by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount
January 5, 2021
Figure skating was supposed to be my whole world. But one unlucky injury and now I’m down…but I’m definitely not out. I just need to rehab–a boatload of rehab–and who’d have thought I could do it on the boys’ hockey team?
Of course, the infuriatingly hot captain of the team seems to think I’m nothing but sequins and twirls. What’s a girl to do but put him in his place? Game on.
Hockey is my whole world. I’ve worked my tail off getting my team in a position to win the championships–hopefully in front of major college scouts, too–so what’s a guy to do when a figure skater ends up as our new goalie?
Of course, the distractingly sexy skater thinks I’m nothing but a testosterone-laced competitive streak. And surely she’s only biding her time to heal, then she’s gone. Game over.
Willow Covington dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater, worked hard, and she and her family sacrificed a lot to bring that dream to fruition until an accident hurt her Achilles tendon and almost ripped apart her dream. She has returned to her childhood town to live with her grandfather while she rehabilitates and tries to make it back on her skating team. Unexpectedly, she gets the opportunity to play goalie on a boy’s team, whose captain is Brodie, the boy who seems to have everything.
In the Penalty Box by Lynn Rush and Kelly Anne Blount is pretty much a gold medal winner in my opinion. It has everything that you could want in a YA sports romance: a cute couple made up of a strong pretty girl and a handsome though vulnerable boy, lots of exciting on the ice (and off the ice) action, angst, drama, fun and flirtation. I loved that Willow, despite her fragile-sounding name, didn’t back down from bullies who tried to intimidate her and that she gave as good as she got.
Like all romances, whether they’re adult or young adult, there’s always a decision that needs to be made. While I agreed with the general outcome, I wish that it had been achieved in a different way. The big decision, the big sacrifice, could have been written so that it felt like it was a harder choice than it seemed to be for Willow. I am really trying to write this so that there are no spoilers but without being too vague–I’ve probably succeeded on the first and failed on the second. Ah, well.
Regardless, I loved this sports romance. I was always one of those little girls who dreamed of being an Olympic figure skater so for me this was a very fun read. The hockey scenes were well done with me rooting Willow on to block all of the shots. I loved Willow and Brodie’s victories on the ice. And then off the ice.
There’s a lot going on in In the Penalty Box, enough to make most YA romance readers happy. Rush and Blount make a wonderful writing team and I hope to read more of their collaborations in the future.
I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies
INSPIRATION BEHIND WRITING THIS BOOK AND YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTERS:
Welcome to the In the Penalty Box release festivities! I’m so excited to be here today and grateful for the chance to talk to you about the sweet YA romance novel I co-wrote with Kelly Anne Blount! We love blog tours! Have you been hitting all the tour stops? Be sure to, because there are lots of fun prizes to try for and adventures to be had.
Lynn Rush here. In case you don’t know me, I’m one of the writers of In the Penalty Box. Kelly Anne and I met through our agent, Nicole, at The Seymour Agency. We clicked right away and one day, Kelly said, “Hey, we should write a book together.”
I was all about that. I really enjoyed Kelly’s writing and her personality. She’s pretty freaking awesome, so yeah, I agreed right away. Kelly and I had been involved in high school and college sports, so it felt pretty natural to go that route with a book we would write together.
Normally I’m a seat of the pants type writer, but when we started planning out what we might write about, it was evident we’d need to do some plotting, so that was a fun experience. Now I kind of like plotting books out. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the rush of staring at a blank word document with no idea what I’m going to write out. I don’t think I’ll ever lose that, but I’ll keep that more to what I write on my own.
Since the first trilogy I’d ever released was written from the male point of view, first person, it seemed fitting that I write that POV in our novel. And since Kelly enjoyed writing the female point of view, we had a starting point to get our first novel up and running.
While I normally write demons, vampires and scientifically modified humans, we decided this one would be a small town, contemporary high school sports romance. And no, the star hockey player couldn’t be a vampire. 🙂
We went on to write over 100,000 words in about four months. The story just seemed to flow. Oh, and it was so much fun. I love writing, absolutely love getting lost in different worlds, so this was just plain awesome.
Writing Brodie, a kid who seemingly has it all: he’s good looking, has amazing hockey talent, and is rich…he was really fun to write. Even though making him a vampire wasn’t an option, I enjoyed creating and delving into his family dynamics and the dysfunction of it. Showing his vulnerabilities along with his fears, strengths, and convictions.
One thing about Brodie that inspired me was his loyalty. To his friend Preach and his other, more difficult to love friend, Pax. The brotherhood and commitment to his family of hockey players…it makes me smile.
I hope you find Brodie as intriguing as I did, and I thank you all so much for your support and your participation in the IN THE PENALTY BOX release festivities.
Thank you again for having me and featuring In the Penalty Box!
KELLY ANNE BLOUNT is a USA Today bestselling author who loves writing addictive young adult novels. Her YA psychological thriller, CAPTURED (19 million reads on Wattpad), has been optioned and is being produced by Sony Pictures Television and Komixx Entertainment (The Kissing Booth).
In addition to writing addictive YA stories, she contributes text style stories to Hooked, Chapters, and Tap, where her stories have been “tapped” over 50 million times. She’s also a writer and reviewer for SpoilerTV. When she’s not writing, Kelly loves spending time with her sweet husband and their adorable little girl, cuddling with their fur babies, hanging with her friends, and hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Find Kelly on social media @KellyAnneBlount and be sure to sign up to my newsletter (https://bit.ly/KellyAnneBlountNewsletter) for exclusive content, giveaways, and more!
New York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author, LYNN RUSH, is a full-time writer, wife, and trail runner, living in the Sonoran Desert, despite her fear of rattlesnakes. Known as #TheRunningWriter, she can’t resist posting epic sunrise pictures while running in the desert with her trail sisters, even if she has to occasionally hop over a scorpion. When she’s not running, writing, or reading, she and her Ironman husband are watching movies that fuel her undying love of superheroes, vampires, and all things Supernatural. Find her on social media: @LynnRushWrites Sign-up for her newsletter: http://bit.ly/LRNewsletter