, cause well, broken hero, kickass heroine, well developed background story, and hockey...always hockey.

"You're all the good things I didn't know I was missing."

So Lance, OMG my heart hurt for him so much, he was so broken but yet so sweet and vulnerable. I totally did not expect him, he wrecked me. I dare you not to fall in love with him. He’s my favorite now <3

“I've never wanted anyone the way I want her. I don't want to claim, fuck, devour. I want to be worthy, and I'm afraid I never will be.”

"This feeling—what you do to me—I've never had it before, and I don't want to lose it. But I probably don't deserve it."

"I wanna deserve you. Why can't I find a way to deserve you?"

I will not spoil the story or the heroine for you. I was more than happy with the choice of heroine and I absolutely loved everything about her. I absolutely loved her relationship with Lance. I love her silent strength, and her resiliency. I loved that she was different. I loved their chemistry. I loved the pacing of the story, the slow burn. I loved loved loved that she was pivotal in this awesome man’s healing because he so deserved it. She was the one, there was no other, he was definitely waiting for her and she for him.

“In this moment I realize how much damage has been done to him. Prolonged, sustained physical and emotional abuse has a lasting impact.”

“I have the real him right here with me now, too. I have a broken boy who's become a broken man, and as stupid and naïve as it may be, I want to be part of what heals him.”

“I also need time to figure out how to find balance with this man. I want to save him from himself, and keep myself safe at the same time.”

Sigh, I’m in love with this book. I can’t stop thinking about it. And that Epilogue (you know I love my epilogues) absolutely perfection. Pick this up, you won’t be disappointed. Oh, and the audiobook is fantastic as well, Zachary Webber (aka Jacob Morgan) voice is everything, I could listen to him all day, every day, just don’t tell my husband I said that ;)

“It's more than chasing down an orgasm. It's like I'm being enveloped in everything good, and I don't want it to stop.”
Profile Image for Katerina.
782 reviews257 followers
March 30, 2017
Two thoughtless but not intentionally malicious stars. And two because I'm f*cking generous. Kindly, get ready for a tirade of b*tching and massive spoilers.

For the SG: Depends on your definition of safe. Read further on for clarification.

Story narrated in dual POV.

> Lance, our MC, engages in a toxic relationship with a woman named Tash. Immediately, from Chapter 1, there's OW activity.

But I’m weak for Tash. I don’t know how to say no to her, even though she’s bad for me.

> As evidenced, this Tash woman has clearly done a number on Lance. But he has been returning repetitively to her clutches within the last year whenever she calls obsessively. Lance wanted an exclusive relationship with her, but she coerces him into threesomes, and uses his past secrets to emotionally manipulate him. His emotional connection with a woman is harder to swallow than purely a physical one. But really, immediately it showed me that he should be attending therapy, and not feeling like this. A heroines introduction shouldn't be a cure-all.

I’ve had my mouth on every part of her

> First of all *gag*. Clearly, presuming Lance understands what love is - which I suspects he doesn't - he loves this woman in a self-punishing way. The scene held an intimate enough description. He even goes as far as to drown his sorrows in a bar after the screw because she's warped his head and he wants to hurt her back by f*cking another. It's quite abnormal that she would want him to have frequent threesomes, but is fiercely jealous with him showering sexual attention on another out of his freewill. She affects him deeply.

> I couldn't hate him, because something about his point of view seemed awfully sincere. He seemed detached yet desperate for Tash. However, my feelings were he shouldn't be feeling this way about anyone but the heroine, even though we hadn't been introduced to her yet.

Oh no, my no-longer-friend Kristi was the one who had the pleasure of messing up his sheets. I know all about how outstanding Lance is in bed, thanks to her detailed recount.

"Lance is an incredible, doting lover. Even if Kristi was lying, she was right about one thing: he’s certainly a giver.”

> Double Whammy *gag*. *Cringe*. Though later disproven, in a party the year before the heroine, Poppy, had attended with her friend Kristin. Rumour had it, he slept with this so called friend. The hero, drunk, and the heroine who idolised him (she remembered him from when they were kids, but he could not) proceeded to put the moves on him, and they had an exciting conversation until her friend stole him away. Again, he was numb and feeling less and completely hammered. But had it not been for a chance occurrence, he very well could have gotten his fill of her friend. It was pure luck, in the grand scheme of things.

I can’t decide if I’m relieved or sad that he didn’t show any signs of recognizing me—not from last year, or when we were kids. (...) I never left enough of an impact to warrant being remembered at all.

> Poor girl. She acts blasé about it, when she's anything but. Essentially, I should have hated the hero. But these experiences come by way of his athlete, groupie, manic life. But he seemed so forlorn for not being able to remember her, and when she becomes his physiotherapist - it's visible that he really liked her. Her touch, her manner, their light conversations. He had a very Hollywood vibe to him: lost, parties too much, f*cks, makes the headlines, numb, tragic past, self-destructive, women.

"Why do you want to go out with this Poppy girl if you’re still hung up on Tash? Is that really fair to her?”

> Tash still came up at the 55%. I was fake crying by this point, because she was still there until the 90% mark. What really pissed me off was when her name was still f*cking popping up during the intimate moments between the H and h - about the way she took advantage, and how it's different with Poppy. IDGAF. Focus on your woman. I could forgive his Tash thoughts pre-50%, but this d*ck still has the audacity to be thinking of her. Tash never let me blah, blah, blah. Tash always did x, y, z. I couldn't stand to feel Tash's blee,blop, pop. We don't get a single mention of specific people in Poppy's past other than a general statement of having some long term relationships with boyfriends.

> Poppy exercised bad judgement too. Just a single day before he met her, he had a threesome. So, he didn't sleep with Tash (just jizzed down her throat - so much better (!)), he did with the redhead that he seems to have an affinity for. Though it takes a few weeks before they sleep together, in which he's celibate, really a couple of physiotherapy sessions, it irked me that she had given him a blow job considering his reputation. His reputation precedes him, and though she easily does state that most of it could just as well be rumours, considering they've followed him for years, there is substantiated evidence that Lance surveyed the field, and taken his fair share of goals. Threesomes are a specialty he's defined by because of Tash. Orally transmitted diseases are just as well, and I didn't like that she put her mouth on him without clarification. It's unbecoming. She also considers condomless sex when they are in the kitchen, and he'd have to go to the bedroom to retrieve them. Her reason: I don't even know what this is between us yet. That shouldn't be her reason.

> What I did like was Poppy's no nonsense attitude at the end of the book. Finally! For most part she was a little pathetic, mopey, and caved to his every demand. She remembered him from when they were kids, to now, and he had such an affect on her. But when everything comes to light about Tash, she's assertive. Personally, I thought it would be extremely easy to get rid of Tash and couldn't believe Lance. Lance complains that she harasses him and finds ways to contact him after he blocks her and how she always wiggles her way in. It's a two stop process: get a new number, and get a restraining order. He had to own up to his decisions. Though Tash was toxic, Lance was her enabler. His "woe is me" bullshit was getting real old.

“Why answer her calls at all? Why is she still messaging you?”
“She got vindictive if I didn’t respond. I didn’t feel like I had a choice.”
“But you gave her that power. Why let her have it at all?”
He’s fidgety, struggling with my questions. “I don’t know. We have similar backgrounds. She made it hard to walk away.”
“You realize these are all excuses you’re making for both of you. She still seems like part of your present, like you can’t let her go. If it’s only me, it can’t be her, too.”

> The only reason he disclosed his problems with Tash to Poppy was because she received incriminating pictures of Lance with a topless Tash on top of him. She did the whole climb in his bed whilst he's asleep, and entered through his roommate. At an away game, he really couldn't get an individual bedroom? The thing is at this point, you may be wondering - is the heroine second best? Genuinely she wasn't. He wants to keep her, but his behaviour warranted more grovel. They take a week and a half separation in which she needs to process whether they can be together, and he completely breaks down. Eventually, they reunite and have a HFN.

> It is safe, if you consider that once he met Poppy as his physiotherapist, he wasn't with anyone, and neither was she. Considering feelings, it's more confusing than that. Hence why I labelled it "thoughtless but not malicious". And I completely realise I haven't read the series. I just stumbled across this one, and will go back.
Profile Image for Beverly.
1,005 reviews800 followers
February 23, 2017
I have been waiting what feels like forever on Lance’s book. I know my fellow Pucked lovers have been dying to know Lance’s story and to find out who his love interest is as well. However, I will go ahead and warn you, I was not prepared or expected this, at all. This book was actually so much more and I loved it. Loved it.

This series has been fun, sexy and let’s be honest at times over the top or crude at times. I compare it to a movie like Superbad. It’s hilarious, you just don’t want to watch with your parents. (Trust me, I know, I did!) This series has legit made me laugh out loud for reals multiple times. That’s why I was a little surprised with Lance’s book, its heavier and I wasn’t expecting this from Lance.

Don’t get me wrong, this was a great thing, I loved it. I love a damaged hero and learning about Lance’s past broke my freaking heart. I mean broke it. Reading his book it all came together for me and I completely understood where Lance was coming from. I got him and the feels just broke lose. I wanted to jump into this freaking book and give him a hug. I wanted him to see his value and how much he brings out in others.

That right there is why I loved his love interest, loved her. I am sure you will see her name a million times, but I like surprises so I won’t be sharing it. I will just say she was perfect. Not because she wasn’t flawed, but because she saw the best in him and believed him in. She was exactly what he needed. Lance needed someone who saw something deeper, something no one else bothered to look for and someone who didn’t expect anything in return. She gave that to him and so much more.

This book is more than the other Pucked books, it’s still funny and has plenty of fun and antics, but it’s also more. I think fans of the series will love this one. I think my friends who are more into the feels will love it even if you haven’t loved the previous laugh out loud ones. Honestly I just think it’s a hit out of the park for Hunting. I couldn’t have imagined a better story for Lance. Just fantastic!!!

ARC kindly provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Natalie  ~ The Biblioholic.
2,502 reviews1,214 followers
February 25, 2017
It's LIVE & on Blog Tour!

In the essence of full disclosure, I haven't read any other book in the Pucked series.

I'm not really sure why I didn't start this series yet. I adored Helena Hunting's Clipped Wings series and I've had this latest series sitting on my TBR. I just didn't make my way to it until now.

Besides, I always love to support authors from my 'hood and I'm embarrassed that I failed to represent. I love the #6six

So anyhoo, I absolutely loved Lance and Poppy, not to mention the characters from the previous books who popped up in this one. Yes, I will be going back to read their stories. Lance was an NHL defenseman known as Lance "Romance" Romero with a terrible reputation and a tragic past. Throughout this story he was trying to separate himself from this past. And yet it still lingered. He also had some inner conflict, believing that he wasn't worthy of goodness, especially Poppy. She was a really good girl and although she could see his darkness, she was also able to recognize all of his light.

"I wanna deserve you. Why can't I find a way to deserve you?"

Their chemistry was intense. The author left us in no doubt of their attraction and connection to one another. She gave us a hero that was perfect in his imperfection and a heroine that could love him in spite of his perceived flaws and help to mend this once broken man. I couldn't get enough of Lance's brogue. Gah!! I love a Scottish accent!! I also enjoyed the ending because it gave me the sweet that I needed, but I still wanted more of a glimpse of how this couple navigated their new life together. It was an emotional, sweet and steamy romance that had me rooting for this couple from the start!!

Release Date: February 21, 2017
Genre: Contemporary Sports Romance
POV: Dual - 1st person
Steam: 3.5 out of 5
Book Type: Standalone - Book 5 of the Pucked series
Profile Image for Liv ☾.
70 reviews
February 27, 2017
4.5 STARS!

☾Thinking that Lance is my new fictional crush...damn! I've been reading this book all day and every time I turn the page I'm excited to read more from Lance and Poppy.

☾Lance is your typical player/bad boy/broken hockey player, I say typical because what's a good hockey story without a bad boy? He is hung up on his not so ex girlfriend (if that's even what she qualifies as) and is trying to shake the desperation he has for her. He meets Poppy when he is getting a massage, and is immediately intrigued when her touch doesn't automatically make him uncomfortable.

☾Poppy is perfectly fine living her normal life with her normal friends and normal job. So when Lance enters her life like a tornado taking up literally 2 weeks of her appointment time - it's safe to say there was no preparing for it.

☾Their relationship started pretty fast but totally natural as both of them seemed to be going at a pace that was right for them. I didn't really enjoy Lance's neediness, it was fine for a while but when he kneeled down in a specific scene he was giving me Christian Grey submissive vibes and I didn't enjoy it...Other than that specific scene though I genuinely really enjoyed their story and am probably going to go eat some gummy bears...(bad book joke, sorry :)
Profile Image for Jo.
957 reviews201 followers
December 17, 2022
“I should remember someone as beautiful as you.” It sounds very much like a line, but he taps the desk again. He’s agitated, his frustration obvious. “I want to remember you.”

Lance Romero, an NHL defenseman who is also known as Lance “Romance” is notorious for his playing on and off the ice. He’s the player who gets into the most fights, who tries to drown his memories in booze and women. And he has secrets, demons that he hides from everyone except his ex whom he told and she used it against him. He knows he should stay away from her, but it’s difficult to let go of their toxic relationship. Until a woman from his past, a woman too good for him, makes him want something more, something better, even though he knows he should stay away,

Poppy O’Connor and Lance share a past, but one he doesn’t remember. Now circumstances has forced her to be his massage therapist for one session and she doesn’t know what to make of him. He still doesn’t remember her, but he’s more like the sweet boy she remembers than the drunk from a year ago. Has fate intervened to give these two a third chance of finally being together or will Lance’s demons ruin the best thing that’s ever happened to him?

“This feeling—what you do to me—I’ve never had it before, and I don’t want to lose it. But I probably don’t deserve it.”

I love a broken hero, and Lance was so terribly broken it hurt my heart. This was a guy who had been mistreated so many times, that he thought he didn’t deserve anything better, which was probably why he kept coming back to his ex and the toxic relationship they had.

I’ve never wanted anyone the way I want her. I don’t want to claim, fuck, devour. I want to be worthy, and I’m afraid I never will be.

I loved seeing him with Poppy, how she brought forth the real him, the sweet and kind guy who didn’t need to drown himself in alcohol and women to escape his memories. He hates it when other people touch him, but with Poppy it was different, he loved her touching him. And it was so sad seeing how afraid he was of losing Poppy, of not seeing her again. Also I loved that he was Scottish and how his accent would come out every now and then, it was so sexy ;-)

We’re both full of fire, and his past is full of pain he carries with him. But I’m willing to try, because I want him. And more than that, this man is the kind of beautiful I need in my life.

I really loved Poppy, she was so sweet and kind, but also so sassy. Her reluctance in trusting Lance at first to not be like the reputation he has and more like the sweet guy she remember was very understandable. I liked that she had a hard time resisting him and that she wanted to make all his pain go away, to make him see that he deserved happiness and to be loved.

He traces the contour of my face. “I’m messed up, Poppy. I think there are parts of me that can’t be fixed.”
Loving this man isn’t going to be easy, but I still want to try. “I don’t need to fix you, Lance. I’ll take you as you are. I just want you to be happy.”

I loved the slow burn of their romance, how sweet it was when they met the first time more than a decade ago and how wonderful they were together now. It was sweet seeing him so awkward and vulnerable with her, how stunned he was by his reaction to her touching him and how much he wanted to spend time with her. And how familiar she was too him, and he couldn’t understand why. Everything about their romance was sweet and sexy and so full of emotions and I adored it.

I’m not a fan of angst in books but I loved it in this one, and although I really didn’t like reading the beginning of the book but it was very effective in showing just how broken Lance was and how toxic his relationship with her was.

I love sport romances especially ice hockey so I had a lot of fun reading about their games and training and the camaraderie between the guys. This is my second book by this author and I’m definitely a fan. Her ability to write both humor and emotion so brilliantly is amazing. A must read for all sport romance fans.

For the first time in my entire life, I understand what it means to be with someone who will give and not just take.
Profile Image for Heroesinbooks.
1,051 reviews280 followers
May 30, 2020
4.5 Tortured Hero Stars

*****Re read via audiobooks in May 2020. I am currently binge reading / listening to this series and I am thoroughly enjoying every last word. Lance 'Romance' Romero has always had my attention. He's a bit edgy, dark, guarded and keeps his secrets hidden deep. He's lost and broken but then along comes Poppy to show him that someone can love you just for being you. Fantastic narration by Jacob Morgan and Rose Dioro who brought the characters to life in my ears!********

Original 2017 Review

I have been itching to read this book....itching! I had a countdown and everything.

I wondered how Lance Romero's story was going to play out because whist he did have moments where I liked him in previous books (Alex's nasty incident on the ice when Lance displayed great team loyalty), there were plenty of times that I thought he acted stupidly, recklessly and he came across as pretty selfish. How was Ms Hunting going to turn me around to Team Lance??

She did change my mind and at times my heart clenched at the things Lance had been through. His character is complex and dark and the book as a whole packs an entirely different vibe to the ones that came before it in this series. Having said that, there are some really comical moments that made me laugh out loud. I guess, in a way , this book brings a brooding quality with it that reminded me more of the Clipped Wings series - I adore those books too.
So why not 5 stars? IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ A SPOILER STOP HERE -Just know it's a cracking read that will break your heart a little bit but will fix it again and leave you with the sweetest feeling ....The rest of you...c'mere......

I wanted a bit more of Lance and Poppy without Tash hovering in the background. Even though she is physically absent for most of the book, I felt like Tash was a constant in his mind with her relentless pursuit (read that as stalking) of him. I hated that she had that much influence. I would have liked more of just Lance and his sweet girl after the Tash problem was resolved. As the 'baddie' in the book, Ms Hunting did an excellent job in making me despise Tash and even though Lance alludes to her having a screwed up childhood also, I felt no sympathy for the manipulative shrew at all.

Lance and Poppy are so perfect for each other and watching this dark, tortured Hero fall in love gave me all the feels.

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

HEA? Yes. Loved the ending.
Cheating? No. You do see Lance at the very start of the book with Tash and some other random woman which Tash has orchestrated. He is not with the heroine at that point. The sex scene is not romantic. At all.

I love this series and Lance's story did not disappoint. I'm looking forward to more about my favourite Hockey guys......
Profile Image for Ang C.
723 reviews102 followers
November 2, 2019

I could not wait to get my hands all over Lance “Romance” Romero’s story. Seeing glimpses of this hot hockey player throughout the Pucked books, all his philandering ways, and his tumultuous relationship with the team’s ex-trainer (Tash), had me itching to see who would steel his man-whoring, bunny banging heart. In all honesty, I had a special girl in mind as his heroine and thank goodness my wishes came true! (I won’t say who she is; you’ll need to discover that on your own). The wait for this couple’s romance felt like forever, as this is one of my all-time favorite sports themed series. With greedy grabby-hands, I attacked Pucked Off the minute it hit my kindle, anxious for more hysterical over-the-top hijinks from Hunting’s loony characters. However, a few pages in I realized the story was taking a different turn.

It was totally unexpected and unlike anything I would have imagined for Lance…And I absolutely LOVED everything about it. From beginning to end, this story owned me. It was a far cry from the riotous and light-hearted romantic comedies I am used to when it comes to this series. Sure there were some funny moments and plenty of sexiness that I savored ~ Hunting’s trademark humor was lightly peppered throughout this read and Lance was adorable. I fell in love with this swoon-worthy and off-the-charts HOT Scotsman.

The door swings open, and my dick starts crying. Maybe a third whacking session would’ve been a good idea based on where all the blood has redirected itself in my body.

But there’s so much more to him...

Lance is a dynamic character haunted by past demons and painful secrets. His vulnerabilities, all his insecurities, his lack of self-worth, belief that he is unworthy of affection and happiness… everything about him pulled on my heartstrings and had me aching to see his brokenness healed. So moved by Lance’s torments, I wanted to crawl inside the story, wrap my arms around him and make everything better. That’s how moved I was by his heartaches. It was going to take an extraordinarily patient type of girl to help Lance move beyond his sorrows. It was heartwarming seeing how this couple’s relationship blossomed – from flashbacks of first kisses they shared long ago, to building trust, a friendship and true love.

I wrap my arm around her and pull her closer. I don’t know why I can handle her touching me when I’ve never been able to handle anyone before. It’s like she connects to some part of me I didn’t know was there.

The serious tone and Lance’s circumstances may have taken me totally by surprise, but the journey to discovering the amazing hero he proved to be and the sweet girl that stole his heart both devastated and overwhelmed me. Both vulnerable and dealing with their own hang-ups, they were perfect together. And Lance, the perfectly flawed former manwhore, was beyond sweet and incredibly romantic. He stole my heart and certainly became my favorite hero in this series!

Profile Image for Lisa (Two Bookish Brits).
758 reviews153 followers
May 4, 2017
Pucked Off

Book Deaceiption

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.



Oh. My. Romero!
Lance is officially my favourite (well joint favourite because I love me some balls hehe) His accent is swoon worthy and I damn near died every time he spoke, seriously I don't even care that I can't hear it, I'm from Scotland so I know the accent well and good god MAJOR SWOON. I've always loved me a Scottish ginger, they're my weakness *sighs*

Anyone who doesn't fall hard for Lance after this little beauty is just cold hearted. He's a troubled man trying so desperately to escape his troubles and patterns for the lady that makes his life a difference. Lance's story will crack your heart in two. It's raw and extremely emotional. His character is lost and extremely vulnerable when he meets the beautiful stranger but his mind messes with him and makes him believe he's not worth loving and it's devastating.

Poppy is everything Lance needs in life, she likes him for who he is and never expects him to do anything he doesn't want. She's strong and doesn't take his shit. She's loving and caring and there anytime he needs her. She's an amazing character.

Pucked Off is about finding the one who makes everything seem better, more positive and giving you the will to change the way life is. Finding the light at the end of the tunnel.

Helena Hunting is a writing genius and that's a FACT When I seen Helena was writing Lance's story I never thought it would impact me as much as it did. It brought me so much pain that I wasn't even expecting. Lance has a special place in my heart, I'll never be able to forget that gorgeous ginger Scot, never in a million years. I LOVED it (I can't find a better word) so very much. Helena has a way of making you fall for each one of her characters. I can't wait to meet her new ones and hopefully we get more from Lance!

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