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In the Penalty Box

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The Cutting Edge meets Friday Night Lights in a sizzling new hockey romance from bestselling authors Kelly Anne Blount and Lynn Rush.

Figure skating was supposed to be my whole world. But one unlucky injury and now I’m down...but I’m definitely not out. I just need to rehab—a boatload of rehab—and who’d have thought I could do it on the boys’ hockey team?

Of course, the infuriatingly hot captain of the team seems to think I’m nothing but sequins and twirls. What’s a girl to do but put him in his place? Game on.

Hockey is my whole world. I’ve worked my tail off getting my team in a position to win the championships—hopefully in front of major college scouts, too—so what’s a guy to do when a figure skater ends up as our new goalie?

Of course, the distractingly sexy skater thinks I’m nothing but a testosterone-laced competitive streak. And surely she’s only biding her time to heal, then she’s gone. Game over.

364 pages, Paperback

First published January 5, 2021

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About the author

Lynn Rush

33 books915 followers
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, Lynn Rush, is a full-time writer, wife, and trail runner living in the Sonoran Desert, despite her fear of rattlesnakes. Known as #TheRunningWriter, Lynn can’t resist snapping epic sunrise pictures while running in the desert with her trail sisters, even if she has to occasionally hop a scorpion.

When she’s not running or writing, she’s watching movies that fuel her everlasting love of superheroes, vampires, and all things Supernatural. The books she reads usually carry the same theme, but this former college athlete loves reading sweet sports romances as well.

She’s madly in love with her Ironman husband of 20+ years who is the inspiration for what true love is. You can find her on social media as @LynnRushWrites and her website is: www.lynnrush.com

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 289 reviews
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone (on hiatus).
1,501 reviews202 followers
March 7, 2021
3.5 Stars


Well I am stoked to have found another YA romance that will appeal to older teens.

I don't mind the odd cookie-cutter, cheesy romance story. However, I think romances are better when there are some real life issues that the main characters are grappling with. This gives the story more depth, and the characters feel more authentic. Plus, stuff actually happens with conflicts arising and paths diverging or coming together. I am also thrilled to have another YA story with an ambitious and talented sportswoman. I liked the dual POV and found both characters relatable and likeable. A great addition to the library.
Profile Image for Carole (Carole's Random Life).
1,724 reviews464 followers
January 20, 2021
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

Oh, I just loved this book! I have found that I have a bit of a soft spot for hockey romances so this was a book that caught my attention right away. All of the hockey romances that I had read prior to picking this one up targeting adult readers but I was eager to try this Young Adult title. This book grabbed my attention in the opening scenes and never let go. I am so glad that I decided to give this book a try.

Brodie and Willow are both amazing characters. I liked them both right away and loved how much chemistry there was between them. I felt like these two were very good for each other and I loved the way that they pushed each other to be their best. Both have been through some really rough things but they both are able to pick up the pieces and move forward doing the best that they can.

As a figure skater, Willow's injury has been devastating but she is working as hard as she can to get into top condition again. Brodie is the town's star hockey player who works hard to stay at his best. Brodie and Willow start working out together and eventually, she ends up as his team's goalie. I loved seeing these two work together and deal with the challenges Willow faced playing on the boy's hockey team. Brodie's story was really heartbreaking and I was amazed by how much responsibility he has been able to carry. I really liked seeing good things come for both of these characters.

Nick Mondelli and Bailey Carr did a fantastic job with the narration of this book. I really felt like they were able to bring Brodie and Willow to life. They added a lot of emotion to the story and excitement when it was warranted. I think that their voices worked very well together and I found myself wanting to listen to this book for hours at a time. I think that their narration added to my overall enjoyment of this story.

I would recommend this book to others. I thought that this was a very well done romance with fantastic characters, just enough romance, and quite a bit of hockey. I definitely plan to read more from this pair of talented authors.

I received a copy of this book from Entagled: Teen and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.

Initial Thoughts
Oh, I loved this!
Profile Image for Danielle's.
Author 1 book140 followers
November 18, 2020
In the penalty box was ticking all the boxes right from the start. I love hockey romances, it’s by my favourite publisher and it’s a sweet teen romance.

Willow is a figure skater with an injury. She can no longer do the twists and jumps. She needs to find a new way to love the ice.

Brody is the ice king. He’s rich, popular and a great hockey player but none of those things define him. When his puck finds Willow sparks fly both on and off the ice.

Can these two people from different walks of life find love on the ice.

*I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for ♛Vanessa♛ Fangirl Faction.
846 reviews598 followers
January 29, 2022
Disclaimer: I received this book at no cost from the publisher/author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. I am leaving a voluntary review and all opinions are my own.

I have read and enjoyed Kelly Anne Blount's writing before so I knew that I had to pick up this book. And if I said that I didn't have a secret obsession with hockey romance I would be lying. A hockey star and a figure skater falling in love is like one of the tropes of my dreams.

I really loved the story. The plot was interesting and intriguing. I was so compelled to know more and to find out what was going to happen to the characters. I really loved the depth of the story. These characters had so much going on in their lives and I thought that the authors did a great job of crafting their lives. I like how the authors didn't really shy away from the more triggering parts of these characters' lives. They told these parts of the story with grace. It also felt very realistic, which I loved. The storytelling was great for the most part. There were a couple of times that I felt the plot slowed down and things got a little boring but I was never fully disinterested. I felt fully immersed in this world as if I could step right into the story.

These characters were so complex. I loved how realistic they were. Willow and Brodie both had real-world problems and their characterizations felt real. These characters, especially Brodie, had to deal with some serious and sensitive issues and I really loved the emotion that the authors packed into these characters. These characters were so relatable because they felt so real. They had flaws and goals and wants just like anyone. I have to say, my heart really hurt for Brodie in this book. I literally teared up in a few places in this book for that boy. I really loved the character development for both Brodie and Willow. I also loved the secondary characters in this book, especially Willow's hockey teammates. Those guys really grew on me. I honestly would love to read books dedicated to their characters.

I think that the blurb for this book was a tad bit misleading. By the sound of the synopsis, you would think that this is an enemies-to-lovers story but it really isn't. Brodie was supportive of Willow pretty much from the start. He was supportive of her playing hockey and of her being on the hockey team with the other guys. He actually helps her train for it. That point aside, I really enjoyed Brodie and Willow's love story. They come together with a love of skating, even though his love is hockey and hers is figure skating. They have a very natural rapport with one another from the start and it was easy to see their obvious chemistry. Their love story starts out with a beautiful friendship and blossoms from there. Their affection for each other is very genuine, which I really loved.

Overall, this was an adorable sports love story. This book has excellent characters and a plot that you just can't help but want to see unfold. After doing a little research, I found that this author duo also has a three-book series that appears to be set at Twin River High, which is the rival school in this book. I am excited to pick up the Twin River High series and give it a go!

Profile Image for Alaina.
6,316 reviews215 followers
November 20, 2020
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

In the Penalty Box was a pretty likable and predictable book for me. The one thing that I just couldn't wrap my mind about: the fact that these kids are in High School. Not sure why my brain was thinking this would be a college type romance but it did.

In it, you will meet Willow and Brodie. She used to be one of the best figure skaters in the nation until the day she hurt her Achilles. He is a hockey star for his league and school team. So them meeting on or around the ice rink was going to happen one day. It was all kinds of awkward but they seem to make it work.

After some bantering and messing around, she winds up playing goalie for his league team. Most of the guys are on board with it but two of them just don't like it. They think they will be the laughing joke of Hockey. Or maybe they are just sexist pigs because they don't realize that girls are capable of doing anything that their heart desires. Guys also.

Of course there's a forbidden romance that doesn't really go too far. Then there's plenty of drama on and off the ice. But have no fear, the end is coming near and it's predictably cute. Definitely enjoyed this nice and easy read and I look forward to the next book by this author!
November 13, 2020
Willow and Brodie’s story blew me away! I loved this sweet small town romance!

I was not expecting this story and it packed cute surprises! What I loved though is that these two teenagers were trying their best to get through life! Brodie and Willow both had some challenges to face but I loved how they leaned on one another! They built a friendship and through that they discovered more! As they navigated their secrets both had to make some tough choices that didn’t affect just the now but also the future.

I loved Willows independence and her no nonsense attitude! She spoke her mind and she wasn’t scared to take chances! Brodie was equally as amazing. He was a protector and he was someone you could always rely on but he wasn’t a cocky jerk! He had a beautiful heart full of love to give!
Profile Image for Aly.
2,615 reviews
November 23, 2020
This was an easy read that was fairly predictable but still fun. Willow is a figure skater who suffered a big injury and is trying to get back to her full strength. Brodie is a hockey player who's team needs a goalie and Willow happens to have some talent. They fall for each other, but have to keep it a secret from their teammates and Willow is still holding on to her skating dreams.

I thought this took place in college and it felt like it through most of the story. It barely mentioned the high school and I think the authors should have bumped this up to the college level. Either way, I liked the romance between Willow and Brodie and the way they both care so much for their families and friends. The plot has a good amount of drama and hockey action and it was cool seeing Willow get better at goalie.

I enjoyed reading this and I'm looking forward to more books from these authors!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Profile Image for Tanya (Girl Plus Books).
1,002 reviews76 followers
January 5, 2021
Figure skater Willow is back at home to recover from an injury. She is determined to rehab, get back to 100%, and return to the elite training facility where she has her eye on the Olympics. But not only is her recovery taking longer that she wants, it seems like her parent’s are arguing all the time.

Brodie lives for hockey and, going into his senor year of high school, the pressure is on to take his team to the championships and become a third generation Boston College hockey player. But things at home are falling apart. Since the death of his mom, his dad is gone all the time, and he’s trying his best to be there for his little brother.

Here was this amazing guy sitting before me who was sweet, sensitive, and so very loyal. He was strong and an amazing athlete, but he had to carry so much on those broad shoulders of his. Way more than a seventeen-year-old should. - Willow

I really enjoyed my time with Willow and Brodie. It was great to read about two athletes who were so focused and dedicated. Willow’s take-no-prisoners attitude had me silently cheering her on and I was so impressed with her tenacity and determination. But it was Brodie’s story that really engaged my emotions. I have a soft spot for characters who shoulder a lot of responsibility at a young age and that certainly fit Brodie. This was a young man who was still grieving the loss of his mother, living without the emotional (or even physical) support of his father, and taking on the burden of care for his sick little brother. Rush and Blount did a great job at showing Brodie’s struggle to keep all the balls in the air as well as his inevitable breaking point.

Watching as Willow became more entrenched in the hockey team, and formed bonds with her teammates, was a real highlight for me. For the most part she was judged on her talent and what she brought to the team, and most of her new teammates welcomed her with open arms. There were a few holdout’s, however, and I appreciated how Willow handled herself when faced with opposition. The team was a tight-knit group of friends, both on and off the ice, and it was fun to be a part of their banter and ribbing and support. If I had any quibble at all it would be that the dialogue didn’t always ring true. Granted, I don’t spend a lot of time with teenage boys, but it seems unlikely they use terms like “what’s the tea” when it’s just the guys.

The intensity with which she played hockey, battled off all those slapshots from Right Hand of God, and then the crap Pax, Eric, and even some of the town had thrown at her, she’d handled it all with grace. The grace of a figure skater and the guts of a pro hockey player. - Brodie

In the Penalty Box was a sports romance that was heavy on the sports – and I loved that! As a hockey fan, I enjoyed the training scenes, the pick-up games, the trash talk, and the mental and physical strength that was required. The romance aspect was definitely on the slow-burn side and rated-PG. This was a great YA contemporary with a strong focus on friendship, loyalty, and overcoming hardship. Definitely recommended!
Profile Image for Samantha (WLABB).
3,437 reviews234 followers
December 10, 2020
They both needed to stay focused this year. Willow had to concentrate on her recovery and getting back on track for the Olympics, while Brodie had to sharpen his hockey skills and secure a college scholarship. When a wild puck and a fast hand brought them into each other's orbits, would Brodie and Willow allow romance to distract them from their goals?

I never get tired of reading books, where a girl dominates on a boys' team, and this one came with a great twist. Willow was an elite ice skater, who had suffered an injury. She returned home to rehab, but was struggling until she temporarily joined the hockey team. I have seen the figure skater on the hockey team here and there, but I liked the Olympic dream angle in this story and how Willow was torn between the two worlds.

I think many will appreciate Willow's story arc, but Brodie's was one I didn't quite expect. It was rather heartbreaking, and I was surprised with how all his personal drama escalated. I did feel it was a good way to help me understand why the relationships he built were so important. When he lost his mother, his girlfriend could not deal with his grief and left, while his father became more or less absent. He felt abandoned, and it made me more invested in him and Willow. It had me rooting for them to overcome every obstacle put in their path and get their HEA, because Brodie needed someone to not abandon him.

Accompanying the romance, hockey, and figure skating was a great big dose of friendship. Many of the friendships enjoyed by both Brodie and Willow were showcased throughout the story and were very important parts of their lives. These people served as their sounding boards and support system, and let me tell you, both Brodie and Willow needed the support. I especially loved the bromance between Brodie and Preach, and Preach really stepped up in a big way when Brodie needed him.

I am often let down by the endings of books, but Blount and Rush did a spectacular job tying up all those loose ends. Those who know me understand how this is of the utmost importance. I love when an author allows me to see a bit into the future. I need that peek to put any concerns or reservations I have about the characters aside. I got that here, and I felt fantastic about what was next for Willow and Brodie.

Overall: This was the right book at the right time for me. It was a celebration of love and friendship, which highlighted the strength and determination needed to reach one's goals and overcome adversity, and left me with a smile from ear to ear.

*ARC provided in exchange for an honest review.

Profile Image for Milena.
734 reviews79 followers
March 30, 2021
In the Penalty Box is a New Adult sports romance from a writing duo, Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount. It's my first book from these authors, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It's a sweet and angsty romance between Willow, a figure skater, and Brodie, captain of a hockey team. Willow is recovering from a bad injury and unable to compete until she completes her recovery. While she recovers, she gets a chance to build up her strength by playing ice hockey with a local high school team.

There are immediate sparks between her and the sexy captain, but dating him would cause tensions for the team, especially when not all team members are happy to have a girl and a figure skater to boot as a goalie. Brodie is laser-focused on winning championships and getting on a college hockey team, and dating Willow would be an unnecessary distraction. Not to mention that Willow is only playing hockey temporarily until she can return to figure skating and her dream of getting on the Olympic team. Will they be able to deny their attraction when they spend so much time together training and getting to know each other?

I haven't read many NA romances lately and In the Penalty Box was such a treat! I loved Willow and Brodie and their sweet love story. I highly recommend this book to YA/NA readers and sports romance fans!

*Free copy of this book was provided by the publisher.
Profile Image for Jenn.
1,728 reviews295 followers
April 27, 2021
3.5 Stars

As a HUGE hockey fan, I was really excited to dive into this one. And you know what? It was pretty dang cute.

An injured figure skater trying to find her way back to competitive skating meets hunky star hockey player and obviously sparks fly. When a chance meeting has Willow joining the mens hockey team, she never expected it to be so much fun - or that she'd even be good at it. Enter Brodie, the captain of the team, to school Willow in all the ways of the hockey world. Training together, they begin to not only develop skills that will help them in their future goals, but also feelings towards each other. The problem with that is there's a no fraternizing policy on the team and Willow is also planning to leave once she gets back on a skating team.

While the story was cute, I was more drawn to Brodie's story than Willow's. While what happened to Willow was horrible, I felt she never really took time to figure out what that meant for her and she just seemed very whiney when it came to anything regarding skating. Whereas, the challenges Brodie faced were much more dire and Willow tended to overlook those in lieu of her drama.

But the one thing I was very particular about was how hockey was portrayed. I won't lie, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it was done. Most romance books that revolve around sports always tend to gloss over the sport or just put very basic facts in. The authors of this must either be fans or have done research. There were a few times I went, ehhhhh, but overall, it was pretty solid.

A super quick read for me that was fun and entertaining. Just what I needed after getting my vaccine shot lol.
Profile Image for Sydney.
420 reviews29 followers
Shelved as 'dnf'
January 3, 2021
I am currently DNF’ng this book at this time. I didn’t have any real problems with it and I wanted to like it. I stopped around 50-55%. I was hoping the story or characters would grab me but there was just not enough to keep me reading. For fans of young adult sports romance, you might like this. It’s definitely more sports heavy than I usually see in these types of romance books, so if you like hockey or skating this might be up your alley.

I received this book courtesy of NetGalley and Entangled Teen Publishing. Thank you for an ARC.

*This is not a full review because I did not read the full book.
Profile Image for Zeanna.
118 reviews4 followers
December 13, 2020
I recieved an advance readers copy of this book from Entangledteen and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I dnf-ed this book @ 10%. I didn’t enjoy what I’d read. None of the characters seemed real, they didn’t even talk like real teenagers. I’ve never heard a teenager describe anyone as “strapping”. I thought maybe this wasn’t targeted for people my age but I read a little bit too my little sister who is 16 and she through it was cringy. The main characters was very much “I’m not like other girls” and the love interest seemed very basic, like I’d read 15 versions of him before. I had too many negative thoughts about the book to keep reading it.
Profile Image for Katie Prouty.
423 reviews112 followers
January 3, 2021
"There's nobody I'd rather be in the penalty box with than you."

Brodie "Wind" Windom has his senior year all planned out: focus on hockey, get on the Boston College team, and no distractions. Until, son of a puck!, some ice princess rams right into him. Willow Covington's whole world is figure skating. But she's nursing an injury and rehabbing to be back in time for next years competition. The Fall League hockey team's goalie is out. Brodie needs the best people on the ice to win State. Will Brodie be able to convince Willow to stand in as goalie and assist her recovery by working out with the boys hockey team? The force is strong with young Padawan, Willow, but she needs the help of Hockey Yoda, Brodie. What's the brute squad of boys going to do...Accept Willow into the family? Or form an anti-Willow Coalition? Sequins and twirls are out. Pucks and sticks are in. The duo must face their fears in order to make their dreams come true. Game on.

Hey, yooooou guuuys! (Said in best Sloth voice). For the love of ice! YA readers need this novel! ITPB was so dang cute! GAH! I was swooning so hard. Several scenes left me giddy! Brodie and Willow's nickname of affections...Toe Pick & Puck Head. 🥰 They're just precious. Brodie is one tough hockey 🏒 player! But he's also super sweet, so very loyal, nice, and thoughtful. Willow handles everything with "the grace of a figure skater and the guts of a hockey player." She's a BAWSE. Strong female lead, right here. In the Penalty Box has everything that I'm looking for in a young adult book: pop culture references (Goonies never say die! Star Wars and even The Princess Bride), an adorable meet-cute (albeit a tad painful), witty banter (Willow can dish the sarcasm), family dynamics (Brodie’s home life isn’t as perfect as it appears🥺) and a dreamy love story (grinning through so many chapters). #IsThisAKissingBook- 👍🏼two thumbs up👍🏼. If you enjoy small-town, sports romances In the Penalty Box needs to live on your shelf. For the occasional squeeze hug, of course.

Guaranteed to elicit smiles, bookworms! Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount are pure magic! 😘🤌🏼 *Chef's kiss* Perfect for fans of Miranda Kenneally's Hundred Oaks series.

I cannot thank Entangled Teen, Lynn Rush, and Kelly Anne Blount enough for gifting me this sweet book! You're a GEM. All of you.

🎶 Song: High Hopes by Panic! at The Disco 🎶
Profile Image for Rachel.
289 reviews30 followers
August 13, 2022
Reread - July 3rd, 2022

This was just as cute the second time. I did notice some hockey things that weren’t correct this time though lol. Either way I loved it :)

Jan 31,2021

This book was super cute! I picked up this book not knowing a whole lot about it, but I’m glad I did.

Willow was a top figure skater until she hurt her achilles. She had to move back home to Woodhaven, WI after her team in Colorado dropped her. While healing at home, Willow is asked to join the boys hockey team scrimmage as the goalie. The team realizes she has a natural talent, and except for a few jerks, want her on the team. Willow makes a deal with Brodie. She’ll join the team, if he trains her so she can have more ice time. They begin to fall for each other, but the team has a rule: no fraternization. Dating is off limits.

What will Willow do if she’s offered a spot on another skating team? Will she leave Woodhaven and her newfound abilities? Or will she stay and lead the team to state?

This book was a typical hockey romance and actually reminded me a lot of a wattpad story I read once. The writing was very good too! I loved the alternating POVs between Willow and Brodie. The two authors did a great job of interweaving their writing, too. Sometimes that can be the most difficult aspect of writing a book together. I forgot most of the book that this was written by two people.

Definitely a quick read if you need something light and fluffy to get through. I’ll likely read again
January 3, 2021
I really enjoy these sports romance books.

Brodie is a star hockey player trying to get a scholarship to Boston College. His family has a lot of money and they own a hockey rink. Brodie's mom died over a year ago from being hit by a drunk driver. Brodie doesn't touch alcohol any more because of it, but his dad became a huge drinker. Brodie has a little brother with bad asthma. Their dad is always on business trips or drunk when home, so the care of Caleb mostly falls to Brodie.

Willow moved back home after living in Colorado where she trained to be an Olympic figure skater. She had an Achilles injury and her sponsors weren't paying for her anymore. She needed to get back into perfect shape by January to be picked up by a team again. Willow stayed in touch with her best friend, Jessa, for years. So she doesn't feel totally alone. Willow has been training by herself when the hockey players aren't there. She and Jessa were watching the hockey team when a puck came flying at them. Willow blocked it and saved Jessa. When the team's goalie got hurt, Brodie thought that Willow would be a good fit. He decides to help train her in hockey with the promise that she'll get extra workouts to help her skating. Not all the guys on the team are ok with a girl, but Willow won the spot. Brodie knew she wouldn't stay, but his main goal was to make sure the team won and made it to state again.

Brodie and Willow spend a lot of time alone together and they are attracted to each other right away. Brodie doesn't want to date anyone and Willow won't be sticking around. Also, the coach made a rule that no one could date. But Brodie and Willow grow closer and can't help the feelings. They date in secret. Brodie starts to hate that Willow will leave him and he pulls away at times. Willow starts to love hockey and being part of a team. She's conflicted about her dream and how she's currently feeling. Brodie's life starts to fall apart and he needs Willow to be there. He knows she needs to follow her dream and he's proud of her. But he also can't imagine being away from her.

I loved the friends in book. The romance was sweet and a standout. Being a part of a team was a big focus, but there was also focus on dreams, friendship, and family.

I gave this book 4 stars. Thank you to Entangled Teen and Netgalley for my earc.

Warnings for alcoholism, drunk driving, death, illness, parental relationship issues, and sexism.
Profile Image for Shannon.
2,330 reviews166 followers
January 6, 2021
In the Penalty Box is one of those books I would have devoured as a teen, and I'm not ashamed to say as a grown woman I absolutely did!

Willow and Brodie are such likeable characters, you can't help but fall for both of them. Brodie is the epitome of a good guy, strong and protective, and Willow is one cool chick, independent and kickass. I really enjoyed their "meet-cute", and the slow build of their relationship. I'm so glad this book was told in dual pov. I liked being in both Willow and Brodie's heads and getting to know them that way.
While this was, for the most part, a fun, light-hearted read, both Willow and Brodie were dealing with some things that added a little more depth to the story. The story really amped up towards the end, with some of what happened taking me by surprise. Without going into detail, I do wish additional time had been spent on Brodie's past, particularly getting to know more about his parents.

Sweet, fun, and a little bit heart-tugging, In the Penalty Box was a wonderful story of love, family, and friendships.

Profile Image for Irene.
1,852 reviews119 followers
January 27, 2021
3.5 stars

In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush & Kelly Anne Blount is a sweet and entertaining read.

I enjoyed the storyline, it held my interest from start to end, I enjoyed watching the friendships and I loved watching the relationship between Willow and Brodie develop.

Overall, In The Penalty Box is an enjoyable read and I highly recommend it.

*Thank you to the publisher for the advance copy.*
Profile Image for Sowmya (bookishelflife).
378 reviews38 followers
August 10, 2021
This YA romance is more precious than I thought it would be, I loved the Ice Hockey/Figure skating background. I haven't read many sport romance but I think this book really brought justice to both the game and romance equally in its plot. Both the MC's Willow and Brodie are very likable characters, especially Willow's character is done really well- she is strong, empowering, determined and doesn't let anything or anyone come in her way to reach her goals. The chemistry between them is super adorable, the friendships, the way they deal with their loss, forgiveness while finding themselves is quite heart warming!
Profile Image for Marleen | Favoritez.
61 reviews24 followers
May 2, 2022
I have read this book with so much pleasure. It was an absolute cute read. I love the fact that it was a YA with some older teenagers. I also loved the whole story about skating (both the figure skating and the hockey part). It was however a little bit slow for me and I think the story could have been told in less pages. Especially the middle part felt a little bit too long for me.
The blurb is also a little bit confusing. I thought this would be an enemies to lovers YA, but that wasn't really the case? It is more a very cute story about two amazing characters. It was my first read from these authors and I would absolutely love to read more from them.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Profile Image for yahaira ✰.
249 reviews4 followers
December 13, 2020
thank you netgalley for this arc in exchange for an honest review!

okay so the synopsis for this book wasn't very clear but the premise still sounded interesting! it reminded me of the iconic disney channel movie "go figure"

i honestly thought this would be a fun, lighthearted read and while most of it was, it also dealt with serious matters.

willow had a dream of going to the olympics as a figure skater since forever, but an injury set her back. she ended up joining a hockey team while she healed and the rest was history! it was very interesting to see how fast (almost) everyone adapted to having a girl on the team.

brodie has my whole heart. i truly felt for him. i adored the relationship between brody and his little brother, caleb.

what i liked most about this book was the time skips. it didn't waste any time on unnecessary things and got straight to the point while still making focusing on the hockey aspect. i believe the romance was very well made and i just love willow and brody so much.
Profile Image for Marisol Barrera.
208 reviews32 followers
July 20, 2021
“Everything else but her stunning eyes blurred out of focus, she was at the end of a tunnel.”

In the Penalty Box is a heartwarming story about friendship, love, loss and perseverance. I absolutely loved it. The chemistry between Willow and Brodie was chef’s kiss 🤌🏻 Willow’s strength and determination to follow her dreams no matter what, was inspiring. Brodie’s protectiveness and relationship with his baby brother was so incredibly sweet and Preach, man, everyone needs a guy like Preach on their corner.

Willow Covington is home recovering from a terrible injury that put her dreams of being a professional figure skater on hold. She’s watching a pick up game of hockey after practice when a puck comes flying at her head and she stops it. Sparks fly when Brodie, the handsome team captain asks her to fill in for their injured goalie. She does, on the condition that Brodie helps her train. After spending some time together she realizes that there’s more to him and to hockey than she thought, who knew being a part of a team would be this much fun. Can her dreams change though? Will she let love be a factor !?

💫Read if you like
•Dual POV
•Figure Skater meats Hockey Player
•Small town setting
•Witty banter
•Stolen kisses /forbidden romance
•Friends to lovers
•Twin River High series
•YA Slow burn
•Sports romance
•Lovable second characters
Profile Image for Noreen Machelle.
Author 2 books77 followers
October 18, 2020
A heartwarming story of perseverance, love and friendship. I truly enjoyed this story! Willow was an amazing female lead! She is strong and knows what she wants and works hard for it. Brodie is such a great guy! Definitely worthy of the book boyfriend list! I can't wait to see what this author team does next!
Profile Image for Alicia.
557 reviews8 followers
January 6, 2021
Thank you to Entangled Teen for sending me an ARC via netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
4.5/5 stars
I liked this book so much! I was smiling most of the time I was reading it, and it was such a cute story that had so much more beneath the surface than I’d expected.
Going on I thought this would be a fluffy contemporary hockey romance, and while it did have those elements it was way more. Willow is still recovering from an injury that put her figure skating career on pause, and while she works to get stronger and get back to skating, she also begins to grapple with her dreams possibly shifting. Brodie had to take care of his little brother while his dad deteriorated around them, as well as play hockey to get a scholarship. I felt so bad for Brodie when all the drama with his dad was happening.
Willow and Brodie had some really great chemistry. Right from the beginning there’s something between them, but I really liked that it was lust-at-first-sight and no heavy feelings. As their relationship developed the pacing felt really good. I liked the “secret girlfriend/boyfriend” element that was brought in, and I thought that all the drama that goes with those kinds of relationships made sense for the story and wasn’t crazy.
Overall this was a really awesome read and I’d recommend it to fans of YA romance and contemporary reads.
Profile Image for Christina (A Reader of Fictions).
4,230 reviews1,652 followers
December 14, 2020
The concept of this one is amazing. It's basically The Cutting Edge only sport-swapped, so it's an injured figure skater who joins a hockey team as a goalie as a form of physical therapy. The book definitely skews cutesy (oh my gosh is used 18 times) and sweet, but I think it works for the intended audience. It's a quick, easy read for fans of sports romances. Though I'll admit I was a little bit bummed , but I think that might be my adult, finance-minded self kicking in.

I received this eARC for free from Entangled via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Profile Image for Carola.
448 reviews26 followers
October 15, 2021
2,5* I think for teenagers a lovely story.
Profile Image for SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews .
577 reviews331 followers
November 4, 2020
***I received a free copy from the publisher via Netgalley and chose to leave a voluntary review. Thank you!***

I really enjoy hockey books, and this one was no different. When I saw it on NG, I didn’t check too much and didn’t know that it was YA but that was okay. Both of the characters seemed pretty mature, especially Brody. 

I think what I liked most about this book was that it was a little different than most hockey romances, instead the guy trying to figure skate, we have her on the hockey team. An all-boys team. Though he does do some figure skating as well.  

We get a little of both world, which was fun.  

I also loved the friendships in this book and the team spirit, well for the most part. 

I liked both main characters and thought they were easy to relate to. They both have their issues to deal with. They dealt with them in their way which not always was the right way.  

I like Willow, I loved how she stood her own, in the team even though not everyone was for her being on a boy's hockey team. Some were just plain mean and rude, but she never gave up. That includes her dream to get back to figure skating. She definitely had spunk. But she also had some pretty selfish moments.  

Brody, what was not to like, I liked him right from the start and he always knew what he wanted and fought for it. He definitely had a lot on his plate to deal with.  Almost a little too much, so just seemed a bit too piled up for dramatic effect.  

Together I thought they were cute and I liked the training moments and the on the ice and game parts as well.   

While it was easy to tell how it would end, I was curious half way through, because at that point it could have gone either way. Of course, with most contemporary some of the stuff was pretty predicable, but I still really enjoyed it.  

Overall. I really enjoyed it and hope to see more in the series and this author duo. I’m really hoping we will get a book about Preach, you know maybe a friends to lover/hockey romance 😉  

I rate this 4 ★ 

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Profile Image for Mimi.
316 reviews118 followers
February 16, 2021
[I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book I was kindly given by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.]

In the Penalty Box is a contemporary sports romance focusing on Willow, a figure skater in rehab, and Brodie, a promising hockey player. It follows them navigating through senior year.

I won't get into the plot, because there really isn't much to tell. The story is character driven, and even the "big twist" at the beginning is something I predicted at 20%.

What I'd like to talk about more is the shallowness of the characters. See, human nature is complicated. I think we can all agree about that. People change and evolve and grow their whole lives and everybody is unique, but there is a certain average of maturity at 18 that neither Willow nor Brodie achieved despite not having perfect lives and dealing with a lot of hardships. They were literally kids. Kids, okay? It was so annoying.

Next up, we have the constant, endless talk about how sexy each of them were. In every single chapter, the word sexy was mentioned at least once, sometimes it was ten times. Again, annoying!

Same goes for the issue of blushing. Both of them were red in the face 75% of the time.

Also, the next time any of these authors decides to write a book from a male point of view, I'd recommend... trying harder, I guess. If you told me that Brodie was a girl, based on his thoughts and the writing style used I'd totally believe you.

The last criticism I have is that the whole hockey situation didn't seem realistic or believable. I'm in no way a hockey expert and I'd probably believe something that is total nonsense if it was sold the right way. This wasn't. And I'm not talking about the scenes where they were playing hockey itself, they were done very well in my opinion, I'm talking about the fact that a high school team from a nothing town could win a championship as big as was mentioned in the book and a good deal of other logistics. In spring, I read The Deal by Elle Kennedy, which is also a college sports romance, and I never once questioned the realness of it, the author simply seemed to know a lot (or enough) about how hockey works. I'm sure if Elle Kennedy did her research, Lynn and Kelly could have done theirs, too.

I'm really sad that I didn't love this book, because I was so excited to delve into it! My figure skating phase is at its peak these days and when I saw this book on NG, I didn't even look up other reviews or the authors' other books like I normally do - I clicked on "request" instantly. And my hysteria didn't pay up, unfortunately. Also, I feel like this has a lot of potential that was left to rot. What a pity :(

Anyways, I hope that this review helps you decide if In the Penalty Box is worth it. I'm not saying that it isn't - but let's be honest, there are books that are worth much more.

→1.75 stars
Profile Image for Aundreya.
312 reviews44 followers
January 24, 2021
Takes a lot more than a little fall like that to knock me out of the game. Like Celine Dion says, my heart will go on."

Willow Covington. Olympic Skater now injured and taken away from the dream that's been all she's known her whole life. Now she's back in her small town, spending every waking moment strengthening herself to return. Well... until the a hot gust of "Wind" about takes out her best friend with a puck.

Brodie "Wind" Windom. Captain of the hockey team. Soon to be college hockey star (if the season goes right). But his dream might be taken away with an injured goalie and a second rate replacement... until he meets the gorgeous, blue eyed figure skater who might just be his ticket to gold, if he can convince her... and keep his hands to himself.
Oh... did I mention his is HAAAWWWWWWT?!?!?!

Now teammates, Brodie and Willow have a deal... to spend every moment they can training her to be goalie and also strengthening her for her skating career. By January, Willow might just be back in Denver with her team.

But "no fraternizing between teammates" may be the hardest part of it all.

The chemistry between these two were REAL, all consuming and sweet.
A great romance for all with its YA writing style. A puck head and an ice princess is just what I needed!

From sweaty practices to freezing on the ice I was HOOKED on these two.

My favorite part? The team. The games were epic, and watching them grow, cheer each other on, and find success had me smiling till the very end.

Read if you like:
-the cutting edge meets hockey hotties
-young love
-big dreamers
-young adult genre
- girl power!
Story- ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5
romance- friends to lovers
steam-"pans slow camera down sweaty abs, and 4 scenes of mouth plundering?... ya that sums it up."

song: Oasis by Sam Smith
Profile Image for Brinley.
1,016 reviews68 followers
October 31, 2020
This book was definitely something I enjoyed, but didn't love. I tend to enjoy sports romances, so I liked that about this book, but I just never entirely connected to the characters. The hockey matches were very well written though, I felt like I was there with the characters.

In the Penalty Box is the story of Brodie and Willow, hockey players looking to win the state championships. Willow, a competitive figure skater had injured her Achilles, forcing her to go through grueling physical therapy. After playing goalie in a pick-up game, she find herself loving hockey, and joins the team. Brodie, determined to play hockey for Boston College, refuses to let himself be distracted by anyone, even Willow.

From both the cover and the blurb, this book was about as predictable as it could be. Not that that's a bad thing, it just means that the book just has to bring something else to the board. Sadly, this didn't. It was the usual contemporary romance, with the normal plotline.

I liked both Brodie and Willow, but I wasn't head over heels for either of them. Willow got way too good at hockey a bit too fast for me, but I did emphasize with her. As an athlete, I can't imagine what injuring yourself so badly could be like. I was really rooting for her to recover, but I wasn't too happy with where her story ended. I liked Brodie, but I wish he would've gotten a bit more character development. I loved his relationship with his little brother, so I wish we would've seen a bit more of them, but whatever.

The plotline about Brodie's dad felt a bit random, and didn't serve any purpose in the book. It wasn't explained as well as it could have been, so I'm not entirely sold on it. It was touching to see the friendship between Preach and Brodie though, so I can't complain too much.

As for the relationship that drove this book, it wasn't my favorite, but it was enjoyable. I did get a bit tired of reading about how attractive they were, it was mentioned almost constantly. I also was a bit thrown off by the insta-love, but I enjoyed the romance against my better judgement.

Despite this review being mostly complaints, I did enjoy this. It was stereotypical and predictable, but it held my attention. I got dragged into the book, and was really rooting for both Brodie and Willow. If you're a lover of romance and sports, you'd definitely enjoy this!

Thanks to Lynn Rush and Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
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