Thursday, January 30, 2020

Review: A Favor for a Favor - Helena Hunting

A Favor for a Favor (All In #2)
by Helena Hunting
Published: January 28, 2020 by Montlake Romance

From the New York Times bestselling author of Pucked and A Lie for a Lie, a new stand-alone romance about trading favors, battling wills, and winning love.

When I joined Seattle’s NHL expansion team, I thought it was the start of something great. But nothing ever goes the way you expect. Take my introduction to my new neighbor. She came rolling in on the hot mess express at midnight, making a racket while she tried to get into my team captain’s apartment. Did I mention that he’s married to a woman who definitely was not her?

Imagine my surprise when I end up with an injury that has me out of the game for weeks, and she’s the one to offer to help me. I should probably add that she’s not the captain’s mistress. She’s his sexy, pastel-haired younger sister.

So we come up with an arrangement: she rehabs me so that I can get back on the ice sooner, and she can add a professional athlete that isn’t her brother to her client list. Seems simple enough. As long as I can keep my hands to myself and my hormones in check.

Review

5 Stars
Bishop Winslow already doesn't like his new team captain, but he likes him even less as he watches the hot-mess of a woman try to get into his apartment with a whole lot of racket. He assumes the worst about her and let's her know his thoughts with a few choice words. Stevie Bowman just wants to get into the apartment and close out this already terrible day, she doesn't need the handsome oaf of a man across the hall to add to it. When she discovers her new neighbor is both a hockey player and injured her physiotherapy training kicks into gear. Finding out she's his team captain's sister makes him regret their first meeting, but not enough to decline her offer, let her help with his PT and give her a glowing review, allowing her to move up without her brother's help. Of course, it also gives him a chance to appreciate her assets and show off his unique underwear collection. All Bishop has to do is keep his hands to himself.

I was presented an opportunity to read A Favor for a Favor as a standalone in the All In series and, well, who can say no to a romance from Helena Hunting? I did not read the previous novel, but I can say this one truly is a standalone and I don't feel like I missed a thing. A Favor for a Favor is Stevie and Bishop's story, there's nothing meet-cute about it. These two are sarcasm, wit, and electrifying chemistry wrapped into a beautiful, slow burn package. In her classic, comedic way, Helena Hunting gives readers an enemies-to-lovers romance that finds a favor turning into a friendship that taunts them both with more. Stevie is headstrong, fairly independent, and has a whole lot of sass. Bishop is handsome, certainly cocky, and has a bigger heart than a teddy bear. I loved Stevie and Bishop, both as individuals, and as potential partners. They're both hilarious, so full of attitude, and their dialogue is fantastic. You know the chemistry is there, but the push and pull between them as they hate on one another is just too enjoyable. I loved how their story played out, it felt natural and so fitting, especially for their roles in the greater All In series.

A Favor for a Favor was such a fantastic, laugh-out-loud read. I stayed up all night reading, something I haven't done in a while, and fell for Bishop and Stevie just as much as they fell for one another. Helena Hunting absolutely nailed it with this one.
Excerpt

“Say you were taking a woman to a formal work function. Would you get her flowers or something?” I’ve gone on my fair share of dates, had a few relationships, but I’ve never been one for hearts and flowers or any of that bull. I’m thinking I might need to do that with Stevie, though, since she’s been screwed over pretty hard.

“Is this a date or a favor for a friend?”

“I guess she thinks I’m doing her a favor.” At least that was the impression that I got when I offered to go with her.

“Is that actually what you’re doing?”

“Yes and no.”

“Can you give me a little more to go on?”

“Her ex is going to be there and I don’t want her to go alone.”

“You don’t want her to go alone because you’re worried he’ll be a jerk or he’ll try to take advantage of her?”

“Sure, yeah, that’s part of the reason.”

“Instead of me dragging the information out of you, why don’t you lay it down for me?”

“So, Stevie—”

“Hold up, we’re back to Rook’s little sister?”

“Who else would I be talking about?”

“I thought you said there isn’t anything going on between you, and now you’re taking her to some kind of work function? That’s not a favor; that’s a date. Does Rook know?”

“It’s none of his damn business.”

“I’m not sure he’ll see it that way.”

“Well, he doesn’t have control over her or what she does, or what I do.” I’m agitated now. “She’s not going to that thing alone. I don’t trust that ex of hers, and I don’t want her to end up in a situation she doesn’t like.”

Kingston tips his head to the side. “Dang.”

“What?”

“You like her.”

“Well, yeah, I like her.” What’s not to like? She’s gorgeous, and she’s funny and feisty; her body is rockin’; and she’s fun to be around, super chill, and genuinely selfless.

“Like you actually want to date her, though.”

I shrug, because what am I going to say? The answer to that is yes, I want to date her, but the timing needs to be right. “I don’t want the ex thinking he has another chance.“

“You really love complicated situations, don’t you?”

“They just tend to find me, is all.”

“When’s this event you’re supposed to take her to?” King asks.

“Saturday.”

He frowns. “We get back at noon on Saturday.”

“It’s in the evening.”

“You better hope our flight isn’t delayed.”

I hadn’t considered a delay. The only reason that would happen is if the weather isn’t good. “It doesn’t start until five. I should have plenty of time to get home and throw a suit on.”

Kingston nods and taps restlessly on the edge of the pool. “So would you call this your first date?”

“We hang out all the time.”

“‘Hang out’ meaning what?”

“Other than PT sessions, we watch hockey, eat pizza, stuff like that.”

Kingston blinks several times in rapid succession. “That’s it?”

“I pick her up from work a lot.”

“Have you ever bought her flowers before? Brought her any gifts?”

“I brought her over an aloe plant once. But, like I said, it hasn’t been like that.” I don’t get why he’s so hung up on the flowers.

“Again, please try not to take offense, but are you sure you haven’t inadvertently put yourself in the friend zone?”

“How do I know if I’m in the friend zone?” I haven’t had a lot of friends who are girls. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever had a friend who’s a girl who isn’t related to me. And I only have two female cousins, whom I see a couple of times a year at family functions. They’re significantly younger than me, so mostly I avoid them.

It’s Kingston’s turn to blow out a long breath. “If you put your arm around her and she gets all snuggly but doesn’t try to take it any further, it could mean you’re in the friend zone.”

I don’t know what my expression must be, but the panic I feel inside quite possibly reaches my face. I feel like it should be obvious that I’m interested. A guy doesn’t spend endless hours with a gorgeous woman who combines weird pizza toppings for shits and giggles. But then again, I haven’t attempted to make a move on her since the almost-kiss. And any conversation I’ve tried to have with her about it has been shut down. In fact, she wants to pretend it didn’t happen. I hadn’t considered that this might be because she actually didn’t want it to happen at all. She seemed just as into it as I was. Or maybe I’ve been misreading the whole thing. “If I’m in the friend zone, how the hell do I get out?”

***
Author Biography

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives on the outskirts of Toronto with her incredibly tolerant family and two moderately intolerant cats. Helena writes everything from contemporary romance with all the feels to romantic comedies that will have you laughing until you cry.

Social Media Links

Website: https://helenahunting.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/helena.hunting69/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/helenahunting
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7226675.Helena_Hunting


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