★ 3.75 STARS ★
“What’s that old saying? It’s better to have loved and had your heart raked across hot coals and stomped on than never to have loved at all? That’s the route I’d decided to take, because saying no never even crossed my mind.”-Auden
Delayed Penalty is an NA Hockey Romance. This is Sophia Henry’s debut novel.
Auden is a college student that has recently lost her soccer scholarship. To drown away her sorrows she and her best friend decide to “party it up”. While out, they meet some super sexy hockey players. With the holiday break looming, Auden is in no hurry to go home with anyone!
Raised by her grandparents, Auden returns to her childhood home for the holiday break. Auden’s Grandfather manages a Russian translating company and immediately puts her to work as a translator for a Russian Hockey player named Sasha. Imagine her surprise when her new client is non other than the “hottest” of the hockey players she met in the bar.
“Having been abandoned by both parents before age seven, the last person I needed to get involved with was a professional athlete whose job required him to leave.”-Auden
Sasha is a gifted athlete and is enthusiastic about having Auden as his translator. The two are destined to connect. With the combination of their Russian roots, passion for hockey, and physical attraction between the two it doesn’t take long for these two to connect. They start as friends and they spend a great deal of time “getting to know” one another before any substantial physical connection begins between the two.
“Aleksandr was an untouchable man I wanted to touch so badly.”-Auden
“How many times had I wanted someone to stop talking and just hold me?”-Auden
Told in Auden’s POV, Delayed Penalty was overall an entertaining read. I enjoyed the complex characterization of both of the main characters. Auden and Sasha had a unique back story which I enjoyed reading. The Russian element was also a unique twist to this hockey romance. What was problematic in this read is simply…. there was too much going on! Auden sings in a band, she likes to play soccer, she speaks Russian, and she works as a waitress. All of that coupled with a mini drama of an “old flame” left my head spinning at times. I felt like overall there needed to be more cohesion with the plot and some streamlining with the secondary plot (and characters) as well. Still, I really liked both of the main characters so in the end, I was glad that I picked up this read.
“It’s very hard to get a Russian man to back down once he finds his true love.”-Auden
Overall, Delayed Penalty left a smile on my face. If you are looking for a light hockey romance (and you can overlook the “extra business” in the plot), then I highly recommend picking it up. I will certainly keep my eye on this series and would definitely read another Sophia Henry book in the future.