I was intrigued by Delayed Penalty because I’m a sucker for sports romances AND I heard it has a hot Russian hockey player! While it wasn’t quite what I expected, Delayed Penalty was still a good debut with lots of potential. I didn’t quite manage to connect with the characters, but the story overall was fairly enjoyable.
Auden Berezin needs to find a way to earn tuition money after losing her soccer scholarship. Luckily, since she’s fluent in Russian, she gets a job as a translator for Russian hockey player Aleksandr Varenkov. Unfortunately, Aleksandr turns out to be the jerk she met the other night who did not make a good first impression. Now she’ll have to be around him all during season to help him communicate with the media. She doesn’t like Aleksandr, and even worse, she hates that she’s attracted to him.
Auden was an interesting character. She’s got a lot of internal scars, as a girl who’s used to losing people. She’s a bit judgmental towards Aleksandr, even when he tries to apologize for being a jerk. But once they move on and agree to be friendly, things start looking up between them. Auden and Aleksandr spend a lot of time together, and they open up to each other. Auden finds herself connecting with Aleksandr in a way she’s never connected with anyone else. They bond over lost parents, a love for sports, and all things Russian, and eventually start to fall for one another.
Could I let myself fall in love with Alexkandr Varenkoc when I knew falling caused injuries?
Scraped knees and palms would heal, but what about a lacerated heart?
I enjoyed this story, even though I felt like it was a bit all over the place. Too many things are going on at once, and it was difficult for me to connect with anyone or anything. I really didn’t like Aleksandr in the beginning, though he grew on me in the end. Auden and Aleksandr’s romance is a slow but sweet one, but I just didn’t feel the chemistry between them.
“Everything I do and everything I am is all for you, Audushka.”
All in all, Delayed Penalty was a good, but not great book. It had a lot of potential to be another fantastic sports romance, but things got a little hectic, plot-wise. I really hope the stories in the upcoming books of the series will be more fleshed out, because I’d definitely give this author another try.
Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.