Rachel walks away from her perfect mystery man only to find out he’s a playboy defenseman for the Jacksonville Rays… where she now works as a physical therapist. It becomes harder to stay away from Jake, and his best friend Caleb. And not to mention the Finnish goalie, Illmari. Rachel finds herself in a tangle of hockey players, injuries, and potential PR issues that could derail everyone’s careers.
Pucking Around Review
Pucking Around starts after the events of That One Night (Jacksonville Rays 0.5) where Rachel meets Jake, her being unaware of his profession as an NHL defenseman. They have a *magical* night, and she runs away. While you don’t have to read this before Pucking Around, I’d totally recommend it! It’s a short novella providing a great backstory (and I arguably enjoyed it more).
As a reverse harem / why choose AND a hockey romance, I went in expecting heat and drama. And it delivered. Pucking Around focuses a lot on the relationship dynamic between Rachel and her 3 guys. Balancing their careers (and trying not to end them) while also wanting to nurture this new relationship. This book is SPI-CY. I think the smut was written pretty well. Some things weren’t it for me, but that’s personal preference.
– hockey romance
– bi rep
– friends to lovers
– workplace romance
Rachel Price – the “hot doc” working for the Jacksonville Rays. She’s smart, confident, but also has a past as the daughter of a famous rockstar.
I liked Rachel initially, but honestly it rubbed me the wrong way when she wanted to add more guys to the mix. I also had a hard time getting over her lack of professionalism as a doctor. HOWEVER, it’s fiction, and girl – we’d all want to do the same thing lol.
Jake Compton – the golden retriever defenseman who loves ice cream and bird watching. Also best friend to Caleb.
I LOVED Jake so much. He was so fun and hilarious and brought a lot of positivity to the group. Probably my favorite because he was first, and I’d wear his sweater any day. I also really loved his bi-awakening with Caleb. So sweet (and spicy, let’s be honest) to see. I did feel like his character kind of fell off towards the mid point. He started out very confident and then just became super needy. Absolutely loved That One Night Jake though!
Caleb Sanford – the sad boy equipment manager with kinky jewelry and a bad knee. Caleb and Jake played hockey together when they first started in the NHL. Caleb got injured on a bad hit and was forced to retire. Caleb is openly bi, and in love with Jake.
I really liked Caleb. Such a bad boy. I felt like the group was complete with Jake, Caleb, and Rachel. Like, what more could you want? Caleb was super hot, and I liked seeing him dom.
Ilmari Kinnunen – the stoic Viking God goalie that doesn’t like to share.
I didn’t mind Mars (loved the Finnish) but I wasn’t in love with him. He felt very random. Like Rachel just wanted another guy and she would’ve added more if she felt like it. I did like his story with Rachel helping him with his injury and getting recruited to the Finnish Olympics. Even though the group ends up meshing pretty well together, Mars still felt like the odd man out.
My biggest praise for Pucking Around is the HOCKEY. If you’re a fan of the sport, you’ll appreciate this book. Some hockey romance is just romance with a hockey player, but not this one! The game time scenes were great, and I loved being on the inside with the team.
Pucking Around is LONG, 752 pages long. I did enjoy it, but I think I would’ve loved it more if it was split up like your typical hockey romance where each book covers a separate romance. I loved Rachel and Jake together so much it was hard for me to accept a poly relationship – or at least a third guy. I also felt like Mars would’ve actually been happier with his own girl and little Finnish family.
That being said, I’d still recommend this book. Especially if you’re a fan of hockey romance and reverse harem / why choose. It was super entertaining, spicy, and honestly I’ve never read a 700+ page book this fast lol.