Hi There! Today I’m sharing a review for a New Adult hockey romance from Cindi Madsen. CONFESSIONS OF A FORMER PUCK BUNNY is the fourth book in her Taking Shots series about collegiate hockey players, and a sweet, fun read.
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About the book:
Confession #1: I used to be a puck bunny, but after a hockey player broke my heart, I gave up all things hockey. Now I’m just focused on finding a way to pass my math class so I can graduate college.
Confession #2: Ryder “Ox” Maddox’s deep, sexy voice sends fuzzy tingles through my entire body, and I’m powerless to stop it. Which is a big problem since the hot, surprisingly funny hockey player is my new math tutor.
Confession #3: I can’t stop thinking about how ripped Ryder is from all his hockey training, and how fun it’d be to cross lines with him.
Confession #4: I kissed a hockey player and I liked it.
Confession #5: If I’m not careful, I might relapse and fall for Ryder, and then I’ll be totally pucked.
This is the fourth book in a series, but fully enjoyable as a standalone.
Lindsay Riviera is a college senior looking to remake her life. She grew up not knowing her father, and with a mother who used her looks and wiles to find boyfriends to support their lifestyle. That’s not who Lindsay wants to be, and she struck out to be a sex-positive person, in control of her finances and lovers. Thing is, while she hung out with the hockey players at Boston College, and took great thrill in hooking up with them, she got her feelings bruised when the player she thought was really into her turned out to be using her the way she’d used others.
So, she stepped back, took a hockey hiatus, and accepted it when her tell-all expose on collegiate sports–written by her handpicked reporter–turned out to be more pro-sports than she liked. All Lindsay needs to do is pass her remedial mathematics course, and she can graduate and leave her “puck bunny” status in the rear view mirror. Lindsay isn’t happy to learn the only math tutors available either despise her…or are on the starting defense for the Screaming Eagles hockey team.
Ryder “Ox” Maddox is a pleaser. He’s a sophomore in college and a math major, despite his father’s desires. Ryder’s dad played professional hockey for years, and is determined to see Ryder follow on his skates. His mother isn’t quite so stern–after all her marriage was ruined by Ryder’s father chasing too many puck bunnies, and she’s an upstanding mayor in a posh Connecticut burb. Which is why Ryder needs to be a perfect kid–and also why Ryder’s an uptight guy.
Still, he really likes Lindsay’s sass, and hopes to charm her into his life. HE has no idea about her player-chasing ways but she comes clean about it, and he seems untroubled–until his team mates are trying to score her.
I really liked the frankness of this New Adult romance. It’s about making mistakes and learning from them. Lindsay and Ryder make lots of mistakes, and they make it right time and again. It has a nice sex-positive message, with Lindsay holding herself accountable for her own actions, and not allowing anyone the slut-shame her. There’s a rather slow burn to the romance, with Lindsay pushing Ryder away, and building a friendship that slides into more. And, they make good partners to each other, as well. There’s real conflict regarding the status of their relationship, and the status of their academics–because Lindsay is due to graduate, and Ryder isn’t ready to let her go.
For me, the story was mostly about the complicated dynamics of interpersonal relationships in the small hockey-fan community. Lindsay is a strong determined woman, who makes choices that benefit her–and allows Ryder to join her where she is. Likewise, Ryder is a great guy, kind and compassionate, but also scarred by his heavy parental expectations, and the infidelity that tore his family apart. I liked the book and felt the plot was mostly on target. There’s some unexpected melodrama with Ryder’s parents, particularly, but the resolution managed that to my satisfaction.
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About the Author:
Cindi Madsen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting, revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a pretty new pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music and dancing and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.