Puck Bunny: a female ice hockey fan whose interest in the sport is primarily motivated by sexual attraction to the players rather than enjoyment of the game itself.
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is a delightful college sport’s romance that I am thrilled to have gotten my hands on. Funny, sweet, and filled with delicious sexual tension, the last book in Cindy Madsen’s Taking Shots Series has made me a fan.
The puck bunny in question is Lindsay Rivera, a senior at Boston University. A semester away from graduation, she’s the editor of BU’s student newspaper and has an internship lined up in New York. A year ago, Lindsay gave up on all things hockey after having her heart-broken by one of BU’s players. That, coupled with her time as a hockey groupie, helped her to realize that she needed more from her life. More importantly, she needed to prove to herself that she’s not her mother, who throughout Lindsay’s childhood had a rotating door of men who provided food and shelter until Mom tired of them.
The stoic Ryder Maddox, a sophomore defenseman for BU’s varsity hockey team, has one goal in mind: make it to the NHL. Pushed hard by his father, a former pro hockey player himself, Ryder has made hockey and school his sole focus. His dad’s unrelenting pressure and criticism has left Ryder feeling that he’s’ not good enough. When he meets Lindsay, his focus changes.
While Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny is easily read as a standalone, it’s obvious that Lindsay and Ryder aren’t making their first appearance. Chance meetings in at least one other book drew Ryder to Lindsay and he makes it his goal to get her to go out with him. Despite her unwavering attraction to him, Lindsay refuses to give in to Ryder and reenter the hockey community that she fled from. Her notion that he’ll break her heart, especially after learning about her past, has her running at every turn.
Both of these characters are likable and relatable. Throughout the book, I found myself reminded of my own days in college as a sports reporter where I often had to toe the line between personal and professional. Lindsay’s struggle rang true as I established a strong connection with her. Her frequent “confessions” throughout the book had me laughing out loud on more than one occasion, adding levity when emotions started to run high. Ryder is one of my favorite college-age characters ever. Frequently in NA books, the author seems to forget that the characters are, well, newly adult. Ryder is only 20 and Madsen portrays him perfectly. He’s vulnerable when needed, sweet as he falls in love for the first time, all-alpha when he gets jealous, and subtly unsure of himself as one would expect of a man of his age. Their connection with each other is just as strong as their connection with the reader. They’re fun and flirty, building up slowly to their obvious attraction to each other.
Of course, there’s conflict as Lindsay and Ryder decide to become a couple. Her past and his parents test their relationship and when something unexpected is revealed the angst level goes up just enough to twist your heart in that deliciously painful way before the HEA makes everything better.
4 stars for Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny. Heat level: 3.5
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for honest feedback.
Confessions of a Former Puck Bunny was published in May 2017 by Entangled.
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About Cindi Madsen:
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.
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