Hard Knocks by Ruby Lang (Practice Perfect, Book 2)
Helen Chang Frobisher, a Portland neurologist, has developed a very personal interest in the long-term effects of concussions ever since her father, a doctor and amateur boxer, was diagnosed in Parkinsonism. When her starstruck supervisor introduces her to Adam and Serge, two massive Portland Wolves hockey players being observed for concussion symptoms, she shows little patience when she knows they will risk more concussions by continuing to play.
Adam Magnus has never been a hockey star. Adam is a Minnesotan farm-boy who fumbled through the start of his career and is just trying to squeeze a few more years in as an enforcer for a struggling team while he figures out what to do next after Hockey. Despite Helen's aggressive disapproval, he find himself compellingly attracted to her passion and energy.
Adam and Helen are on a collision course, drawn to each other when everything in their lives should pull them apart. A one-night stand, an impulsive letter to the editor, local-news face-offs and two hearts scared to trust and love in the midst of uncertainty.
Hard Knocks is Ruby Lang's second novel and while I enjoyed her first, I loved Hard Knocks. Lang takes a difficult topics and a tricky premise and creates a charming, funny and deeply emotional romance. I loved the relationship dynamics, and Lang's portrayal of how family, friends and career concerns play into how the lovers respond and react to each other, an element so often absent in contemporary romance. It is the richness in these relationships that support the banter & humor through the tricky emotional conflicts. I am looking forward to many more books from Ms. Lang.
I received an ARC from Ms.Lang but ended up buying my own copy because I hate reading PDFs on my kindle and wanted to finish reading it so much.