The Enforcer is enjoyable and steamy second chance hockey romance with all interesting tropes. While it didn’t turn out my favorite I still would like to try next books in the series.
The Enforcer – second chance hockey romance
The Enforcer (Lakeside University Hockey #1) by Avery Keelan
Publication Date : June 23, 2022
Read Date : January 21, 2023
Genre : Romance / sports romance
Pages : 399
Source : KU
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Nash Richards was my first everything. First boyfriend, first time, first love. First heartbreak, too.
In a former life, I used to religiously attend Lakeside U’s hockey games. Then my ex-who-shall-not-be-named—the team’s top defensive enforcer—cross-checked my heart into the boards, and I haven’t set foot in that arena since.
But when fate conspires against me, I’m assigned to complete my senior athletic training internship with Nash’s team, and forced to work closely with the only guy I’ve ever loved. You know, the one who skated out of my life freshman year without looking back.
After what happened last time, I know better than to fall for Nash again. Not to mention, there’s a strict no-fraternization policy between trainers and their athletes. Problem is, our chemistry is hotter than ever—and he’s determined to convince me to give him another chance.
Before we know it, the boundaries begin to blur until we can’t see them anymore. But with so much on the line, I’m risking a lot more than just my heart this time.
THE ENFORCER is a steamy second chance college sports romance with a HEA and no cliffhanger.
The Enforcer is a second-chance hockey romance that follows the story of Nash and Violet in their senior year at Lakeside University.
They both dated in their freshman year but problems in their relationship left them heartbroken avoiding each other for almost two years until they were forced to face each other once again when Violet was assigned to Nash’s team as athletic trainer.
The old feelings resurface but it’s not the same now with the rule of not getting involved with the athlete assigned to the trainer, growing tension, angst, and past mistakes. I loved the beginning with how Nash and Violet met and how strong they felt for each other. It made me curious to know what happened between them.
Writing is gripping and steady-paced with dual narrative. I liked Violet. She is sweet and lovely. I liked how she cared for her friends. Her bond with her family is heartwarming. Her dilemma about her feelings for Nash was realistic and genuine. I get why she wanted to keep her distance after the heartbreak and how Nash shut her out and yet she couldn’t move forward, not really. It was great to see how slowly the wall around her heat shattered the more time she spent with Nash.
What I liked most is how she could get over her fear of driving with Nash and how she made Nash to put his life on priority and do the right thing near the end. I also liked how she tried to stand up to his father.
Nash is a complicated character but he is my favorite of the two. He is a strong big defenceman of hockey team and yet he was most vulnerable in this story. His love for Violet and daddy issue was evident from the beginning but I couldn’t see what made him push Violet away.
The more I read his perspective the more it revealed how messed up he was emotionally. I hated how his father treated him. The abusive childhood, constant pressure, zero love and appreciation from his father made him vulnerable to the point that he felt unworthy of love and couldn’t have enough self-confidence which made him work hardest to the point he was ready to put his career over life. It was heartbreaking to read about the pressure and mental abuse he suffered all his life.
I loved how therapy was helping him lately and how it also made him admit the fear of losing Violet and his relationship with her on a priority over other things in his life. I just didn’t like how long it took for him to stand up for himself and open up to Violet. I get his fear looking at what his dad did when he wasn’t picking up his calls and also when Nash confronted him at the end but it still feels it took too long, he didn’t have enough support system. He confided in with his friends but they kind of stayed out of the problem.
Violet’s friends, Nash’s teammates, and Nash’s dog added fun to the story. They made the story much more refreshing.
The romance was a steamy but also slow burn. There didn’t happen anything between Nash and Violet in the first half of the book. The author kept those chapters focused on how Nash and Violet were coping, their angst, and both trying to keep their feelings at bay. The second half was filled with romance, tension, chemistry, and development in their relationship.
Climax is tense with problem in their relationship resurfacing but I liked how both characters handled it this time, especially Nash. That confrontation with his father near the end is scary but I loved how it finally turned in Nash’s favor and how things worked out between Nash and Violet.
Why 3.5 stars-
While I love second chance romance, I didn’t like their reason for breaking up the first time. It felt naive. It was just one meeting with parents Nash missed and Violet’s reaction to that was too strong. She didn’t try to find out the issue behind it. She said she had a hint there is something wrong with Nash’s relationship with his father and he is hiding or avoiding topic related to it but like I said she didn’t try to find it out until she stumbled upon his argument with his father in the end.
Plot had so much potential but it was too slow for my liking. For most story, both characters kept telling about their issue with their own lives and with each other but they didn’t act on it until 70% of the book.
While I didn’t mind the angst at some point (tbh in the first half) the push and pull was getting on my nerves.
There is less conversation and more sex and I might be fine with it if only they opened up with each other first. I don’t get why someone wouldn’t want to share a huge part of their life with someone they claim to love more than anything else and also that someone don’t try to figure out why their loved one keeps avoiding that one topic.
Overall, The Enforcer is enjoyable and steamy second chance hockey romance with all interesting tropes. While it didn’t turn out my favorite I still would like to try next books in the series.
You might like The Enforcer if you enjoy,
Second Chance Hockey Romance
Angsty / Push and pull
Layer of emotional and psychological abuse
Cute lovely pup
What Do you think about this book?
Have you read any books by the same author?
What is your favorite second chance romance?
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