Against the Boards,” the third book in Danica Flynn’s Philadelphia Bulldogs Series, launched this week. I am throwing it in with the whole series here because this set of books so beautifully demonstrates why I enjoy a good hockey romance series, besides just being a well-written story with authentic hockey. Great character integration.
I actually read these books out of order since I just picked up book 2, “Score Her Heart”, taking advantage of the book being on sale this week. (note: Take the Shot is currently free and Score Her Heart is on sale for $.99, but only until 3/6). Roxy and Benny have been wonderful characters adding color to the Bulldogs’ story since the beginning.
In Take The Shot, we are introduced to Dinah and Noah. Dinah lives next door to Noah and his teammate TJ. Two years ago, she unexpectedly lost her husband and in her grief and the tragic aftermath, Noah stood by her side, a friend when she needed one the most. Now though, Noah is finally ready to tell her just how strongly he feels for her, and she is running scared. Not only is he much younger than she is, but she isn’t sure she is ready to open her heart to possible loss. The author is brilliant at writing strong men who are sensitive and caring. Noah has no idea how to get through to Dinah, but he knows to gently keep pushing his way in her life and heart and it makes for a great story. This book introduces the wonderful dynamic between these teammates and starts to bring in the characters that fill out this world. In addition to being a great love story, it is a terrific start to what I hope will be a long series.
In Score Her Heart we meet Aaron Riley and Fiona Gallagher. Their families are close and they have been best friends plus since high school. They are in Vegas for Fiona’s wedding to her longtime boyfriend who has decided that he doesn’t want to get married after all. Riley, of course, is there for his bestie and he convinces her that she should get married anyway, to him. It only takes a few moments of sobriety for her to realize that marrying her best friend on the rebound might not be the smartest move, but Riley has been in love with her forever and he is determined to show her they belong together. I will admit the “jilted/marry someone else in Vegas” trope is not one I usually find enjoyable or believable. However, in this case, Riley is so earnest that I was on board from the start. Riley is another of those great leading men I mentioned. Proving that he and Fi should be together forever sounds great in theory, but actually making it work with real-world obstacles is something else. Riley rises to the occasion the best way he knows how and he drags Fi along for the ride. It is good reading. This book takes place in time with book one so I was anticipating the juicy details of Riley and Fi’s story from the beginning and I really enjoyed getting to see elements from Noah and Dinah’s story retold from a different perspective in this book.
This leads me to Rox and Benny. I mentioned before that I read this second book last and in doing so I was able to appreciate just how well the third love story was set up. The observations of their friends and teammates had me giggling like a fool, mostly because I already knew how closely (or not) it played out.
From: “Score Her Heart (Philadelphia Bulldogs Book 2)” by Danica Flynn
“So what’s the deal with Benny and TJ’s sister Rox?” she asked suddenly.
I shook my head. “Those two do not get along.”
She had a wicked smile on her face. “Maybe they need to bang it out and solve that.”
I laughed. “I don’t disagree with you, sweetheart, but I think she’d rather make-out with a skunk.”
“Not with the way she was looking at him tonight.”
Against the Boards is book three in this series and as mentioned, brand new this week. It is the story of Roxanne Dejardins and Michael Bennet, Rox and Benny. Rox careens through life with a chip the size of a cornerstone on her shoulder. As an MC she comes off as quite not likable. She is aggressive and prickly and she can hold a grudge (for understandable reasons). Her first instinct is to take offense and fight it out, without a moment’s thought for whether or not it is warranted. Her strike first and hit hard mentality takes some getting used to. She is scary enough to make grown men who carry sticks and pound on each other for a living walk cautiously, most of them anyway.
Benny has been among my favorite Bulldogs fro the beginning. Despite his horrible taste in women, he seemed like a great guy and I enjoyed getting to know him and what drives him better. Thank goodness he has hockey skills because his girl skills need some polish. In the previous books, his love life causes some eyes to roll, but Rox really has his tongue tied in knots, or maybe it is that he is always trying to fit both feet in his mouth at the same time.
From: “Take The Shot (Philadelphia Bulldogs Book 1)” by Danica Flynn”
“Benny frowned at me. “I said I was sorry! I didn’t mean to blurt out what I was thinking!”
TJ was snickering. “She’s never going to forgive you.”
“I can’t help it if your sister’s hot!” Benny argued.
“Dude!” TJ whined. “Off-limits.”
Benny scoffed. “Yeah, that’s never gonna happen.”
This is actually my favorite book of the series because it shows the most growth for the characters. Benny is able to get to the root of Roxy’s issues with the world in general and he manages to have a conversation without talking between his toes. While Roxy may never be the soft sweet girl next door, she does learn to stop leading with her chin. She also learns to let someone in. Toxic as the mix between the two is, there is satisfaction in how they work things through. I am all in for the next book or maybe a series re-read. 🙂
When my husband died, I never thought I would find love again.
I definitely didn’t think I would find it in the arms of my younger best friend. Why would the hunky hockey player want anything to do with me? I’m a stressed out writer with a lot of baggage. Any other man would say, “HARD PASS!”
But Noah was the best man I’ve ever known, and if it wasn’t for him, I might not be alive. But am I ready to put my heart on the line again?
I’ve pined for my best friend for so long, that my teammates issued an ultimatum.
“Make your move now or one of us will ask her out.”
They are just trying to push me, besides none of those jerks would ever be good enough for her. Makes me wonder if I even stand a chance.
Besides, what would a smart woman like her want with a dumb jock like me?
Content Warning: This book deals with the death of a previous partner, miscarriage, and infertility.
Get ready to meet The Philadelphia Bulldogs hockey team, in this steamy and hot standalone novel. If you love sexy sports romances and friends-to-lovers with an HEA, this book is for you! This book contains mature content such as coarse language and sexual content.
It must have been all the whiskey. It’s the only explanation for why I agreed to marry my best friend after I was left at the altar.
After burning up the sheets with him all night long, I wanted a divorce, but my new husband had other plans. He thinks we have a future together, so I granted him his request of a trial run.
I just didn’t think the Hookup King was husband material.
I’m tired of the hookup life, and tired of women who can’t handle my grueling hockey schedule. But none of those women were Fiona freaking Gallagher, my one and only love.
I only have a couple months to prove to Fi that this marriage was going to work, and I’m not about to let her go this time. I play to win, and my goal was to make sure she never took off her wedding ring.
The Philadelphia Bulldogs hockey team are back, in this all new-standalone novel. Books can be enjoyed in any order. If you love a steamy friends-to-lovers, marriage of convenience romance, this one is for you.
When I applied for a job with the Philadelphia Bulldogs, I never thought they would offer it to me on the spot. Luckily for me, my twin was letting me stay at his place while he played hockey overseas.
Then he dropped the bomb that Benny was his new roommate. You know, the only guy on the team I can’t stand. I don’t know how we’re gonna survive being roommates. Because honestly? Some days I wasn’t sure if I wanted to kiss him or punch him.
When TJ told me his sister was moving to Philly and needed a place to stay, I knew I should have high-tailed it out of town for the offseason.
But I didn’t. Because I’m all sorts of foolish when it comes to that feisty woman. Every time our paths cross, I open my mouth and make her mad. Usually with good reason, too.
The two of us being roommates was bad news. We’re either going to kill each other or I’m gonna give her the best kiss of her life. I’m not sure which is worse.
The Philadelphia Bulldogs hockey team are back, in this all new-standalone novel. Books can be enjoyed in any order. If you love a steamy enemies to lovers romance, this one is for you.