Rating: 4.5 🌈
I looked for this story after reading these authors’ new series , Puckboy. There ,some events and secondary characters that were referenced in Egotistical Puckboy , drew from this story.
Westly Dalton , who was the NHL player roommate and bestie of D-man Ezra Palaszczuk, is the man who left his career to raise his younger siblings after the death of his parents. Ezra makes an appearance here. Something that’s mentioned in his book.
So with all these crossovers, I needed West’s story. And his romance with math Professor Jasper Eckstein, who also pops up in the Puckboy novels.
Puck Drills & Quick Thrills is the fifth and last book in the CU Hockey series but I didn’t find my lack of reading any of the prior novels a issue.
Probably because the main characters aren’t college students but people who’ve had that experience and now are on campus to teach . For West, he’s back as an assistant Hockey Coach. And Jasper’s an unpopular math professor.
Eden Findlay and Saxon James make both characters very believable, both in their careers and in their current personal situations. For West, the painful reality of losing his dream of playing NHL hockey, of returning home to essentially shoulder the stressful responsibilities of a parent for five kids of various ages still in mourning. Ones he’s unprepared for. That’s realistically conveyed here as West feels overwhelmed, drowning in emotional issues, and a college age brother who resents him.
The personalities are just so well crafted.
Add to that volatile mixture is a Professor who dislikes athletes (with good reasons).
Jasper Eckstein is a man who’s history is full of instances of bullying, including one so horrific that it left permanent damage.
The culprits? Athletes.
This story is as much about letting go of the past, self acceptance, assumptions, as it is about two men so clearly in need of one another to find a way out of their past to a new future and family.
I really enjoyed the dynamics at play here. The barriers each man raised, the fear, and the courage it took for them to go forward.
The younger brother remains a bit of a hockey playing jerk. But as I expect him to show up in the Puckboy series, he’ll probably redeem himself there.
I’m highly recommending Puck Drills & Quick Thrill (CU Hockey #5) by Eden Findlay and Saxon James. It works as a integral part of both the CU Hockey series and Puckboy series. Or as a standalone.
I’m not going to read the others just yet. Too many on my TBR pile. But hockey romances! I’ll get to them. Because these authors write terrific characters, creating great stories, and leave me satisfied with the ending.
As Arnold would say “I’ll be back”.
I’ve put the list of the series below.
🔹Power Plays #1
🔹Face Offs #2
🔹Goal Lines #3
🔹Line Mates #4
🔹Puck Drills & Quick Thrills #5
The fall from NHL superstar to domestic disaster was swift and painful. When I became the legal guardian of my five younger siblings, I had no idea what I was doing.
One year later, I’m still lost.
Coaching CU’s hockey team might be the only thing I’m excelling at. But when our star forward is failing math, I have to do what it takes to keep him on the team. Even if it’s going head-to-head with Jasper Eckstein.
One minute I’m confronting the notorious hockey-hating professor, and the next I’m agreeing to be his date to his twenty-year high school reunion.
I don’t know how that happened.
My rules are simple. I don’t give extra credit. Ever. No matter how entitled jocks think they are, I refuse to give them special treatment.
It’s not because I hate them. It’s not because a hockey player broke my nose in high school.
But when Westly Dalton bursts into my office like a hurricane, all my principles fly out the window.
Suddenly I’m giving extra credit.
And I have a date to my reunion.
After one explosive night together, I want more, but his home life is a mess, and I don’t want to get in the way. If all we can have is quick thrills, I’m okay with that.
It’s not like I could ever fall for a jock.