The Penalty Box by Odette Stone
I love this series!! I’m a hockey fan and absolutely love this type of a story! I loved the first 2 in this series and loved this one just as much if not more!! I would love to have more of Mica and Charlie!! I would love to know how they are especially Mica after the baby is born. This story has it all.
This was one of my favourite marriage of convenience books I’ve read this year! Everything about it checked all my boxes; from the adorable romance between a giant teddy bear of a man and the strong woman who steals his heart, to the suspenseful intrigue surrounding the mystery person responsible for the threats and harassment they face, and even the heartbreaking moments that had me in tears were perfect. This is the third standalone book in this series and like the others, it’s well written and connects nicely with the rest in the series while also being a fantastic story on its own. This was a far more thrilling and graphic book compared to the others, so a list of trigger warnings for those that need them will be listed in my review on Goodreads.
Though he’s reckless and brash, twenty six year old Mica is as loyal as they come, so when his best friend from childhood reaches out for a rare night catching up together, he doesn’t hesitate—even if his friend’s gang affiliation could cause problems for him if their friendship goes public. Those fears become reality when Mica gets arrested and thrown into an interrogation room, and despite his innocence, he’s facing a long game suspension and a possible trade as a result. Desperate to avoid leaving his team, he works with his agent to find a solution, but when the best solution comes in the form of wedding bells and a ring on his finger, he’s not sure he can go along with it—not even if his bride-to-be is his agent’s prickly PA who he knows he can trust.
Charlie is in way over her head in more ways than one. Between a gang debt leaching all her finances, and two jobs taking up all her time, she doesn’t need to get involved with anything else—especially not becoming the fake wife of the gorgeous, powerful hockey player who she’s been denying her crush on for years. The payment for taking part in the sham of a marriage is too good to pass up, however, so with thoughts of repaying her debt and finally being free of the gang on her mind, she reluctantly agrees. When her life gets more complicated and she’s left with nothing, she’s surprised to find Mica stepping up to help, and is more surprised when he keeps stepping up to support her in ways she never imagined she needed.
Now legally married and hopefully proving to his team he’s settled down for good, Mica and Charlie try to transition into living together, but with the cops still sniffing around, an obsessed ex trying to cause problems, and the escalating amounts of harassment they’re getting from an unknown person, they’re challenged at every turn. Add in the growing feelings for their new spouse and the lines between them that are so blurred they’re practically invisible, and Charlie and Mica have way more on the line than they ever thought possible.
I absolutely loved the relationship between Charlie and Mica in this book. Their bond was so sweet and full of understanding, devotion, and genuine care for the other. Though readers have seen Mica appear in other books in this series, this book really brought out his personality and showed a different side to him that only Charlie could bring out. I loved these characters from the very beginning, and adored this couple at every stage of this book.
I also really liked the darker direction the author took this book. The plot and pacing were phenomenal and though things weren’t too hard to figure out, the suspense of it all was still fantastic. I love books that have multiple important things going on without taking away from the romance, and this book delivered that and more.
I seriously loved this book!
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