“The heart, the raw authenticity, the original lens, this has become my favorite series of the year and I’m begging for more!” ~ Catherine Cowles, USA Today bestselling author
Bitter Sweet Heart, a steamy, reverse age gap, hockey romance from New York Times bestselling author Helena Hunting writing as H. Hunting, is now available!
I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Bitter Sweet Heart by H. Hunting
Series: Lies, Hearts and Truths #2
Published by H. Hunting on September 1, 2022
Genres: NA Sports Romance
Source: the author
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From the outside looking in, I live a charmed life: hockey legend for a father, my own promising future in the league, a great family, awesome friends. It’s not untrue, but it’s not quite that simple either.
My dad’s advice has always been to make hockey my number-one priority—at least until I make it to the pros. So, going into my senior year of college, I have a plan. I’ll put in the effort required to pass my classes, play hockey like my life depends on it, and avoid relationships. All I have to do is stay focused on the end game, and I’ll walk away with a degree and into a career in the NHL.
It should be easy.
But when a woman literally floats into my dock, just before summer ends and my senior year begins, I can’t resist one last hookup. What harm could a one-night stand do? It’s not like we even exchanged numbers.
Everything is fine until I run into her on campus.
It’s a big school. I should be able to avoid her.
Except she happens to be in my class.
And she’s not a student.
She’s my professor.
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I love an older woman story, as I am a bit of a cougar myself. I have a little issues sometimes with the teacher student stories though, since I am in education and feel icky about it. However, a senior in college with a woman still in her 20s (29) is not anything that big and to me there is nothing wrong, especially the way it was handled by Clover, or Professor Sweet. The story even touches on how society wouldn’t make as big a deal about the situation if the age of the characters was reversed.
From the very first page I was so happy to be back in the Pucked world, one of my all time favorite fictional worlds. While this story actually kind of took place alongside Lavender and Kody’s story in Little Lies, already knowing what was going on with those two characters made it kind of the perfect “background noise” in a way for the setting. It gave Maverick a reason to kind of be on his own with his secretive relationship, without those around him making a huge fuss about him being that way.
Maverick was definitely a different type of guy. While he had the lovely characteristic passed on from his mom of sometimes not being able to stop talking when he knew he should, he also was such a great guy. So caring, so considerate, always thinking about everyone else before himself. It made sense with what we know happened to Lavender. It was easy to see why he blamed himself for his actions, even though he was only an 8 year old boy at the time. The story was also great for showing how really everyone in the family felt it was partly their fault. However I loved when Lavender was able to actually clear things up and show her family and Kody that she was stronger than they might think, and that she didn’t blame them.
Okay, so onto the romance part of the story. Clover and Maverick had some great chemistry. I did get a bit tired of her struggling with the whole teacher student thing, BUT, as I mentioned at the beginning of my review, as someone in the education field, I totally get why she felt that way. Maverick’s considerateness and constantly asking if things were okay did get to a point where if it was me dealing with him I might have gotten a little irritated. Once again though, he had good reason. Not only did he have trauma and see how people reacted to it in his past, but he was suffering from the Waters’ men’s curse. Well, suffering might be the wrong word. Let’s say he was afflicted with it? I won’t go into detail, but let’s say based on the description given about halfway through, I had to get out a ruler and some ribbon and do a little measuring and modeling to see. Clover dealt with it wonderfully, and happily it seemed like. She was the perfect fit for Maverick. There was even a bit of a nod to Maverick’s mom’s refusal of Area 51 towards the end.
Another point I made earlier was about loving the characters, and I do. Like BJ, I cannot wait for his story! I can’t wait to read about his figure skating, and why he sleeps all the time, and how he got to be so deep and such a good listener as well as advice giver. And then there was Maverick’s mom. I wasn’t happy with how she behaved towards Clover when she really got the chance to meet her at first. I mean I get it, but it still made me mad. And I love Violet! Even with that behavior, her conversation with Maverick in the van, along with Alex, his dad, was hilarious when they found out about her. I loved the mention of the curse, and all the silly stuff as well.
In the end I loved the way that the story touched on so many deep issues and how the characters dealt with them. What’s wonderful about the pro-hockey player families and their stories is how they can do so much good with all that money and time they have after retirement. It’s like a billionaire romance in a way I guess.
About the Author
NYT and USA Today bestselling author, Helena Hunting, writing as H. Hunting, lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She started her writing career with new adult angsty romance and branched out in sports romance and romantic comedies that will make you laugh and swoon. But sometimes she likes to serve up a little heartache on the way to the happily ever after.
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