Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line #1), by Shey Stahl

Delayed Penalty (Crossing the Line #1)
by Shey Stahl

A minor penalty that is not called until the offending team gains control of the puck. As long as the non-offending team maintains possession, the referee allows play to continue and signals a delayed penalty by raising his arm.

I’m Evan Mason, an NHL hockey player for the Chicago Blackhawks. I spend my nights roughing up two hundred pound defensemen and, at times, spend more time in the penalty box than I do on the ice.

That’s my job.

One night changed everything I thought I once knew about my life on, and off, the ice.

A girl.

A brutally beaten girl left to die in an alley.
I don’t know why or how but something made me stay that night after taking her to the hospital. I didn’t know her, nor did I have an obligation to stay but something inside of me rooted me there telling me I should stay. Saving a life is worth something. At least I thought so. And I wouldn’t have been me if I just simply left her there.

Any man who put his heart and soul into a game of hockey couldn’t just walk away when someone needed them. She had no one else right now. The same guy who saw determination where there was desire, now saw hope where there was once despair.

I couldn’t leave. That wouldn’t be me. No, not a man that put all he had into something some called just a game. I couldn’t walk away from her holding onto life, weak and powerless to something she had no control over.

So I stayed. In a room full of family members praying for their loved ones to pull through, I prayed for a girl I didn’t know and had never met before, to have a beating heart. While others’ sorrows turned to grieving pain, I sat waiting on the words of the unknown.

No bond is stronger than the ones you’ll bleed for

Heather’s Thoughts:

I love hockey, I love romance…so what’s not to love about this book?

Evan is a defensive lineman for the Chicago Blackhawks. He is an enforcer, someone who protects his teammates by roughing up the opposing team when they get out of line. Evan is extremely loyal and, according to his mother,  since he was born on Valentines day, he has a bigger heart than most.


One night on the way home from an after party, Evan hears something strange in an alley. He pauses and in that moment, everything in his life will change based on the choice he makes in that moment.

For everyone out there each day, each year, is arguably different than the last, bringing with it different struggles, highs, lows, new friends, and fading friends. In five days, in twenty minutes, in a second, everything about that year could change.– Evan

Ami has has a rough year to say the least. Her entire world was turned upside down and inside out. She decided that what she really needed was a fresh start so she moved to Chicago. She hoped to find a new life with hope for the future. What she found was that the world can be a very cruel place. In her darkest hour, Ami finds kindness like none she has ever know.

Ami is a ballet dancer and was on her way home one dark winter evening when everything changed. She was brutally attacked and left for dead. She is in a coma and no-one knows who her attacker was. Evan visits Ami every chance he gets in the hospital and finds himself drawn to this beaten and bruised girl. He wants to protect her and it is killing him that he couldn’t have prevented her brutal attack.

Ami slowly regains consciousness, but she has no memory of her attack. Evan learns her story and continues to be drawn to her, even more than before. Ami finds herself drawn to Evan as well, her knight in shining armor.

I wasn’t sure if Evan was attracted to me that way, but his body language told me another story. His kisses added the words and his touches added page numbers.  -Ami

As the story begins to unravel, Evan realizes that he can not just walk away from Ami, their lives have become forever entwined.

Evan works hard to help Ami move forward from her attack. He gives her hope and safety. But as Amy starts to remember more and the story unfolds, Evan has a revelation that rocks their world.

You’d be surprised to see what could be waiting for you on the other side of the blue line. -Evan

This was an emotional one to read. It was told from a dual point of view. Evan is the primary voice, especially in the beginning when Ami is in a coma. Evan is a guys guy but his response to what happened to Ami is deeply emotional. The issues tackled were intense and heartbreaking. I was left wondering about halfway through how much one person could endure and still survive.

Ami is a tough cookie. Despite all that life has thrown her she survives and learns to thrive. It is a long and slow recovery but with Evan by her side, she finds it is not quite so hard.

Such a sweet ending to this amazing story. I really enjoyed this one. The only complaint was that it got a bit slow about 20% in. Evan also talked a LOT about “unity”. That got a bit old after a bit. Aside from those two relatively minor things, this was a solid four stars for me.

4 Glove Dropping Stars



About Reading Haven

I am a thirty something wife and mother of two. I read in all of my free time. I can't remember the last time I chose to watch television. I would prefer reading or hanging out online24/7 but one must pay the bills, thus my day job. I like UF but lately have been exploring more erotica and adult romance novels. I love a good Alpha male and I am not afraid of the dark stuff. I like historical romance as well. Sometimes I go for the YA stuff. I'm a sap for a good love story. I prefer a HEA (insert unicorns, rainbows and kittens). Genres I will read: Contemporary Romance and some Historical Romance, Erotica, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult, and Paranormal Romance.
This entry was posted in 2013, 4 Stars, Contemporary Romance, Heather's reviews, Romance and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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