Review: The Hustler by Gina Azzi

Rating: 4/5
Series: Boston Hawks Hockey #8
Tropes: Hockey Romance, One Night Stand, Instant attraction, Reformed Playboy,
Content/Trigger Warning: Deals with Cancer diagnosis, past and present. Fraud and prison time in the past.

I was really excited for this story. I knew that Eddie Sims had a lot more to him than Hockey Bad boy and player. I was not prepared for all the hidden pieces of who he was. I was not prepared for this sensitive and thoughtful guy!

Sophie is a survivor. She also is living each day to its fullest.  Sophie is the pediatric cancer survivor, as a child she had to morn the loss of what is normal. Sophie had to figure out how to be happy in the NOW, which is not an easy task.  Sophie is one of the most beautiful heroines I have read in a while, I love her outlook and her willingness to live in this moment.  Sophie is a hero with a quiet elegance about her. She isn’t brash or party girl, her heart is drawn to people who have like experiences. 

Theo Lawrence / Eddie Sims is coming off a pretty crap season, full of bad choice and huge mistakes. Things that cost him not just professionally but also in his personal relationships.  Eddie takes the off season and goes home to his family.  He needs to reset and remember who he is and what matters the most to him.  I also knew that when this hero fell in love he would fall hard.  I was not prepared for him to be such a thoughtful and sensitive character. Sophie was his perfect heart song. She was drawn to him, and their romances was a gentle one. The fall for Eddie/Theo was in fact hard but not in the ways I imagined. He did not have to fight for Sophia to see him and love him, he had to fight to keep her. He had to show just much personal strength he had. Eddie/Theo is an unexpected book boyfriend. 

A chance meeting with Sophie at his brother’s wedding sets up this delightful one-night stand chance meeting romance.  One that that is clear through this whole story is being true to yourself. That in love there is no space for deception.

My biggest complaint in this story is because of the number books in the series the pages felt crowded but also both their families play a large part in this story. It did make it difficult at moments to keep track of people. I also felt that the story line was a bit rushed. I wanted more flirting between the characters and getting to know you moments. 

The ending was beautiful, and I do love this BHH community.  I am excited with the introduction of Sophie’s brother Jesse’s character and to see what comes next from Gina Azzi.  Gina is quickly becoming a favorite author. She has a way of writing these complex characters that are relatable but not overworked.   The stay with your heart and leave you wanting more story and more genuine moments.