A Favor for a Favor by Helena Hunting

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Librarian Laura’s Review of A Favor for a Favor

A Favor for a Favor R3Book 2 in the All In series was just as good, if not better than, the first one (A Lie for a Lie). Readers will be happy to see Rook (RJ) and Lainey pop up quite a bit in this story, which is Rook’s little sister, Stevie’s story. Stevie is strong and she has spunk. She’s honestly one of my favorite female characters in a long while. She changes her hair color frequently and doesn’t take crap from anyone. Unfortunately for Stevie, the book starts with her finding her boyfriend Joey with another woman on their couch in their new apartment on her birthday. Talk about a bad day! Her older brother, RJ, a Seattle hockey player with loads of money and fame, offers his penthouse apartment since he and Lainey and their toddler Kody live in a house across town. Her arrival to said apartment, however, is momentous, and not in a good way, thanks to the uber-hot guy across the hall. Their first interaction is in the middle of the night; Stevie is tired, mad at her ex, and in a general mood unfavorable toward men. Can you blame her? The racket she makes while trying to get in the apartment wakes up the bear. The half-naked bear of a man she won’t soon forget, that is. Bishop, who seems to have a new pair of ridiculous boxers on (and nothing else) each morning when he retrieves his paper, assumes that Stevie is RJ’s mistress, and treats her as such, in his irritating cold and smug manor. Stevie assumes that the gorgeous females rotating through Bishop’s apartment are his conquests, which is also inaccurate. Then Stevie finds out Bishop is one of RJ’s teammates when he receives a serious groin injury during preseason. Stevie, a physiotherapist, has just started a new job at the college, where unfortunately her obnoxious cheating ex, Joey, works. Then, Billboard Boxers (as she and her new friends refer to her hot neighbor) asks her for a favor. And you always return a favor with a favor, right? Stevie starts additional therapy for Bishop which is a win-win because he gets back to the ice sooner, and she gets to treat a professional athlete and get a letter of recommendation. Stevie needs a little help from Bishop acting as her “fake boyfriend” to ward off Joey and his aloof reasoning for them to get back together. Bishop’s fake boyfriend skills are hot, hot, hot! But, it turns out they need each other more than they want to admit to themselves. The lines between fake and real begin to blur and are soon completely obliterated. But, there’s the problem of big brother RJ, who isn’t too happy with Bishop going after her “baby sister.” And another issue – Stevie wants nothing to do with the limelight of a famous hockey player. She doesn’t want the fame – she only wants him.

I highly recommend this angst-filled, hate-to-love, sports romance. Helena Hunting is a rock star and I devour everything she writes. I read this in one evening and couldn’t put it down. I loved Stevie and Bishop’s story, perhaps even better than RJ and Lainey. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for another of RJ’s teammates, King, in Book 3 (A Secret for a Secret) which is expected in May 2020.

Thank you to Social Butterfly PR for providing me with an early review copy in exchange for honest feedback.

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About Helena Hunting

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of PUCKED, Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. She writes contemporary romance ranging from new adult angst to romantic sports comedy.

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The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada

imagesOriginally published in Library Journal, March 22, 2019.

Young Puerto Rican single mom, Angel Gomez, is almost through nursing school, while bartending at a high end club, the Peacock, in the evenings to pay the bills. Pregnant at 15, she then lost her mother at age 17, giving Angel an independent, tough exterior. Her older, brassy neighbor Gabriella, a hair salon owner, helps take care of 7 year old Jose, a mixed race boy with asthma who loves baseball. Yankees star pitcher, Caleb “Duke” Lewis, is having ankle pain after a scandalous bar fight which left his best friend dead. He begins secretly coming to Angel’s clinic to receive treatment from the shady attending doctor. The handsome black baseball player is cocky, proposing that beautiful Angel pretend to be his girlfriend for the media to keep attention off of his injury, hoping he’ll get contracted for another season. Meanwhile, Angel is dealing with sexual harassment at both of her jobs, while Duke has financial trouble. The title is a bit misleading; as the characters never really have a perfect date, only attend a party together that ends with quite the unpleasant surprise. Told in alternating point of view, the story is full of diverse characters, but it’s also overfilled with subplots, choppy narrative, and the ending is tied up in a predictable bow. VERDICT: Recommended for strictly additional purchase as this contemporary romance novel has far less plausibility and actual romance than others of its genre.